The following videos contain graphic images of animal slaughter for human consumption. These are not isolated incidences, these are standard practices for animal slaughter.
Although these videos are difficult to watch, especially for those who do not consume animal products (vegan), it is important that we bear witness to their suffering in order to help them. Leo Tolstoy wrote, in "A Calendar of Wisdom":
"When the suffering of another creature causes you to feel pain, do not submit to the initial desire to flee from the suffering one, but on the contrary, come closer, as close as you can to him who suffers, and try to help."
After bearing witness to pigs transported to Quality Meat Packers slaughterhouse in Toronto, Toronto Star reporter Catherine Porter stated:
"This is the power of bearing witness, I realized. It cracks your practised indifference. Looking into the crowded truck, for a moment, I imagined myself trapped inside it."
A powerful connection was made by Sylvia Fraser, Author of My Father's House: a Memoir of Incest and of Healing, ( published in 1987 as one of the first books to break the taboo on child abuse ) after bearing witness:
"It wasn't until I had looked through the slats of transport trailers, while standing vigil with members of Toronto Pig Save, seeing hundreds of pigs huddled together on a hot, sweaty July day, hearing their terrified cries, that I understood the intimate connection between them and me as a child of sexual abuse. Here was the same innocent terror, the same claustrophobia, the same sense of powerle ssness, of being someone else's property to do with as they chose. Except that I was a kid who was going to grow up and escape. I was never going to be on my way to a slaughterhouse. I was never going to be gassed and have my throat slit. I am convinced that some day we humans, in our shame, will see the connection between what we routinely do to farm animals - sentient beings with emotions much like our own - and what we have done during our worst moral catastrophes, such as genocide, slavery and torture."
Laura Lee made the connection as a child, after accidently witnessing the execution of a pig.
"I moved to a farm when my mother remarried. There were cows that would graze on grass in the fields. The cows were so large next to my tiny 11 year old body. Yet they were gentle giants who I liked to pet and looked forward to being around them every day. One day my step-father was heading out the door and asked if I wanted to go to the slaughterhouse with him. I said sure, I didn't know what it was I just thought it was some kind of store.
We arrived at this large building. It smelled really bad from the outside and then when we walked in the smell got even worse. I had never smelled anything like that before. My step-father ushered me into a room and said for me to wait for him there while he went to pick up an order. In the room was a large window which I looked threw to see a floor that was covered with blood. I was confused, had someone got hurt? Should I find my dad to get help? I heard a squeal and looked up to see a pig had suddenly appeared in a metal barred type box, with walls 2 feet high. A man walked into the room wearing fishing boots and holding a rifle. He aimed the gun towards the frightened pig and shot him in the head. As soon as the pig fell down dead another pig was being forced out. He was struggling not wanting to go out; he saw what happened to the one ahead of it. He was so scared and I saw the fear in his eyes when the pig looked directly into my eyes. Fear looks the same in an animal's eyes as with a human.
I was in shock; I couldn't believe what I had witnessed. I then realized where meat actual came from. Needless to say my mother was very upset that my father had taken me to the slaughterhouse. He didn't see what the big deal was. His sons had all been there many times and never had a problem. As for me I spent many days crying and not wanting to eat anything. Not knowing or believing that meat was not in everything. After all, my mother knew how much I loved animals - especially the ones on the farm - and she said nothing, year after year! I could not trust my mother anymore. It was just so hard for me to believe that other people knew that this was going on every day and that they were okay with it.
38 years ago I was a naive, little 11-year-old girl who walked out of a slaughterhouse with knowledge that changed how I would live the rest of my life. I've been a vegetarian for 33 years then turned vegan 5 years ago. I would have been vegan from the start but I was unaware of the cruelty involved in milk and egg products. They are also not good for your health but the cruelty aspect has always been my main concern."