Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
1 October 2000 Issue

Dedicated To A Nameless Bull
by [email protected]

I had known from an early age where meat came from and the horrific way it made it to our tables, but I found excuses for eating it as most people do. Ten years ago, my ways of thinking were changed.

It was through only one short experience that I found my way, my reason, and my soul. In all honesty, it was all due to one bull that I saw for only moments. Those moments will no doubt be remembered all my life since they have already lasted so clearly for all these years.

It was August of 1990 and the heat was unbearable. I pulled into McDonald's for a burger and some much needed Coke. I was in a hurry and had to eat and drive. Just 1 mile away, hidden and out of sight was a slaughterhouse. The only clue to it's existence was all the cattle trucks. And because of them, the intersections were always blocked and miserably long. To get to the slaughterhouse, the trucks had to take a left turn at the stoplight. I was going straight at this same stoplight. A cattle truck pulled up right next to me in the turning lane. I could have reached out my window and touched the truck it was so close.

I looked over at it and through almost every available hole there was a nose sticking out. They struggled to get fresh air and by the looks of it, each stale, hot breath burned. One hole toward the back of the truck had a hoof stuck out of it and the poor thing most certainly had been trampled since the truck was so packed. I glanced back up toward the front and a bull pulled his nose from the hole and put his eye there. His black eye stared out at me in my air conditioned car. Through his eye, I could see his soul........ the very same soul that most people say he doesn't possess. He had a cut just above his eye that was trickling beside his eye and down his face. I had never actually looked into the eyes of bull with the intent to understand.

His eyes reflected such terror, hopelessness and pain that it put a chill up spine. He couldn't move, couldn't breath fresh air, bleeding from the face and knowing he was going to die. I have no doubt that he knew. I wanted to jump from my car and rescue him, but that wasn't possible. I had even thought about following and attempting to rescue him there at the slaughterhouse. The truck began to pull away with a jerk and I never saw him again except in memory.

Still waiting at the intersection I looked at the big Mac resting on my lap. I got a whole new prospective in that second. Simply put, it just wasn't worth it. I didn't finish my burger needless to say. All these years, I had been taking lives for granted and not seeing the living breathing animal that was reduced to such a simple meal. I can only hope that his death came relatively quick and painless. That the "humane Slaughter Law" was upheld and he died while unconscious. Nothing good came from his death, but he didn't go unnoticed amongst the masses.

Unfortunately, it took his unjustifiable terror, agony and death to teach me to care for ALL living beings. He opened my eyes to the suffering when it was so much easier to keep them closed, and with that, he has changed my life. I can see now that every morsel of meat comes with a price far beyond money and every morsel casts the shadow of what it once was. I dedicate this to that bull and all those in the same situation that have suffered so much by the hands of man. Those animals born to a world that lacks compassion and mercy. He died 10 years ago, but I will never forget what he has done for me and I am indebted to him for all those years ago when he made me who I am today.

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