This summer I have been doing a fair bit of camping. More camping than I have probably done in the rest of my life combined actually. That being the case, I decided to stop by Runnings to grab a few things this evening. As I was headed into the store I noticed a baby calf coming out of a small sedan.

I couldn’t help but think about all the possible scenarios of how a calf could have ended up in the parking lot of an outdoors supply shop. As I perused the isles I started to forget about the calf and the two girls outside with it. I found everything I was looking for and headed to the checkout when they announced the store closing.

Funny enough, the calf and it’s owners were still outside when I returned. They had been bottle-feeding the little bull who was looking a bit more lively this time around. They noticed me smiling and watching and invited me over to see the calf. Petting that little calf was about all that was racing through my head then, but as it turns out I got to meet a couple of interesting people as well.

The woman who had decided to buy the calf was a bit younger than me, but also named Sara. She explained that a few years ago she decided to go vegan, lost 70 lbs, and started an un-offical sanctuary for animals. She just switched her shift at Walmart to nights and was hoping that everything would work out alright with the new hours.

She also explained that it’s been her dream to have cows for her whole life and after all these years she’s finally starting to realize it. The calf that she had with her was freshly picked off the auction block. He was slated to be sold for veal, but she won him for about $45. He looked a bit boney, but she was certain she had everything he would need back at her sanctuary.

Maybe more shocking than how a baby cow ended up in a parking lot at Runnings, was the reactions of the people who saw the cow. She was telling me that she had been run out of an ice cream shop by some over-bearing woman who refused to believe that she could take care of a cow and threatened to call the cops. Before that, she was harassed (sexually and otherwise) at the meat animal auction. I was almost in disbelief until a guy walked over to us in the parking lot and started giving un-solicited advice and criticisms to us.

It’s strange to think that if Sara had told everyone right along that she intended to kill and eat the calf they would have treated her better than her admitting that she was taking it to be essentially a pet. Either way, I was happy to have come across such an amazing person in my travels and wished her the best with her pursuit to creating happiness.