I am currently working on the documentary called - Animals are not the Beasts - You can follow the progress on this page.
- I stroked her soft fur and minutes later rough hands killed her in cold blood with a knife - Since then I look at a knife with different eyes, for me a knife is now something that cuts into the neck of the animal to kill it. I see that the animals were dragged from the trucks into the slaughterhouse, where their throats were slit while they were fully conscious. Then they were left to fend for themselves until they bleed to death. I felt broken but that should not affect the making of my images. Seeing the emotions (crying, terrible pain, fair, stress, sadness, want to flee) of the animals when they suffer was exactly the same as when I visualized the emotions of suffering by humans. Yet we allow the powerful meat and dairy industry to convince us that animal suffering and their emotions does not exist. It has shown me that human beings are capable of a cruelty that I never thought possible. The fact that this cruelty is not punished as cruelty, but simply falls within the norms (legislation and regulations) should no longer be possible in 2023. In addition, I also address the people who consume meat and dairy products and refuse to think about what they actually eat. As Hannah Arendt once said, “It is a sad truth that most evil is done by people who do not choose between good and bad.” In the Netherlands, animals including sheep, goats, cows, calves, bulls and chickens are also slaughtered without stunning *ritual slaughter. Animals are never immediately insensitive after the neck cut and until they lose consciousness, the animals suffer a lot of pain. In cattle it has been established that the agony of death can last from 4 to 10 minutes. Almost always blood or stomach contents end up in the lungs of the animal and the animal suffocates on its own blood. The Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE), an umbrella organization in which veterinarians from more than thirty countries participate, states that the slaughter of unstunned animals is unacceptable and must stop. I am, of course, against any suffering of animals, both unstunned and stunned slaughter.
-Her first and last loving touch- The fact that I can see and touch these pigs is exceptional, because consumers are not allowed to see how animals really live in the livestock industry. In the supermarkets we see smiling animals on the packaging, but this has nothing to do with reality. Pigs are stressed and very scared when they are transported to the slaughterhouse. Pigs are slaughtered at 4-6 months. When the pigs are inside the slaughterhouse, they are put into a state of unconsciousness by means of gas (CO2). This is very painful. The pigs are then hung on a rail with their heads down and cut in the carotid artery(s) and bleed out. Camera images in slaughterhouses have shown that even pigs that are still alive end up in the boiling hot water. Consumers are made to believe that these are incidents. 17 Million pigs are slaughtered in the Netherlands every year. It's a barbaric system the meat industry.
-The agony of the laying hens- She's exhausted, her wing is broken, and she's dying on her way to the slaughterhouse. The egg industry makes huge profits due to the high production of laying hens. As the hens get older, their productivity decreases. This means that laying hens in mega stables are slaughtered after just one year and replaced by younger, more productive hens. Billions of chickens are slaughtered every year. Many chickens do not even reach the age of one year in this animal-degrading system. Contrary to what one might suspect, free-range chickens are often kept under conditions that are very similar to those in mega stables. When hens no longer lay enough eggs, they go to the slaughterhouse. When caught, they often suffer fractures and injuries, as this is done quickly and roughly. Many chickens die during capture or during transport. Like this chicken in the video I made. The chickens that survive the transport are hung on a hook by the legs in the slaughterhouse. The head is cut off so that she bleeds to death. The intoxication regularly proves to be insufficient and the chicken is slaughtered alive. There is a lot of invisible suffering behind an egg, so please eat plant-based alternatives. -Did you know that chickens are smart and sensitive individuals, each with their own personality. The way chickens communicate is complex. At least 24 different types of vocalizations have been observed. Research shows that the cognitive ability of chickens is comparable to the cognitive ability of mammals such as cats, dogs and even primates (prosimians and monkeys). In addition, chickens form close friendships with each other -
-Calves Cry For Help- Why can't we see their pain, why do we hide emotions? Because the industry wants consumers not to be confronted with the terrible life and suffering of calves. Let it sink in that they are babies, barely 6 to 8 months old, when they are slaughtered (often ritual slaughter, without stunning). From the moment of birth they are taken away from their mothers and locked up in closed hermetically sealed stables with all the health problems that entails. They can never express their natural behavior, never receive the maternal attention and care that are essential for the social development of every young living being. These calves never, ever see daylight. Stables, mega trucks, and slaughterhouses are shut tight. - Did you know that calves are sensitive and intelligent animals that want to run, jump, to drink from their mother and make friends. Therefore, switch to plant-based food so that calves are not born unnecessarily in a dairy system that is wrong, bad and unjust-
-The bleeding heart of the mother cows- A mega truck stops in front of the slaughterhouse, where I am making my documentary. The livestock truck only has a small opening at the top. There are many noises around me but suddenly I hear a soft moan from the cattle truck. For a while I listen to the sound, it is a groan of pain, chronic pain. These are mother cows, however the dairy industry calls them dairy cows. They are not old at all. Every year they have been raped by an inseminator (human being) and have to give birth to a calf, calves that they were never allowed to see or feel and to whom they could never give their mother love. Mother cows in the dairy industry are just there to produce milk, lots and lots of milk, until they are completely milked out and collapse. The mother cows are then taken (towed in a truck) to the slaughterhouse to be killed, often without stunning (ritual slaughter). They scrape the remaining skin, muscles and blood vessels from her bones and they call that leather and flesh. I feel powerless, but apparently I was the only one there in front of the slaughterhouse who felt this way because no one looked up from the moaning of their pain. With my camera I try to capture a glimpse of them through the narrow opening in the cattle truck. Seeing their shaky and frail bodies still gives me heartache every day and the bleeding heart of the mother cows became my bleeding heart too. - Did you know that cows are very sensitive, social, intelligent and above all incredibly sweet animals -
In September 2022 I was at a pig slaughterhouse for my documentary. Pigs that have been fattened in mega stables but also the mother pigs (see video below) that have suffered their short lives in cages are slaughtered here. You can see that almost all of them have ear and eye infections and some even have tumors. Many trucks are closed so that no one can see the pigs suffer. Pigs are very intelligent animals and their eyes are almost similar to those of humans.
I see so much animal suffering and there is never a moment that it does not touch me deeply. These calves (babies) should never have been born. No one has to eat dairy products there are plenty of plant-based alternatives. There is no conseivable reason that justifies the suffering inflicted on these calves. The dairy industry is a chain of animal suffering. On the video you see calves barely 14 days old. At birth (on a dairy farm) they were immediately taken away from their mother and were transported to this mega stable at 14 days old. They are in small steel cubicles and on hard floors. They can barely move. There are 3000 calves in this barn. Within 6-8 months they are transported again (in NL and also abroad) to be slaughtered. Most calves are slaughtered without stunning.
It was very sad to see the mother pigs lying in steel cages and hermetically sealed mega stalls. They can barely move and just lie on their side. With a lot of effort they can get up to eat and drink. Mother pigs are always pregnant in their short lives. In intensive pig farming, breeding pigs for profit has disastrous consequences for animals. During one pregnancy, mother pigs give birth to many piglets and therefore they do not have enough nipples to feed all the piglets. Many piglets die in the barn because of this. On the video you see in the beginning that the piglets still have tails, but at the end you see that the tails have been cut off (this happens without anesthesia). I make my documentary in often difficult circumstances, but always legally.
Lately I was in a pigsty for my documentary. I met this little pig there. She was so vulnerable and in the huge group of all the other piglets she could hardly survive.
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