Animal Rights Activists Share Final Moment With Animals Before They Go To Slaughter
DATE: Sunday, 5th July 2020
LOCATION: Taylor Preston's, Centennial Highway, Wellington
On Sunday, Wellington Animal Save will be bearing witness to animals on their way to slaughter, outside Taylor Preston's slaughterhouse. The Save Movement is a worldwide network of groups holding regular vigils outside slaughterhouses to bear witness to animal suffering. ‘It is a ‘love-based, social justice movement’ says Group Co-Organiser Frances Baker ‘and the words of Leo Tolstoy are written into the founding document: 'When the suffering of another creature causes you to feel pain, do not submit to the initial desire to flee from the suffering one, but on the contrary, come closer, as close as you can to him who suffers, and try to help him’. ‘Bearing witness is about being present with the animals before they go into the slaughterhouse, and sharing their final moments.’
Beginning in Toronto in December 2010, in 2016 The Save Movement expanded internationally, and there are now with more than 900 chapters in 70+ countries, including 11 chapters in Aotearoa. NZ.
‘We are a non-violent, peaceful, grassroots animal rights organisation’, says Baker, ‘and our message to the public is to rethink their choices when it comes to eating animals. Connecting with these living beings, documenting their last moments, and sharing these with the public, allows us to give a voice to the voiceless. These individuals that we painfully say goodbye to as they enter the gates of the slaughterhouse have families, and they feel pain and experience emotions (just like our pet dog or cat, or even like us!) They need to be seen for who they truly are; warm, breathing sentient beings.
‘We are here to tell you the truth about animal agriculture. We call on individuals, governments, corporations and other institutions to begin to transition to a vegan food system. We ask the public to think; what would you do if you saw a truck loaded with cats and dogs about to enter a slaughterhouse? Wouldn’t there be an uproar? So, what's the difference between that or a truck full of pigs or cows?’
Recently, in Ontario, Canada, an activist, Regan Russell was brutally killed at a vigil near Toronto, when a truck driver drove into her. Her death, coming just one day before the draconian ag-gag law known as Bill 156, came into effect, has deeply shaken the animal rights activism world. Under the new law that was pushed through by a strong animal farming lobby, activists are forbidden from exposing animal welfare issues on farms and slaughterhouses. Russell was one of many who objected to this law that they say is unconstitutional.
At her peaceful vigils, Russell consistently raised awareness about the plight of pigs and other animals who are thrust into a dirty old truck and sent to what is nothing short than a Hell on Earth. ‘The industry will lead you to believe that your food lived happy lives and are happy to die’, Baker says, ‘but the animals' faces and behaviour on the trucks and in the slaughter line tell a very different story’.
There are 14,000 mother pigs in Aotearoa NZ living in small cages (farrowing crates) where they cannot turn around, or care for their babies properly.
After a dairy cow has been impregnated 3 or 4 times over her lifetime and has had her babies taken away from her at birth, she will mourn and bellow over the suffering of her loved one. When she is ‘spent’, she will be sent to a bloody death – all because humans want to drink her calf’s milk. 2 million baby calves are wasted or killed on a yearly basis.
‘Free range’ is a myth. Chickens are still dying from heart problems and other conditions, and living a miserable life – whether organic or free range. A shocking 1 million hours-old male chicks are mascerated or suffocated every year, simply because they cannot lay eggs.
A gunshot to the head doesn't always kill instantly, resulting in a slow and painful death for the animal being slaughtered.
A large number of slaughterhouse workers suffer from alcoholism, PTSD and depression due to the nature of their work.
Humane death is a lie, animals do not want to die.
Says Baker: ‘Studies and science have shown time and time again that we do not need to eat animals to live healthy lives. Why then do we continue to cause pain and suffering to these innocent creatures? There is no way to humanely kill an animal who doesn’t want to die. This is a justice movement, just like other social justice movements. It is time for us change. With so many plant-based products to eat these days we need to evolve and come together to create a better world – a kinder, gentler, more progressive world - not only for animals but for us.'