Mitchell Miner, a 15-yr-old boy from Iowa, has been snapped having a little nap with his beautiful cow Audri at the State Fair’s youth dairy cattle show.
There are many stories out there that show the deep bond between humans and animals but this particular story demonstrates just how magical those bonds can be when we really take the time to know our animals.
Unfortunately, Mitchell and Audri didn’t win a blue ribbon this time, but they did win the hearts and minds of people from all corners of the globe with this beautiful photograph. The snap was an instant viral hit and drew the attention of several mainstream media outlets such as CBS News and Fox News. The photo has given us all a sneaky peek into the lives of the proud, hard-working Mid-westerners.
According to the Des Moines Register, Mitchell Miner and his cow friend, Audri, spent several weeks preparing for the show and they were waking up at 3am for training every day. After several days of these early wake-up calls, both Mitchell and his cow were pretty tired!
After the long contest, (Audri took 5th place), they decided that a well-needed nap was in order. Mitchell’s Dad was at hand to take the photo and regardless of whether you were brought up in the city, or in the countryside, the picture immediately makes your heart melt.
Although they didn’t in the top prize as Mitchell had hoped, he was very proud of all work he did to get his cow into the best shape possible. So much hard work went into taking care of Audri.
After the photo became a hit around the world, The Des Moines Register posed the question, “what is it about the photo that touched people?”
They had a few ideas:
“It conjured memories for people of growing up on a farm and the love and care for they had for their animals while raising them for county fairs and 4-H shows.”
“It conjured memories of the hard work and dedication it takes to wake up at 3 a.m. for your animal.”
“People mentioned the everyday care it takes to show an animal: bathing them, clipping them and walking them nonstop.”
“For others, it’s the unusual bond that human beings are able to make with animals that are nothing like them and weigh 10 times more than them.”
Unsurprisingly, a few negative responses to the photo have been voiced by the online community, wondering what the fate of the gorgeous cow was once it got back to the farm.
Mitchell’s father, Jeremy took to social media to remind everyone that raising farm animals takes a lot of love and tremendous care:
“Livestock is raised with more blood, sweat, tears than you will ever understand unless you choose to make your living from it. Livestock are raised with their well-being, being of the utmost importance.
Their health, comfort & well-being take precedence over our own. … Whether it’s milk or meat, we know that someday, they will fill hungry bellies. It’s never been about farmers not caring about animals.”
And: “The problem today is that fewer & fewer people don’t know where their food comes from, nor are they willing to accept the way that food gets to their table because nobody is willing to teach them this reality,” he stated in a Facebook comment on a Register article.
A lot of you reading this will be pet owners and I’m sure a few even went to farming clubs when they were younger and given the change to hand raise farm animals. We all know the joy these animals bring us, and feel the unspoken connection and love we feel for them.
Young Mitchell Miner certainly knows this, according to the Des Moines Register:
“She likes to lay down quite a bit…she just enjoys my company.”
So how about you? Do you have any inspiring animal stories or have you bonded with an animal in this way before?
Humans might be trash at times, but there’s still some good folk out there and these inspiring stories can give us all a little hope.