Masami Yoshizawa and his fellow Japanese cattle ranchers were forced to abandon their animals after the nearby nuclear plant in Fukushima experienced a meltdown, causing radioactive materials to leak into the environment. Now, Yoshizawa has returned to his land, against the government’s orders, tending to his cattle and the deserted cows of his neighbors. Even though the nearly 360 animals in the man’s care cannot be slaughtered for consumption, the ex-rancher told The New York Times that the cows are victims of human folly as well, and that they should not be killed just because they can no longer be used as food. The Japanese government has ordered the animals to be euthanized, but Yoshizawa refuses to end their lives, noting that it is an attempt by the system to cover up the devastating effects of the Fukushima accident.
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