Around 2 AM this morning, I pulled up to the pasture, and parked near the barn. I threw Evie some hay, broke the ice on the water, and then crawled onto my backseat. And I slept great.
I didn’t wake up until close to noon. When I finally emerged from my car, I looked over toward the north, and saw a single file line of cows heading my way. Oh, okay. 1,2,3… I counted 10 bulls. I ducked into the pasture to put a fence between me and them, just in case. Evie was waiting by the water, her curiosity filled eyes never leaving the impending herd for a second.
One cow came over first, just to check everything out. Then the other cows were soon to follow.
This was my first time seeing them all there. I know they’ve definitely been around many times before, as they have left many cow pies behind as evidence. But I always miss seeing them. One time I did see only one walking down the road as I was driving up. But other than that, this was my first time ever seeing the cows near the pasture.
They like to stop here to grab some water. I have since moved my 2, 55 gallon barrels a couple feet from the fence line so they no longer have free access to them. In the past, I’d show up, and one would be completely empty when I had just filled it a day ago. I don’t mind them hydrating, but I don’t want them to hog it all.
Today, one cow stuck his head over, desperately trying to reach my barrel. Evie was stood close enough that she reached her nose over, and nuzzled his outstretched nose. I very much wish I would’ve had a camera on me because that was so cute. Sorry, but I don’t know a better word.
I’m not completely heartless, so I filled up one of the feed pans I have with water, and they happily drunk one at a time. When a cow got tired of waiting for his turn, he’d take his horns and start poking the other cow that was drinking. I then noticed that they can still reach my heated flat back bucket I had hanging near the fence, as there was a cow over there indulging himself. That’s okay, as long as they can’t reach my main supply, then all is well.
When everybody was nice and hydrated, they headed on down the road. I watched them cross through the dormant hay field, and make their way to the big barn. I don’t know how far they traveled, but I find that interesting that they know exactly where to go.
I feel badly that they’ll likely be killed soon. I really don’t know how anybody eats such beautiful, witty creatures. I don’t know how I ever ate them. Because today, I got to watch them up close. When they got their nose wet from the water, they’d stick their tongues out to lick it dry. They also were so curious about my car, perhaps the hood that was baking in the sun felt good to them because one rested his head there for a few moments. And then seeing how they each waited for the other. There were 2 that were ready to go before the rest, so they stood and waited patiently until everybody was finished. I mean, why bring such a big, intelligent creature to life, only to murder it? And it’s not just a one off thing either. Those cows will be turned into a hamburger or a slab of steak that somebody is gonna eat for one meal. That’s a cow’s whole entire life, though. They’re deduced to a moment of pleasure, and then we go reaching for the next.
I know it’s often perceived as annoying to mention animal welfare. It’s better to just imagine that your food was never alive, and never had feelings. “It’s a fact of life, get over it.” I was once conditioned to think that way too. Until I realized how unnecessary it all was. And this was not the direction I wanted to take this post, but it’s relevant to me to mention this. It was what I kept thinking about as I watched the cows. Part of me wished they’d just stay near the pasture. They’d always be safe there. But somebody would come looking for them eventually, and I don’t really have the funds to buy all those cows.
The main point I wanted to make by sharing this experience is how much I love this place. I love being on this land. It’s close enough to town that it’s only a 10 minute drive to a grocery store. But it’s private enough that I don’t have to worry about anyone driving past in the night, or watching me from a window. I’ve slept out there many, many times, and I’ve never seen anyone after dark. It’s peaceful and relaxing. The stars are visible, and I remember when I was taking an astronomy class a while back, I enjoyed coming out here and trying to find each constellation. It’s an incredible place.
The land is owned by my grandma, and I’m the one who uses it the most. I’m very grateful to have access to it. That Evie also gets to enjoy it. I know how rare it is to find any land around here. Forget trying to purchase anything that’s even remotely close by. Half an acre might go for over a hundred thousand anymore, likely triple that if it’s part of a developer’s parcel. I could never dream of buying my own land at these prices. It’s not lost on me how truly special a place like this is. I have my wild ideas that maybe I could start making payments, and eventually buy it. I would keep it as wide open land for as long as I’m living, and leave it just as it is. Except maybe I’d build a very tiny off grid house somewhere on it. And also I’d have to drill my own well as the water I currently use comes from a separate property that my grandma also owns.
I also love car living, and I think I could very happily live in my car. Especially being on private land where I don’t have to worry about someone tapping on my window, I feel so safe and comfortable. So that’s really my only direction I hope to head in. I hope to maybe one day own this specific land, but if I don’t, then I’d love to own at least some land somewhere. With homes and apartments so expensive, I will just live in my car on my own land, and pay property taxes. A done deal. Now, realistically any land that I might be able to afford is gonna be miles and miles away from anything. But that’s okay. I would figure it out.
Anyways, this is a messy entry here, and I guess that’s what I was going for. A mess of thoughts. At the moment, I am working on paying off my tuition, so much of my money is tied up in that. But anytime I have any extra money, I’m saving it for The Land Fund. To me, land is infinitely more valuable than anything else. Just having space that is ‘yours’, (we’re only renters on this earth! and the earth is not a dead thing you can claim!) and you can use anytime you’d like? Yeah, that’d be very cool. That’s all for now.