Everyone Wants To Save This Little Girl’s Blind Steer From Slaughter
UPDATE: Kane Beef, the meat packing company that purchased Oatmeal the blind steer has posted on its Facebook page that she "will not be processed."
Another report, from Fox4 News, suggests the Fort Worth Stock Show will allow the animal to be given to Texas A&M; University for research.
We'll keep you updated on this developing story.
---------------------------------- In the end, it may not matter that Oatmeal was diagnosed with cataracts so thick he could only vaguely sense light and shapes.
Or that the little girl who raised him in Texas had formed a potent bond with him.
In the end, what may matter most is that Oatmeal the blind steer happens to represent 964 pounds of prime beef.
That hasn't stopped thousands of people from seeing a disabled animal raised in a loving home - and trying to save him.
"I've heard from people across the country, and now, the world," Renee King-Sonnen, who owns Rowdy Girl Sanctuary near Houston, tells The Dodo.
The sanctuary already has 48 bovines savoring its bountiful 96-acre farm. Through a much-shared social media campaign, the group is hoping to make it 49.
But the meat processing company that bought Oatmeal in early February has shown no intention of giving him up, citing a contract with the Fort Worth Stock Show.
"It's out of our hands," Missy Richardson, a spokesperson for Sam Kane, the Corpus Christie meat processor that now owns Oatmeal, tells The Dodo. "It's in the hands of the Fort Worth livestock show."
That's because the show, where Oatmeal was bought, has a contract with buyers stipulating livestock go to slaughter.
It probably didn't seem that way when 13-year-old Kendyll Williams first met Oatmeal as a cataract-ridden calf. She named him after a stuffed cow she had when she was very young, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
But like many kids who raise cows to sell at auction, it was a lesson she would have to learn.
Hundreds of animals are sold every year at the longstanding Fort Worth Stock Show.
"This is what these kids do," King-Sonnen says. "The system provides these young people with the money to go to college, while teaching them that killing the animal at the end of the day is part of the food chain and that they must accept this."
But what happens when a child gets too attached to the animal she raises?
"They have what's called a trail of tears at the end of the day."
Williams wept at the auction, although she had long known it would end like this.
At the time of the sale, she worried Oatmeal would be alone, and that he wouldn't have any friends, or maybe he would hurt himself boarding the trailer, the Star-Telegram reports.
"She's always gotten close to the animals she shows, but she never got this close before," her grandmother, Alicia Mazoch, added.
In the end, Williams hugged and kissed her old friend goodbye.
Transferred to a feedlot, along with 397 animals, Oatmeal is now property of the Sam Kane meat processing company. And all the overtures from Sonnen-King and an army of Oatmeal's supporters seem to have fallen on deaf ears.
When she spoke with an official at the livestock show, Sonnen-King says she was told that it must end like this. If not, "all the kids are going to want to do it."
Think this steer was born not so much to be slaughtered, but loved?
Get in touch with Rowdy Girl Sanctuary through its website to find out how you can support its bid to save this blind steer. You can also contact State Representative Charlie Geren at 817-738-8333, letting him know how you feel about Oatmeal's plight.