Experiences of Being Outside a Slaughterhouse

Several weeks ago, I decided to attend something that my vegan housemate goes to every Monday. She and other activists go all the way to Tulip Slaughter House in Westerleigh, Bristol and say goodbye to the pigs before they are brought into the slaughterhouse. I pitched the idea to film this for UBTV, who were happy for me to go ahead with it. 

After a bus journey and a walk along a wet field, we arrived outside the slaughter house. The rest of the activists turned up and started positioning their signs across fences, and three others that were specifically help up for truckers so that they knew they weren't going to be targeted with any hate. 

The first truck eventually came. The driver was happy to let us say goodbye to the pigs, so we all approached the truck. The first thing you notice is the smell and the noise. Despite pigs enjoying rolling around in mud, they don’t like to soil in areas where they sleep or eat. Here though, over a hundred pigs were stuck in a three tiered truck, therefore the conditions were horrible for them. The activists would try and comfort the pigs closest to the gaps where we could fit our hands, and we attempted to ease them with our voices. Some were too scared, so we let them be. Others would nuzzle closer into our hands, but both reactions were just as upsetting as the other. 

In the video, you will see that there are quite a few shots of the eyes of the pigs. That’s because in reality, seeing their eyes makes you realise how clever and kind the animals really are. It makes you realise that they are an individual creature, not just a mass, nor just a bit of bacon or chorizo. They are a real animal that should be looked after just the way that we cherish our own cats and dogs. 

The next thing that shook me was just how many of these lovely animals were being taken in to slaughter. Around 2,800 pigs are taken to Tulip slaughterhouse every day. Tulip was so small too, and tucked away in the middle of nowhere. So, when we consider that this happens all across the world and not only with pigs, but lots of animals too, then we can understand the enormity of killing that is going on. My next question was, how did we get to a place where the demand for all this meat is so high? Western countries are so excessive in their meat eating that arguments for it being ‘healthy’ are completely thrown out the window. This is why even if you still want to eat meat, try to cut down. There really is no reason for anyone to eat meat at least once a day. 

I know that in the slaughterhouse, worse things occur. This was perhaps the hardest think to know, because I knew that each animal I was stroking and looking into the eyes of would have to suffer very shortly and would no longer be living by the end of the day. I’ve always considered life a precious thing, so to take it away from another living animal would be very difficult to do. Why then, would I hire someone else to do it? People have become so far removed from the reality of where their food comes from, therefore I urge you to think about a few things before you go ahead and buy meat. Firstly, do you fully appreciate that this meat came from a real animal? Secondly, could you have killed that animal with your own hands? Lastly, is that animals life worth 15 minutes of taste bud pleasure whilst you eat your meal? 

If you are interested, please watch the full video below, and follow ‘Bristol Animal Save’ on Facebook. 

Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cr65Dl3hdpo&t