Why? He is a water buffalo! Even so, he fits right in among his own little herd of domesticated cows: his best friend, a cow named Pepper, and her yearling calf, Truffles.
Seymour and Pepper have lived together for most of their lives; however, there were fundamental differences in their upbringing. Their guardian treasured Seymour as a pet but used his friend Pepper to breed calves for slaughter. In the end, however, this unconventional friendship wound up saving Seymour his lifelong friend, and her beloved child.
The trio had lived on a property belonging to their guardian’s mother; upon her impending move, however, they needed somewhere else to go. Oftentimes, people in such situations opt to send their animals to slaughter. But Seymour’s guardian, who had saved his life once before, could not think of once again subjecting him to this fate.
About ten years before, Seymour lived on a water buffalo dairy. As with cows dairies, which breed for the sake of selling their cows’ milk, people also breed water buffalo for their milk and their meat. “Buffalo mozzarella,” for example, is quite popular in niche markets that tout the cheese as a healthier, higher-quality alternative to traditional dairy products. Water buffalo used for dairy face similar treatment as cows, goats, sheep, or any animal forced into dairy production. A hard truth of any dairy industry is that most males go unwanted and discarded since they cannot produce milk to profit the industry. Most dairies choose to sell them at auction and send these calves to slaughter. Seymour could have been someone’s meal.