Environmental and Animal Protection

3.3 Betrayal
Some of us have made the painful experience already themselves what it means to be betrayed. Sometimes it takes years to recover from the paralyzing shock of stupefying betrayal of confidence. It is not uncommon that the shock remains life-long. But what trifle this is compared to the betrayal of animals! To them as well, who are now in the abattoir, humans maybe have been good. Organic farmers for example do not get tired of assuring others how good the relationship with their animal is. We all know the images of farmers, who “affectionately” stroke their animals. And then, all of a sudden, these animal find themselves in hell, surrounded by humans who are doing the most monstrous and cruel things to them. The trainee veterinarian Christane M. Haupt has lived through this betrayal on behalf of the meat-eaters – and has been broken by it: “I bore witness, and now I want to forget to be able to continue living. Others may fight now; my strength has been taken in this place … and it has been replaced by guilt and paralyzing sadness.”

The fact that the cruelties described here are only the tip of the iceberg of the crimes taking place in abattoirs in so-called civilized countries worldwide is illustrated by the book “Slaughterhouse” by Gail A. Eisnitz for which the author has questioned abattoir workers with an added experience of two million hours on the anaesthetising box. The following excerpts from interviews with abattoir workers have been presented to the public by the author at a book launch on September 18, 1999:  

“I have seen beef that was alive. I have heard them mooing when people have applied the knife and are trying to take off the skin. I think that it is dreadful for the animal to die this slowly while everyone is doing their job on it.” “The majority of cows that they hang up … is still alive. They open them. They skin them. They are still alive. Their feet are cut off. Their eyes are wide open and they are crying. They are screaming, and you can see how their eyes are almost jumping out.”

“One worker has told me how a cow collapsed after getting stuck in the floor of a truck with one leg. “How did you get her out alive?” I asked him: ‘Oh’, he said, ‘we just went under the truck and cut its leg off.’  If somebody is telling you this story, you know that there are many things that nobody is telling you.” “In another situation there was a living pig who had done nothing wrong, who did not even run around. I took a piece of pipe of about 1 meter and I basically beat the pig to death.” “If there is a pig that refuses to move, you take a meat hook and hook it into its anus. ( … ) Then you pull it back. You are pulling these pigs while they are still alive and often the hook rips out of their asshole.“

“Once I took my knife – it is sharp enough – and I cut off the end of a pig’s nose, just like a piece of breakfast meat. The pig went crazy for a few seconds. Then it just sat there and simply looked stupid. So I took a hand full of salt pickle and rubbed it into its nose. Now the pig really went crazy and shuffled its nose all around. I still had some salt left in my hand and I stuck the salt right into the pig’s ass. Now the poor pig did not know if it should crap or go blind.”

“After a while you become numb. ( … ) If there is a pig that is still alive … you don’t just kill it. You want it to feel pain. You are brutal, destroy its windpipe, and make it drown in its own blood. ( … ) Once a living pig looked up at me and I just took my knife and ( … ) took out its eye, while it just sat there. And this pig simply screamed.”

(end of quotation Dr. Kaplan, full text and bibliography on the internet:

Who can be aware of this situation and still eat meat, or produce or use cosmetic products with animal ingredients with an easy conscience? Shouldn’t we at least feel compassion and strictly refuse this system of killing and torturing, and actively fight against it?  As the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said: “Compassion is the foundation of morality”.