Did your hamburger have a face?

After watching his fellow cows get shot in the head with a captive-bolt gun and dismembered, a terrified steer made a run for his life. The steer crashed through an unlocked door at a Michigan slaughterhouse and darted across five lanes of traffic, leading Union Township police on a mile-long chase. But his desperate bid for freedom was in vain. Police finally cornered the exhausted animal, shot him, and hauled his body back to the slaughterhouse with a tow truck.

The steer had been purchased at the county fair, making it likely that he was some child’s 4-H project. One can only imagine his fear and bewilderment at being torn away and sent to a strange, noisy place that smelled of blood and death. What a lesson in betrayal: This steer may have grew up being groomed, fed, cared for, and made to feel safe, and then suddenly his life was cut short?sold off to the highest bidder.

As this steer proves, animals raised for food don’t want to die—given half a chance, they will fight for their lives until the very end. Please, don’t eat anyone who would run away from you if he or she could.