August 25, 1998 Letters to the Editor
Via e-mail:
West Australian Newspaper
Private Bag 54
GPO Perth, 6001

Re: Renegade Black Cow

Dear Editor:

Recently, I became aware of Brenda (aka Blackie), the Cow, when a copy of an article appearing in your newspaper was copied to me by an e-mail-pal I have in Australia. The article talked about the damage this lone cow was doing to the Australian countryside after running away from an overturned truck, which was no doubt carting her off to her doom (after all, there are only a few reasons why people load cows on trucks, aren't there?).

Like my friend who shared the article and subsequent details of this continuing tale, I felt worse for this lonely cow, who was just trying to survive the best she could than I did the Australian countryside. People need to learn the risks and consequences of bringing a non-indigenous animal into their environment--its not good for either the animal or the environment. In my opinion, they are more responsible for the damage done to this area than this little bovine. Don't get me wrong. Its not that I do not have sympathy for the fact that there has been environmental damage in this area, but I hope a lesson has been learned by the people who brought her through the area and lost her.

I would not have written to you about this bovine if I hadn't continued to hear more and more about the cow's impressive ability to allude "the long arm of the law," and her sad ending. In her most recent e-mail message to me [my friend, not the cow], she indicated that Brenda/Blackie had been captured, and that the city of Melville, which had promised to retire the bandit cow if/when captured, had instead turned her over to the successful captor, a rodeo promoter. She also told me that some people had offered to purchase the cow from the rodeo promoter at fair market value in order to retire her, but were turned down as the rodeo intends to breed her.

It might seem silly to a lot of people, especially those who might be reading your newspaper over a steak and eggs breakfast or a steak dinner, to stress over one little cow. But, it just seems to me that a cow who worked so hard to allude capture for so long should be allowed, if not her freedom, then at least her retirement from duty and exploitation. With all the hundreds of thousands or millions of cows killed every year around the world, is it so much to ask that this one little cow with a propensity for self-preservation be allowed to live her life.

Thank you for reading and allowing me to speak my mind.

Leigh-Anne Dennison
Lakewood, Ohio, USA

Please note: This letter (edited for brevity) was printed in West Australian Newspaper - "Letters to the Editor" section on August 28, 1998. It appeared under the heading: "Please Don't Hurt Brenda" and below a cartoon of a cow reclining on an outside setee while her agent (human) talks into a telephone saying: "No, you can't speak to Brenda, this is her agent!"

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