Amazingly enough, abortion is making huge waves in New Zealand right now. Suddenly, there are large segments of the population who are really upset - outraged - over the senseless termination of vulnerable young lives and they are getting vocal about it! Last week a single man was responsible for over 200 abortions and it made the news in a big way. Richard and I had hoped to see this kind of fervor and passion catch spark in the pro-life movement here, but we never dreamed of who might be the particular victims at the heart of the issue.
Calves. The abortion of unborn dairy cows is the issue here. Abortion (of human babies - in other words, unborn dairy cow farmers or unborn babies of any career potential) is legal and common in New Zealand - and considered too private to talk about. But the farmer who prematurely induced 200 of his pregnant dairy cows last week caused a big stir. Our deacon, a former dairy farmer, explained to me yesterday that if a dairy cow gets pregnant out of the correct calving season, the farmer will either send the mother cow off to the "works" (the cat food company) or he will induce the calf and send IT off to the works. Even if the farmer permits a cow to give birth to her calf on its true due date, he still sends most of the calves off to the works on the 4th day of life...unless one looks like it would be a good beef cow. The farmer's concern is to keep his herd producing milk and a calf conceived at the "wrong" time is doomed no matter what - and sometimes the mother cow is doomed along with it.
haven't taken any cow photos yet, but this yak is a distant cousin
For starters, I'm glad not to have a cat anymore. But beyond that, it is mind-boggling that the untimely death of fetal cows could stir up the kind of compassion that the needless deaths of tiny humans does not. I'm not insensitive to the tragedy of the way that animals are used and misused for human profit, but there is a larger tragedy unfolding daily that neither makes the news nor breaks a proportionate number of hearts. Today is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and my prayer is that the irony of this controversy might impress itself upon the minds and hearts of our youth and the population in general here. It almost seems impossible that it would not.