Beast of Burden No More
This is a handsome bullock named Houshya. He is—or, rather, was—a working bullock in India. “Working” for him meant spending 18 long years pulling a heavy cart loaded with bricks, oil drums, or whatever other goods his impoverished family was paid to move. But now, Houshya (which means “Hush!”) is old and tired, and he no longer has the strength to pull the heavy loads along the pitted dirt roads as quickly as he once did. His owner considered selling him but knew that it wouldn’t be long before Houshya slowed down so much that his new owner would send him to the slaughterhouse to be killed for his meat and skin.
So even though the deeply poor family could have used the money from selling Houshya, they agreed that it wouldn’t be right and sacrificed their income in order to save him. He has now been donated to Animal Rahat, where he will spend the rest of his life in retirement, under a shade tree, grazing and drinking water at will. He will also be given vitamins to help ease him into old age. The look on his face shows that he can’t quite believe his new life!
Already, his nose rope, which has left its mark, has been replaced with a fine white halter. Piercing animals’ nostrils is painful, and over time the rope cuts into the bull’s sensitive skin.
Animal Rahat—a PETA-supported organization that provides veterinary care to working animals in India—is one of PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk’s favorite projects. She recently traveled to India and paid a visit to Sangli, where Animal Rahat works hard to provide relief for bullocks like Houshya who toil long days hauling goods ranging from sugar cane to gasoline. You can read more about her trip on her blog, and you can help these gentle animals by making a donation to Animal Rahat.
Written by Alisa Mullins