Twenty-plus people have died from the extreme heat that's been gripping half of the United States for the past several days. But humans aren't the only ones dropping dead: The Mitchell, South Dakota Daily Republic reports that at least 1,500 cattle have died due to heat exhaustion in the current heatwave. And those are just those which have been reported to the office of the State Veterinarian.The original report lists that the financial loss to ranchers statewide could top $2 million.
But, while there is a financial component to the death of any living being (be it these cattle or any of the people who have died due to excess heat exposure), let's remember that those cattle were living beings as well, not just entries in a ledger book. All were individuals. Certainly different types of individuals with different levels of consciousness, emotions, desires and needs than humans, but individuals nevertheless.