Today I did a taxi run in the early hours of the morning, passing the slaughterhouse at about 03.45 as the pre-dawn glinted on wet black roads, and again at 07.00 in the rain-drenched grey light of day.
Approaching the squat collection of unremarkable buildings, the first thing that always hits me is the stench; a stinking, gut-churning miasma that over the years I have learned to associate with slaughter. There’s a unique foulness hanging in the air that seeps sickeningly from depravities that no decent human should even have to contemplate. It’s a smell made all the more painful by knowing it’s demanded and paid for by consumers, shoppers and diners who are too fastidious to consider who is meeting the cost of their frivolous convenience; who is paying in blood and in agony with all they will ever have. Almost every one of those consumers would be very quick to claim that they ‘love animals’.
I have written before about the curtain-sided trucks (open at this time of year) parked side by side in the yards at the front, and the refrigerated transports in orderly ranks at the back. Driving by, they are visible only as the open road widens the perspective; yields a view of what can only be thought of as hell.
Both times that I passed in this morning’s small hours, there were laden trucks out front; blue and yellow plastic crates stacked stem to stern on articulated trailers. Each crate was crammed with a cargo of defenceless and motherless infants, their pale 42-day-old bodies grotesquely swollen, crouched on quaking legs, huddled together and frozen into the immobility of fear.
Never ending, all day and all night, the blood flowing EVERY DAY from 198 million innocent throats, mechanised killing driven inexorably by the smiling and casual shoppers of a species whose gaze never deigns to sweep over this wasteland of despair, so intent are they upon mutual reassurance about how much they ‘love animals’.
Incongruously, this morning, the thing that really broke my heart was the thought that, being trucked to their execution in the silence of night meant that even in this, we had conspired to deny these innocent creatures the only glimpse of sunshine that most will ever see.