Steer slaughterhouse owner asks folks to support animal sanctuary – Wash Post
The Sunday, April 9, Washington Post, page A9, has a story by Karin Brulliard titled, “A dramatic cattle breakout reveals schism over animal rescue tactics.” As I began to read the story, it seemed, as the headline suggests, to be an inside baseball tale — a discussion of a disagreement between animal groups as to whether it is ever appropriate to pay for an animal as a form of rescue. About halfway through comes the payoff. We read that the owner of the slaughterhouse from which the six steers had escaped, had written on Facebook: “To all these people worrying about 6 cattle’s freedom, they need to worry about all the kids in Syria getting killed…God created them for you guys to eat steaks and hamburger.” Then the next day, after dealing with the folks at the Gentle Barn sanctuary, who did pay for the steers, the same man posted a video of the animals being transported, and one of them at their temporary home, with a caption saying that cattle are free and in a better home, and recommending, “Please support gentle barn, because I’m one of [its] supporters from now and on.”
At the end of the article the choice to buy the animals is explained, and it is suggested that the slaughterhouse owner had been profoundly affected in a life-altering way. Brulliard ends with:
“This could not be confirmed. But one thing is for certain: The events were life-altering for Chico and his runaway herd.”
I greatly respect Farm Sanctuary’s choice to buy animals, when there are so many in desperate need available for free (as explained in my previous DawnWatch alert about these steers: http://tinyurl.com/l96po2o ) Yet, as with so many issues, this one is nuanced. I think the end result in this case, not just the freedom for the steers, but, so importantly, the tone of the publicity around the transfer, justifies the purchase. But that really is inside baseball — my opinion being shared with this animal advocacy list. (Though it’s a topic that might be interesting to explore further in future.) What’s important, from the DawnWatch perspective, is that this happy freedom tale is in a paper with the influence of the Washington Post, and that we can keep the story alive with letters to the editor.
You’ll find the full story on line at http://tinyurl.com/ltservp
Please respond with letters that celebrate the story, making whatever point you are inclined to make, for the general public, about diet, or animal cruelty, or our relationship with other species. The Washington Post takes letters at letters@Washpost.com, prefers they are short, and asks for your full name, address and phone number.