Lentille, a young cow at home on a small farm in western Switzerland, is about to give birth to her first calf. She is lying in the straw, away from the other cows in the herd, and everything is developing happily - until complications suddenly arise. Summoning all their strength, the farmer Michaël and the vet try to show the calf the way into the world, but when the stillborn finally lies in the straw next to Lentille, the question suddenly arises to what extent animals have a personality. Does Lentille feel this pain? How will she deal with it? Vivid and close to the animal, this essay creates an impressive portrait of a cow and the herd of eight of which she is a part. Lentille's example shows how trusting and caring, but also defensible these animals can be, what it takes to determine the well-being of a cow - and what follows from this if we also grant farm animals a personality.
English sample available
Urs Mannhart, born in 1975, lives as a writer, reporter and organic farmer in La Chaux-de-Fonds.