At the time of this story it is Australia Day 2015, over 35 degrees and I am at least 5 days, not really sure but I was taken from my mother yesterday. It is now after 9 am and I am in a pen approx 1m x 2m with my friend who I met on the truck while being transported here and he is very very frightened. My mother said through painful tears, as I was forcibly taken away from her, to be brave, hold on to my dignity and help my friends and one day she would meet again when our lives as we know it are over. She also said some angels would come to visit me.
My name is Jack and I am a ‘bobby’ calf, I am considered wastage to the dairy industry as I cannot breed and this morning I will either be sold to a veal buyer where I will suffer further to produce ‘beautiful white meat’ to please the palate…. Or I will go straight to the slaughter house to be killed for goodness knows what. I have been told this is the better option.
It is now 10 am and we are cramped in our pens standing in a mud mix of faeces and urine, it is incredibly hot, and the smell is nauseating. We have not been fed or given water for over 24 hours and there is no water here for us, we are all hungry, so very thirsty and most of us are curled up in fear. My friend said if he curls up small enough maybe the auction man with the prod won’t see us. I know what is going to happen but I keep quiet, I must be strong for my friend. He is so weak.
A potential buyer is checking us all out, he grabs and twists my ears till I bow in submission and then wacks me across the face then proceeds to punch me repeatedly with his big open hand and walks away. I do not know why, but I hope he does not come back. I am still standing, just and I have my dignity and I will help my friends through this.
I think it is about 10.30am now, getting a bit fuzzy as very dehydrated and overwhelmed with fear and the auction starts. People are watching the first pen, two ‘bobby’s’ here are curled in the faecal mud, trying to hide. No chance, the big auctioneer with his electric cattle prod pokes them repeatedly till they stand up, which they do and are sold. The next pen has four ‘bobby’s and I have made friends with Smithy who is very weak and ill. The auctioneer uses the electric prod on Smithy once, but he just flinches in pain, then again Zapp, Zapp, Zapp. I can hear the electric shots and see him tremble I try to tell him to stand up but he is so weak. They prod his face and I hear his pain, I lose count but at least 5 shocks were given and they eventually give up. My turn, I am ready and only two for me and I am standing anyway. It is so gut wrenching watching my friends suffer, I do not feel very strong.
Then, just before I sink into despair I look up and there are three ladies, with tears and such pain in their eyes I feel heartbroken for them. They are witnessing our torture and abuse and then I know these are the angels my mum promised. They all have cameras and I know then that none of this suffering will be forgotten; I know others will see this and it will not stay hidden forever.
When the auction is over, the smallest angel comes to me and gives me a life time of love and pats whilst the other angels film. I have my dignity and I now have hope for a future that something will be done. Thanks to these ladies I can endure whatever is to come my way and will not surrender to my abusers.
However I die, prolonged and suffering in the veal farm or straight to the slaughter house where I can only hope it will be quick, I accept my fate knowing others will know the story of ‘bobby’ calves and the cruel dairy industry. By the time you read this my life will be over, I was lucky as the veal buyer did not like me, I am just wastage. See you soon Mum; I was brave to the finish.
My name is Jack and this was my story.