Before we get into some yummy home cooking basics I simply needed to stop by and tell you all about the story of Justice. I must admit that when I heard about his story, I sat in my car and cried, but for once they weren’t sad tears, as usually happens when I read about our animals. This time, I was emotional over the beautiful tale of this very lucky male cow. Of course I had to share it with you.
Justice, originally nameless as all other cows sent to slaughter, had been a very unlucky cow. Raised in a factory farm, forced to undertake horrible living conditions and treatment, undergoing painful procedures without anaesthesia, and eventually, like all cows, forced with brutality unto a truck which would then take him to a slaughterhouse. In the midst of desperation inside that truck, Justice managed to burst through the doors, jump on the road and run for his life, where he met the shot that saved his life. Due to the fact that Justice was running rampant and was considered a possible danger to people and property, animal control shot him with a tranquillizer gun. Where’s the happy ending in this story? When a cow is shot with a tranquillizer gun, it makes its meat unfit for human consumption, and Justice (still a nameless cow by then) was sent to the Peaceful Prairie Animal Sanctuary in Colorado. Keep reading… we haven’t gotten to the good part yet.
Upon arrival, Justice was absolutely traumatized by the life he had lived since birth. He feared humans with every fiber of his being, even these new wonderful humans that would care for him and give him a new life. He felt no desire to move or run, he stood still in horror.
Everything changed when Justice met Sherman, another cow that took him under his “wing” and changed his life forever. In the midst of paralyzing fear, Sherman decided to help. He sat next to Justice, and understanding his pain, he began to lick him. Sherman licked his head, his ears, his cheeks, his nose. He licked… and licked… and licked for hours and hours, until Justice was ready to begin his new life, away from fear, and surrounded by his new friends. Justice has lived in sanctuary blissfully since then, and has officially become the sanctuary’s welcome wagon. Just as Sherman did with him, he is the first one to approach the van that transports new residents to the sanctuary, he escorts them inside, and he begins to lick. He licks… and licks… and licks, until hope removes the sadness and fear from the eyes of cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, goats and all other creatures that join the gang. No matter how small or large the animal is, Justice is there, licking their heads until they’ve calmed down and are ready to join the flock.
Many years have passed since Justice joined the Sanctuary, he is now getting older and slowing down, and here’s the beautiful third act of this story. Justice has taught another male cow, Frank, to greet new residents in the same way, and Frank now licks away while Justice rests in the grass enjoying his retirement in absolute freedom and joy.
Isn’t this story heartbreaking in the best possible way? This is just one of the hundreds of stories of the courageous, sweet, temperamental, moody, funny and loving creatures that now live in sanctuaries around the world. There are just as many stories as animals, since just like us, each of them has their own personality, their own likes and dislikes, and their own happy and sad life stories. While I was researching the story of Justice, I came across this incredible book by No Voice Unheard. These kinds of tales, including Justice’s, fill the beautiful pages of this book. If you want to get that warm fuzzy feeling in your heart, and see why these animals should have rights just like us, and are just as deserving of a full, safe and happy life, I cannot recommend this one highly enough. I bet you’re wondering why the book is called Ninety-Five, they are the number of animals saved by one person eating a vegan diet for only one year. One year! Imagine a lifetime…amazing!
The photo of Justice at the beginning of this post is a closeup of the cover of the book, and is of course a portrait of Justice, this scared and tortured beauty who found a second chance in life and has payed it forward ever since.