Wandering aimlessly among the alleyways and busy streets of Brooklyn, NY, Joey, a young floppy-eared goat around six months old, easily stood out to passersby. Joey’s ear was tagged for slaughter, indicating he most likely escaped from one of the multiple live markets or slaughterhouses scattered throughout Brooklyn and other boroughs in New York City. Upon entering a busy intersection on Hoyt Street, someone took notice of this out-of-place farm animal and called the Brooklyn branch of Animal Care & Control of New York City (AC&C). Though able to rescue him from the city streets, AC&C is not able to keep farm animals in their shelters, so Farm Sanctuary was called, and we welcomed him to our New York Shelter.
Joey is a Boer goat, a larger breed originally from South Africa bred specifically for meat. Around the world goats are often used for their meat, milk and hair. In fact, goat meat consumption in the U.S. has increased by 64 percent from 1999 to 2003, due in large part to increased consumption of ethnic foods, including Latin American, Middle Eastern and Caribbean cuisine. According to a meat industry news source, by October 2004 there were between 30 and 40 live markets in New York City alone, of varying sizes. They provide various types of newly slaughtered meats to local residents, including goat meat. Though goat farming is on the rise nationally, goat meat is in such high demand that the U.S. imports over 18 million pounds each year from both New Zealand and Australia.
Now in safe hands at Farm Sanctuary, Joey will receive a full medical check to make sure he is healthy. He will then be introduced to the other 34 goats residing at Farm Sanctuary’s New York Shelter. All have come from various rescue and abuse cases across the U.S., including one goat, Simon, who was also rescued off the streets of Brooklyn, found near several live markets. Other slaughterhouse escapees residing at Farm Sanctuary’s New York Shelter include Queenie, a cow who escaped a slaughterhouse in Queens, NY, Cinci Freedom, a cow who jumped a 6-foot fence at a slaughterhouse in Cincinnati, OH, and Annie Dodge, a cow who escaped an auction house in Vermont.
Joey is so lucky to have been rescued from the horrors of slaughter. He is young, lively and ready to play! Goats are often compared to dogs in their temperament and personalities. Anyone who has the chance to visit and meet Farm Sanctuary’s rescued goats will soon realize why. Each goat has a unique personality, worthy of all the love and attention anyone is willing to offer.
Joey and Farm Sanctuary’s other brave escapees are ambassadors for other farm animals unable to free themselves from their slaughterhouse fates. Through his gallant getaway Joey challenges the notion that farm animals are meant for slaughter, disputing the misguided belief that animals exist for human purposes. We are thrilled that Joey has become part of the Farm Sanctuary family and hope, one day, that all goats and other farm animals will be able to live safe from slaughter forever.