BBC Profiles Former Beef Farmer Setting Cows Free

The British news network captures the emotional moment when former beef farmer Jay Wilde donates 63 cows to a sanctuary to pursue vegan crop farming instead.


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British news outlet BBC debuted a video documenting the triumphant release of former beef farmer Jay Wilde’s 63-cow herd to a local animal sanctuary. Wilde inherited the farm from his father in 2011 and has raised cows for food, despite being a vegetarian for 25 years. “Obviously there’s been a very strong conflict of interest between not eating meat and producing cattle for meat,” Wilde said. “When you inherit a farm, it feels like a duty to keep its life continuing into the future. It just seemed difficult to look after the animals for two or three years and get to really know them and then send them to slaughter. [I] felt as if [I] was betraying them.” Wilde believes cows have emotions and can sense when danger is approaching. Instead of selling the cows—for which he could have earned an estimated £45,000 pounds ($58,000)—Wilde chose to relocate them to the sanctuary and pursue a career in organic vegetable farming without the use of animal fertilizers. At the conclusion of the emotional video, Wilde bids farewell to the cows he has befriended over the years and wishes that upon arrival at the sanctuary, they feel as if they’ve “gone on holiday.” The video has thus far received more than 1 million views since its Monday debut.