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When the cows went home

We talk to the inspiring people behind the 2019 BAFTA winning documentary, 73 Cows

In 2017, farmer Jay Wilde hit headlines after donating his herd of cattle to Hillside Animal Sanctuary ( The compassionate farmer and long-term vegetarian (who is now vegan) had been struggling with his profession for years, after being born into the dairy trade, learning it from his father. When Jay took over the farm in 2011, he found that he could no longer bear to steal away the calves from their mothers, and after switching to beef production, quickly found that he did not want to take them to slaughter. Jay’s story inspired vegan filmmaker and director, Alex Lockwood, and led to the creation of the BAFTA-award winning documentary 73 Cows. Jay and Alex chat to us about the heart-warming story, the success of the film, and the future.

Jay Wilde, farmer

I’ve lived on the farm all my life. As a baby, my pram was pushed out into the farmyard, so that I could watch the cows. As soon as I was old enough to walk, I started to interact with the cats, dogs, chicks and ducklings that lived in the farmyard. I remember helping to take the cows to and from the field, feeding calves and caring for lambs. When I was old enough, I would feed and look after the dairy cows. Everybody on the farm would spend most of their time with the animals.

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About Vegan Life

Welcome to our June issue. It’s my favourite time of year, when hot days and warm evenings, beach trips and long walks fill our time. And with all the joy that summer brings, it’s the perfect time to gather your friends and advocate in the best way possible — with fantastic food. It was this time last year that I hosted a BBQ at my own house, and served my omni friends an entirely vegan menu (including my first ever bash at vegan mac’n’cheese). It was a great success and triggered some of my friends into making more animal and planet-friendly decisions when doing their food shops. We’ve put together everything you need to host your own BBQ bonanza (p40) — from food, drinks and sauces to ice cream and hosting tips — so your summer gathering will be both delicious and memorable. Not all experiences with non-vegans are so positive. The topic of ‘vegaphobia’, or hatred towards vegans, has been floating around Vegan Life HQ. As an office full of vegans, most of us have experienced some kind of backlash or negativity — I myself have been shouted at in public, for merely stating my vegan point of view. We asked you about your own experiences of this phenomenon (p68) and your answers were illuminating — one woman was even turned down a job because of her veganism. It seems that despite so much progress, some people still take task with us choosing a peaceful way of life. Jessie Keogh covers how to deal with these testing situations on p120. Have a great month,

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