I am currently working on the documentary from birth to death (from stable to slaughterhouse). You can follow the progress on this page.
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 give milk, lots and lots of milk, until they are completely milked out. The mother cows are then taken to the slaughterhouse to be killed, often without stunning (halal). 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.
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. The 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 (halal).
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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