Masked, because it is not about us!
Masked, because it is not about us!
Crated commodities
Crated commodities

I woke up the morning of the anti speciesist vigil at a chicken slaughterhouse determined to go, but feeling emotionally low, almost bereft. I can get that way sometimes, especially knowing what I know about the enslavement of other species by humans. I try now just to accept the sadness and ride it out till it dissipates, like a fog receding into the warming and trying to be  sunny air. It was cold out, a mere three degrees Centigrade (37.4 Fahrenheit), certainly not unusual for this time of year, but still not feeling normal to those of us who have been riding high on the intoxicating rays of the sun and summer temps. I chuckled to myself as I realized that I would have to go on a hunt in some as yet unpacked boxes from our recent move, looking for  gloves, a hat, a scarf and even perhaps my winter coat. I decided that I would rather be too hot than too cold if I am going to be standing on a street corner for  two or so hours.

Then, as it always does, my mind turned to the animals for whom I was planning to advocate today. Are they at least warm? The short answer to that is unlikely. I have no idea of the history of the chickens who were crowded into orange crates, piled high on  transport trucks. Did they spend the night in the truck? Was the truck parked outside as the temperature plummeted to near freezing? Did they have any food and water available to them and how long was the trip in the freezing temperature? Given the current, mainstream and pervasive view among farmers, transport companies, slaughterhouses, governments and consumers that these living, feeling, emotional beings are merely commodities, I feel fairly confident in stating that no comfort or compassion or justice or respect was offered to them on any level.

Out of curiosity and always because I like to know the facts, I visited The Canadian Justice Laws Website, which outlines the regulations regarding the welfare of “livestock” (their word, not mine) during transport. Here is a little bit of what I found.

Food and Water for Animals in Transit

148. (1) Subject to subsections (2), (3) and (7), no person shall confine in a railway car, motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel

(a) equines, swine or other monogastric animals for longer than 36 hours; or

(b) cattle, sheep, goats or other ruminants for longer than 48 hours.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to ruminants that will reach their final destination in Canada where they may be fed, watered and rested without being confined longer than 52 hours.

(3) No person shall confine chicks of any species without food and water for longer than 72 hours from the time of hatching.

Awaiting Death!
Awaiting Death!
Vigil outside Marvid slaughterhouse
Vigil outside Marvid slaughterhouse

We are talking here about a minimum of 36 hours and a maximum of 72 hours deprived of food and water. That is days, folks!!! And who knows if these cruel regulations are even respected and enforced. That is another post for another day.

Now I am not saying that improved conditions during transport would make the transporting okay or acceptable on any level. This is after all an anti speciesist vigil that I attended, organized by a passionate and dedicated local Montreal Anti Speciesism group, Mouvement de Libération.  And as such, I and my fellow activists stood in solidarity for the abolition of the slavery of all species.

The very fact that The Canadian Justice Laws department okays said deprivation during transport speaks volumes about our fight to end speciesism. How can we disabuse people of the notion that it is okay to place inherent value on some species and not others, if we do not address and denounce the ongoing atrocities normalized and perpetrated by our governments, our industries, our retailers and our consumers?

So even though on this day, outside this slaughterhouse, I advocated for chickens in particular, I am really advocating for all animals. Tomorrow or another day it could be cows, or pigs or lambs or dolphins, or apes  who are all symbolic of our biggest shame as humans: the shame that we reduce living, feeling beings to the status of  food for our greedy and disgust worthy palates, that we sacrifice billions of these beings yearly for our inherited traditions and celebrations, our fashion sense, our status filled desire for more and more stuff made from the skins, fur and wool of animals, our warped sense about who we can exploit for our own amusement and entertainment. Wrap it all into one convenient ball and call it greed.

 

Annie’s Vegan View

They were babies really, only about forty five days old, destined to die within the next little while for someone’s dinner.

Their eyes seemed almost vacant, certainly devoid of any knowledge of kindness, compassion, justice, their normal lives as chickens having been denied to them since birth.

Their eyes haunt me and also inspire me to continue to seek justice for their lives not lived and for the lives of those to come.

May all beings be happy and free.

Anne
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Vegans outside a slaughterhouse at an anti speciesism vigil

8 thoughts on “Vegans outside a slaughterhouse at an anti speciesism vigil

  • October 21, 2015 at 7:43 pm
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    Thank you for going to the vigil and for sharing your experience. I feel so bad for those animals 🙁

    Reply
    • October 23, 2015 at 7:16 am
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      Hi Rachel,
      No thanks needed, but I appreciate it, nevertheless. I, like you, feel so sad for the animals. That is why we do what we do. Thank you for the work you do advocating for the freedom of all species trapped in our various death for profit industries.
      Take care,
      Anne

      Reply
  • October 22, 2015 at 7:01 am
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    “Wrap it all into one convenient ball and call it greed.” Yep, that about sums it up.

    Thanks for attending and posting. Bearing witness is difficult, but vital.

    Reply
    • October 23, 2015 at 7:18 am
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      Hi Friend,
      Greed does much harm in this world. That is why we all stand in solidarity against it.
      Take care,
      Anne

      Reply
  • October 24, 2015 at 8:59 am
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    Oh Anne… here I am writing through tears. There just aren’t words – but then I read what you and others like you write and I’m so thankful that it’s possible for some of you to come up with words. The thoughts you had about the temperature remind me of what I was thinking the day I went to the anti-slaughterhouse demo (thanks again for posting about that because it was through you I found out about the worldwide demo). It was hot that day and I have serious problems with heat that cause my heart to beat erratically, etc. and I was so concerned that day about how I’d make it, but I clenched my jaw (sometimes to keep from crying, but mostly automatically out of determination) and thought of the billions who have been trucked before that day and the souls who were in transport and actually in the slaughterhouses at the very moments I was participating and I got through fine – for them. There’s a lot of thoughts I have about this that are hitting hard right now that I’m going to censor, but I appreciate that you get the word out and come up with such amazing words. I don’t know how on earth some of our kind just don’t get it that every living soul in those crates (!!!!!!) was a living, breathing, thinking, feeling creature who had a life and family that were both destroyed…. and I’m going to close with your words repeated now:

    “…who are all symbolic of our biggest shame as humans: the shame that we reduce living, feeling beings to the status of food for our greedy and disgust worthy palates, that we sacrifice billions of these beings yearly for our inherited traditions and celebrations, our fashion sense, our status filled desire for more and more stuff made from the skins, fur and wool of animals, our warped sense about who we can exploit for our own amusement and entertainment.”

    Thanks for this post!

    Reply
  • October 25, 2015 at 1:37 pm
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    Hey Krissa,
    Always good to have your compassionate perspective. It is difficult, but I have hope that things are changing and will continue to change. I hope that we are reaching that tipping point when veganism and non violence becomes mainstream. Until then we will keep doing what we do, raising awareness and standing firm in our goal.
    Take care, Anne

    Reply
  • March 16, 2016 at 3:09 pm
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    Hello I think you animal advocates all do fantastic things. I also suffer from depression Anne and get very down about animal cruelty but I am inspired by all of you on this site and its better to do something rather than just sit and do nothing. I read a little article that said ‘you cant change the world but for any animal that you save it is the world’. But I do want to change the world so I’m going to keep on fighting for justice for all of those who cannot stand up for themselves. I have had an email today saying that the chicken factory farm applied for in Yorkshire has been withdrawn. I think this may be the demoing and petitioning we all did.

    Reply
  • March 16, 2016 at 3:29 pm
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    Hi Yvonne,
    Welcome to my website and thank you for being so open. I am sorry that you struggle with depression. Many of us have been there and I am sure this must be very tough for you.
    I agree with you that doing something, anything is positive. Even though we are already into the month of March, I do believe that 2016 will be a year of vegans and animal rights activists, galvanizing to bring awareness, education and change to the hearts and minds of people everywhere.
    I think it is amazing that the application for the chicken farm in Yorkshire has been withdrawn and I have no doubt it due to the tireless efforts of you and your fellow animal rights activists.
    Take care,
    Anne

    Reply

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