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Running for His Life

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Written by Meghan McClymonds

On Tuesday, February 21, 2017, a young bull escaped from a New York slaughterhouse and ran for his life. Police pursued him for two hours until he could no longer overcome the power of the six tranquilizers shot into him. He died on his way to the Center for Animal Care in Brooklyn due to an overdose of tranquilizers and excess stress.

This bull’s desperate attempt to survive elicited various reactions from both onlookers and the greater public. Articles covering the incident reveal the perception of him as a mere commodity, referring to him as “it,” with one article even describing him as “stubborn” for evading capture. Others demonstrated sympathy for this animal and distress over his ultimate fate. It was hard not to share the sentiment of one onlooker’s empathetic acknowledgement that the bull “didn’t want to be anyone’s steak tonight.” Unfortunately, most of these individuals’ daily dietary choices do not align with the compassion inherent in such statements.

Countless animals have escaped slaughterhouses and aroused strong emotions from the public, including the desire to save these animals from an unjust return to the slaughterhouse. Yet there is failure to extend that sympathy for an individual to the animals so many consume and wear without hesitation. Comments from onlookers imply that they perceive farmed animals who are unable to escape their deaths as either impartial to their slaughter or lacking the cognitive abilities to figure out a way to escape.

It is misguided to interpret this newsworthy bull’s actions as indicative of a rare individual with unusual determination to live and therefore an abnormal right not to be killed. Every single living being values his or her life and fights to protect him or herself. A lack of forceful attempt to escape is not a measure of an individual’s desire to live. While animals who literally run for their lives in public are certainly unique individuals—like all nonhumans and humans with their own personalities, relationships, and feelings—they are not unique in their longing to live. Tragically, more than 90,000 bovines are killed against their wills for human consumption daily in the U.S. Their desperate fight to live is hidden from the public eye, and therefore out of most people’s consciousnesses.

Coverage of the innocent bull’s fight for freedom gives people the opportunity to open their hearts to the plight of farmed animals. One onlooker revealed the transformative power of awakening to the tragic connection between living animals and the meat most people habitually and unconsciously include on their plates, declaring, “The universe is telling me to become a vegetarian.” It is our hope that more who hear this story will react to it with similar compassion. May we all see the billions of farmed animals who do not get news coverage in the individual animal with whom we empathize and give all sentient beings respect and freedom.

12 Responses so far.

  1. Jo says:

    So sad. Rest in Peace you beautiful soul.

    • Smokey says:

      Well said, Jo — trying so hard to escape a horrible fate — running to save himself even with all those tranquilizers in him; it breaks my heart to think of the fear he must have experienced….I know he had a soul and that he is at peace now.

      • Kelly says:

        You are so rite on point Smokey. This is all so sad not to mention absurd. I can’t even hardly bring myself to talk
        about what is going on with these poor animals. For the
        bull Davey the grass is greener on the side. It is a place
        we call Heaven. Rest is peace Davey the bull. After all that
        Davey has been through that’s is where I would want to
        be. That is nothing to remember after all he went through.
        I would like to throw all of the human like figures in a pot of boilng water and watch them suffer.

    • joy says:

      this breaks my heart into… what further proof do humans need that these beautiful creatures (all animals) have souls? I have seen how they are slaughtered and they suffered horrific deaths.. if humans were put in the same scenario, I can guarantee you, they would run too..

  2. Erich says:

    Well said in every way.

  3. Patricia Akers says:

    I feel so bad for this brave cow who would have been forced to die through torture. At least the way she died she may have felt no pain as she would have in the slaughterhouse. Paul McCartney said it best if slaughterhouses had glass walls we would all be vegetarians.

  4. Donna Dimare says:

    Been a vegetarian for 10 happy years. Hoping I’ll be vegan soon.
    Rip beautiful boy. You mattered.
    Thank you Animal Place for all you do

  5. glenda larsen says:

    Thank you for reaching out to educate people to be the voice for these intelligent, beautiful animals that people only think of as a big mac. The people you get through to that quit eating them will benefit from better health and add years to their life. I live in Nebraska. People here are so fat and unhealthy many of them cannot even walk
    10 feet. The shop using motorized carts. Disgusting…

  6. Sheri DeOrio says:

    The only way to stop this madness is to stop eating meat.

  7. DogMom says:

    Why do humans always shoot to kill – all life forms??? Poor fellow, I was rooting for him to get away. RIP, dear one.

  8. Tammy says:

    RIP, beautiful boy! I wish more breakouts would happen with bigger numbers of animals to awaken this society that no one should be on a plate😢

  9. Webb Baker says:

    My wife has been a vegetarian for over 45 years. She ceased eating meat as a teenager who became distressed with seeing deer tied to tops of station wagons and road kill. My 23 year old daughter has been a vegetarian for the past nine years – her choice – for different reasons but is steadfast about her decision. She is also an animal rights activist. Over the years I have eliminated certain animals from my diet, and I consume considerably less meat than the average. While I don’t believe I will ever cease meat consumption, I am extremely empathetic to the plight of animals, and this story is heart breaking.