Six Escaped Cattle, $16,000, and Confusing Narratives

In St. Louis last week, six steers managed to escape a slaughterhouse, running through the streets as animal enforcement, police officers, and others attempted to corral them into human control and back into the meat processing facility.

The ordeal was on local news, with even a Facebook livestream featuring footage from a news helicopter.

The escape caught some people's attention, with people cheering the cattle on in comment sections. But when the fate of the escapees seemed less optimistic, there were attempts made to call the slaughterhouse and negotiate the animals' release.

Ultimately, though, it was not comments on online videos or even phone calls and voicemails to the facility. In an interesting development, one man managed to raise over $16,000 through a crowdfunding campaign. The money ultimately went to an organization called Gentle Barn, which then, according to St. Louis Today, purchased the cows from the slaughterhouse for "an undisclosed sum".

This might sound controversial to some. Indeed, the St. Louis Today article mentions how the creator of the $16,000 crowdfunding campaign "came under pressure from the animal-rights group Farm Sanctuary," as the organization opposes helping fund slaughterhouses by paying for animals.

Interestingly, the man responsible for the crowd funding page is quoted as saying "I just really want to separate our cause from theirs,” referring to Farm Sanctuary.

A perhaps perplexing statement for many, but it likely underscores how certain events can be almost depoliticized and disconnected. That the man who raised and donated thousands of dollars to save six cattle was able to make a distinction between the cause he helped with and the cause of Farm Sanctuary seems unusual, but unfortunately not too surprising.

However, the six cattle will, at least, stick together on one of The Gentle Barn's properties.

Maybe this story did have a happy ending, for some.