Like many people that watched the Conklin Dairy abuse video, I hardly got any sleep Tuesday night. Those 3.5 minutes of footage evoked a level of rage I’ve never experienced in my entire life.
I was so consumed by anger I couldn’t begin to quantify it with words. I had to force myself to just copy and paste the story here, if I attempted to include any commentary it would’ve been pure expletives. Having returned to a slightly more rational frame of mind, I still continue to be haunted by its horrific images.
It helped a little to watch the next day as the story got tons of coverage by the media. Better yet was hearing about the first arrest. But that only brought up new anger about the lack of legal protection afforded to farm animals. The penalty for all of that cruelty inflicted? Only a second-degree misdemeanor in Ohio— a pathetic $750 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Nothing close to justice. Even more, we’re still waiting for Gary Conklin to be arrested. Clearly shown kicking a cow in the video, he has yet to be charged with anything.
The investigation is still in its beginning stages and there is plenty to be depressed and angry about.
Now is the perfect time to remember that 20 miles away from the Conklin Dairy Farm there’s a happy ending to one cruel chapter of the dairy industry. His name is Wesley.
If you think cows are mindless animals with no personalities, you have to meet this one. Everyone who has will agree: Wesley is a puppy trapped in a cow’s body. Given free reign to roam anywhere on the farm, he often walks onto the back deck and peers into Mindy’s window, whining to come inside. In the winter he likes to fall asleep covered up with a blanket. Oh, and I can hardly leave out this tip— Wesley loves apple juice.
Once you meet him you’ll understand what all the hype is about. Wesley is quite the charmer. A perfect reminder of how incredibly intelligent and loving these animals can be.
Sunrise Sanctuary is home to over 80 other rescued animals, including chickens, ducks, turkeys, goats, llamas, cats, dogs, and more. Each have their own story, some more horrific than others, but all have the same happy and compassionate ending.
They’re having a fundraiser on Saturday, June 12th, it’s the perfect opportunity to come out and meet Wesley, along with all the other animals. If you need a break from the heart-wrenching Conklin Dairy story, a visit to Sunrise is sure to lift your spirits.
Wesley is a reminder that groups like Sunrise Sanctuary and Mercy for Animals deserve our energy, not pieces of garbage like Conklin and Gregg. If you’re angry about what happened, I strongly suggest:
- Stop consuming ALL dairy. Conklin Dairy is not an exception, they are the rule. It does nothing to boycott whatever company may happen to distribute Conklin’s milk, the dairy industry is HUGE, there are countless more operating the same way. Even “humane” dairy farming is cruel. Like humans, cows only produce milk when they’re pregnant, so the cows are kept perpetually pregnant, the resulting baby calves taken away immediately and sold to the veal industry. If you’re opposed to eating veal, you should be opposed to the dairy industry that supplies it.
- Support compassion. Whether it’s financially or as a volunteer, I highly encourage you to support Mercy for Animals and their important undercover investigations, as well as rescue organizations like Sunrise Sanctuary.
- Sign the petition for Ohioans for Humane Farms, a citizen-backed ballot initiative to prevent some of the cruelest factory farming practices in Ohio. The measure will require the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board to adopt certain minimum standards that will prevent animal cruelty, improve health and food safety, support family farms and safeguard the environment throughout the state of Ohio.
Of course I’m as anxious as everyone else to see justice prevail in this story. While we wait, it helps to remember Wesley.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”