Steer Cleared for Departure: Meat-eaters outbid yuppies, plan to off Bentley

For those of you waiting with baited breath to find out what happened to Bentley the steer -- the cow at the center of the Plain Dealer's riveting five-part series -- we have bad news. His spirit is now in cow heaven, roaming with the the other billion served. And his remains are destined for ... well, we're not sure exactly, but suspect it's somewhere that specializes in all-beef patties. Last weekend at the Great Geauga County Fair, the animal-lovers who tried to save Bentley by buying him at auction were outbid — by a lot. Apparently Bentley was one tasty-looking cow, because he sold for $4,185, a handsome sum for a cow that didn’t even win top prizes in the 4-H Club competition. Sarah Jones and her friends from the “Help Save Bentley” campaign only had $2,927 in donations—which they thought should be plenty, considering that other non-champion steers were bringing in less than $2,000. But some people clearly didn’t want their red-blooded American tradition to be ruined by a group of soft-hearted yuppies with a MySpace page. The bids kept climbing. The winner was Fair board member Howard Bates, a twist that prompted outrage among the Save Bentley camp. Jones and her followers are now planning to try to save a lesser-known animal at another 4-H Club auction. And Plain Dealer editors are wracking their brains trying to figure out how a five-part series about a cow attracted more attention than Dick Feagler’s entire repertoire of humdinger columns. -- Lisa Rab
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