Flo is a seasoned mother who needed help when her calf became stuck on the other side of the fence, shortly after being born. Dave, a passing motorist happened to stop at the side of the road when he saw the other cows enjoying a little time in the pond. An animal lover and amateur videographer, he saw an opportunity to record the footage of the cows cooling off on a hot day.
But while Dave was recording the cows in the meadow and the pond using his GoPro, he noticed Flo to his left, acting very agitated. He had placed a small camera on the fencepost but he turned it to record Flo. She was pawing at the dirt and Dave understood this to be anger. He wondered if she wanted him to move away from the fence. There was a narrow strip of ground between the fence and the pond and it seemed initially that Flo might have felt stuck. By moving away and ignoring her, Dave thought he would make her feel less upset.
Flo paced and mooed, pawing at the dirt and it became clear that something was wrong. She seemed focused on the long grass outside of the electric fence. After a few minutes, he went and looked to see what was going on. It was then that he noticed a calf lying motionless in the grass. Dave figured it out then that Flo had been trying to get him to help her. She had been looking at him and at the grass alternately.
Dave didn't know much about cows but he knew that the little calf could get dehydrated without milk from his mother. And he also knew that the calf was at risk of wandering onto the road and causing an accident. The farmer wasn't home and the gate was a long way away. The fence was too high to lift the calf over. He got a stick to lift the wires and he was able to push the calf under the fence. The camera on the fence post kept recording. Dave had also left his second camera on the tree behind him when he got the stick. Dave was unsure of the mother would tolerate his approach to the calf and the wire fence was not solid enough to stop her if she became protective.
Dave noticed Flo's demeanor changed as she saw him accomplishing the task and he realized that she seemed to understand he was helping. He was touched by her relief at having her baby back in the meadow.
The farmer drove up at this point and heard the story. Flo had not calved earlier that afternoon when he and his wife went to run a quick errand. She had given birth in the last hour or two. The farmers invited Dave to come and help them inspect and tag the calf. He was also welcome to film them close up. While doing so, the calf and Flo seemed to recognize him. They approached him curiously and there was a moment of what appeared to be gratitude. Dave watched the footage later and saw that Flo was not only showing appreciation and understanding, but she was surprisingly clear in her attempt to communicate with him. Flo was also touchingly attached to her baby.
The farmers explained to Dave that they ran an ethical farm and that cows raised here were treated much better than those at factory farms. Dave decided to share his footage to illustrate the choice that people could make to support good farms like this one. If cows can demonstrate such intellect and emotional capacity, there is no excuse from buying without a conscience. People everywhere can support the farmers who do things right. The animals will be far better off if we do.