Running for Her Life: One Cow’s Fight for Freedom

Written by Erica Meier

Freedom

In late May, Yvonne, a six-year-old slaughter-bound cow, escaped from a German farm and ran for her life.

In her quest for freedom, she spent nearly 100 days hiding in the forests of Bavaria. Garnering international attention, she eluded capture by police, farmers, countless good samaritans and animal advocates, and hunters (until authorities called off the “hunt”). Some joined the search in hopes of taking home a $14,500 reward offered by Bild, a German tabloid. A radio station rented a helicopter equipped with thermal imaging cameras, animal advocates tried to lure her with a bull ox, her sister, and her son while animal psychics attempted to talk with her — all to no avail.

Against the odds, Yvonne, who had been just days away from slaughter when she bolted from the farm, had escaped a certain death. She was determined to preserve her newfound freedom — and her life.

According to the Guardian, after more than three months on the run, Yvonne is now safe at Gut Aiderbichl, a nearby animal sanctuary. She was finally caught by an area farmer who said Yvonne wandered into his meadow to befriend his cows, and he managed to coax her into a fenced field. She didn’t give up that easily though. Her spirited resistance required the assistance of tranquilizers to safely transport her to the sanctuary where she has been reunited with her rescued son and her sister.

Yvonne’s story has captured the hearts of caring people everywhere. Her bid for freedom and her determination to survive offer a powerful reminder that, like dogs and cats, animals raised for food are intelligent individuals who value their lives and are capable of experiencing pain, fear, and joy. In other words, the arbitrary line we draw between animals we pet and animals we eat is simply that—arbitrary.

Thankfully, expressing our compassion for all animals is as simple as choosing to leave them off our plates. In honor of Yvonne, why not make your next meal a vegan one?