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Posts published in “Day: December 20, 2014”

Cows without guns

idaho RANDY

In England, when the Guardian newspaper wrote last week about the great Pocatello cow escape, they tagged the breakout bovines the “Slaughterhouse five.”

British newspapers have a gift, don’t they?

But the first of the animals to break out, a heifer, sounded as if she had been inspired instead by the Dana Lyons song “Cows with Guns.” (“We will fight for bovine freedom/And hold our large heads high . . .”)

On December 12 she jumped a six-foot fence at Anderson Custom Pack and roared into a rampage, running through Pocatello’s north end, butting an animal control vehicle and two police cars. Finally, police shot and killed her. She may have been unarmed but, in truth, becoming dangerous and the stakes were high. (Sorry.)

Two days later four other cows, slated for the slaughter, went missing. Anderson spokesmen said they thought someone had let them loose; there’s not yet been an official determination on that one way or the other. However the escape happened, the animals were soon roaming around town. One of them was captured, and one was shot.

The other two evidently, at this writing, remain at large.

Here’s a problem, because a lot of people may be conflicted.

We don’t want cows roaming our streets, even cows that don’t ram motor vehicles. And a lot of us enjoy our beef (I do), even if we don’t try to devote a lot of thought about how it transitions from live animal to our plates. Yes, if we want our beef there will be slaughterhouses.

At the same time, most people love a good escape story. From “The Great Escape” to “Prison Break” most of us root for the people inside to get out, even if (as in “Prison Break”) some of them really are bad guys. And animals too (think about all those movies featuring an animal caged). We root for freedom, not for captivity. It’s hard not to cheer for the cows.

A few days after the second breakout, with two bovines still out there somewhere, the Farm Sanctuary group called in, and offered to find and take the animals back to their 300 acres at Orland, California, where they would be left to graze for the rest of their natural lives. (more…)

On the front pages


Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Idaho businesses hit by shipping labor issues (Boise Statesman)
Bogus Basin ski off to snowy start (Boise Statesman)
River land donated for Idaho Falls park (IF Post Register)
Bergdahl investigation done (Nampa Press Tribune, TF Times News, Lewiston Tribune, Moscow News)
Protest seeks improved US 95 safety (Lewiston Tribune, Moscow News)
UI considers vaccination madate after mumps arrival (Lewiston Tribune)
Boise State battling over Fiesta Bowl tickets (Nampa Press Tribune)

Haggens buying local groceries (Eugene Register Guard, KF HErald & News)
Big storm headed for Oregon on weekend (Eugene Register Guard)
Carolers asked to leave a Wal-Mart (KF Herald & News)
Walden thinks water bill could pass in 2015 (KF Herald & News)
Medford Elk lodge carter revoked (Medford Tribune)
Oregon has fed deadline on license security (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Pay is increases at Umatilla sheriff's office (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Outdoor medical pot growers reviewing new rules (Portland Oregonian)
Death at state hospital may lead to suit (Salem Statesman Journal)

Sound Transit settles on rail route to Lynnwood (Everett Herald)
Haggen stores plan on 146 more stores (Everett Herald, Olympian)
Weyerhauser retirees see pension cuts (Longview News)
Storm may be coming to Washington (Seattle Times, Longview News)
Spokane police deliver reform plans (Spokane Spokesman)
Pierce cities hiring mental health experts (Tacoma News Tribune)
Inslee says he didn't forget projects for SW (Vancouver Columbian)
Yakima businesses consider carbon tax plan (Yakima Herald Republic)
Former Yakima library system leader dies (Yakima Herald Republic)