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Killing of pregnant cow protested at California State Fair

August 20, 2010
by

Does this bother you? Excellent, it should ALL bother you: go vegan, click on the picture.

Editor’s Note: I, admittedly, have difficulty understanding the protest and indignation displayed by those condemning “birthing exhibits”: if you are not vegan, how does the entertainment novelty differ from the consumption factor? Both are exploitive and inflict suffering and death on innocent, sentient beings, if you support one, you support them both.

It is HARDLY a righteous act to protest one yet endorse it via your gut, what utter hypocrisy and inanity. The ONLY humane response is veganism, everything else is only appropriate for human benefit, it may help you sleep knowing you took the radical measure to protest birthing exhibits, but it does nothing for the animals who are bred, born, and brutalized via rape, torture, and death outside the dazzling lights and frilly atmosphere of a silly carnival.

With respect to those asking if the police could have reacted in a more “humane” manner, I would submit that NOT promoting the industry AT ALL would be the most humane proaction. How could anyone think differently? If you eat it, you support it in ALL manners, including the depravity and savagery that happens outside the exhibition arena.

Why do I feel this way and get so upset over such assertions? Watch EARTHLINGS and Meet Your Meat and then I would ask you, “how could you NOT?”  SR

From The Sacramento Bee

It is one of the State Fair’s long-standing traditions: allowing the public to watch live births of cows, pigs and other farm animals to help celebrate California’s rich agricultural history.

But one day after a pregnant cow headed for the “birthing barn” escaped her handlers and was shot to death by police, the practice was a controversial topic among fairgoers.

As visitors filed into the fairgrounds Wednesday, a small group of animal advocates held a protest along Exposition Boulevard, calling the public births stressful and cruel for animals. It is an argument they have made for years, but on Wednesday it seemed to resonate.

Some motorists honked in support. People stopped to ask questions about why the cow had to die. Others jeered, “People are more important than animals!” A few of the discussions devolved into name-calling and tears.

“At least we are having a conversation about this,” said LaRue Carnes, who arrived at Cal Expo with a large sign reading “Shooting Pregnant Cows Not ‘Fair.’ ”

“That cow should not have been here to give birth in the first place,” she said. “It’s just wrong.”

Inside the fairgrounds, at the livestock nursery where several Holsteins were closing in on their delivery dates, veterinarians from UC Davis fielded questions from visitors about the program and Tuesday’s incident.

It started about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, when vets were delivering the cow to the fairgrounds, where she was expected to birth her calf. The 1,200-pound cow became agitated, fled and was temporarily corralled. When she bolted again, knocking over an officer, Cal Expo police judged her a danger to the thousands of employees and animal handlers already milling through the fairgrounds. With the consent of the vets, police shot the cow. Neither she nor her calf survived.

In and around the fair Wednesday, people were questioning whether the officers overreacted. “Could they not have done something more humane? More intelligent? Less reactive?” Carnes asked. A crowd of fairgoers gathering around her lightly clapped their hands and nodded.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Back at the livestock barn, a UC Davis veterinary official was fielding questions, too, as he stood in front of hay-strewn pens occupied by pregnant cows and newborn goats.

“As you can see, our animals are not stressed. We take very good care of them,” said David Wilson, director of the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, which oversees farm animals on exhibit at the fair.

While reporters peppered Wilson with questions, curious onlookers stood by, sharing accounts of the drama they had heard or read. “I don’t think the cops should have shot it, but we don’t know the whole story,” one woman said.

Jennifer Fearing of the Humane Society of the United States said the cow’s escape and ultimate death illustrates the risks of displaying pregnant animals for entertainment and education. Animals on display at the fair, she said, often are confined to cramped quarters and must endure visitors poking and touching them. Pregnant females are monitored until they are ready to give birth, at which time “they go into a sort of ring where people gather around and watch.”

“It’s an inappropriate and exploitive setting for showing off ‘the miracle of birth,’ ” Fearing said. “It’s not natural, and it’s not worth the stress that these animals endure.”

Fair officials called Tuesday’s situation tragic and said they would investigate how and why it happened. UC Davis called for special training for officers who might encounter emergency situations involving large animals in public places.

“This is an isolated incident, and we are going to make sure protocols are in place so that it never happens again,” said General Manager Norb Bartosik.

The UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and the fair have collaborated for more than 30 years to exhibit farm animals to educate people, especially children, about livestock production. Local farmers loan animals to UC Davis, which oversees their care.

“For 37 years, we’ve had 25 to 30 cows here and we have never had one become so frenzied and escape,” said Wilson, a large-animal veterinarian. “She obviously found the environment was not to her liking and became quite worked up.”

He said the farmer who owned the cow was notified as the situation unfolded. “He said he would understand that if everything else failed,” and the public was at risk, the animal would have to be killed, Wilson said.

Sue Hodges became part of the discussion Wednesday as she walked past protesters on her way into the fairgrounds. The Napa County cattle rancher challenged one advocate, asking if she wore leather or used makeup containing animal products. But after a conversation about the incident, she said she understood why the protesters were there.

“My kids are all involved with fairs and my family with beef production,” she said. “The animal exhibitions really have an impact on people. At least they are seeing more than the cellophane-wrapped chicken that they find in the grocery store.

“But it sounds like this situation could have been handled differently,” she said. “I can understand why they are upset by that. Maybe they have a point.”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Stephanie Dyer permalink
    August 20, 2010 10:48 am

    They do this in Australia as well, it infuriates me..forcing animals to give birth in front of pervert city slickers who just go home to eat their lamb roast or steak…..oh how cute, they all say when they see goats and calves and lambs etc at these shows, then they go home and eat them…i was at a show one time and a ewe was there about to give birth, she must have tried so hard to keep her baby in, she was in a pen with nowhere to hide to have her baby, she had no choice but to have her baby in front of all these people, fancy even transporting her while she was heavily preg let alone forcing her to have her baby in a huge shed with hundreds of people perving at her, she must have been so scared…

    well did i have a few things to say, i said why are you all watching, leave her be, then i said she is about to have her baby so let her do it without standing there annoying her..then i rang the RSPCA and went off, i said this is wrong and cruel….they said there is an inspector there incase anything goes wrong i said yea great help an inspector will be, then i made the mistake of going over to where they had dairy cows, a man was telling people how happy dairy cows are and what great lives they have and how they love being milked bla bla, i yelled out you liar tell people the truth…all this and i wasn’t even aware at that stage about how evil the farmed animal industry even was, wasn’t even involved with animal rights, but i knew enough to know that what i was seeing and hearing was wrong.

    then i went up to the some woman who was going to bring another dairy cow out to show people and said a few words to her, ppl must have thought who is that nutter woman…..my partner at the time said i will never bring you to one of these shows again…I said yea good idea and we argued all the way home…

    Like

  2. Ann(USA) permalink
    August 20, 2010 12:27 pm

    This is beyond comprehension and the mental state of those that let this happen should be investigated for abuse and mistreatment of an animal. Not even a mamma is safe. Who has the right to kill a being in such a state. There should be investation into this and someone needs to be brought to justice. I can’t imagine a pregnant cow killed. That is mentally unstable.

    Like

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