The White Bull
I’m a story teller, and I love my calling, but I hate to tell this one. Our next door neighbor, who has since deceased, warned me that if my bull ever got out that she would personally shoot it. One day I watched him as he knocked a hole in the barn and raced through the fence heading for another herd a mile away. He had to go right by this neighbor’s house and proceeded to tear up her garden with his horns. I heard one shot and knew it was not the neighbor lady because she was still inside when a second shot hit him in the neck. Any regular animal would have died on the spot but the white bull didn’t. I was neither committed to animal rights in those days or to a vegetarian way of life. It took me all afternoon to get him back to the barn because he still wanted to visit the cows bellowing on a distant hill and their bull’s mooing was stirring his instincts to fight for possession of the neighboring herd.
By the time my sweet wife got home from work he was in the horse trailer and ready to take to the slaughter house. He continued to answer the bellowing bull belonging to the distant neighbor with long lonesome bellows, “Moo-aghs” long after he was in the trailer. My wife helped me drive him 50 miles with two slugs in him to the slaughter house. I had grown up on a farm but never participated in any of the annual putting of meat in the deep freeze as I had no stomach for it. Now I knew that all I had to do was to cut off any feelings coming from my heart and put the wounded animal out of his misery. At the slaughter house, the owner reassured me the beast would feel no pain but would be put down with a small caliber, single shot to the brain. A thud of the bull hitting the floor startled my wife and she panicked. I asked the slaughter house owner if he had shot the bull and he reassured me the ordeal was over.
My first mistake was to believe the man running the slaughter house, my second mistake was not understanding what a criminal act it is to put down “livestock by their humane means.”
When anyone in our area comes down with a severe illness, a fall, a lightening hit or a car wreck they are immediately taken as speedily as possible to a hospital where they receive the best of care. Any pain or discomfort is masked by pain killers and kind treatment and every attempt is made to make the patient as comfortable and safe as possible. With animals, this is not the case.
The slaughter-house man disappeared and I did not see him again for half an hour. Suddenly, just as had heard the white bull bugling across the valley separating our farm from the neighbor’s cows, his vibrating voice filled my ears with his courtship serenade! For a few minutes I got swept away with the focus and enthusiasm in his voice until his song abruptly died midway as it left his throat! “Moo” with a dangling “agh” just beginning, then silence! I worried about what caused the cessation and how to answer my wife’s concerns, and I approached the building to get some answers just in time to encounter the man carrying an electric knife. “I just beheaded that fellow,” he smiled and added, “He didn’t feel a thing.” I recalled the scripture in Isaiah 66:3 which says, “He that slaughters an ox is as if he strikes and murders a man!!”
There are more than 94,000 cattle slaughtered every day in the US daily along with over 6,700 sheep and lambs.
A young friend of mine was having a fit about how little medical coverage she had for her baby. It seems like nobody cares about how much medical coverage animals have or if they are protected from the self-centered human throng. Many of them profess to be Christians but I guess they cannot read because they never take into consideration the fact that killing a bovine is equivalent to killing a human being and killing a sheep is as if they cut off their dog’s neck. (Isaiah 66:3) As one man said, “Either they do not know the scriptures or are afraid to tell their congregation what God says so they make a mockery of God and an animal farm no laughing matter.
I still recall the white bull. The last thing he wanted to do was die but nobody cared…even to the point of cutting off his head while he was still “speaking.” Romans 8:21 tells us that animals have the same hope that we have of the Messiah yet we treat them like they were born for only our desires (“…the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.”). The bible says in Colossians 1:16-17, “For by Him (Jesus Christ) were all things created, that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him: and He is before all things and by Him all things consist.”
To hear Christians this kind of selfish positioning is either insanity or blatant disregard for God’s word. How can we continue to kill animals for their flesh when Jesus says, “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matthew 24:22) This is no time to be enjoying leg of lamb when the lamb would enjoy having its own leg itself and this is not time to be eating veal steak when the whole creation is at stake. Who is worrying about whether animals on their way to slaughter are nervous, stressed and full of fear? Who is speaking for them? Just as we have people crying out to have faith in God we need to reassure all the creation their faith in God is not misplaced because it is demonstrated by some of us who are His followers.
In a lecture on ethics, Immanuel Kant said, “We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.” And Tom Regan (former professor emeritus at North Carolina State University) said, in Peter Singer, ed., In Defense of Animals, 1985, “The whole creation groans under the weight of the evil we humans visit upon these mute, powerless creatures. It is our hearts, not just our heads, that call for an end to it all, that demand of us that we overcome, for them, the habits and forces behind their systematic oppression.” Paul McCartney once said, “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.”
As a minister of the gospel, I must ask: how is it possible that those who were created to guard and protect the creation have become the creation’s worst enemy and its destroyer? How can we claim that God is love as we pump another bullet into a wounded deer? Or dump a house cat out of our car to “forage for itself?” Few animals compare to Felis domesticus or the domestic housecat, have cooperated so greatly with humanity. This may be because the common species has a genetic tendency towards living a tame life with humankind. Releasing one causes it to revert back to a wild creature and killer. It has been living with people for 9500 years at least.
If you’re Christian raising cattle for slaughter or one who spends his leisure time hunting for some creature to kill such as stray cats or a skunk, opossum, or deer perhaps I might suggest to you that your heart is not for the things God is for and your activities give evidence to the fact that you are yet carnal. If killing a creature is your idea of sport, may I suggest that you are far from God and even a bit demented. A prayer prayed by Connie and Amy Hanson of Christians Caring for Creation (ccc) says, “Oh Lord, I never realized that all your creatures and the trees in your forests will sing for joy when you come again, for there will be no more death and destruction. Amen.”
Won’t you join them in defense of God’s creation? And won’t you honor His word? 2Corinthians 13:11 says, “Finally brethren, be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.” Scripture records that God is love. How can you deceive yourself into thinking that you can run an arrow through an opossum or intentionally a cat with your car or even shoot a deer for dinner while expressing love as the bullet tears through its flesh and leaves it to suffer mercilessly. My friends, that is not love. He that loveth not, knoweth not God.” (1John 4:8) John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world…” The word “world” means God’s orderly arrangement including its decoration. No matter what you thought it meant, look it up in Strong’s Concordance. It doesn’t just mean man nor does His other holy scripture. God is interested in bringing together all His loving ones because our voice must be heard before it is too late. (John 17:21)
I thank God that through Jesus Christ, “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” (Romans 3:25) But I will always remember the white bull.
If you care about the creation please e-mail us at (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let’s get started as both Abraham Lincoln and Bono often said, “Don’t ask God to join your cause but get involved with God’s cause.”