Govardhana - Belvan

Is an Ox, born on 2002-11-10, who joined us on 2004-11-13.

I was minding my own business ruminating on the side of the road one night when some rogues arrived with the intent to illegally abduct and transport several of us to the slaughterhouse. Yes... right here in Vrindavan. They held me down and tied a nylon rope around my right ankle really tight and then tied it to a rope around my neck so I could not run off. While they attacked the other bulls nearby I managed to hobble off. It is surprising how quickly one can learn to walk on three legs when one's life is threatened. I was lucky that the darkness hid me that night so the rogues could not find me. The others were not so lucky. When the day finally broke, I hobbled around trying to eat but it was really hard as I could not raise my head without lifting my right leg off the ground. Thus I could only eat what I placed my hoof next to. As I tugged to free my foot, the rope dug in deeper into my flesh causing it to swell. Before long the rope imbedded itself into my ankle and it began to bleed and attract flies. In this state it was very hard to walk, sit or get up. I could not eat or drink properly and within a day my ankle became infested with maggots. I was in a fix. I found a vacant lot where people threw garbage and managed to survive a few days. Finally a kind-hearted peasant woman felt pity on me and cut the rope binding my ankle to my neck. I felt great relief to be able to stand and walk properly and could at least defend myself and find food more easily. But my ankle continued to swell and bleed since the rope was still tightly embedded in my flesh. Soon it got to the point that each step it would throb. That's when they noticed me, that pious couple who had come to Vrindavan to celebrate Kartika. They stopped and wanted to help but didn't know how. They fed me some bananas and reluctantly went on their way to attend the festival at the Care for Cows clinic, all the while thinking of how to help me. They had decided to sponsor a resident at Care for Cows and while attending the festival inquired from the cowherd men if they could sponsor the injured bull they had seen in the street. They were told it would be possible if they could again find and retain me until they arrived with the rickshaw. They left the festival and went to search me out and it didn't take them long to find me sitting in the vacant lot licking my ankle. After feeding me some bananas they called the cowherd men to inform them of my location and asked them if they could pick me up. Very soon three men appeared with a rickshaw, and when I noticed one of them carrying a rope, I had flashbacks of that traumatic night and with great difficulty tried to bolt. I dodged them as best I could but they got me cornered. I used my last ounce of strength to charge but they dodged me, caught me by the neck rope after a struggle I collapsed panting heavily. Once they loaded me on the rickshaw that nice couple fed me some gur and reassured me that I would not be harmed. We arrived at Care for Cows about 15 minutes later and they immediately fed me some porridge and released my ankle from that horrible rope. They brushed me and treated me with great respect and mentioned that they were happy to have celebrated Govardhana Puja by rescuing me.

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As custodians of the planet it is our responsibility to deal with all species with kindness, love and compassion. That these animals suffer through human cruelty is beyond understanding. Please help to stop this madness.

Richard Gere