23 Apr Abattoir ‘Killing with Kindness’
The Financial-Legal-Military-Industrial-Meat-Medical-Pharmaceutical-Media Complex.
Headline “Abattoir kills with kindness”
The Weekly times, April 17 2019
The humane myth is forever prevalent in animal harming industries, and as consumers become more informed about the consequences of their choices, we confidently predict an increase in the enthusiastic adoption of feel-good consumer labels such as ‘ethical’, ‘organic’ and the ubiquitous ‘happy meat/milk/eggs’.
With undercover farm and slaughterhouse footage freely and extensively available to anyone with an internet connection, industries profiting from animal exploitation can see the writing on the wall. Most consumers are against animal cruelty, but a lifetime of conditioning courtesy of the financial-legal-military-industrial-meat-medical-pharmaceutical-media complex has rendered them blinkered and unquestioningly complicit. Even in the midst of the Age of Information, incentive to pull back the curtain and do independent research remains the preference of a small minority.
However, this is changing. The push for plant-based eating, which has traditionally been championed by those in the animal rights and welfare/protection area, is now increasingly echoed by those in environmental protection, climate change action and health and wellbeing circles. For the conscientious consumer, there are more reasons than ever to remove animal products from their shopping list.
The (limited) visibility of terrified animals and stench of their excrement during transportation on slaughterhouse trucks via public roads and highways doesn’t look good for any players in the meat industry. The transportation issue has been a particular pebble in the shoe of ‘Happy Meat farms’, who earn their crust profiting from the naivety of consumers who feel a concern for the welfare of the animals they are eating. Many vegetarians and vegans attribute their shift in attitude to eating animals somewhat to the sight of a pair of frightened eyes glowing out of a slaughterhouse truck, straight through their windscreen, and into their hearts.
Transportation and killing are two headaches for the happy meat industry in particular. Up until this point, there is a case to be argued that the animals under the ‘happy farms’ regime have led relatively good lives. To clarify, this is in comparison to the intensively farmed animals which make up the vast majority of modern farming, with relatively being the operative word. A life in which an individual’s execution date has been mapped out from the moment they were born is not a life which belongs to them. They are a commodity; a unit of production. They may have been looked after slightly better than most of their kind on other farms, but their purpose for being artificially bred into this world remains exactly the same.
But the meat industry is as imaginative as it is manipulative, and next month, Australia’s first mobile abbatoir is set to roll into operation in NSW. Provenir was founded in 2017 with the ‘ethical consumer’ very much in mind. From their website:
“Currently, all livestock processed in Australia is done so at a fixed abattoir, often after live transport over long distances and experiencing an unfamiliar environment. In our view this system is flawed in that livestock are put through the unnecessary stress prior to processing.
This is not only bad for animal welfare and our farmers, it can also negatively affect the eating quality of the meat. The founders of Provenir we knew there had to be a better way.”
It’s interesting that this small company seems so eager to throw the other 99% of the meat industry under the ethical bus, however this is a shrewd attempt to paint themselves as ‘The Good Guys’ in an inherently evil industry. Their plug to ‘kill with kindness’ by visiting ‘happy farms’ and performing the killing onsite, is what they perceive to be enough to satiate the qualms of the uneasy consumer looking for a way to continue prioritising taste over ethics. That’s all they need: just enough feel-good labels and happy solutions to keep their consumers glowing with false virtue.
This rhetoric is reiterated on their website, with a barrage of the standard, conscience-massaging labels we have come to expect from those in the animal killing industry who’d rather we’d buy their dead bodies than those from that terrible farm next door, who are doing it all wrong.
Ever played ‘Happy Meat Bingo’? It’s easy. Simply go onto a website, article or media release featuring a company championing the oxymoron that is the ‘Ethicurian Movement’ and tick off the buzzwords of marketing spin designed to continue to dupe the hapless consumer into thinking there’s a right way to do the wrong thing. Provenir are masters of the buzzword; on their website alone they have managed to hit all the Feel-Good spots:
Highest welfare Free Range Grass Fed 100% Australian
No hormones No antibiotics Naturally raised Artisan Butchery
Sustainable Integrity Ethical Accountability
These words quickly pale into meaninglessness when considering the life of the victim has been taken unnecessarily and violently.
Provenir have worked hard to quickly gain a footing in an industry that runs counter to the very value they maintain to pioneer: the highest animal welfare. It is of far greater interest to an animal and their welfare to remain alive and free to live out their life, than to have their lives taken from them for nothing more than ‘protein’ on a plate; a meal, soon forgotten. A mobile slaughterhouse cannot extinguish the horror of an animal’s life being violently taken against their will for food and products that humans do not need. No matter how slick their marketing, Provenir cannot run away from this truth.
It is essential that consumers who are trying to make an ethical choice do not fall for the ‘Happy Meat’ fairytale. At Vegan Rising, we are focused on exposing the humane myth, as we are confident that farms will start to turn in this direction as standard practices in animal agriculture continue to face more scrutiny and exposure.
Whether an animal first suffers a long uncomfortable trip to a slaughterhouse, or the human paid to take away their life appears on their doorstep, the end result is exactly the same for that individual.
We will continue to call out these bogus ethical operators and nip their rhetoric in the bud.
There is no kind way to kill someone who doesn’t want to die.