"At the moment our human world is based on the suffering and destruction of millions of non-humans. To perceive this and to do something to change it in personal and public ways is to undergo a change of perception akin to a religious conversion. Nothing can ever be seen in quite the same way again because once you have admitted the terror and pain of other species you will, unless you resist conversion, be always aware of the endless permutations of suffering that support our society."-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1859 (Author of the Sherlock Holmes stories)
On the 21st of November 2011, ‘Kate’ was given unprecedented open access to an abattoir in Victoria’s Gippsland. What she captured on film shocked and appalled authorities who, within hours of receiving a formal complaint and video from Animals Australia, shut the slaughterhouse down and launched a full investigation.
Australian regulations and standards failed to protect these animals from cruelty but as the footage reveals, even if they had, animals would still have been afraid; they still would have suffered.
Wherever animals are handled and slaughtered on mass there will be suffering and there will be fear. This is the reality of factory farming and slaughterhouses in Australia.
The final moments of animals raised for food are seldom known or told, yet they desperately need to be. Because we live on, and we still have choices to make, they need us to make informed and compassionate ones.
“500 million animals are factory farmed in Australia each year.
The average meat-eater consumes around 100 animals every year. That’s how many innocent animals can be spared from cruelty each time someone makes the decision to shift to a healthy vegetarian diet.
Most of us have spent some of our lives with a dog or a cat, and know that animals can be intelligent, and have a great capacity to love, feel joy, pain and suffering. Animals typically raised for food are no different. In fact, experts agree that pigs have greater intelligence than dogs and three-year-old children. Chickens develop strong bonds with their babies, can visually recognise the faces of over 100 of their friends, and are known to be great problem solvers!
Despite having the same capacity to suffer, farmed animals such as pigs, sheep, cows and chickens are denied the protection of animal cruelty laws that protect dogs and cats. This means that it is legal to cause suffering to animals raised for food. This includes painful surgical mutilations (without pain relief) and in most cases intensive and unnatural overcrowding or confinement.
There are over 500 million animals confined like this in factory farms in Australia today. These are places where thinking, feeling animals are considered little more than production units. Factory farming practices have been developed at minimum cost to the producer, and at great expense to the animals.”
- Animals Australia
The story of three very lucky calves
Each week in Victoria there are sales conducted where the baby calves that are surplus to the needs of the dairy industry are taken and sold. Many go directly to abattoirs while others are sold to be ‘grown out’ (read fattened up) and then killed. Maid Marion was the first to catch my eye, so much smaller than any calf at the sale that day and penned on her own, her defencelessness drew me to her. But it was when I looked directly into her eye that I heard her plea for mercy. Little John was the last calf offered for sale on the day. He was clearly sick and weak. Several attempts were made to make the poor fellow stand before he staggered bewildered around the yard only to collapse down again.
Male calves are of little value and it appeared sick ones even more so … but we thought he was priceless.
Buying animals from livestock markets is not something I particularly advocate unless it is going to do something beyond keeping the status quo of the industry. The purchase of these three tiny calves certainly achieved this. Instead of being dead within the next 24 hours, they secured national TV coverage by way of the 7PM Project and in doing so gave a voice to millions of other not so lucky calves. The outpouring of emotion from the public as a result of that story has been truly overwhelming.
Bobby is one of thousands of calves who are considered ‘waste products’ of the Australian dairy industry. Bobby’s story must be told. Watch Bobby’s video and make an urgent donation in the form below to help us place this eye-catching ad in major metro newspapers next week.
In the past 24 hours nearly 10,000 people have seen this video - and have witnessed what the dairy industry doesn’t want you to see. Were you one of them? Time is running out - please help us reach hundreds of thousands more.
- Animals Australia