Small and perfect looking calves in all sizes, vulnerable and naked and with closed eyes in their protective pouches – which were unable to protect them …
I want to report that again and again in the midst of these sticky, bloody mountains a gravid uterus is seen. I saw tiny calves, already fully-formed, of all sizes, fragile and naked, their eyes closed inside the uterine envelope which can no longer protect them, the smallest as tiny as a new-born kitten, but nonetheless a miniature cow, the biggest with a silky coat of brown-white hairs, with long silky eyelashes, only a few weeks away from birth.
“Isn’t it a miracle, what nature creates?” remarked the vet on duty that week, whilst throwing the uterus with the foetus inside it into the gaping throat of the rubbish mill.
I am now certain that no God can exist because no lightning came down from the sky to punish the crimes committed down here, crimes which will be perpetuated interminably.
There is no God to help the pitiful skinny cow that on my arrival at 7 o’clock in the morning is lying in convulsions in the drafty and icy corridor in front of the killing box. Nobody has enough compassion to put her out of her misery with a quick shot. First the other animals need to ‘be taken care of’. When I leave around lunch time, the cow is still laying there, twitching. In spite of several appeals nobody has helped. I loosen the rope which was cutting into her flesh and stroke her forehead. She looks at me with her huge eyes and I learn then and there that cows can cry. The guilt of watching a crime without reacting is as difficult to bear as the crime one commits oneself. I feel immensely guilty.
My hands, my gown and my boots are soiled with the blood of her species. I have been at the production line for hours, cut hearts and lungs and livers. I had been warned: “To cut up cows is a messy business.”
I want to talk about all these things, so that I don’t have to carry this burden alone. But hardly anyone wants to listen. Yes, people had asked me: “What is it like in an abattoir? I couldn’t do it.” My fingernails cut into my palms so that I do not hit these commiserating faces or throw the telephone out of the window. I want to scream but the horror I have experienced each and every day suffocates me. Nobody has asked me if I cope. Embarrassed reactions to short answers show uneasiness: “Yes, all that is absolutely terrible. That’s why we eat meat only occasionally.” Often people encourage me: “Bite the bullet! Keep a stiff upper lip. It will soon be over!” This is one of the worst, most heartless and ignorant remarks! The massacre continues, day after day. It seems that nobody understands my problem is not to survive these horrible six weeks, but that monstrous mass-murder happens millions of times – on behalf of those amongst us who eat meat. Now I consider all those who pretend to be friends of animals and still eat meat as fakes.
“Stop, you’re making me lose my appetite!” More than once this remark stopped my report, followed by the escalation: “But you are a terrorist! Every normal person laughs about you”. One feels so terribly lost and alone at these moments. Now and then I look at the tiny cow foetus that I took home and which I put in formaldehyde.Memento Mori. Let them laugh, the „normal people’. Eyes I shall never forget. Eyes that everyone who demands meat ought to see.