If slaughterhouses have nothing to hide, why are they built as windowless buildings? Why are children not brought to visit them on school trips to see how their 'food' is 'made'?
Why, when Vancouver Chicken Save was established, did Hallmark Slaughterhouse put up large tarps in the alley to block the public view of the kill floor? Why have they now installed fences to block the alley from public access completely?
The animal agriculture industry thrives on fuelling the majority's preference to remain blissfully ignorant in what is happening to animals globally.
Vancouver Chicken Save has quickly adopted to bearing witness to chickens on trucks within just a few days of the fence installations. We are here for the animals and we are not going away.
Tuesday, July 31 marks our first vigil asking trucks to stop for 3 minutes so that we can bear witness to the baby chickens, share their stories, and truly see them in this one stage of their lives of victimization and exploitation.
What is different about this new form of bearing witness from the activists' perspectives?
More time spent with the animals means more connection, more grieving, and a truer and more powerful concept of reality.
There was an obvious extension of aggression and mistreatment of beings from the workers towards humans - something that is sadly inevitable in a workplace that is built on violence. Some truck drivers were extremely aggressive to the point where I seriously feared the safety of my fellow activists and friends. Workers laughed, insinuated that we were crazy, and motioned for the trucks to keep driving despite several humans being within inches of the truck front and in danger.
It was emotional and difficult, but as always - it was nothing compared to what the animals are going through.
At Hallmark Slaughterhouse in Vancouver, about 90,000 chickens are killed each day. Globally, more than 150,000,000,000 land animals are killed every year.
These chickens are only 30-40 days old, despite the fact that healthy chickens can live to 10-20 years. These chickens are confined, crammed, and filthy. What's coming next for them on the kill floor is beyond what most of us can even imagine experiencing.
Animals feel pain, they have families and they want to live - just like us.
I challenge you to take a quick look at the Animal Slaughter Counter and to watch the newly released and highly accredited film Dominion to begin to comprehend the gravity of their situation.
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Please consider what you would want others to do if you were in the place of the animals and take a stance against cruelty.
Join Vancouver Chicken Save, find a save group near you, or start a new chapter. Find and join a vegan facebook group in your region for support and community from fellow animal lovers.
Whatever you decide to do, please start making steps towards liberating the animals from their unnecessary suffering. Together we can make the world a more loving place.