The Story of Radha
By Edye Huang
Marie, an Italian-American lady from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, frequently visited slaughterhouse auctions to acquire horses. During one trip in September 2004, she saw a cow who had fallen down during the auction and could not get back up. The auctioneers tried to force her up with electric shocks but she could not get up, since she was injured from the fall. To add insult to injury, the auctioneers began pushing her with a tractor to make her move. The tractor caused Radha to become even more injured and she started bleeding out in different places of her body where the tractor had pushed her.
Marie saw the entire horrible scene transpire. As she looked at Radha, Radha looked back with love despite her injuries. Immediately, Marie was reminded of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. As Jesus Christ was being crucified, even though he was subjected to a lot of pain and suffering, he looked upon others with love and proclaimed to God, “Forgive them for they do not know what they do.” With this thought, Marie immediately ran to Radha and asked everyone to stop the brutal attack. She then whispered in Radha’s ears, “I am going to save you.”
Marie told the auctioneers that she would buy the cow and took Radha to a center for downed cows where her wounds were dressed. When Marie went home that night, her mother had cooked a steak for her, which Marie could not eat. She called Dr. Sankar Sastri to ask if the sanctuary would take care of the cow. When Professor Sastri heard the story, he was very moved and thanked Marie for saving Radha’s precious life. At age 12, Radha began her new life at the Lakshmi Cow Sanctuary. Since 2011, Dr. Prabhu and Nalini Dev lent their support to Dr. Sastri and the sanctuary by assuming all of the costs associated with taking care of Radha.
Radha was a beautiful cow with reddish hair, white spots and blue eyes. She looked like a queen and walked royally. On one occasion, a lady dancer from south India came to visit the sanctuary. Known for her long, thick hair herself, the lady actually commented on how envious she was of Radha’s beautiful, shiny red hair! Radha was so sweet and mild mannered- it was a pleasure to interact with her and she was adored in the sanctuary. Radha had a good life until recently. At the beginning of this year, she began breathing heavily and moving around at a slower pace. The veterinarian examined her and told us that she had an incurable tumor in her lungs. Beginning in September, special care was given to Radha. She was placed in an extension behind Dr. Sastri’s house along with Lakshmi, who suffers from a hip problem, so both cows could be given extra care and attention.
On October 2, 2014, Dr. Sastri was invited to the White House to talk about the cow sanctuary and celebrate non-violence on the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. That same morning Desire heard a loud noise that sounded like something breaking and falling. When Desire ran outside, she saw that Radha had fallen down and hit the door of the extension in such a way that the door lay on top of her, preventing her from getting back up. She called Jesus for help and they both removed the door and tried to get Radha to sit in a proper position so that she could breathe more easily. Later that day, when Edye went to feed Radha, she noticed Radha was lying on her side. Edye called the neighbor and farmer, Charlie, for help. By the time Charlie arrived, Radha had passed away at the age of 22 years old.
Later in the afternoon, Charlie dug a grave in the second field to bury Radha. The other cows surrounded the grave to offer their respects before Radha was buried. They grieved from the loss of their bright eyed and loving friend.
We miss our royal queen Radha, with her beautiful red hair, big blue eyes and long red bushy tail.
Radha Rani ki Jai!