another escape

a little while ago i wrote about a pig who burst out of her trailer and ran as far as she could, but was eventually caught and taken to the slaughterhouse. at the time i mentioned that her story haunted me, and in truth it still does. whenever i have an actual single being to focus my energy on, it feels that much more potent.

a few minutes ago i was alerted to a new escape story by a poster on the veganfreak forums. evidently a cow bolted from a slaughterhouse yesterday morning, and then started a six-hour–and very harrowing–journey trying to evade her pursuers. her effort was truly remarkable. here’s an excerpt:

The black, 1,200 pound heifer jumped a gate at the packing plant at around 5 a.m. Thursday and apparently wandered through residential areas. Police received reports at about 9:30 a.m. that it was in the middle of a busy intersection.

Police tried to catch the cow, and had her wedged between a stock trailer and a fence, but the heifer barreled through the fence toward the river, nearly being hit by a Chevrolet Suburban.

It was the first of many near-death experiences.

With the police in pursuit, the cow ran toward the railroad tracks and darted in front of an oncoming locomotive, briefly giving the police the slip again.

Crossing another road, the cow was nearly struck by a semi tractor-trailer.


When police, animal control officers and slaughterhouse workers surrounded the cow in a park near the Missouri River, the cow jumped into the icy water.

As she swam to the west bank of the river, Reeves said she sank lower in the water and was being swept downstream. But the cow found a sandbar near the river’s west bank and walked to shore.

"I was totally amazed she was able to swim the river," said Del Morris, the slaughterhouse manager.

As police scrambled to head off the cow on the other side of the river, a veterinarian with a tranquilizer gun was called.

Pursuers again believed they had the cow cornered at a chain link fence, but the heifer ran through a perimeter set up by officials.

The chase began to slow as the cow ran up against several strong fences. Dr. Jennifer Evans of Big Sky Medical Center shot the cow with a tranquilizer dart.

It had little effect.

Two darts later, the heifer showed no signs of going down. Slaughterhouse workers created a makeshift pen with metal panels that led to a stock trailer.

The heifer walked into the trailer at 11:45 a.m.

The cow was taken back to the slaughterhouse, where it was put in a pen — with a stronger fence — and given food and water.

much like the original poster on the veganfreak forums, i feel myself in a bit of a panic right now. i want her to be saved. i fear they have already killed her. i want farm sanctuary or someone equally wonderful to swoop down and rescue her. i dearly hope this story has a happy ending, but i’m afraid to hope for too much.



  1. Nikki, thanks so much for your comment!
    i just learned from a pal on vegan represent that you are correct–a woman in seattle has agreed to buy her, and the lovely and generous folks at pigs peace sanctuary have agreed to adopt her. hooray! at the moment i believe they’re trying to sort out how to get her from montana to washington, but it definitely appears that she is on her way to a loving home.
    i know there are millions and millions of animals that deserve this same rescue, but it truly makes me so happy to see this story ending in this way. i can only hope that her “adventure” will open some new people’s eyes to what animals go through.

  2. Oh, I’m glad I read these comments. I got very attached to the calves that live in the pasture behind us over the summer, and in November they disappeared. I still cry whenever I think about it, and watching people eat beef now is my private nightmare.

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