Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My heart is breaking for the pigs :(

It's been a sad sad couple of weeks for the pigs over at Bulacan. I've blogged about the Ebola-infected pigs issue here and here. Six thousand pigs are set to be slaughtered all throughout this week. About 2,600 have been killed as of today (according to this article) and the government is targetting the killing spree at 1,000 a day. The killing's been slow and everyone's pressured to up the number of carcasses. I am so so sad, particularly because:

1. The pigs have not been given food and water for several days and prior to their deaths they have been crying and wailing all day and night. Farmers say they can't afford to feed them anymore (!!!). Government (Bureau of Animal Industry) says they're doing the best they can. PETA and PAWS have made their sentiments known that this is not the humane way for pigs to be treated before they die. In fact, it violates the Animal Welfare Act (Republic Act No. 8485). But of course, who cares about the animals right? They're just dumb creatures God created for us to abuse and eat.

2. The slaughter method of choice was to stun gun the pigs between the eyes to render them unconscious before piling their bodies into a pit to be burned. Naturally the stun gun wasn't 100% effective. Police men who were present had to shoot the pigs themselves -- several times at that, because their 1 shot wasn't enough. Can you imagine being conscious with a bullet through your head, while someone else is ripping your body apart with other bullets??

3. As if it were the pigs' fault that they had the Ebola virus! Not only are they living a miserable life of a food animal -- they were infected, starved, then killed in a most gruesome manner. No remorse from their farmers and National Federation of Hog Farmers, Inc. at all, except that they lost out on sales.

Last Monday the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that pictures of the actual slaying would not come out in the papers; however pictures indeed came out in yesterday's and today's issues. One of the reasons for the photo ban was that PAWS did not want the public to see the slaughter. While I respect their decision of honoring the animals (I think this was their reason? I may be making this up. It could also be protecting the public from the gruesomeness), I have to disagree. I think the public SHOULD see the actual kill. They should be obligated to see it - after all, pigs would not have been raised if not for public consumption. We need to konw where our food comes from and how the consequences look like when we screw around with nature.

Holy hell, it's only Wednesday and the week's been so heavy with this news.

A little thought exercise for the omnivores out there -- how would you feel if it was your pet that got Ebola? How about a loved one? What if the government set out to exterminate your pet / loved one because of the disease?

#4 reason why I'm so sad: really, no one gives a shit about farm animals. Let's put purebred dogs and cats on pedestals, let's forget about the other animals. Pigs are smart creatures too (not that intelligence is a factor for one's compassion over animals) -- they are as smart as 2-year old kids! Let's not forget that they are sentient beings -- they feel pain and emotions just as we do.

One article pointed out that the some of the pigs mourned the loss of their compansions who had just been killed -- they trotted around the corpses and cried :(

NB Just something worth mentioning... some of the slaughterers suffered from hypertension after 1 day of killing. Surely being a slaughter house worker is the worst job ever... Why do people support an industry that is cruel to animals and to its workers?

Heavy heavy stuff.

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