What a Cow Means

The Girl Effect: Sanchita and What a Cow Means

“Given the chance, girls are uniquely capable of investing in their communities and making their lives, and the lives of their brothers, sisters and communities, better. This is the ripple effect that happens when girls are given the support to realise their full potential. This is the Girl Effect.” – Girl Effect

Please watch this short video about Sanchita who lives in Bangladesh.

Like Sanchita, I was a girl with a cow. My cow’s name was Ginger. She was a brown-eyed Hereford with a large upside down heart on the side of her neck.

My dad let me pick her out myself. He wanted me to know what it was like to be responsible and take care of animals.

As much time as I put in on the family farm, summers spent staring down long rows of hay bales, hours hoeing corn and stacking wood, springs watching for Ginger’s newest calf, I knew this was not all my life would be.

When I turned 19 and headed off the college, Ginger would be sold and the money would go toward a portion of my tuition bill.

For me Ginger meant I was one step closer to being the first person on my father’s side of the family to graduate from college.

For Sanchita a $60 cow means milk to be sold to provide for her family, pay for her brother’s education and save for her future.


For a minute just stop and think about what a cow means to you. Think about that last burger you ate, think about that leather jacket in your closet and think about the absurdity of Where’s the Beef?

One cow, one single cow can change the trajectory of a girl’s life.

You can help: donate, spread the word or learn more at http://www.girleffect.org/

6 Responses to What a Cow Means

  1. Laurie Rosenfeld October 5, 2011 at 12:39 am #

    Christie, wow! What a touching post. I gave up meat in college and the truth is, all my life I have never been drawn to eating meat. (I do have some leather though … ). I love that Sanchita can sell the cow’s milk and still make enough money to take care of the cow, put food on the table and send her brother to school. And I enjoyed your story about Ginger. I can imagine selling her in order to go to college was an emotional experience. You wrote: “One cow, one single cow can change the trajectory of a girl’s life.” So powerful!

    • christie October 5, 2011 at 6:27 am #

      Thanks for stopping by Laurie. It all comes back to education, right? I know that my life would be so different without my education. I am grateful for it everyday and I want that opportunity for all the other girls in the world.

  2. nasrine October 5, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    Christie! I adore your post, I have met girls like that is the above video, when I lived in Cairo and was visting India. It broke my heart everyday. I find this such an important campaign, and take the time to reflect on our own education and what it has done for us, we are really so blessed. Not to mention that we are able to maintain our personal development and thrive vs just existing to survive day to day. Your post really moved me and I am grateful to you for sharing.

    • christie October 5, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

      Thank you so much Nasrine. This is a topic that is dear to us both. How can we connect the women and girls of the world so they can support each other in a positive environment? One step, one connection at a time. So happy to have met you online.

  3. Barbara Coon October 5, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

    Christie, I was moved by the similarities between your story and Sanchita’s. Thank you for sharing such a empowering story of your own education. Cows were an important part of my childhood too growing up in Iowa. Cows were landmarks on the back country roads. Now if I take a moment with that memory….cows led the way from the rural communities to the universities. I want every girl to know her value and contribution to her family and this world.
    Thank you for setting the course for yourself and your girls.

    • christie October 6, 2011 at 7:09 am #

      Thank you so much Barbara for stopping by to read and comment on my post. Much appreciated. I was haunted by the similarities in my story and Sanchita’s and how the simple luck of being born in a different country could mean such a different end to the story. But also grateful for the steps that Sanchita is taking on behalf of her family and the steps that we can take for all the girls of the world.

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