Not Just milk

ISCOWP’s latest video, “Sri the ox, Fighter and Lover Part 2.”

Sri, the ox, can be a loving friend to cows like Amrita and humans like Balaji. He can use his horns to show his disapproval and his voice to assert his position as an elder ox. Sri is a fighter and a lover who likes to scratch his butt, receive licks from his friends and eat some tasty hay. Sri Uddharan Datta Thakur’s life gives us an idea of what it is like to be a protected ox at the ISCOWP sanctuary. If you would like to help us care for Sri here is the link where he can be adopted and here is the link where you can adopt any cow of your choice.


If you like watching and hearing cows go about their daily lives on a more regular basis than this monthly e-newsletter, please visit our Instagram and Facebook pages. We welcome you to join and comment!

Last year the USA government gave incentives to charitable giving. This year those incentives have been extended and increased. The stimulus package passed on 12/27/20 extends and increases charitable tax incentives of the 2020 Cares Act through 2021. 1) All taxpayers can take deductions for qualified charitable contributions in 2020 of up to $300. Married couples’ joint filing can take up to $600.These “above the line” deductions are available if you don’t itemize. 2) Charitable itemized deductions made in cash to public charities are generally limited to 60% of AGI, but that has changed to 100%. This change gives you more ability to make a large impact in 2021. Note that this is intended for direct payments to charities rather than donor-advised funds or 509(a)(3) supporting organizations. 3) The AGI limit for cash contributions also remains increased for corporate donors. In 2021, corporations can deduct up to 25 percent of taxable income (formerly 10 percent before the CARES Act).

Rescued Madhavi heads for the West Virginia ISCOWP barn on 12/17/21.

Our flash from the past this month is about Madhavi, the rescued dairy cow. She had a huge udder when she came to us after being rescued from a diary. You can read more about Madhavi in the newsletter section below.

The Meat and Dairy Industries

Madhavi has lived 10 years at ISCOWP after being rescued from the dairy. She is now 16 years old, which would make her 74 years old in human years.

We have three cows rescued from the dairy industry, Vegan Indira, Madhavi, and Kalindi. It has been a few years since we rescued them, and we have had time to observe how being in the dairy has affected their personalities and made them different from the other cows who were rescued early in life. We read a lot about how the dairy industry horrifically treats cows.  Knowing a dairy cow survivor is a strong impetus to consider eliminating commercial dairy from the diet.

In 2011, we received a letter from Judy who worked at the dairy, “My favorite cow on the herd that I milk is due to be culled (slaughtered), probably sometime this month. She didn’t breed back, and the farmer has been “milking her down” until she reaches the point she’s no longer profitable, then it’s buh-bye! She has been milked for almost 2 years running now, so it’s getting close.  She’s in her 3rd lactation now, about 6 years old, and has given 95,000 pounds of milk, something like 11,000 gallons! Truly a mind-boggling amount when you think about it. I think she de­serves a nice retirement.  I think she’s just getting worn out from being milked for so long without a break! Her feet aren’t the greatest — she isn’t lame right now, and she’ll probably be even better when she’s not standing on concrete 24/7. She has a nice personality, likes peo­ple, isn’t flighty, holds her own in the herd but isn’t dominant or pushy or a bully to the other cows. One of the old girls who stands in the back of the holding pen and patiently waits her turn. Just a nice cow.”

From Judy’s letter, we can surmise Madhavi had three children taken from her by the time ISCOWP members rescued her. She has remained a quiet, reserved cow keeping a lot to herself except for her friends Vegan Indira and Kalindi Vijaya rescued from the same dairy. In many ways, she is a bit sullen. Losing her children while in the dairy has negatively affected her personality. Also, the dairy cut off her tail. Some dairies believe the tail is dirty and gets in the way of milking. However, after 10 years living at the ISCOWP sanctuary, Madhavi was seen affectionately licking Madhava, one of the elder oxen.

We often wonder what goes on in her head. Does she lament her missing children? Of the three cows rescued from the dairy, she lived the longest at the dairy. If you would like to adopt her and help us care for her, please go here.

About Cows

Most people think of milk when they think of cows. A cow has to be bred to produce milk. Therefore to maintain a milk supply, cows have to be bred many times in their life until they are too old to carry a child. But cows produce one commodity that is not dependent on age and does not strain their bodies, cow dung. Even the males, who the milk industry sells at infancy to the veal and meat industries, produce dung.  This dung can be used for many purposes. Take a look at ISCOWP’s three-part YouTube series on How to Use Cow Manure which only begins to touch cow manure’s varied uses.



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