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Text read in Paris in 2015-06-13

Translated by Victoria Foote-Blackman

March for abolishing slaughterhouses

Welcome to the 4th annual march to shutter all slaughterhouses, whether on land or sea. This year the march is taking place in 10 different countries on 4 different continents.

What we wish to do—and shall do—is to abolish all animal exploitation. What we wish to do—and shall do—is to end man’s systematic killing of domesticated and farmed animals, those raised or fished so we can eat their flesh, drink their milk, and consume their eggs.

The massacre is so extensive that few can even fathom the numbers. Every year, the number of vertebrate animals killed to put on our plates greatly surpasses a thousand billion individuals.

But these billions have no face; they remain invisible to us. The earth is covered with filled cages: cages submerged under the sea or stacked on land in warehouses.

We don’t see them.

Traps and nets criss-cross the bottom of the sea putting all its inhabitants at risk.

We don’t see them.

Every day fish fight to escape from nets. Sheep try to back up in the ramp leading to the kill floor. Chickens hoisted upside down on shackles twist and turn and beat their wings, struggling as hard as they can to try to break free from the assembly line slaughter.

We don’t see them.

Unless of course when the back pages of a newspaper, in the way of anecdote, occasionally reports on the unusual escape of one who managed to get away.

It’s no everyday occurrence to read a news dispatch announcing that the biggest salmon farming operation in the world has offered a prize to any fisherman who succeeds in capturing one of the thousands of salmon who managed to escape from their underwater pens. We are told that the escapees had managed to break through nets that were torn in a storm.

Also out of the ordinary is stumbling on a small news story like this one: “At Charlesville-Mezieres in France, a panicked cow leapt from a vehicle. With her calf in tow the cow managed to get away from the truck as it headed to the slaughterhouse. As she ran the four-year old cow inadvertently wounded a passing girl and dented the hood of a police car before throwing herself into the Meuse river. The animal’s desire to be free led to a police chase., the cow—now labelled as dangerous- swam to the other side of the river where she was surrounded by the police. When the mother cow collapsed against an embankment they finished her off by pumping 70 bullets into her.”

Unusual too those pigs left long ago by sailors on islands in the Bahamas with the intention of creating a backup food reserve. Today, the pigs’ descendants live free. They love to swim in the sea and snack on the bread and cake offered by kindly visitors.

Odd also the story of a truck in Spain that was carrying thousands of chickens to a slaughterhouse. An accident occurred on the road and many of the chickens perished. But others ran way. The 300 who had escaped were recaptured but then transported to a vegan animal sanctuary. Those chickens henceforth live a peaceful existence, happy in the company of humans. They have discovered something that they had never seen in the sordid cages they once lived in: grass, and sun.

This refuge is an example of what we will accomplish in the future... everywhere.

A society where nobody will be the slave or an object belonging to another, whatever his or her species.

The actors in animal resistance are not only the isolated cows, or chickens, or salmon who manage to escape. The actors are also you and I. Humans, in ever greater numbers, have begun to doubt the legitimacy of the great massacre for meat. For we know with increasing certainty that this is committed needlessly. The animal resistance is all those who are rising up so that the butchery stops.

One day the slaughterhouses on land and on water will be declared illegal. As will the farms that imprison the animals and reduce them to the state of meat on the hoof.

One day people will wonder, perplexed, how all this could even have existed..

We are marching to bring that day ever closer.