Opinion August 25, 2020
Last update 10:28
In a heat wave, you are a hero if you smash a car window with a dog in it. But we are only too happy to look away from all those animals trapped in those sweltering trucks
By: Sandra van de Werd, Committee Animal Emergency Relief and Chantal het Hart, Animal Earth
In the last heat wave period, a truck with 195 pigs caught fire on the A50 near Heelsum. The pigs were crammed full of stress and fear in the heat in the truck headed for the slaughterhouse. The fire brigade came, put out the fire and sprayed them all. That way they still had some cooling off. Four pigs died and another ten pigs were put out of their misery by a veterinarian. The remaining « rescued » 181 pigs suffered a little longer. With the help of a man with a clapper in his hand, they were chased from the livestock truck through a footbridge into another transport truck. A smiling pig stood on the outside of the wagon, as if they were happily continuing their vacation. But the reality was different: they were transported to the slaughterhouse where they had to wait for hours, packed full of stress and fear in the heat for their turn…. Such a happy pig was also depicted at the slaughterhouse. The pigs did not know, but their hell could still be worse … With shouting, kicking and beating with bangs and paddles they were driven into the slaughterhouse by men in blue overalls and with much pain and stress, much too slowly through CO2. gassing to be murdered.
The life of these pigs has been a great suffering from birth. As sensitive intelligent individuals, each with their own character, preferences and friendships, they were locked up with very little room to move in a stuffy, smelly stable. They were born to a mother who had been forcibly conceived and trapped between two bars and could not give them love. The brothers and sisters who were unable to keep up were beaten to death by the farmer. Bizarrely, they were still somewhat « lucky » because hell stopped for them. These pigs, just like humans, could experience pain, stress, fear, sadness, but also joy. But in the animal industry there is no place for joy, the animal is stripped of all its dignity and treated as a product without a soul.
There was also the news that a train carrying passengers stood still for an hour in the heat. The people had a hard time in the heat. But no word about all those animals that were crammed together in trucks in this heat wave and transported to the slaughterhouse. In a heat wave, you are a hero if you smash a car window with a dog in it. But we are only too happy to look away from all those animals trapped in those sweltering trucks. At most, the transporter risks a fine if too many animals have died en route. If we wanted to save these animals, we would be stopped and dismissed as extreme and radical animal activists. People you should be afraid of.
However, it is extreme how we let animals go through hell for a tasty appetite and give them a life with mainly suffering. According to the Animals Act, animals have an intrinsic value. Which means that animals are sentient beings, with their own value and interests that we have to take into account. However, in the animal industry, the intrinsic value of the animal is not taken into account in any way. According to the same law, you must not harm or mistreat an animal in its welfare without reasonable purpose. But this law is constantly being flouted by government, farmers and consumers. Causing so much suffering for just a short moment of appetite is not a reasonable goal. And certainly not now that there is an unrelenting flow of delicious plant-based alternatives on the market.
It is incomprehensible that there will be no tribunal for this abnormally great suffering that people without any valid excuse inflict every year over 600 million individuals here in the Netherlands. It’s embarrassing that we have a government that actually encourages these atrocities and has a toilet roll treated even more gently than an animal. This greatest form of discrimination, namely speciesism (the discrimination between beings on the basis of their kind) is very self-centered. Whether it is a human, a dog, a cow, a pig, a chicken, a fish or a cat, they all want to live and not suffer. So don’t let other animals suffer any longer for your appetite. Stop this form of discrimination.