Sacred Cow Animal Rights Memorial

On November 14, 1995 Emily, the cow, jumped a 5' gate out of a slaughterhouse in Hopkinton, MA and ran for her life. For 40 days townspeople helped her evade capture and the sure return to the killing floor. Through back yards, in record amounts of snow, Emily was spotted foraging for food and was often seen running with a herd of deer. Making headlines in local newspapers, the story of Emily’s plight reached the Randa family who purchased her from the slaughterhouse. With friends, they brought her to live in sanctuary at the Peace Abbey on Christmas Eve.

Over a period of 8 years the door to Emily’s barn was always open. Visitors from all over the world took pilgrimage to be in her presence and receive her love. Emily was attentive and accessible to all who came. There were no boundaries of culture or religion. She loved interacting with all creatures great and small, human and non-human.

Emily was a living reminder that we are all one. She made no distinctions about those who stood before her and reminds us to do the same. She catalyzed a new awareness in people by her very presence. One look into those large, luminous brown eyes communicates so much more than words ever could. She bonded with people, pouring forth love in proportion to her size and weight, leaving them profoundly moved. Many concluded that they no longer wanted to eat meat again for they carried in their heart what Emily had imbued in them – a desire to prevent further suffering and the death of animals.

Emily’s journey reminds of what is sacred. A week before passing she was blessed by a local Hindu priest who placed a golden thread around his wrist and one through the hole in her ear that once held the number tag when she arrived at the slaughterhouse. It served as a reminder that we are all holding on by the thinnest and most golden of threads, and that life is indeed sacred.

May your visit to Emily’s grave inspire you to expand the circle of compassion and love to include all God’s creatures.


Inscriptions on the Sacred Cow Monument

If you visit the killing floor of a slaughterhouse it will brand your soul for life. —Howard Lyman, former cattle rancher turned vegetarian and food safety activist

Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet. —Albert Einstein, physicist and Nobel Laureate

Until he extends the circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace. —Albert Schweitzer, physician, author and activist

I have no doubt that it is part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals. —Henry David Thoreau, author, poet, and philosopher

Why do we call some animals pets and others dinner? —Lori and Gene Bauston, co-founders, Farm Sanctuary

The greatest mysteries that we will ever come to know in our brief lives are those that reside within the hearts and minds of other species. We need to realize that animals have everything to teach us if only we listen to them, that they are best friends, that they love us, and that we need to love them. —Michael Tobiase, ecologist, humanist, activist, filmmaker

The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men. —Alice Walker, writer, activist and feminist

I believe that in the long run, a person maintains a vegetarian diet and lifestyle to honor the continual calling of their inner, higher heart — creating as little violence as possible in their lives and in the world around them. —Michael Klaper, physician, vegan nutritionist and animal rights activist

People often say that humans have always eaten animals, as if this is a justification for continuing the practice. According this logic, we should not try to prevent people from murdering other people, since this has also been done since the earliest of times. —Isaac Bashevis Singer, writer and Nobel laureate

If you love animals, don't enslave, exploit, wear or eat them. —Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheo, co-founders, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

It is our duty to break down the species barrier, extending our belief in Christian compassion to the animal kingdom by, among other things, adopting a vegetarian diet. —John Dear, Catholic priest, peace activist and author

The way we treat animals is indicative of the way we treat our fellow humans. —John Robbins,environmentalist, animal rights activist and author

The Grave Site of Emily The Cow

Sacred Cow Emily

Born circa 1993
Escaped from slaughterhouse Nov 14, 1995
Arrived at the Peace Abbey Dec 24, 1995
Passed March 30, 2003
Buried April 2, 2003

Emily served as a loving and powerful symbol of courage, inner wisdom and survival to thousands of people who came to know and love her. She inspired many to embark on the road to vegetarianism and cruelty-free living and to appreciate more fully the sacredness of all life. Her gentle and loving nature imbued us all with a deeper sense of connection and respect for all creatures with whom we share this planet. Emily’s spirit will live on in the hearts and minds of those who were touched by her grace and beauty, in each person who becomes a vegetarian for ethical reasons, and in every animal who escapes from the slaughterhouse. This is her legacy and gift to the world. — Meg and Lewis Randa

There can be no "final respects" to you, Emily, until the last slaughterhouse has closed its doors, until all beings show compassion to one another, locally and globally. This is a process that will outlive us all. Your courageous life journey will be an ongoing reminder that wemust never give up. You never did. — Kathy Berghorn

May God bless abundantly everyone who knew you, Emily, and learns of you in the future…and bless all whom they know and will know until this blessing includes everyone who is living or will be living in the entire world. — Cecilia Gilchrist


Sacred Cow Prayer

The Emily Prayer

Dearest Emily, patron mother of all animals both living and deceased,

We ask that you help and guide us as we walk through life, following your gentle and compassionate example.

For those who struggle with a vegetarian lifestyle, give them the courage to take one day at a time, remembering your courage in escaping the slaughterhouse.

For those who seek to follow the path of nonviolence, help them to see all beings as their brothers and sisters, in the circle of love just as you did.

For all of us, Emily, continue to heal the wounds and sufferings, not only that we inflict, but also those that are inflicted on us.

And in our final hour help us to pass on in peace knowing that our lives have made a difference in this world. — Dot Walsh