A Cow on a Waterslide, a Costco Investigation, and More: Our Top Stories from 2021

From a groundbreaking investigation into Costco chicken to a cow escaping a ranch and going down a waterslide, 2021 has been quite a year! Here are 12 of the most popular stories we covered in 2021.

Investigation Reveals Costco Chickens Suffering from Open Wounds

In February, Mercy For Animals released an investigation into a Costco supplier that revealed tens of thousands of chickens crammed into filthy sheds and bred to grow so large so fast that their legs could not support their weight. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof broke the story in his weekly column. The cruel practices seen in the footage stand in stark contrast to Costco’s claim that animal welfare is a “critical component that has been integrated into all aspects of the chicken supply chain.”

Young Grizzly Bear Killed to Protect Montana’s Cattle Industry

A 447-pound grizzly bear was killed in Montana to protect the cattle industry. The bear, thought to be four to six years old, was caught on camera eating a dead cow. After confirming that the bear had been responsible for the deaths of two cows, wildlife officials killed him. According to reports, hunting and trapping have nearly wiped out the area’s grizzly population.   

Brave Cow Escapes Slaughter, Takes Trip Down Waterslide in Viral Video

A brave animal destined for slaughter escaped his cattle ranch, entered a nearby water park, and went down a waterslide! The water park caught him on camera after he had managed to climb to the top of a water slide and was slowly making his way down.

Cuttlefish Demonstrate Stunning Intelligence, Pass Test for Human Children

Aquatic animals are amazing! According to a study published in March, cuttlefish passed a new version of the marshmallow test, a cognitive test originally designed for human children.

Lawsuits Against the USDA Clear Major Hurdle

The USDA tried to get two lawsuits about pig welfare dismissed. The suits challenge the USDA’s deregulation of pig slaughterhouses and failure to ban the slaughter of “downed” pigs. Thankfully, their motions were denied!

Stranded, Thousands of Animals Suffer in Ships Near the Blocked Suez Canal

Egypt’s Suez Canal was blocked for nearly a week when a massive container ship got stuck in the passage. The blockage led to millions of tons of cargo piling up by the canal. While much of that cargo was nonperishable products like oil, Bloomberg reported that at least 14 vessels gathered near the closed canal were ships designed to transport live animals. According to data, these ships likely contained hundreds of thousands of farmed animals.

Feedlot Cruelty Exposed in New Undercover Investigation

A Mercy For Animals investigation revealed animals suffering in sweltering heat at a Nebraska feedlot that raises cattle for meat companies, including JBS, one of the world’s largest. Our investigator documented animals forced to live in barren pens amid their own waste without any shade or protection from temperatures that often reached triple digits.

Drivers Stunned as Escaped Cows Race Down a Highway in Indiana

In February, drivers in Indiana were met with the shocking sight of about 75 cows racing down the highway. The 10-month-old cows had reportedly escaped from an Indiana farm. Melissa Kuczmanski, who was driving with her son that day, said, “It was kind of a joyous moment.”

Greta Thunberg Talks Animals, the Environment, and More in Groundbreaking New Video

In a video sponsored by Mercy For Animals, environmental activist Greta Thunberg draws connections between animal agriculture and the environmental crisis. Tom Mustill of Gripping Films, who specializes in stories where “people and nature meet,” directed the powerful video.

Mercy For Animals International Campaign Seeks to Ban Live Export

This summer, Mercy For Animals Brazil released a new investigative report in collaboration with NGO Repórter Brasil. The document, written in Portuguese, connects the practice of exporting live cattle with illegal deforestation and slave labor.

Halley Farm Transitions from Raising Chickens to Growing Hemp

The Halley family raised chickens for Pilgrim’s Pride in Cookville, Texas, for 30 years. When faced with mounting financial and health troubles from chicken farming, Bo and Sam Halley decided to give up raising birds for good. With support from Mercy For Animals’ Transfarmation project, the family has successfully completed their first hemp harvest and look forward to expanding!

“Momma” Cows Compared to Pickup Trucks in Disturbing Beef Industry Article

An article in Beef Magazine reveals the heartbreaking way the beef industry regards cows. With as much thought and compassion as one would give an inanimate object, the author discusses ideal times to send cows to slaughter and how often to breed them for maximum profit.

While these are some of our top stories from 2021, there are plenty more on our blog! Make sure you stay up to date in 2022 by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And start the new year right by eating more plant-based foods! Our FREE veg starter guide can help.