For the Times; they are a
and Elevating our Veganism
What I'm Thankful For
To Be A Feminist Is To Be A Vegan
Virgil Butler - Bio
of a Vegan World
You Are Not
At a Hunter's Hang-Out
A Baby's Story
Dark and Evil Days
"Do they care?"
Eyes Of An Elephant
The Fawn Story
and its Vanity
In The Name Of Tradition
Letter To My Unborn
Little Red Riding Hood
Man May be Mad
My Love should be
To My Daughter
The Happy Child
and A Wolf
Fight We Shall
The Greatest Gift
How Can We Do It?
I'm an Animal,
Please Don't Eat Me
The Last Slaughterhouse
Listen to Chief Seattle
My God Says
Eat The Animals
The night had been so long, and I was so tired. The scent of my siblings wafted up to my nose, and it was all that I inhaled. Mother had told me, in not so many words, that whomever boarded the truck, never returned to the farm. It wasn't long after that, when she herself left. I vowed that day that I would do everything in my power to not get out of the truck; if I didn't, it had to take me back to the farm, right? It wasn't all that great, it was dirty and stinky, but I was more afraid of the unknown than going back.
Large flies bit at my face and my butt, but in that truck I didn't have room to swish my tail to swat them off, and I could barely flick an ear. There were sounds, too, and not just the loud whirring sounds as the truck moved; they were the voices of those who were stuck with me. "Help us!" I could hear them plead to passing vehicles. "We're afraid!" and "Why is this happening? Where are we going?" I guess I was smarter than them; that can be
accredited to my mother. She had a long, hard life, and thus passed her knowledge on to me. I knew that humans didn't care what happened to us, also, I knew that we would die when we got off of the truck. This was not something mother had told me, but something I actually overheard the farmers saying. They seem to think we don't understand, but just because our mouths are not made to speak their language, doesn't mean some of us haven't figured it out.
Hours, it had seemed, I stood and thought, and the hot sun felt like it was baking the inside of the truck. During the night, one of my siblings had died, it was so cold that he stuck to the side of the rails. The temperature had risen since the morning had come, and suddenly there was a loud
thok! sound. We all had to shift further up, since the frozen cow had become detached and collapsed onto the floor. Now things were even more cramped than before! On top of all that, the sun now wafted the scent of death about the cabin, oh gosh it was horrid! I'd even begun crying, just because there wasn't much else to do to get my mind off of the situation.
Suddenly, we came to a halt; and it was a rather harsh one at that, sending a few of us to our knees. I heard the car door slam, and numerous footsteps and voices. In the distance were the sounds of metal grinding against metal, and screams of agony mixed with machine groans and clinks. Pain surged through my leg now, though no wound was
visible. I felt that even if I had the freedom to, I wouldn't be able to stand or take a single step, because of the force that had sent me forward. Not that I wanted to, mind you. My intentions were to not get out of the truck, even if they tempted me with the finest grains in the world.
What I got, was anything but a bribe.
Soon the gate to the cabin was opened, and I watched my family quickly run out. Some cried "Freedom!" while others simply were happy to be out of that smelly, cramped space. It didn't take long before I noticed
inquisitive peers into the cabin from several human men, their voices didn't carry far enough; I couldn't hear what they were saying. One leapt in, carrying some kind of stick, and as I gazed up at him, he stuck it into my ear. What followed was an immense pain like I'd never felt before. Low,
gutteral noises felt like they came out of my stomach as this, this.. electricity seethed into my body. My muscles twitched, and it seemed to stimulate all the pain and emotions I'd ever felt in my entire life, all at once. Crying, I looked away, and tried to ignore the jabs as they did this to me over and over. "I couldn't get up even if I wanted to!" I pleaded, but to no avail; humans do not understand our language. They don't even try to.
A few dreaded minutes passed before several more men entered, and they began to beat me, and kick me in my body and face. I felt every single blow, every painful tear of their boots into my flesh, their screams and yells were scaring me. "Please.. leave me alone.." I weakly cried, as I lowered my muzzle to touch the floor. My head was throbbing and felt heavier than a boulder. I must have blacked out for a few minutes, despite the beatings, but I was quickly jerked into reality as a rope was tied around my neck.
Fear, fear was what balled up in my stomach as I realized they weren't trying to pull me out by hand. I could hear the thoking of a hammer directly in front of me, into the dirt, as a long sturdy post was erected. The other end of the rope was tied to this post, and then there was silence, as I did not see the
mens' faces anymore. I shivered from freight, hearing the loud diesel engine start, and my mind began to add up the facts of what was about to happen. Soon, the truck was going one direction, and I could feel my body being gruesomely drug off of it, as the truck moved, the rope kept me from going with it.
Within seconds, I saw over the edge of the opening to the cabin, and the ground came at me with a loud SMACK!. Cracking could be heard throughout the area, as my pelvis and hind legs were broken. Oh, the pain.. agonizing, gruesome pain like I never imagined could be felt as I lay there. I felt dizzy, my eyes I knew must have been glazed over. My voice bleated a few times in confused torture, it must have, but I myself don't remember making the sounds. It seemed the farmers had finally given up on me, since I was now officially disabled, and they threw their hands up into the air, walking away. "I.. think.. I won.." were my initial thoughts, but as the day wore on, no one came to get me. The sun baked my flesh, the flies continued to attack me.
It was inevitable that sooner or later I would have to relieve myself, so eventually I did. The smell was disgusting, it made me want to puke, so I used my good two front legs to drag myself through the dirt and away, each time I urinated or defecated, though I did yell every now and then, hoping someone would come and save me. I thought my prayers were answered when a woman came up from the nearby street. She seemed genuinly concerned, so I bleated to her. "Please, take me away from here!", and I watched her feet take her toward the place where the men had went. Police came and went after that, but nothing changed.
The men came back out again. I could hear them this time. "I have permission from my insurance company to down this cow, but I won't do it until you get off of my property." One of them
smited. The woman reluctantly left, so I closed my eyes in hope the pain would stop. An hour or so ticked by, the men had left without holding their word. Dogs were sicked on me, they bit my skin and my nose, blood poured out. I did not cry, however, because I just did not have the energy. Every now and then I would try to drag myself away, but that didn't seem to deter the carnivorous creatures. Earlier, when the policemen were here, they'd given me water, but it was taken away as soon as they left. My thirst grew as the sun glared down upon me.
That strange woman returned, and she seemed almost more distraught than I was. Yet again, police officers appeared nearby. I remember one pointed a gun at me, and all I could think was it was about time. However, the woman, concerned for me, stopped him. "A veterinarian should do it." I heard her say. That voice soothed me, I just wanted her to be near to my body, even if I was going to die. Maybe that was because she was the only person in the entire world who seemed to really care.
Apparently, the veterinarians in the building nearby said they would not do it, because "..in order to preserve the value of the meat, she can't be destroyed." They spoke so cruelly. I tried to move away from them, but only managed to choke on my own vomit from the pain I was in. I felt tears trickle down my cheeks.
It was late evening, almost dark when someone else arrived. He was someone they called The Butcher. I'd heard that term used before, but never really understood what it meant. It was a very hush-hush subject. I could no longer lift my head, and could barely hear the clicking of the gun being loaded. I gazed up at the woman one final time, and I saw her crying. "It's okay.." I tried to say. "Thank you for caring about me." She didn't know the language, but I think she understood.
Next, there was a loud blast, that hurt my ears, and a sharp pain. Then, cool, calm silence. The pain was gone.
The pain was gone.
"Downed Cow" was inspired by an article in the "Meet your Meat" section of the PETA vegetarian starter kit magazine. This actually happened. (Though I would like to make it clear that the story is not meant to reflect these actual people, but rather uses the article as a
refferance to what normally happens in these situations. You'll notice some differences.) Here is the actual article, though I am not sure who wrote it:
The true story of one anonymous animal born into the meat industry.
The truck carrying this cow was unloaded at Walton Stockyards in Kentucky one September morning. After the other animals were removed from the truck, she was left behind, unable to move. The stockyard workers used the customary electric prods in her ear to try to get her out of the truck, then beat and kicked her in the face, ribs and back, but still, she didn't move. They tied a rope around her neck, tied the other end to a post in the ground, and drove the truck away. The cow was dragged along the floor of the truck and fell to the ground, landing with both hind legs and her pelvis broken. She remained like that until 7:30 that evening.
For the first three hours, she lay in the hot sun crying out. Periodically, when she urinated or defecated, she used her front legs to drag herself along the gravel roadway to a clean spot. She also tried to crawl to a shaded area, but couldn't move far enough. Altogether, she managed to crawl a painful 13 to 14 yards. The stockyard employees wouldn't allow her any drinking water; the only water she received was given to her by Jessie Pierce, a local animal rights activist, who had been contacted by a woman who witnessed the incident. Jessie arrived at noon. After receiving no cooperation from the stockyard workers, she called the Kenton County police. A police officer arrived but was instructed by his superiors to do nothing; he left at 1 p.m.
The stockyard operator informed Jessie that he had permission from the insurance company to kill the cow but wouldn't do it until Jessie left. Although doubtful tha the would keep his word, Jessie left at 3 p.m. She returned at 4:30 p.m. and found the stockyard deserted. Three dogs were attacking the cow, who was still alive. She had suffered a number of bite wounds, and her drinking water had been removed. Jessie contacted the state police. Four officers arrived at 5:30 p.m. State trooper Jan Wuchner wanted to shoot the cow but was told that a veterinarian should kill her. The two veterinarians at the facility would not euthanize her, claiming that in order to preserve the value of the meat, she could not be destroyed. The butcher eventually arrived at 7:30 p.m. and shot the cow. Her body was purchased for $307.50.