Yesterday, as you are all aware, was a busy news day for St. Louis. Six cows escaped from the Star Packing Co. and led St. Louis police on a wild steer chase. KTVI and KMOV both live streamed the mad cow chase for most of the cattle’s mis-adventures (I’ll assume - I had to turn the cows off to watch a highway collapse in Atlanta, because it was a Thursday and what else is going to happen in Atlanta on a Thursday?), and it made for riveting TV.
KMOV had the best segment of the chase, though. One cow, who was thought to be corralled, made a break for it and managed to evade several STLPD SUVs and cars who were trying to steer her to a place where she could be fenced in and re-corralled. They boxed her in roughly six times, but every time they thought they had her (her? Him?), she found a gap and bolted.
During the entire misadventure, I sat on my couch wondering if someone would spearhead an effort to get these cows out of their death sentence and on to a farm somewhere. After all, a jailbreak that well planned deserved a reward.
Thankfully, local podcaster Kelly Manno, famous for her GoFundMe page that sent a literal box of shit to Rams owner Stan Kroenke, was on the scene. In a dinosaur suit. With a sign that said “Run Forrest Run!”
While she was on the scene, around 4:30 p.m., the cow was apprehended. And that's when things got serious. "A real human element started to kick into me," Manno says. "His big brown eyes just looked into mine and I started shouting, 'Where are you taking him?'"
Manno is emphatically "not a PETA person" — and not even a vegetarian. But something had been triggered within her, and when no one would tell her the next step, she got in her car and defiantly followed the trailer as it carried the cow away. Still half-dressed in her dinosaur suit ("I had to unzip the top while I was driving," she acknowledges), she followed the vehicle all the way back to the Star Packing Co.
"I started yelling at the slaughter clinic that I wanted to buy the cow," she says. When they told her it would be $1,800, she vowed to write a check the very next day.
At home, she turned to GoFundMe — and also sleuthing. She tracked down the slaughterhouse owner, and, she says, made a deal over the phone. Funds in hand — thanks in part of a generous donation from Kelly Backes (wife of Blues star David Backes, and the founder of the nonprofit Athletes for Animals) — her campaign quickly hit its $2,000 goal. She says she'll be getting Chico today.
Yep, you read that right. Kelly Backes, wife of former Blues captain David Backes and co-founder of Athletes for Animals, helped save Chico. Manno volunteers with the organization, and Mrs. Backes helped her through the process of negotiating for Chico’s safe release to a farm (not a metaphor for something else - an actual farm) where she never has to navigate the poorly paved streets of North City again.
No word on the other five cows and their fate, but hopefully they will be sent to literal farms as well and not the big farm in the sky.
Chico deserves some needed R&R, because I’m sure cows aren’t supposed to run that much - especially not from the fuzz.