It was a huge field. Which means they had choices. But they sat right in front and underneath this digger. – We witnessed this rather unusual cow solidarity movement this morning on our walk to Cloone in lovely Leitrim.They had decided, they were not going to move, they would not allow this digger to destroy their lovely field. They probably knew they wouldn’t stand a chance, really. But they did it anyway. Nobody was watching, there were no witnesses (apart from us), they couldn’t mobilise other cow friends in other fields, the fences were too high. – Cows with principles.

I received an email from a friend in New York asking me whether I had heard of the story by a mother who had lost her son who had suffered a severe acquired brain injury. He had been in a coma and then in a minimally conscious state (MCS). She describes the helplessness of here son. She says he suffered and that he wanted to die. They tried to ‘help’ him but eventually he died from a secondary illness. She advocates that he should have died quickly, at the accident, or that he should have been allowed to die when it became clear that he wouldn’t get better.

In her case she meant that she and her family should have been allowed to end her son’s live because it was too miserable and they felt that he had ‘communicated’ to them that he didn’t want to live. I suppose the fact that he then died from an infection could be interpreted in such a way that he really had given up. (But, there are, of course, other interpretations possible too.)

I found that story deeply disturbing. There are few people in the world who understand as well as I what that family went through. But I find her reasoning hard to follow.

The article in the New York Times:

The article in The Guardian: