On Saturday, a terrified young cow escaped a meat market in Connecticut, pursued by meat store employees and a contractor armed with a bow and arrow. The cow was fleeing Bloomfield’s Saba meat store, where other live farmed animals were being kept for slaughter. Like many other stories of animals bravely trying to escape the meat industry, this one does not have a happy ending.
A police officer observed the cow running across the street and into a Home Depot parking lot and even attempted to block the animal with his car. As he tried to help catch the cow, the officer watched in amazement as the contractor took a shot at the fearful animal with his bow, the arrow embedding itself into the wall of Home Depot. After that, the contractor and two employees tackled the frantic cow, one pulling out a knife and cutting the animal’s throat right there in the parking lot.
Multiple local, state, and federal agencies have since investigated the Saba meat store, which is now closed as the result of various violations. But horrors like this are nothing new.
Last year, a cow in Poland escaped while being led to a truck bound for a slaughterhouse. The frantic animal smashed through a metal fence, dove into Lake Nyskie, and swam to an island, evading capture for weeks. Tragically, once recaptured she died from stress in a truck taking her back to captivity.
In Cincinnati, Ohio, a frightened cow met a violent death when she ran for her life after fleeing the Tri State Beef Co. slaughterhouse. According to a spokeswoman for the Cincinnati Police Department, the cow “got confused and it ended up going to the Western Hills Viaduct into Queen City.” Sadly, instead of respecting the cow’s valiant attempt to save her own life, Tri State Beef Co. showed up and opened fire on the animal, killing her.
A few years ago, a story about an escaped pig in China went viral. The pig fled a farm and made her way to a Buddhist temple where she appeared to kneel and pray. While this sparked a flurry of claims on Chinese social media that the pig had been on a pilgrimage, the animal was probably just exhausted from running for her life. She was slaughtered after being recaptured.
These stories are heartbreaking, but the animals who make it to slaughterhouses don’t fare any better. Mercy For Animals’ newly released drone footage shows a massive industrial complex surrounded by pits of waste, where hundreds of cows await their turn for slaughter. Moved from semitrucks to tight pens, the cows follow a track down a curving walkway to a huge holding area where they are crammed together. Workers force the animals to keep moving by frightening them, often hitting them on the body and face.