The story of Kendyll Williams, a 13-year-old from Huntsville, Texas, and a steer named Oatmeal is breaking hearts across the country. Kendyll’s family purchased Oatmeal to raise on their farm. Shortly thereafter, they learned he was blind.
The Williams were patient and loving with Oatmeal, who was diagnosed with inoperable cataracts so thick he could likely only detect light and dark shapes.
“They said that being blind meant he wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t drink, that he would get hurt,” said Kendyll. Well, they couldn’t have been more wrong.
Young Kendyll grew especially close to her friend, but knew he’d eventually be sold for slaughter. “I’d go to his stall every day and talk to him,” Kendyll said. “You can’t be rough with him. He doesn’t respond well to roughness. One day, it just clicked. I started gaining his trust.”
On Saturday, the Williams sold Oatmeal for $8,000 at the Fort Worth Stock Show’s Sale of Champions. This is where Kendyll was forced to say goodbye. With tears in her eyes, she told her mom that she’d be OK. A hug and kiss, and the two dear friends, who had been inseparable, parted ways.
Just like dogs and cats, farmed animals are sensitive and form bonds with people. It’s the ultimate betrayal to send them off to an early death when there’s simply no need.
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