If ever there were everyday unsung heroes, it’s the people who go undercover to slaughterhouses, stockyards and dairy farms to see what really goes on. They get jobs at these factories and subject themselves to the horrors of standard industry practices so they can bear witness to what the animals truly endure on a day-to-day basis. If it weren’t for activists putting themselves in these traumatic situations, the public wouldn’t know half of the abuses that go on since most factory farms are never open to the public and you can be arrested just for trespassing onto the property.
I don’t know how activists do it but my hat is eternally off to them.
A video emerged today courtesy of Canada’s own Mercy for Animals, showing footage from May of workers at Chilliwack Cattle Company in B.C. abusing cows at a dairy farm. Cows at a dairy farm already have a miserable and tortuous existence so I guess beating them with metal pipes, electric prods, kicking them in the face, dragging them by the neck with chains, poking at their open wounds and pulling the hair out of their tails isn’t that much of a leap.
The company has vowed to fire all eight of the workers responsible and is taking “several steps to ensure that this type of abuse never happens again.” At least that response is a step up from the usual PR bullshit, like the one Maple Leaf Foods gave back in March of this year when footage was taken of turkeys being abused at their “farm”, that it was “an isolated incident” due to a few rotten-apple employees. Please. Nothing could be further from the truth.
This is not the first time footage has been taken of abuse at dairy farms and it won’t be the last. I’m just not sure how many it will take before the general public wakes the fuck up to the reality of their food. Why are we not making the connections to how our food is “made”? Why do we not want to know? Why are most people not even asking themselves the question? If I may quote my vegan hero Howard Lyman here for a moment: “If you do not want to know how food got to your plate, might I suggest not putting it in your mouth.”
The video that Mercy for Animals took is linked here and obviously, it’s hard to watch. I forced myself to watch for two reasons: one, so that I would also bear witness and two, so that my rage is never quieted. If you are unable to watch it, let me put it this way: the real animals in the video are not the cows.
Don’t dismiss this as a one-off. Don’t rationalize this as just “bad apples”. This is the everyday reality of dairy farms. This is happening in our country by our countrymen. Stop supporting this industry and stop eating dairy. Go vegan.