Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Nicholas Has the Funniest Hair


I'm not kidding - look at that cowlick? I think it makes him look totally geeky but my friend says that is the rudest thing you can say to a 4-yr-old steer.

Nicholas is a Jersey and he gets his name from St. Nick due to the fact we brought him home to the sanctuary on December 25th 2007. Holy crap, that is an epically long number of years. It's the year of Celeste too.

Anyways, Nick is what the dairy industry calls a by-product. Or trash, depending on if you are asking me or the dairy industry. Male calves don't produce milk. Nicholas is a Jersey, known for their butterfat and like super awesome eyelashes. Jerseys are a small breed of cow and don't grow at the rate of "beef breeds".

So male Jersey calves have very little value to dairy farmers. They are taken from their moms within minutes (up to 24 hours) of birth and trucked to auction. They will suck on your fingers and pray for milk. They will gaze, frightened and sometimes bold, into your eyes. They will curl into you. They will be bought and sold like chairs for less than $20. Cheap chairs.

Some idiot bought Nicholas at auction. I should call this person pure genius because without them, Nicholas would be slaughtered. Anyway, this idiot is from Berkeley. Berkeley is not known for its great expanses of bucolic pasture. Nicholas was tied up outside of an apartment complex, if you can believe that, and the neighbors were all I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT and then animal control was all DO NOT BELIEVE. But then they had to believe because there was a day-old bedraggled calf with his umbilicus still dangling there and the only thing available to him was hay and water.

Idiot from Berkeley apparently thought calves came magically ready to eat hay and drink water. Fail.

Nicholas nearly died. He had pneumonia. He had scours. He had to have a staff person sleep next to him and read him bedtime stories in my office. Seriously, I would show up at work and bam! calf telling me to give him some goddamn milk because he is STARVING. Now he is like ginormous but still rams his head into me, demanding milk, and I'm all afraid for my life because that shit is so not cute when he weighs 1,200 lbs.

Anyways, Nicholas is one reason I drink soy milk. Sometimes coconut milk if I'm feeling like I want a dose of saturated fat infused into my heart cavity. Or butt. Whatevs. Nicholas is totally worth it.

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