Why Cows Are Smarter Than Your Dog


betsy & oliver by beth redwood

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to meet a cow in person, you've probably noticed how curious, smart, and social they are. Sadly, most cows are never given a chance to live a full and happy life. In America alone, an estimated 39 million cattle and calves are killed for food. At Lighthouse, we care for 13 cows and steers who have all been rescued from the meat and dairy industry. Every day we spend with our incredible cow friends we are reminded of why their lives matter and why they deserve to be protected.

Cows are so much smarter than we give them credit for. They are excellent problem solvers, they remember faces (so make sure you're nice when you meet one!) and they get excited when they find solutions to intellectual problems, just like humans! And just like humans cows display a full range of personalities- some are bold and brave, while others can be shy and introverted.

helen & italo. by beth redwood

They also make lifelong friends and choose to spend their time with specific individuals - we’ve seen that first hand with our rescued calf Italo, who prefers to spend his time with blind bison Helen instead of the other cows and steers at the sanctuary.

There is a particularly strong bond between mother cows and their babies. Mother cows have been known to search frantically for their babies when they are taken away, which is a common practice in the dairy industry. When our rescued dairy cow Betsy gave birth at the sanctuary, she was visibly worried that we would take her son away from her because it had already happened many times before. It took days for her to become less anxious when we were around her baby Oliver. Still, over two years later, they spend all of their time together and they will loudly call each other if one isn’t in sight. Their bond is extraordinary and it's heartbreaking to think about what would have happened to them if we weren't able to give them a life-long home at Lighthouse.


betsy & oliver. photo by beth redwood

Each one of the cows and steers we care for at Lighthouse is an individual with likes and dislikes, good days and bad days - just like you. They value their life and they don’t want to die. They relish a warm sunny day, they get excited to run and play with their friends, they experience grief and joy and all the myriad emotions that make up a complex life. With so many amazing and healthy alternatives to meat and dairy products, it’s so easy to eliminate their suffering and choose a vegan diet instead. Feel free to reach out to us at info@lighthousefarmsanctuary.org for tips on how to go vegan!

If you’d like to contribute to the care of the cows and steers that call Lighthouse home, we welcome you to make a one-time donation or sign up for a monthly donation on Patreon where you will get a behind the scenes look at sanctuary life. Thank you for your support!

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All photos by Beth Lily Redwood https://www.bethlilyredwood.com/

Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit.  Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
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