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Panda The Burned Steer

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PandaBurned and Left to Die, Panda Still Faced Slaughter
In November 2013, a 23-yr-old man broke into a high school housing animals being raised as part of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) program. He allegedly set a 5-mos-old calf on fire, causing severe burns over more than 50% of the calf’s body. One ear was burned off, the other damaged. He was left with life-long scars that even now, ten months later, are still healing.

Worse, Panda still faced slaughter! The teenage student raising him for FFA still planned on showing the scarred calf at the California Mid State Fair, even despite offers of sanctuary from Animal Place. After tense negotiations, a donor facilitated the release of Panda to our sanctuary. Our staff immediately drove down to Paso Robles to pick up Panda.

While picking Panda up, the student walked Panda on a lead straight to our trailer. Panda trusted the teenager implicitly, not knowing that had he been at the fair, the trailer picking him up would have taken him straight to a slaughterhouse. What a betrayal!

Despite all he has been through, Panda trusts humans.

Panda is an ambassador for the thousands of animals who are raised as part of the animal programs of FFA and 4H. They all want to live. They are doted upon by caring students who name them, nurture them…and then betray them. We should be embracing and encouraging experiences of empathy and compassion, not squelching it by teaching impressionable children that it’s okay to love someone fiercely, protect them, care for them…and then kill them!

What can you do?

  • Oppose animal-based FFA and 4H programs. Encourage the non-animal programs both these organizations have to offer.
  • Talk to kids raising animals for FFA and 4H and encourage critical thinking – suggest they visit a sanctuary for an alternative viewpoint.
  • The vast majority of animals raised for FFA and 4H will be slaughtered and their flesh sold commercially. Start seeing nonhumans as unique individuals and start choosing veganism.

5 Responses so far.

  1. […] Read about Panda at Animal Place sanctuary. […]

  2. do you neuter the boy calves and bulls you take in?

    i have heard its hard to have more than one bull in the pasture and wonder if its a safety issue as well.

    i adore cows and bulls and have adopted one of each at Sacred Cows Sanctuary in GA. but they seem sad when a boy is born and i wonder if neutering helps keep these boys happier as they get older and become sexual…??

    thank you… xoxo

    • Marji Beach says:

      We do neuter the male bovines, yes. Because we wish to rescue more animals, we do not allow breeding to occur here if we can avoid it.

      We wait until they are near a year old to neuter.

  3. Sharon Wakefield says:

    I often wonder how those 4H ER’s do it. Raise an animal to win a ribbon, & then just let it go to slaughter. I understand growing up on a farm causes a person to think differently about animals.
    But, these animals & humans form a bond, & the animal trusts them.
    It just breaks my heart to know that it would be very difficult to stop this club. Wouldn’t it be great though if there was another way for these young people to devote their time & energy & still be rewarded.