I suggested that it would one day be necessary to drive the animal for its own good, such as so it could receive veterinary help. She replied that if the cow ever needed help it would come willingly.
Now here I must disagree with the lady in the strongest terms. Although it may sometimes be distasteful I firmly believe that any animal in your care must learn to be driven and yarded when you need it to be so. Otherwise you will have an unruly animal that cannot be penned, wormed, milked or given medical care unless it particularly feels like it. And I can assure you that if the animal is in pain, that it will not.
Unfortunately this is exactly what happened. In short her cow had a difficult birth and desperately needed veterinary attention afterwards. The cow panicked and would not come to the lady when she offered it a bucket of feed. When She and the Vet tried to drive the animal (for the first time in its life) it not surprisingly panicked and became utterly uncontrollable. The end was one dead cow, shot from a distance, and a motherless calf. All due to the naieve stupidity of the owner. Needless to say she took it very poorly when I suggested the whole incident was her fault.
If you have livestock it becomes your responsibility to ensure all their needs are met and this means that sometimes they must be forced into situations they don't like. Hooves must be trimmed, worming mix dosed and fly spray applied for the direct health of the animal. A cow in milk must be milked either by her calf or yourself otherwise she will suffer horribly. Calves must be weaned and all animals must learn to go where I direct them and this is for their own good health and well being.This is the inevitable tradeoff that comes with keeping any animal in confinement.
So what is cruel? The lady in question believes that my methods are cruel and I likewise believe the same about her method of animal husbandry. But the end result is that our livestock are all happy and healthy. They have no fear of being driven or touched and as a result can receive help when it is needed. She cannot say the same.