Cranswick Foods Slaughter Parade
Of all of the various tactics dreamt up by “animal rights” organisations, stopping wagons rammed with animals for 5 minutes outside their place of slaughter so that “advocates” can “[speak] kind words to the animals on their final journey,” has to be one of the most outlandish and useless i’ve ever heard.
The parade of death was coordinated by Norfolk Animal Save here in England and took place on earlier this month at the Watton slaughter plant. Let me say from that outset, I am not questioning the integrity of those involved in this event. Indeed, the fact I have to preface my comments on this with a disclaimer shows how very corrupt the mainstream “animal movement” is – we should be able to think critically about the efforts of those within a social justice movement without individuals taking personal offence. This isn’t about us. Unfortunately when it comes to animals, it doesn’t seem to matter how bizarre or counterproductive your actions are, as long as you’re “doing something” it’s all dandy. But that isn’t a social justice movement; it’s a narcissist’s party with all of your friends invited to pat them on the back. The animals deserve better.
Approximately 40 people turned up to the slaughterhouse to “bear witness” to four trucks of animals making the last few metres of their journey. Cameras and groping hands were thrust through metal bars as if the animals in these trucks needed an extra dose of confusion and terror in the final stages of their lives. Looking at the images and video footage in this Eastern Daily Press article, it’s hard to understand what these people actually thought they were doing. They certainly weren’t helping the animals – all of whom will have been dead within a few short hours – and if anything they merely added another stress to their symphony of misery in the form of flashing cameras and hysterical faces through the bars. No, this particular facet of the proceedings did nothing apart from make us humans feel better for “doing something.”
Protesters also stood around the slaughterhouse with pickets, some of which were particularly ambiguous and others that – while mentioning the word vegan – were out of context and open to interpretation too. This is an inherent problem with poster advocacy as a general matter; there’s no control over what an onlooker takes away from the few words you’re brandishing. Not that there were any onlookers in this case anyway apart from a few slaughterhouses workers in hi-vis jackets.
One of the protesters said “It is very easy nowadays to be disconnected when you see meat in the supermarkets. That is why it is important and why there are people like us here, because if we do not show people they are never going to know.” The problem isn’t that people are “disconnected” from the exploitation – people know what they are buying in the supermarket. The problem is that people just don’t think it’s a moral problem; they’ve bought into the welfarist notion that killing animals is okay so long as they’re killed “humanely.” Focusing once again on showcasing animal treatment does nothing but feed the idea that there is somehow a right way to exploit animals.
The animals don’t need us to “bear witness” to the final stretch of their road to slaughter, or torment them with photographs and groping hands moments before they are killed. They need us to advocate for veganism as a moral imperative, otherwise we simply ensure that the perpetual onslaught of trucks to the slaughterhouse never ceases.
Holding pickets outside a slaughterhouse, pointing cameras at frightened animals and having your picture taken may make you feel like you’re “doing something.” The reality is it does nothing but contribute to this faux-movement of self-congratulation where the animals may as well be stuffed toys in a high street window; the kids scream, shout and make a lot of noise but the teddy bears remain behind the glass. This Cranswick case is no different. Take the 40 people there, educate them about abolitionism and have them go out into the public talking about veganism as a moral obligation – that’s what we need to be doing if we wish to change the paradigm from animals as things to animals as moral persons.