Posted on Jun 01, 2017
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
When the six cows first escaped the slaughterhouse, we watched with the rest of the nation, speechless. When they were returned to the slaughterhouse, we cried, helpless. When the slaughterhouse offered them up to a sanctuary, we watched, holding our breath, sure that someone local would free them. But… the days passed and no one stepped up. The reason that other sanctuaries would not rescue them is because they fundamentally did not believe in giving money into the very pockets that we are trying to save animals from. I want you to know that we agree!
We never want to purchase animals and pay money to puppy mills or meat packing plants or research labs. We do not want to empower them with our dollars to turn around and torture someone else. We are completely aligned with that philosophy and have many times over the years taken that exact same stance. However, when it came to these six cows, we just could not stand by and watch them die. We decided to save them anyway, and we are so glad that we did.
There was a go-fund-me campaign already set up by the good people of St. Louis to purchase their freedom, wasting those funds helped no one. The six cows were the only animals in the slaughterhouse at that time, so it wasn’t like we were leaving anyone behind. At the end of the day, standing on principle to watch them die made no sense to us. These cows made national news and had the world’s attention. Having them die served no purpose. The animal lovers would go back to feeling hopeless and the ones who did not care would go back to their apathy. These cows clearly wanted to live and had a message for the world. Saving them would continue their story and deliver their message.
It is because they lived that hundreds of people have already adopted a plant-based diet. It is because they were saved that a new Gentle Barn will be created. It is because they survived that thousands of children will interact with them and gain hope and inspiration to survive their own stories. It is because they were rescued that thousands of people will come to meet them, hug them, hear their stories of resilience and be inspired to be gentler, and in return help even more animals.
The Gentle Barn is a circle of healing where we save animals, the animals inspire people, and the people learn to be kinder to animals. It would have been a travesty to destroy these animals and their light with them. It would also have been a tragedy to put these animals in a pasture to live out the rest of their lives undisturbed. These cows with their brilliant light and tremendous energy will come home to The Gentle Barn, recover from their PTSD, learn to trust people, become hugging saints, and change the hearts and minds of Missouri forever!
Here are just a few of the hundreds of emails we have received from people all over the world in just the last few weeks. Can you imagine the impact Chico and his brothers will have once they’re part of our program?!
“Since I encountered the six escapees from St Louis I have been meat free and working on being vegan!! It is so good to know and feel...I am not partaking in the merciless slaughter of innocent sentient beings!!!!”
“Chico, Chico. Chico. Chico did something to me. When I saw his great escape and his fight for life, he did something to me. I gave what i could. Chico is amazing. I haven't been able to eat meat since his fight for life. And I probably will never eat meat again.”
“I will be donating $100 soon so I can get his awesome picture that has meaning to me. I have not eaten beef since the day they escaped. I am trying to change my lifestyle as a personal choice. Thank you The Gentle Barn for all you do! I am in St. Louis and will hopefully be volunteering and visiting soon!”
We have four more days to raise the funds to purchase our new property in St Louis. We are almost there but need you and your generosity to get us across the finish line. Please donate at https://www.gofundme.com/gentlebarnstlouis and please share! Thank you for being our gentle family and loving animals with us!