Editor’s Note: I just couldn’t post that video that was making it’s way around the animal rights blogs last week. People asked me to post it, but I just couldn’t bear it. It was of a pregnant cow’s slaughter. It was horrible how they slaughtered her and then cut her belly open, pulled out her kicking calf, and slaughtered her calf. The video was too disturbing. I learned about pregnant mothers sent to slaughter before so it wasn’t the information that was disturbing, it was the video. That particular video, the way it was shot, with the smoking workers and the “sex” t-shirt… plus the nearly full-term calf… it was all just too much. It literally gave me nightmares. So I never put it here on the Soapbox. And I felt a little guilty about that. People need to know that this kind of slaughter happens. People need to understand what exactly they support when they eat meat or dairy. People who eat animals SHOULD have nightmares when they see what it is they’re really eating. So when a press release about the rescue of one of those babies was sent to me, I had to publish it. It’s redemption.
Watkins Glen, NY – September 22, 2009: Lamb Born in Transport Truck on Way to Bronx Slaughterhouse Finds Refuge at Farm Sanctuary as Mother Goes to Slaughter
A lamb born on a transport truck on the way to a Bronx slaughterhouse was rescued yesterday by Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, and brought to their shelter in Watkins Glen, NY. The minutes old lamb was discovered by a Good Samaritan who was shopping at an Italian market just a few doors down from the slaughterhouse when the truck arrived. Wanting to get a closer look at the sheep as they were unloaded, the woman walked over to the truck and was shocked to discover a newborn lamb among the herd, as well as a less fortunate lamb who had been trampled to death during transport.
When she brought the lamb to the truck driver’s attention, he grabbed him and handed him to her, explaining that one of the sheep must have given birth on the truck. When asked by the concerned citizen if it would be possible to reunite the struggling newborn with his mother, the driver told her there was no way to identify the lamb’s mother, as there were more than one hundred sheep on the truck. Refusing to leave the abandoned lamb alone to starve or be trampled to death by the flock, the woman convinced the slaughterhouse manager to relinquish him to her. As the lamb’s mother went to slaughter, she took the newborn home to her Yonkers residence, where he spent the first five days of his life growing very attached to the woman’s elderly mother— who he reportedly followed around the house like a puppy.
“We are so thankful we were able to rescue this sweet lamb, who was born under circumstances no animal should ever have to endure,” said Susie Coston, Farm Sanctuary’s national shelter director.
“Having witnessed the deep and loving bond between mother sheep and their lambs at our sanctuary, we know first-hand how traumatic this experience must have been for both mother and baby. Unfortunately, such tragedies are an all too common result of a profit-driven industry that rips babies away from their mothers and packs sensitive, intelligent animals onto trucks so densely they cannot move, causing many to die before they even reach the slaughterhouse. This lamb may have been born under horrific circumstances, but he will live at our shelter as an ambassador, educating thousands of visitors from all over the country about the plight of animals whose first and only taste of life is the inside of a sweltering transport truck or a dark, filthy factory farm.”
The lamb is the latest to join the more than 200 farm animals rescued from New York City over the last several years and brought to Farm Sanctuary, most likely after escaping from one of the city’s numerous live markets. Just before Labor Day, a severely ill baby goat named Evan was rescued near the Hutchinson River Parkway in the Bronx and brought to Farm Sanctuary, where he joined Isadora and Duncan, two baby goats rescued just a little over a month before in the same area. Last year, a 25-pound pygmy goat named Goodwin, one of Farm Sanctuary’s beloved residents, was discovered by New York City police near 141st Street and St. Ann’s Avenue in the Bronx— just a few blocks from where another Farm Sanctuary resident, Lucky Lady— a seven-month-old lamb who escaped slaughter and made international headlines— was found in June 2007. Other famous New York City escapees who now live at Farm Sanctuary include Maxine, a cow found running through the streets of Queens in 2007; Joey, a goat found wandering through Brooklyn in 2007; and Queenie, a cow who escaped a slaughterhouse in Queens in 2000.
About Farm Sanctuary
Farm Sanctuary is the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization. Since incorporating in 1986, Farm Sanctuary has worked to expose and stop cruel practices of the “food animal” industry through research and investigations, legal and institutional reforms, public awareness projects, youth education, and direct rescue and refuge efforts. Farm Sanctuary shelters in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and Orland, Calif., provide lifelong care for hundreds of rescued animals, who have become ambassadors for farm animals everywhere by educating visitors about the realities of factory farming. Additional information can be found at farmsanctuary.org or by calling 607-583-2225.
For more about the slaughter of pregnant mothers, I suggest:
- “Leather: Not an Innocent By-Product” podcast by Compassionate Cooks
- Pregnancy at Slaughter series at Animal Rights Change