As I pace the catwalk above the pen where the cow with barcode #743 is lying on the ground, I feel keenly the ethical ambiguity of my research and, more particularly, the problematic dimensions of my presence at the auction. Sitting in the audience at auctions, I position myself in the first or second row of bleachers so that I am at eye level with many of the animals as they move through the auction pen. I watch cows collapse, shake with fear, trip and fall, and bellow to each other across the auction yard. I watch as animals are struck in the face, beaten with rods and shocked with electric prods. And I watch as hundreds of animals are sold without incident or fanfare, destined for the dairy farm, the breeding farm, the slaughterhouse, and the veal crate. My mind races with thoughts of buying even just one of the animals in order to relocate them to a sanctuary and give them a different life. The day-old calves, in a practical way, would be easy to buy (i.e., many of them cost not much more than $15 and, being the size of a large dog, they could easily fit in the back of my station wagon). Instead, I sit there silently. I watch, witness, and document these moments.