“Crimony,” the Sarge says. “The whole town’s gone Hindu.”
According to this week’s Psychic Wonders Bulletin, this is all because of the talking Judas Cow.
In any slaughterhouse operation, the trick is to fool cows into climbing the chute that leads to the killing floor. Cows trucked in from farms, they’re confused, scared. After hours or days squeezed into trucks, dehydrated and awake the whole trip, the cows are thrown in with other cows in the feedlot outside the slaughterhouse.
How you get them to climb the chute is you send in the Judas Cow. This is really what this cow is called. It’s a cow that lives at the slaughterhouse. It mingles with the doomed cows, then leads them up the chute to the killing floor. The scared, spooked cows would never go except for the Judas Cow leading the way.
The last step before the ax or the knife or the steel bolt through the skull, at that last moment, the Judas Cow steps aside. It survives to lead another herd to their death. It does this for its entire life.
Until, according to the Psychic Wonders Bulletin, the Judas Cow at the Stone River Meatpacking Plant, one day it stopped.
The Judas Cow stood blocking the doorway to the killing floor. It refused to step aside and let the herd behind it die. With the whole slaughterhouse crew watching, the Judas Cow sat on its hind legs, the way a dog sits, the cow sat there in the doorway and looked at everyone with its brown cow eyes and talked.
The Judas Cow talked.
It said, “Reject your meat-eating ways.”
The cow’s voice was the voice of a young woman. The cows in line behind it, they shifted their weight from foot to foot, waiting.
The slaughterhouse crew, their mouths fell open so fast their cigarettes dropped out on the bloody floor. One man swallowed his chewing tobacco. A woman screamed through her fingers.
The Judas Cow, sitting there, it raised one front leg to point its hoof at the crew and said, “The path to Moksha is not through the pain and suffering of other creatures.”
“Moksha” says the Psychic Wonders Bulletin, is a Sanskrit word for “redemption”, the end of the karmic cycle of reincarnation.
The Judas Cow talked all afternoon. It said human beings had destroyed the natural world. It said mankind must stop exterminating other species. Man must limit his numbers, create a quota system which allows only a small percentage of the planet’s beings to be human. Humans could live any way they liked so long as they were not the majority.
It taught them a Hindi song. The cow made the whole crew sing along while it swung its hoof back and forth to the beat of the song.
The cow answered all their questions about the nature of life and death.
The Judas Cow just droned on and on and on.