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PETA says it plans to put up a billboard like this in the Wichita area as a way to recognize the cow that ran away from Richards Cold Storage.

PETA: Runaway cow brave
By Chris Strunk
Last Updated: February 14, 2019

She's been called a brave victim.

The cow that bolted from Richards Cold Storage in downtown Valley Center Jan. 31 and led officers and others on a chase northwest of town will be memorialized on a billboard.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) emailed The News last week and said it plans to place a billboard showing a cow's face next to the words "I'm ME, Not MEAT. See the Individual. Go Vegan" in "honor of the cow" somewhere in the Wichita area.

"PETA has contacted billboard companies in the area and we are awaiting information on available inventory," Audrey Shircliff, PETA's assistant press coordinator told The News.

The 1,200-pound cow was being offloaded into Richards Cold Storage on Main Street to be slaughtered early Jan. 31. The animal spooked, knocked over Marvin Richards and ran onto Main Street and then north on Ash. It made its way to Fifth Street and then northwest following the railroad tracks. An officer tried to corral the animal, but was forced to shoot it as the cow ran toward him.

The cow changed direction and then continued to trot north on the tracks. It turned west onto the flood-control dike and into a field, where it was eventually lassoed by its owner.

The cow was returned to Richards Cold Storage and was later slaughtered.

"This cow's desperate attempt to escape the slaughterhouse knife is a reminder that animals are individuals who value their own lives and don't want to die," says PETA Director Danielle Katz. "PETA hopes to pay tribute to her bravery and her will to live with a billboard urging people to help prevent others from suffering in this way by keeping cows and all other animals off their plates."

PETA called the cow's fate a "violent, bloody death."

Steve Richards with Richards Cold Storage said the process they use to slaughter a cow is quick and humane.

"It's been going on quite awhile," he said. "We've been doing it here since 1942."

Richards said PETA has a right to express its opinions.

However, he added, "I'd ask them if they wear belts or shoes or even if they wear makeup; a lot comes from cows."

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