I’m writing this at 2 a.m. the day after a fellow activist was killed at a vigil for pigs at Fearman’s Pork slaughterhouse in Burlington, Ontario. I can’t get it out of my mind. This is a vigil I have attended. I have stood on the corners with signs; I have stood at the gate entrance, providing water and succor to the pigs held in captivity in transport trucks. I have bore witness to the cruelty withstood by these baby pigs. I have seen their cuts and bruises from mistreatment; I have watched as they foamed at the mouth out of fear and dehydration; I have witnessed them walking over their dead comrades in the truck, pigs who did not survive the trip. I have seen the result of living beings crammed into a truck for days on end in 40 deg heat or sub zero temperatures, with no food or water, covered in puke and shit. But no body cares about that because “mmm bacon”.
It reminds me of the old photos of the trains running to Auschwitz.
So here I am at 2 a.m., feeling angry, so angry that I’m about to kick some meat-eating butt because apparently, even someone – a human – dying is not enough. There is an uproar now, but when it all dies down, will anything have changed? Oh yes – life will have changed for Regan’s family and friends, but that’s a small price to pay for your Big Mac isn’t it? It doesn’t directly affect you, right? And hey, if we can turn a blind eye to millions of animals brutalized and used as commodities every single day, then the death of one activist is a mere drop in a very big pond.
Let me ask you something: do pictures of the Yulin Dog Meat Festival enraged you, upset you, incense you? Well, what’s the difference between the dog meat festival and the annual ribfest celebrations we hold? It’s a “fest” right? If someone put a plate of luscious ribs in front of you, could you tell if they were dog meat or pork or beef? Bet that’s a big fat fucking NO.
So fuck off with your “the dog meat festival is wrong”, because if that festival is wrong, so is ribfest. They are ribs. Flesh and bone. Does it matter which animal was caged and mistreated and ultimately killed to get it? If it does to you, then you are NOT an animal lover. You are a PET LOVER, and there’s a big fucking difference.
It means you discriminate over which life is valuable and which isn’t – you feel you have the power over life to be able to state unequivocally that someone should be fought for at all costs, but someone else is expendable. And why? Because of their shape? Colour of their fur/skin?…..oh wait…..See what I just did there?
So fuck off.
You can’t be an animal lover and eat meat. You cannot eat meat without perpetuating a vile, gross industry of torturing and killing animals, therefore how can you say you are an animal lover? If defies logic. It simply does.
When shown slaughterhouse images you are disgusted, angered, you know it’s wrong: but you eat that burger on your plate anyway. Knowing. KNOWING. The drivers of the trucks transporting those pigs: they know. The employees clicking away at their keyboards: they know too. But when they take their lunch break and they bite into their bologna sandwiches or leftover chicken wings, they don’t care. It’s disgusting and it’s frustrating for those of us awakened to the reality and fighting to make changes. And when I hear someone died fighting for those changes, and no one is listening and learning, then I fear for our world. Truly.
When you see these images, Yulin Dog Meat Festival or pigs in gestation crates or calves in tiny veal crates, you want social media censored so you don’t have to be affected by the atrocities, but that is the wrong thing. Why aren’t you questioning your revulsion? Why aren’t you trying to find out more about these atrocities you don’t want on your newsfeed? Here’s a thought: rather than burying your head in the sand, or asking social media to bury the images, you should be stopping the actual acts that create the images YOU DON’T WANT TO SEE!
Don’t like seeing images of dogs in cages? Well you can block it but the dogs will still be suffering. Don’t like seeing cows having throats cut and pigs prodded with electric shock batons into a gas chamber? It’s not going to stop just because you don’t see the images anymore. The dogs will still be boiled alive – so will turkeys and chickens for that matter. Just because you don’t see the images on your timeline, doesn’t mean it isn’t still happening. Stop eating meat; don’t kill the messenger.
Don’t censor the truth, change the reality.