As Australians, we love the underdog. We cheer on the unlikely hero, hoping they'll overcome all odds, and get the happy ending they deserve. When I heard of the mass cow breakout in Broome earlier this week, there was part of me that couldn't help but cheer the heroes on.
Of course, I realise that when cows are on the loose their own welfare is at risk. But sadly, where they were headed before they escaped was likely to be much worse. And their dash for freedom was a little reminder that if animals had a choice, there would be no live exports and no slaughterhouses.
Broome is an absolutely beautiful place. Unfortunately it's also a loading port for Australian cattle being sent overseas. I'm sure I don't need to tell you that animals who are exported don't have much to look forward to. The journey is stressful enough, but even that doesn't compare to being slaughtered fully conscious in a country with no animal cruelty laws. (btw, you can help end the trade with just 30 seconds of your time).
Now, cows aren't dumb, so it's no big surprise that some of them made a daring moo-ve (awful pun, sorry) to escape. In a stirring moment, around 50 of the bovine rebels made a break for it! Some dashed inland, some headed to the coast.
This story of animals making a break for freedom is one that occurs many times throughout the year. Sometimes the lucky escapees even get to live full, contented lives on sanctuaries. This particular incident is tinged with sadness though. Of the cows that escaped, 16 headed out to sea, with only seven able to be rescued. The rest drowned.
On the flip side, around 20 of the "Friesian Fighters" (a nice pun for the cow fanciers out there) are still livin' large, roaming the scrublands around Broome! How long they'll be free for is anyone's guess, but I've got my fingers crossed that they never again see the inside of a truck, ship or slaughterhouse.
Maybe the Broome escapees had found inspiration in this song?
n.b. Of course, I'm not suggesting that cows be armed with rifles. That would be ridiculous -- like suggesting that 12 year olds be allowed to go hunting by themselves (or tbh ... at all!). That'd be nuts! Oh wait ...