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Doomed Cows (Don’t) Escape Killing Floor

Photo by Scott Bauer/USDA

Having seen a few Facebook posts today about cows escaping from a St. Louis-area slaughterhouse, I asked myself how many news stories I’d have to look at before coming across a stupid and thoughtless headline. 

One, as it turned out.

I typed “cows St. Louis” into a Google News search and clicked on the first story, whose headline, “Steak-out: Police try to corral cattle after escape from north St. Louis slaughterhouse,” loudly betrays the callous indifference that each year dooms billions of animals before they’re ever born.

Like countless animals before them, the cows who likely found nothing but fear and confusion on the streets of St Louis were born to have their throats cut so humans can “enjoy” a juicy burger or a nice steak. Shortly after escaping, they were captured and returned to the killing floor.  

I’m guessing that the newsperson who wrote the St. Louis Post-Dispatch headline hasn’t given much thought to the suffering that our species inflicts on others.

It’s not hard to not eat them. What’s hard is getting people to recognize them in the first place.  

This commentary was sent to St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Christine Byers and photojournalist David Carson in the hope that they’ll someday tell the stories of the victims who’re marched onto the killing floor and brutally slaughtered.

Related commentary: The Dairy Industry’s “Udder Truth” is Utter Nonsense 

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