I am sure by now that you heard the story of the stressed pregnant dairy cow that was shot 11 times at the state fair when she escaped her confines. She and her calf did not survive the attack. Why was this soon to be mother at the state fair? She was brought there to allow children to watch the birth occur live- a tradition at this event.
In other words - she was an exhibit. In the age of technology, virtual simulations, film and probably even video tape, it seems unnecessary and cruel to force a near term, hormonal, uncomfortable and extremely protective cow to undergo the rigors of travel, confinement, crowds, noise and seemingly threatening behavior by onlookers, to give birth on display. I submit to you that the lesson learned by the audience would not be the wonder of birth but rather, that it is perfectly fine to torment a cow. In this case the cow tried to escape and was gunned down. It was then said that the killing was justified because the cow was"nuts". Notwithstanding her instinct to protect herself and her calf, I would further submit that she was not consenting to be in the show and ran. It hardly seems nutty at all.
There are protests occurring in Sacramento to voice displeasure over this fiasco, but I also wonder:
Did the way she was killed violate animal cruelty statutes?
As an exhibition animal she falls under USDA authority as well. Did this conduct violate the Federal Animal Welfare Act?
Was there a public safety plan for the event that should have been followed in the case of an escape?
Was protocol in fact followed if there was a plan?
Finally, as a civilized, educated, tech savvy and compassionate people, we must demand an immediate end to this birth on display tradition, use every opportunity and tool within our means to teach children respect for animals, and strive to discover new ways to do the same.