America’s oldest cow sanctuary, created four decades ago in New Vrindaban, W.Va., is facing hard times. According to a Wall Street Journal article published Monday, the sanctuary once held 434 cattle refugees, but today’s population is down to 80 because support funds are scarce. So, the Hare Krishna community has launched an adopt-a-cow fundraising program.

For $51 per month, supporters can feed a cow for a month, while $108 would “provide special care for retired cows who can no longer breed or give milk,” the group says. According to the Wall Street Journal article, the adopt-a-cow program “promises bovine photographs and updates for donors, along with an open invitation to visit the cows in this village, near Moundsville, W.Va. The village is modeled after the childhood home of the Hindu deity Krishna, who taught his followers to revere cows.”

Read the complete story  from the Wall Street Journal here.

I encourage you to follow the link to read the complete story about this cow sanctuary managed by a diverse group of people who consider cows sacred. Their recent pleas for financial support claim they need roughly $1,000 per year to support each cow on the farm’s 3,000 acres. Now we could quibble with the economics of needing $1,000 per cow on a farm where the annual stocking rate gives each cow 37.5 acres, but the group says it needs the funds for hay, the barn, employees and property taxes.

No, I’m not going to criticize these people at all. In fact, I hope their campaign to raise money is successful. That’s because the idea of turning off my computer and cell phone and moving to 3,000 secluded acres in West Virginia —even if just for a short time — is rather appealing.  (Read more about the International Society for Cow Protection.)

While it’s true that this group opposes the slaughter of cows for human consumption, I don’t consider them in the same category as PETA and HSUS. That’s because the Hare Kishnas of New Vrindaban are content to practice their religious beliefs in a manner guaranteed by our Constitution, and they choose to live a simple and peaceful life.   That makes them vastly different from PETA and HSUS, groups that are actively trying to end livestock production in America — not in the name of religion — but due to a belief that all animals have the same rights as humans. — Greg Henderson, Drovers editor.