I saw a truly heartbreaking story on the news today. A transport truck carrying steer to the slaughterhouse overturned on the highway just outside of Toronto early this morning. Four of the steer escaped from the overturned truck after the accident and made their way to a residential area. More than 20 police officers, animal control workers and farmers were involved in rounding up the terrified animals.
Three of the steer were successfully rounded up from residents’ backyards. The fourth bounded from one driveway to another, terrified, while police jumped at it and news cameras rolled. Then the police decided they’d had enough and opened fire on the terrified animal. A hail of bullets can be heard on camera. One resident said that the cow just stood there and looked back at the officers who were shooting it and that it took a long time for it to fall down. She said that it was a very sad sight and felt that the cow could have been corralled in a backyard if they had given it some more time. Why didn’t they shoot it with tranquilizers? They apparently had considered this option but decided to use lethal force after it knocked a camera over.
Is it pointless to get so upset over the killing of an animal that was on its way to be killed anyway? I don’t think it is. The image of that terrified animal looking straight into the eyes of those who were killing it as it was being shot haunts me. Maybe it’s better that it met its end out in the open, publicly, in that way, rather than behind the closed doors of the slaughterhouse. Maybe it will make some people think. Maybe.