Every time we see an animal on the news who’s escaped from a slaughterhouse and gone running through busy streets, dodging cars and fate, we root for the animal.

We root for the animals, because we know that if they don’t escape, they’ll be killed. But do the animals know? If slaughterhouses aren’t terrifying places, why would animals risk their lives to escape? Why would they panic when approaching the kill floor?

These videos show that animals know when they’re in line to die and that they do everything they can to save themselves, just like we humans would!

Cow Breaks Free From Slaughterhouse in Queens

Freddie the cow began his journey for freedom when he escaped from a slaughterhouse in Queens, New York, and ran through the busy streets of the city. According to reports, his daring escape happened just in the nick of time—he was scheduled to be slaughtered the next day. Luckily, Freddie’s story ended happily when he was rescued by a sanctuary with the help of PETA..

Now, he has nothing to run from. 🙂

Brave Pig Risks Life to Get Away From Slaughter Truck

The transport to slaughter can be just as terrifying as the slaughterhouse for pigs, who are complex, intelligent animals with good long-term memories and empathy for each other.

Crammed into trucks, pigs struggle to breathe and aren’t usually given any food or water for the entire journey, which is often hundreds of miles long. They suffer from temperature extremes and are forced to inhale ammonia fumes and diesel exhaust. A former pig transporter told PETA that pigs are “packed in so tight, their guts actually pop out their butts—a little softball of guts actually comes out.” How disgusting is that?!

No wonder this pig broke free. It’s unclear from reports what happened to this brave animal after the incident, but one thing is for sure: This pig did not want to die.

Another Bull Escapes Slaughterhouse, Captures Internet’s Heart

Almost a decade before Freddie’s successful breakout, another cow, Herbie, broke free from a slaughterhouse. You can see him enjoying that sanctuary life here, where he’ll never again have to worry about being killed:

If we’re cheering for the animals who escape, we should be cheering for all animals. Why care about one and ignore the rest?

Most animals don’t escape, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t know what’s coming.

The cow in this video is next in line to be slaughtered and frantically tries to back up and find a way out. After being prodded forward, the animal is consigned to his or her fate when the door slams shut. This video isn’t graphic, but it says everything you need to know about how animals feel about being the next in line to die.

Animals feel fear, and they deserve better.

On today’s factory farms, animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy, windowless sheds and stuffed into wire cages or metal crates. They will never raise their families, root around in the soil, build nests, or do anything else that is natural and important to them. They will live their lives imprisoned until they are slaughtered.

But by going vegan, you could save up to 100 animals per year. Animals like these cows:

Or these pigs, saved from slaughter by PETA:

Go vegan today and start saving lives! Animals shouldn’t have to leap from trucks or risk being hit by cars to be saved from a terrifying death.

For help getting started, order PETA’s Vegan College Cookbook! You’ll have simple, budget-friendly vegan recipes in the palm of your hand. 

peta's vegan college cookbook overhead