Never a dull moment in California. The CA Recall Election has now gotten competitive. After political pundit and talk radio host Larry Elder fought the power and won his right to be on the ballot, the race is heating up, and the national press is waking up to the fact that change is occurring in California.
So, what does the paper of record in Sacramento choose to report on?
A new billboard erected by animal rights groups honors 41 cows that escaped from a Southern California slaughterhouse in June.
“Remember the Pico Rivera 41,” urges the billboard, which also encourages viewers to “Save animals.”
On June 22, 41 cows fled the Manning Beef slaughterhouse in Pico Rivera after an employee left a gate open, KCBS reported. The escape sparked a stampede down city streets into a residential neighborhood, where a sheriff’s deputy killed one cow that charged a family.
You’re joking, right?
Apparently not. Not to be outdone, the Los Angeles Times, which pretends to be an actual newspaper, and succeeds on occasion, is doing a series on the current drought. The writer used the escaped cow story to reflect on how drought has and will adversely affect the bovine population:
The great cow escape happened on a June evening. 40 cattle made a break for it through the streets of Pico Rivera in a sprint for their lives.
The fugitives were property of Manning Beef, last meatpacker of its kind in L.A.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) July 21, 2021
You cannot make this stuff up, but apparently, SacBee and L.A.Times are giving it the old, college try.
The L.A.Times piece opens with the Pico Rivera great cow escape, but then moves into a history lesson about the California drought of 1864, and what happened to the cattle culture of Southern California. The writer acknowledges it wasn’t pretty, cows died from starvation or were euthanized. Ranchers went bankrupt. All a cautionary tale that we must treat Mother Earth and the animals with more compassion than we do now.
Two of the cows who stayed on the lam were ultimately found and given to an animal sanctuary, so the writer uses the two survivors to home in their object lesson.
One was found roaming around Whittier Narrows Park in South El Monte two days after its escape. The second was found a week later trotting along the 60 Freeway on its way to La Puente. Grammy-winning songwriter Diane Warren and others donated money and time so that the two were spared a trip to the abattoir and instead went to animal advocacy group Farm Sanctuary, which runs a 40-acre rescue ranch in Acton, on the edge of the Antelope Valley.
Jess Due, the nonprofit’s national care director, told me the public was already clamoring to meet the pair, now named June B. Free and Susan. They’re currently in quarantine, a standard procedure for any new animals to ensure they’re disease-free, then will join Farm Sanctuary’s 140 other rescued animals — among them, nine rescued steers and cows — for visitors to coo at and photograph.
I was able to score a private audience with June B. Free and Susan last week.
They went through a horror movie,” Due said, before yelling at them, “I love you! You’re kinda badasses, you know?”
They were. They were alive. They had cheated certain doom by figuring out how to flee their fate.
Now, let’s see if we can put our allegedly big Homo sapien brains to use to wrangle the stampede of inexorable drought.
My first thought: I wonder what this writer thinks about human trafficking? The illegals full of COVID overrunning the border and affecting the lives of us “big Homo sapiens” in horrific ways? Or how about the Governor of this very state and its elected leaders who make it next to impossible for farmers, ranchers, and small concerns to not only manage a drought, but to make a living? Has it crossed the writer’s mind that this same Governor, and some of those elected officials, are on the Recall chopping block because us Homo sapiens are fed up with their bad policies that make life near impossible to live in Southern California for both Homo sapiens and bovines?
But let’s weave a tale about how two escaped cows represent our human excesses and their need for survival trumps our own.
Two of the escaped cows were donated to an animal sanctuary, but the others were rounded up and returned to the slaughterhouse, where they were killed, KNBC reported.
“I am in the meat business,”’ Anthony Di Maria, chairman of Manning Beef LLC, told the station.
Animal rights groups said in a statement they wanted the escaped cows to be remembered.
So the animal rights activists pay to get them a billboard, which gets them a lot of free press. Fire your publicists! All you really need is to align yourself with some escaped cows.
These cows and animals like them want to live like we do,” said Ellen Dent, co-founder of Animal Alliance Network. “The connection needs to be made that it is not ‘what’ people are eating, it is ‘who’ they are eating.”
Dent said she hopes the mass escape will be a “pivotal moment” to inspire change.
“This billboard serves as a reminder that animals are sentient beings that should be treated with compassion and respect,” said Katie Cleary, founder and president of Peace 4 Animals and World Animal News. “With so many delicious plant-based food options now available, there is simply no justification for cows, or any animals, to be senselessly slaughtered for their meat.”
“Senselessly slaughtered”? No, that’s never good. But wouldn’t your cause be better served by focusing on the government policies that allow this type of concern to prosper, while mom and pop farmers and ranchers go bankrupt?
Better yet, wouldn’t the public be better served by providing digital ink and line copy to actionable solutions like water de-salinization, water reservoirs, and why we have had 5 California governors in my lifetime who haven’t bothered to lift a finger or re-craft policy to help implement these types of projects in order to mitigate our drought seasons?
That would be too much like journalism, and with both of these corporate concerns, that ship sailed a long time ago.