A Full Investigation into Molly the Cow and Her Happy, Sex-Free New Life

meatcalf.jpgLatest on that escaped cow from Queens, reprieved to a farm in Calverton, New York: We were told last update that Wexler, Molly's fellow-internee, whom we characterized as her boyfriend and "sex partner," would be unable to fulfill his alleged romantic function because he is a steer -- that is, castrated, which we, being citified, did not know "steer" meant.

Today the New York Post says Wexley (misattributed as Wexler earlier) is Molly's boyfriend (that is, they are "Romeo and Moo-liet"). We wondered: does this mean Molly will spend her remaining years without, you know, traditional male companionship? While admittedly preferable to quick death in a slaughterhouse, it seems less than complete.

So we called The Farrm, where Molly has relocated, and spoke to its proprietors, Connie and Rex Farr.

Understandably, they found our question puzzling. "We have one little donkey that's not been neutered," said Connie, "and he's been giving her the eye through the fence, but he's the only one who's worried about it. My cow knowledge is kind of limited." She asked her husband if cows went into heat, and he got on the phone.

"You wouldn't breed her," said Rex, who has a city kind of voice (he used to be in the music business hereabouts) and is also Vice-President of the Northeast Organic Farming Organization. "We're a sanctuary... we did have a minor breeding operation at one time. We bought the bull in Pauling, I think. The heifers were from Quebec..."

We explained -- perhaps too circumspectly, owing to our natural delicacy -- that we were interested in the limited nature of Molly's relations on the farm.

"Well, it's like a dog," said Rex. "When you neuter a dog, they don't seem to worry about it." We explained that we were more interested in Molly's state of mind than the steer's. "I have female goats," said Rex. "They're intact and the males are neutered, and I haven't seen any problems from the lady goats, they're all friends. And hey -- look at the alternative!"

We took his point. "What you should be concerned with," he continued, "is looking at it from a food source, from a meat standpoint, how we produce our meat. It's caused our medical bills to skyrocket because of diabetes, Down's Syndrome, the way we grow our food -- you should be more concerned with that than whether -- than if she's gonna be in discomfort."

We were about to say yes, our concerns are petty and foolish and we are killing journalism with our silly questions, but Rex went on: "I had someone ask me what the hell I thought the cow was thinking, and I know it's a cute story, but if you're writing about what her life can be beyond sirloin, the way we produce beef in this country is ugly." He directed our attention to the life Molly might have had: "After she's weaned she goes into a feedlot -- I don't know what farm she came from, but normally the cow is impregranted, and when it drops the calf is weaned after a month, then it goes into feedlots, where they stand in their own maure for the next seven months, fed everything from genetically modified products to sterioids, frankly, and if you let nature take its course, 1600 pounds is slaughter-weight, that takes two years. But they can do it in eight, nine, 10 months. There's force-feeding -- I'm not a cattleman, I'm a farmer. But I do know they're fed corn, which is fine but a cow has four stomachs. Go out and get a piece of grass-fed beef, then go to your A&P and get your regular sirloin and it's night and day. I'm speaking from epicurean viewpoint." (Rex eats meat, his wife does not.)

Anyway, Rex says "Molly have a terrific life" and that we shouldn't worry too much about whether she's getting any.

We also finally got through to someone at Musa Halal, from which Molly was rescued. He refused to be identified, and said I couldn't talk to the boss because he'd been injured in a fall from the roof of the place a week ago, and was in the hospital, "paralyzed all the way down from his stomach." We wished him well, and thanked the gentleman for Musa Halal's generosity in giving away Molly. "Thank you," he said, "Well, we had to. The media was all over the place." Also, he told us, had they taken Molly back as a slaughter animal, she would have had to undergo lots of extra processing, which he suggested made their decision to part with her easier. "They have to do some procedures," he said. "You know, she went outside, you don't know what she was eating or drinking, or how the police were treating her."

So, if you were wondering, Musa Halal does observe the law, secular and Islamic, and Molly doesn't need sex to be happy. Now we can all go on about our lives.

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