Picture the scene – several thousand pigs, some of them not more than a few weeks old, forcefully crammed inside a barn on a Iowa Select Farm Facility in the USA. Now imagine that same barn with all the pit fans, all the ventilation fans and all the airways blocked and shut off. Envisage scalding hot steam pumped into that barn from the outside. Steam so hot it creates what is essentially a boiling hot furnace inside. Now consider a process whereby those pigs are fundamentally boiled alive, as they gradually suffocate and amid hours of unbearable pain and torture. A process that, if after several hours they are unfortunate enough to have survived, then involves them then being shot through the forehead with a bolt gun.
What I have just described is a COMMON mass extermination process used throughout the world as a way to avoid the cost of keeping livestock alive. Due to the Covid-19 outbreak those pigs were sadly not profitable anymore and the most cost effective way to execute them all, was to boil and suffocate them alive in a 150 degrees steam filled barn in the middle of nowhere.
Imagine being born with the sole intention of ending up on someone dinner plate. Imagine spending you life locked inside a dark putrid barn, sleeping every night on a concrete floor with not even a window to look out of. Imagine after only a few weeks on this earth being herded into an adjacent room, steamed and boiled alive and then dumped in a large pit somewhere, all because you WEREN’T PROFITABLE.
Iowa Select Farms is Iowa’s largest pork producer and the fourth largest in the country. This means that due to the sheer number of pigs they produce, standard methods of confirming death such as pulse-checking, are not performed. This means some pigs can survive the ventilation shutdown, avoid death by bolt gun and end up being buried or crushed alive.
I now ask you this – what difference is there in what took place in that barn, to what took place in some of those concentration camps during the Holocaust. Hitlar and his Nazi men inflicted unimaginable pain and torment to those people in those camps. I need not to go in to detail about what happened, for we are all too aware. Immoral beyond all comprehension. Hitlar is now widely regarded as one of the most evil men to have ever have set foot on this planet (and rightfully so). Yet a company performing the near exact same actions on large groups of pigs, is simply regarded as every day BUSINESS.
I do not buy in to this belief that one humans life can be more important than another humans. I do not buy in to this belief that one humans life can be more important than another animals. These creatures want to live just as much as we do, I don’t care what anyone says. Do you think if someone was to drop a human and a pig, or a human and a dog in the middle of the ocean, that whilst the human was kicking and thrashing for his/her life, the pig or dog would simply accept his fate? I don’t recall it being mentioned in the Bible or the Quran (or any religious book), about God or Mohammed dismissing the importance of animals, I only recall it highlighting their desire for humans and animals to live together in harmony.
They say a dog’s intelligence is similar to a 2 year old child’s. They say a pig can outperform a 3 year old on cognitive tests. They describe them as highly sociable creatures perfectly capable of experiencing a wide range of human emotions. Emotions such as pain, love, happiness and fear. If we were to treat a 3 year old child the way we treat pigs or most other animals, we’d be locked up for life and so we should. Yet because it’s an animal it’s perfectly acceptable to mistreat, abuse and inflict untold suffering on?
I think we have to ask ourselves why that is?
It is 2020. It’s about time we saw past the enchanting elephant rides in South East Asia. It’s about time we saw past the ‘misunderstood culture’ of the Yulin Dog Festival in China. It’s about time we stood up for the millions of farm animals who are forced to endure live transport from places like mainland UK and Australia to all over the world.
Places such as Thailand get millions of tourists every year. If you’ve ever been or watched programmes on TV, then you’ve no doubt witnessed beautiful majestic elephants on the side of the road performing all sorts of weird and wonderful tricks. Elephants doing ‘keepy ups’ with a football, elephants painting a picture with their trunk, and elephants riding a bicycle. You may have also (like me) paid to go on an elephant ride. A fabulous experience sitting atop a 5 ton mammal whilst taking in the pleasant aromas of a new environment.
I so badly wish i hadn’t. Looking back with what I know I am ashamed at what I contributed to. If you don’t know what I am talking about simply do a google search and type in ‘The Phajaan’. You will be appalled. The Phajaan is a centuries old ritual in Thailand that is designed with the sole intention of breaking an elephants spirit. It’s a ritual that exists in virtually every country in Asia that has domesticated elephants. It is their belief that to control an animal you first of all need to make that animal feel pain and fear. To force that animal in to submission by any means possible. Think of prisoners of war captured and forced to endure untold abuse and torment. The only difference is these elephants didn’t choose to go to war. These elephants are often stolen from their mothers or their families at barely a few months old and forced to undergo a life of captivity and a life in chains. The Phajaan is a process which involves keeping the elephant tied up and immobilised in a small wooden cage nicknamed ‘the training crush’. Once in there they won’t leave for months. Whipped, and beaten, nails stuck in their hands and feet, and humiliated continually throughout the day. The elephant is deprived of sleep and made to go days without a drop of food or water, whilst in searing heat and humidity. It is estimated that around half the elephants do not survive this ‘training programme’. Many go insane, and are as a result executed. In many way’s I would consider those the lucky ones. The alternative – a life spent serving humans who see you as one thing and one thing only, a money making object. This for me highlights just how evil and corrupt the human race is. Did you know that in the wild, elephants hold their own funeral when one of their herd dies. They gently touch the deceased members body with their trunks whilst also covering them in leaves and grass. They will often spend days or weeks standing over the body mourning their lost companion. They feel emotion, they too are complex creatures. Yet we feel is acceptable to steal, torture, abuse and imprison them simply because we can. We feel it acceptable to go on our luxurious holidays and pay to ride them, simply because we can. Well I say we are evil, simply because I can.
I would now like to bring your attention to something that happens routinely on UK shores (and around the world) every single year – live animal exports. A process whereby millions upon millions of farm animals are forced on journeys spanning hundreds, if not thousand of miles across land, air or sea. Only to then be slaughtered on arrival, often in the most inhumane of conditions.
This harrowing experience that pigs, sheep, goats, cattle, horse, and many many more animals are made to go through is depraved. It involves them first of all, being crammed on to different types of vehicles (lorries, boats, trains etc) where there is barely enough room to stand, let alone lay down. Often, the more vulnerable ones (i.e young or very old), are quite frankly not able to cope and end up being trampled or crushed to death. It is not uncommon for these animals to be in transit for several days or weeks, with no access to proper food or drink in absolutely sweltering conditions. Tragically their bodies are not able to cope and they die there and then in that hell hole. Just like humans, animals are sentient beings and highly susceptible to feelings of stress or anxiety. Unfortunately, unlike humans you cannot explain to them why or what is happening. You cannot explain to them why they are packed on a baking hot ship, or a freezing cold train in the pitch dark. Can you imagine the untold stress and apprehension they must go through? Maybe you can’t, maybe you find it difficult to relate to how other species might be feeling, or maybe you just don’t care.
If the animals manage to survive this extended exposure to trampling, severe thirst and starvation, high levels of stress and panic and disease (such as foot & mouth, swine flu and avian influenza) that come as a direct result of animals being forced together. If they manage to swerve the genuine chance that the carrier vehicle might sink or catch fire resulting in every animal aboard being drowned or burnt to death. If they miraculously overcome all these obstacles, they usually end up in non-EU regulated countries. Countries where it is deemed perfectly acceptable to use whatever methods possible, in order to get these animals on a dinner plate.
Did you know that in places like Israel, it is too expensive and time consuming to line all the animals up and put a bolt gun through their head. Therefore, using a razor sharp knife they sneak up behind the animal (often cattle) and slash the back of its lower leg to render it defenceless and virtually unable to move. Then, whilst that animal desperately fends for it’s life, they grab it, drag it violently across the blood soaked floor before hoisting it up by one of its limbs from a fixture in the ceiling and slitting it’s throat, all whilst still completely conscious. Gradually the life drains from that animal, gradually the kindness drains out of manKIND.
Do you know how they kill underweight piglets in Denmark? They pick them up by their hind legs, before throwing / slamming them against the concrete floor as hard as they can. This barbaric method is not only legal in Denmark but also recommended by the Danish Veterinary And Food Administration, because its the most ‘humane’. The theory is that the severe head trauma leads to a quick painless death. What happens in reality is the piglet is left there in agony, dying a slow painful death from its injuries. What is humane about that?
Now I don’t know about you, but I moan and complain if the 30 minute train to work is a bit crowded or a bit warm. I moan if the queue to get in the local supermarket is too long, or if there’s traffic on the motorway. Sat there in my air conditioned car, with a bottle of water and packet of crisps positioned perfectly within reach of my left hand. Music on the radio, my wife next to me, dog in the back and a lovely relaxing few days in Cornwall to look forward to. And still, I have the audacity to moan because of heavy traffic or a standstill. How dare I? Imagine being crammed in that same car with countless other humans all barely able to breathe, in the pitch black with no access to food or drink of any kind. No Cornwall or beach to look forward to after the hellish journey. No sun or sea or sand. Instead, an arrogant aggressive set of men dressed in butchers overalls, ready to slash my back leg before wrapping a rope me, hanging me from the ceiling and slitting my throat. Perhaps then I’d be quite within my rights to moan. Perhaps then, I’d have some idea what those animals go through.
Apple Iphones are made in China, so are Nike trainers and so are Samsung laptops. I’ll tell you something else that was made / invented in China – The Yulin Dog Festival. Sounds quite pleasant does it not? It is without doubt one of the most brutal barbarous ‘festivals’ that exists on planet earth. An annual celebration held in Yulin China during the summer solstice, lasting around 10 days. Ten days during which an estimated 15 thousand dogs are tortured, killed and eaten.
According to folklore, eating dog meat during the summer months brings good luck and health. It supposedly provides defence against disease and heightens men’s sexual performance. According to my estimations, hell must be empty as all its inhabitants are at Yulin instead.
Dogs (and cats), often strays or stolen house pets, are transported inside tiny cages where they are barely able to breathe or move. They are often carried treacherously long distances and arrive in Yulin either severely malnourished or dead. Upon arrival they are taken straight to one of the many unlicensed slaughter houses in the vicinity (sound familiar?).
Still crammed in a tiny cage, they are then one by one aggressively manhandled out into the open, before being bludgeoned over the head with a blunt object. Sometimes (if they are lucky) they are killed there and then, however more often than not they are either knocked unconscious or just dazed. They are then placed inside a large cauldron filled with scalding hot water, which is designed to remove their fur. If this medieval method doesn’t await them, they face the blowtorch, another method used to de-fur the dog, all whilst being very much alive. You see, the locals have this warped belief that adrenaline makes the meat more tender and therefore taste better. It is this exact reason why they DELIBERATELY keep the dog alive for as long as possible whilst blow torching or boiling it in water. Some argue that is the reason. Others argue they do it because they simply do not care.
If you really want your dog meat tasting close to perfection there is another course of action you can take. People descending on Yulin Festival have often travelled considerable distances to get there by motorbike or car. A common practice once having seized hold of the dog you wish to eat, is to tie it to the back of your car/motorbike with a rope. You then drive to the festival with said dog dragging along behind on the road in absolute agony. A process designed to get the adrenaline flowing in the dog. A process surely designed by the devil.
I have seen videos with even more wickedness than that in them. Videos that have made me lay in bed at night crying inside at what we humans put animals through. Videos that belong in purgatory. My only comfort is hoping and praying there is a heaven waiting for them when they die. That God (or whoever is up there), makes up for their hellish time on earth by inviting them to spend the rest of eternity in paradise. They certainly deserve it.
We humans are such fickle creatures. We for instance, portray sharks as these deadly, lethal creatures desperate for blood and human flesh. Someone get’s attacked by a shark and we suddenly throw all our resources into hunting and often killing that shark. We forget that we’ve entered the sharks territory, a decision of free choice. We forget that the sea is the shark’s home, the shark’s sanctuary. How often throughout history have humans been minding their own business in their own house, only for a shark to swim through the front door, attack and kill them. NEVER. Do you know how many humans die from shark attacks each year? Six. Do you know how any sharks die as a result of humans each year? 273 Million.
There are less than 27 thousand rhinos left in the world today. That’s less then the average Premiership football stadium. There are less than 800 mountain gorillas left in the world. That’s less than the average secondary school. Have you seen how human like mountain gorillas are? They are amazing. They don’t cause us any trouble, they live happily in the Virunga mountains or in Uganda National Park. What is far and away the biggest threat to their very survival? – Humans. What is far and away the biggest threat to the rhino’s survival? – Humans.
Can you believe humans actually pay money to hunt these sorts of astonishing creatures. People actually pay to hunt and kill giraffes, lions, elephants, rhinos, and many more. Name an animal, and someone somewhere will be hunting it just for FUN. What kind of psychopath do you have to be to enjoy hunting an animal for fun? Enjoy watching the life drain from it’s eyes. How narcissistic do you have to be to relish knowing you’ve killed another animals mother, another animals child?
Can you believe that a worldwide viral pandemic which was (reportedly) caused by us humans interfering and abusing animals, has now led to us interfering and abusing animals as a way of trying sorting it out and finding a vaccine? Laboratory testing on poor innocent creatures. When will we learn? We won’t because we are far too arrogant.
For a supposedly superior, far more intelligent species don’t we make an absolute wreck of everything. We destroy and abuse one another as well as all the creatures around us. We are slowly but surely destroying this planet, a planet which wasn’t created JUST FOR US. We spend billions of pounds trying to explore outer space, and on all sorts of research and advancements. How about we spend that money on ways and means to live harmoniously with one another, and every living species on this planet. How about we realise that Covid-19 was a warning, was natures way of saying the human race is expendable. That the human way of life is simply not sustainable.
When a human see’s another human behaving in a way they deem to be insufficient or unacceptable, they say to them ‘don’t behave like an animal’. Well behaving like an animal would be an improvement surely, it’s behaving like a human you’d want to avoid.
I don’t expect you to care about animals as much as me, I don’t expect you to love them as much as me. I do ask however, that you open your eyes to the atrocities we humans commit on these sentient beings on a daily basis. That you try is some way to do your small bit to make the world that tiny bit kinder, their existence that tiny bit better. It might not make a blind bit of difference to your life, but to an animal somewhere it could make theirs.
I’ll leave you with this thought – If the human race suddenly became extinct overnight, would the world become a better place? Would lots of different species finally be given the freedom they so desperately deserve and desire? If the answer is yes, then what an appallingly selfish, cursed race we humans have become.
I hope you enjoyed reading.
”Humanity’s true moral test, its fundamental test, consists of its attitude towards those who are at it’s mercy: animals. And in this respect humankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it” – Milan Kundera.
”The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated” – Mahatma Ghandi
”Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened” – Anatole France