There are all sorts of strange and unexpected things to be seen on the streets of New York City, but one thing that can make even New Yorkers do a double take? A cow. This week a cow escaped a slaughterhouse in Queens and got the chance to wander the Big Apple for a while before finally being caught again. But there's good news for this sight-seeing bovine: the cow has been rescued by an animal activist and will spend the remainder of his days at an animal sanctuary in New Jersey. And despite the general New York attitude towards Jersey, something tells me the big city cow won't mind the move.
The cow, who was scheduled to be killed at the Archer Live Poultry and Meat Market on Friday, escaped the slaughterhouse on Thursday around noon and proceeded to wander merrily around the streets of Queens. Workers say that after arriving from upstate, the cow slipped out of a pen and they couldn't catch him. Once out on the street he was quite the welcome surprise for plenty of Queens residents.
“I thought holy cow!” one 31-year-old onlooker told NY Daily News. “I’ve been upstate, and I haven’t seen cows running in the street.”
Eventually, the cow was cornered by police in a parking garage and its bid for freedom came to an end — though in our hearts, of course, he, like the llamas, will always run free.
But although he was returned to the slaughterhouse and was still scheduled to be killed on Friday, a representative of the Skylands Animal Sanctuary in Wantage, N.J., Mike Stura, convinced the slaughterhouse to let him take the cow — who he has since named Freddy, after Freddy Mercury.
Cue up a moving rendition of "Don't Stop Me Now" please.
After hearing about Freddy, Stura called the owner of the slaughterhouse. "I was able to get the owner on the phone right away and at first he was pretty receptive," said Stura, 49. "But he said the animal was promised to a family that had some big event coming up and he would call them. I impressed upon him several times that 38 billion cattle go to the food industry. It's nice if one lives once in a while."
And it seems Freddy is the cow that one the one in 38 billion jackpot (with luck like that, he should have bought a Powerball ticket) and will get to live out the remainder of his natural days at an animal sanctuary.