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but I also know that usually animals are treated well, killed humanely and eaten, and that's better than throwing little roosters in the food grinder and never caring.
...Reverend Mary. She turns out to be a genuninely nice person writing (badly) about a real cattle-mutilation scare that took place around Pullman, Idaho in the 1970's. Because her husband was an insurance agent at the time who handled many of the local ranches, she was rather close to events but saw only one side, the cattlemen's. And an Idaho cattleman is a living remnant of the 1800's.
The FBI were called in and they told the locals that the mutilations were being done by 'witches' from Arizona who had a secret cult site just over the Canadian border from which they were swooping down to mutlialte American cattle. Like there aren't any cows in Canada?
Most likely the whole story -- and possibly the mutilations -- was concocted by the Feds to keep the locals away from some sort of ongoing investigation -- given the Arizona/Canada connection, probably drug trafficking.