by The Chicago Times Staff

June 24, 2021

LOS ANGELES — After a herd escaped from a Southern California slaughterhouse and stampeded through a neighborhood, songwriter Diane Warren stepped in to save the life of a cow that had avoided capture for more than a day.

According to Warren and City Manager Steve Carmona, the Grammy-winning artist contacted the city of Pico Rivera to arrange for the cow to be transported to the Farm Sanctuary north of Los Angeles.  When Warren stepped in, Carmona stated the City Council had previously authorized him to initiate a communication with the owner.

According to Warren, a vegetarian for 23-year, “Cows are extremely intelligent and compassionate animals…They knew there was a door open…When I woke up this morning, I noticed there was one cow that had not been caught yet — and they were trying to catch her and were getting close to her.

I watched her crying and could not take it back.”

Warren, who wrote the LeAnn Rimes hit “How Do I Live” and earned a Grammy for the song “Because You Loved Me” from the 1996 film “Up Close and Personal,” said she felt prompted to act because she runs a farm animal refuge in Malibu.

The cow became a celebrity after going missing in the nation’s most populous county until it was discovered early Thursday morning in the enormous Whittier Narrows recreation area in South El Monte, roughly 10 miles (16 kilometers) east of downtown Los Angeles.

The cow was lassoed by two cowboys, but it knocked down and kicked one of them during the capture, which was broadcast on TV news helicopters.  Sheriff’s deputies in Los Angeles County utilized their patrol cars at one point to restrain the large animal from escaping into rush-hour traffic on a nearby main road.

The cow was one of 40 that broke free from a Pico Rivera slaughterhouse Tuesday evening and raced through a neighborhood, where one was shot and killed when it rushed at a family, and all but one were quickly apprehended.  There was no comment as to if the shot cow was later served with potatoes and A-1.

The fugitive ended up several miles from the Pico Rivera slaughterhouse, which Carmona said has been in business since the 1920s.

The agriculture that once dominated the area has since all but vanished amid urban sprawl.

“This whole thing, it’s so heartbreaking,” Warren said. “Right now, I’m calling it a good moos. A little good moos when there’s so much stuff that isn’t good news. So that was just a little bright spot today.”