I was greatly inspired by the story of calf 269. He is a male calf that was rescued from an Israeli dairy farm by animal rights activists just before his planned slaughter in June 2013. Male calves are of no use in the dairy industry and in the UK they are usually shot dead very soon after their birth.
On World Farm Animals Day, 2 October 2012, two Israelis, Zohar Gorelik and Sasha Boojor and the Russian activist Oleg Ozerov had the number 269 branded on their skin with a hot iron as an act of fellowship with Calf 269. Boojor went on to create the website 269life.com which declares: “This anonymous male calf will be forever immortalized on our bodies, and hopefully this message of solidarity will somehow bring a new way of looking at non-human animals.” They hoped to make people think about the extreme cruelty perpetrated by the dairy industry such as the routine shooting of new-born male calves.
Protests followed in England and other places across the world. The protests were performed an act of solidarity and empathy towards abused animals exploited by the human race. The protests were aimed at challenging the anonymity of the billions of animals butchered for human consumption every year.
The calf’s story has inspired a world-wide tattoo movement with at least a thousand people branded or tattooed with the number 269. This is my friend and colleague’s tattoo (above). For some the tattoo reminded them of stories of German concentration camps. In England, protestors branded their arms with the number 269, in front of a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in Leeds. A graphic designer from Italy named Carolina Bertolaso, also designed stickers carrying a photograph of Calf 269 and the text “Who are you going to eat today?” She offers the stickers in different languages and has had a huge number of requests for them. Another activist, Camilla Ishoy Stalling, from Denmark, designed earrings resembling the ID tag of Calf 269. The story of this one calf has raised awareness all around the world of the extreme cruelty animals endure on a daily basis…
True compassion begins on the plate. For the full story see www.269life.com