After a lifetime in chains, this bull's reaction to freedom will warm your heart
Although we have started to see a noticeable shift in the last few years, I feel like the horror stories attached to factory farming used to revolve around animals just being raised for meat. In reality, however, the day-to-day practices of dairy farms tend to be far more upsetting than those of meat production.
Cows can only produce milk when they are pregnant, and so, from the age of about 15 months, they are usually artificially inseminated. In order to do this, farmers artificially draw semen from a bull and then forcefully impregnate the cow - a disturbing practice most people are unaware of.
As many of us know, factory farming - whether intended for dairy or for meat - relies on animals being kept in solitary and very cramped conditions. Often, it is only when we, the public, are confronted with undercover footage and photographs of their distressing living conditions that we realize just how severe the problem of factory farming is.
But still, little is done to protect the rights of these animals. In fact, according to Rolling Stone magazine, "there are laws in every state barring cruelty to house pets, but almost none that safeguard farm animals."
This very heartwarming video shows the pure joy of a bull named Bandit after he is released from a cramped steel pen in which he had been confined his entire life:
It was posted back in August of 2014 on Gut Aiderbichl, the official YouTube channel for an animal sanctuary which aims to rescue abandoned animals and those in need.
Studies have shown that cattle are a lot more sensitive than we previously thought. Back in 2014, Daniel Weary, a professor in the Animal Welfare Program at the University of British Columbia in Canada, provided evidence which revealed their brains can be permanently scarred as a result of early life trauma.
According to the Daily Mail: "The cows he studied were deeply affected by the emotional and physical pain of early separation from their mothers and dehorning, which changed the brain in a way that led to a negative cognitive bias akin to pessimism."
Weary has also provided evidence that cows, such as Bandit, who are housed in isolation, show increased anxiety and perform poorly on psychological tests.
For far too long, the young bull had no choice but to accept his confinement in this very distressing environment. Unlike millions of other cattle, however, Bandit was eventually fortunate enough to be granted his rightful freedom.
The footage has amassed over 28 million views and it shows a sanctuary worker driving a truck to the site where Bandit is being housed. As soon as he enters the building, Bandit gives the man his full attention and begins gently licking his hand.
The man then realizes he cannot just walk away and so decides to take the affectionate bull with him. When Bandit experiences freedom for the very first time, he immediately seems like a new bull. Full of energy, he excitedly bucks his leg and appears revitalized.
After a few moments spent frolicking and reveling in his newfound freedom, Bandit is loaded into the truck and taken to a new, more liberating home. Following his arrival, he continues to explore before approaching his rescuer and seemingly thanking him.
We wish Bandit the very best for his future!
And for video of pure joy, check out the moment this bear felt sunlight for the first time:
Somebody pass the tissues!