Desmond Bellamy, PETA Australia
I’m pretty sure everyone who saw the picture of the wet, cold, bewildered cow struggling in the waves on Old Bar Beach will have felt a surge of pity and sympathy for a fellow being suffering in the awful floods. The exhausted cow was rescued by members of the local surf life saving club, who deserve commendation for a difficult job in dangerous conditions.
But life savers can only save us in that perilous moment. This cow was returned to the farm, to be fattened up and her throat cut while still barely out of her infancy. Cows have an expected lifespan of about twenty years, but are slaughtered at around two. In this brief babyhood, they will usually be separated abruptly from their mothers or else a ring inserted in their noses to stop them suckling, branded, their horns burnt off, and the males castrated with a knife or rubber rings, in many cases with no pain relief. After this litany of horrors lies the slaughterhouse.
Consuming suffering is bad for your health, terrible for the environment and appallingly cruel to animals. The only way to stop both the deliberate and accidental suffering of these animals is to stop eating meat.