“These cows are living testimony to the human folly here in Fukushima. The government wants to kill them because it wants to erase what happened here, and lure Japan back to its pre-accident nuclear status quo. I am not going to let them. If authorities say kill the cows, then I resolved to do the opposite by saving them.”
This article moved me to tears. Before the nuclear disaster, Mr. Masami Yoshizawa raised cows for slaughter. After the disaster, however, he saw things that changed him (in his words, he decided to “become the resistance”): He describes his horror on visiting abandoned farms where he found rows of dead cows, their heads fallen into food troughs where they had waited to be fed. In one barn, a newborn calf hoarsely bawled next to its dead mother. He said his spur-of-the-moment decision to save the calf, which he named Ichigo, or Strawberry, was his inspiration for trying to save the others left behind.
“Let the cows of hope live!” says one of the handmade protest signs which sits at the entrance of his ranch.
It is illegal for Mr. Yoshizawa to be on the ranch because it is in the evacuation zone. He is also risking his health to take care of these hundreds of abandoned cows. He has a blog with a webcam filming at the ranch; hopefully he will soon post information on how he can receive donations.