Left alone

Timo curled up very tightly in the farthest corner of the shack in which he had been locked. The first snowflakes rolled gently down and he froze terribly. But much worse than the cold was the loneliness, the terrible fear of never being able to see his mother again. But he was only in the world for a very short time. Shouldn’t he snuggle up with his mom, drink with her? He curled up a little more. As far as it went. Well, his shack was thickly padded with straw, but the cold still stayed and even the thickest layer of straw didn’t help against the loneliness. Especially not against fear. But what happened? Why did he have to be there? He heard his mom calling. She couldn’t be far away. Still, he was here, and she was there.

His mother had recently given birth to him. As soon as he slipped completely out of her body, she began to lick him. He knew her voice. Of course, he hadn’t been given a name. Just a number. That was enough for a creature that you really didn’t want. Just because he was a boy. Then he stood up and wanted to drink with his mum, but then he was rudely pulled away and thrown into a wheelbarrow. He saw how they had to hold his mother back with all their might. She didn’t want to let people take him with them, away from her, away from the safety and confidence, out into the cold and the loneliness and the fear. But she didn’t succeed. They took him away and threw him in the shack. He was forced to stay there while his mother called out to him heartbreakingly. Then he got diarrhea. But no doctor came. He didn’t get any medication. Actually, the owners would be very happy if he scraped it off. Then they wouldn’t have to feed him anymore. They didn’t get much money for him anyway. They had to be happy if this could cover the feed costs that they had already invested. He was far too skinny and weak, just a burden, rubbish and good for nothing. Not only did he not give milk like his mom, which was supposed to be his but was replaced with cheap milk replacer, he was also way too skinny. Tomorrow, the day after tomorrow at the latest, he would be dead. „What bad luck, too,“ they would say and take him to the animal carcass disposal. That would solve the problem. But things turned out differently.

Timo was still alive, even the day after next. Then a human woman walked into the yard and saw this small, emaciated calf, completely covered in dirt. She then went straight to the farmer and asked him what he wanted for the calf and its mother. The farmer, who sensed a good deal, looked at her thoughtfully. He mentally weighed how far he could go. “It was another one that was on the rescue trip. Oh, the poor little calf, that must be worth something to her, at least more than I would have ever gotten. And the mother, after this phase of lactation, would also go into the meat grinder. That was already finished,“ he thought to himself, and then said out loud: „2,000.“ „€ 2,000 for both?“ the lady asked. „Yes,“ he said, because he was rather taciturn. But so was the lady, so she took the bills out of her pocket and counted them in his hand. Then she took some photos of her new acquisitions and had a short phone call. A few minutes later a trailer drove into the yard and mother and child were invited together. Their goal was a so-called Sanctuary, where mother and child could live happily until they died a natural death.

„Perhaps I should have asked for more,“ thought the farmer a few days later, when he held the newspaper in his hands and saw the photos of the animals he had sold, „Shameful to pillory me like that. Did they publish it? But I know the official veterinarian well. Everything will be fine.”

It’s like in real life. The official veterinarian comes, complains about a thing or two, e.g. that calves with diarrhea are not treated, writes his report and everything goes on as before. What is not like in real life is that mother and child can live together peacefully without cold, loneliness and fear. In real life they are separated, and the male children are bartered away because they are useless. The mothers are exploited until their bodies are completely exhausted, after a few years. Then they will be killed. This happens millions of times and they are all left alone with their pain and fear. Nobody cares about them. They live lives that cannot be called that, marked by pain and exploitation and abuse until they are killed all too soon. All quite normal in a society in which a living being and its needs are worth nothing.

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