Veganism finally has meat eating on the run in the United Kingdom. Not only are the ad campaigns, all over metro stations, really big and powerful showing what happens in slaughterhouses, but people are actually listening to them and making a switch. So much so that The Independent newspaper has just revealed that a meeting was called by the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers and the National Pig Association with the official National Counter Terrorism Police Operations Centre team to find out how they could stop peaceful vegans from holding candlelight vigils outside slaughterhouses, to show love and compassion to pigs, cows and chickens in their final moments and to raise awareness of the cruelty we inflict upon them.
Not only should every slaughterhouse have a CCTV, any citizen should be allowed in. That way the enormous cruelty that happens to animals — apart from dragging buffaloes and calves off overloaded trucks by their tails, or throwing them off with one leg, or wing as in chickens, dragging them across the floor, hanging them upside down, slitting their throats to catch the blood, pouring boiling water on them while alive to loosen their skins etc — there is the gratuitous cruelty of slaughterhouse workers amusing themselves at work. Live chickens are used as footballs, pigs are stabbed repeatedly as target practice with knives and competitions took place on novel ways to kill.
The Mayor of North Delhi and Gauri Maulekhi of PFA went to the Delhi Ghazipur slaughterhouse on a surprise inspection last month. Apart from finding no vets there (they get their haftas sitting at home) they found buffaloes being hit many times over by laughing butchers with live electric wires. The animal collapsed repeatedly. When it got to its feet again, they did it again. They took bets on how many times an animal could sustain electric hits before it dissolved into a trembling conscious mass on the floor. Then they slit its throat — in full view of a hundred other buffaloes and their children.
One herd of goats had a little kid who ran for her life. She was chased by ten shouting men with heavy sticks, and who would have crushed her to a pulp had Gauri not caught her. She is now in my house. Gauri took a video of the slaughterhouse and was nearly lynched by hundreds of resentful butchers and the owner’s manager (Allana and Co) who knew what they were doing is so wrong but never mind that.
I once did a survey of the animals being killed. We found 78 per cent of all chickens had broken legs and wings at least three days before being slaughtered; 60 per cent of all large animals had shattered limbs and 45 per cent were diseased. Forget the terrible pain they were in, by law none of them should be killed as they were gangrenous and the meat dangerous for humans.
Instead of me saying anything else, let me quote the rest of The Independent article, “To regard Save vigils as terrorism is genuinely absurd: a panicked, guilty response from the planet’s most brutal industry. Our counter-terrorism experts should be concentrating their efforts on genuine threats against British public safety, not a bunch of vegan campaigners who only wish to expose the reality of a commercial sector that the majority of its consumers remain in the dark about.
But although Save protestors are not terrorists, perhaps abattoir bosses have good reason to fear their work.
The meat industry is vulnerable when consumers learn the reality of how it operates; when they look directly at the faces of the animals it condemns to short, torturous lives and ferocious deaths. Protestors share videos from the vigils on social media, offering that connection to the general public. This makes an industry that has poured so much money, time and desperation into keeping consumers’ eyes shut feeling nervous.
According to latest estimates, 542,000 Brits are now vegans, up from 150,000 in 2006 — a 350 per cent increase in just over a decade. Official supermarket revenue statistics for 2016 showed the biggest losers were meat and dairy, while the biggest gains came for dairy-free products. Overall sales of plant-based products are up 1,500 per cent.
Big food and hospitality brands, from Harvester and Wetherspoons to Pret A Manger and Sainsbury’s, are launching successful vegan ranges. Last month, Sainsbury’s reported that sales of its new own-brand vegan cheeses were 300 per cent greater than it had anticipated.
Activists are exposing the truth about the meat on your plate: that piglets who grow too slowly are killed by being slammed headfirst onto concrete floors, a standard industry practice called ‘thumping’; that in many chicken slaughterhouses workers routinely rip the heads off live birds; that pigs scream in gas chambers, or as they are boiled alive; that cattle sometimes experience having their legs sawn off while they are still conscious.
I’ve nothing but respect for Save as they rattle and expose those complicit in the meat industry. They are not terrorists.
It’s often said that we accuse others of what we secretly know we are doing ourselves. So as abattoir workers toss and turn at night, perhaps they might ask themselves, who is really doing the terrorising?”
Why are you eating meat in India when you have at least 50,000 options of amazing food which are better for you, better for animals and better for the planet? Each one of us has a belief that we are in our hearts good people. Do good people allow so much pain to be caused in beings that are exactly like you in every way, only kinder and smarter?
Sir Paul McCartney once said, “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.” Are you going to wait for the glass walls to show you what is happening, or will you go with your conscience which tells you what you are doing is wrong?