Rebellious cattle case file #3: Australian steer too huge to be slaughtered

Screenshot: NTDTV

As humans, many of us fall into easy, lemming-like complacency, mindlessly marching to and from work, the gym, the bar. Do we ever stray from the pack? Do we ever take a stand? For many of us: Hardly ever, sadly.

Fortunately, we can look to inspiration from our friends in the animal kingdom, where some dare to dream and aim for bigger things. Bears that venture into liquor stores, and dogs who succeed at grifting humans. We take considerable comfort from the bovine community, where we can find some distinct examples of rebellion. Like that Polish cow who bolted on its way to the slaughterhouse, to spend its time idyllically swimming from island to island. Or the herd of cows that snarled up traffic after their truck overturned. And now, we have Knickers, the giant Holstein-Friesian steer from Australia.

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At 6 feet 4 inches tall and more than 2,800 pounds, Knickers is, as The New York Times points out, “roughly the height of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson but weighs about 11 times as much.” Knickers is so big, in fact, that he (he is a steer, not a cow) is too big for slaughterhouse equipment, ensuing his survival. His owner, Geoff Pearson, who owns thousands of cattle in Myalup, a small town south of Perth in Western Australia, enthuses, “He was always a standout steer.”

Sure, who knows how much Knickers had to do with his own growth, but still: Another animal breaking out of the mold! And it looks like Knickers has the potential to be influential, as “his reward for escaping the literal chopping block will be a life of coaching other animals on how to live their lives at the farm, Mr. Pearson said. The other animals have taken to him.” We expect further rebellious cow stories to be forthcoming.

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Gwen Ihnat

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.