Pink Noses

The sun’s rays break in the branches, are reflected in the paints, warm the ground and all other living things. The herd of pink four-legged friends is spread out in the meadow. I see that some are rummaging through the earth, others are lying and the sun is shining on the belly. Babies play. One comes towards me while I just sit and let it come to me. We know each other. I have been here many times. It is no longer special. It’s as if Babette, as I called her for me, come to greet me. Shortly before me she stops, sniffs me with her wet, pink nose. „Like a dog’s nose, only pink“, it shoots involuntarily through my head, „Although there are also pink dog licks.“ I put my hand on it for a moment. She does not like that so much. She dodges and nudges me, my hand. This means that she wants to be scratched. Even I have already found out as a dull person. I follow her request and realize how she enjoys it. From further back I hear other grunts. Feel good. Arrived. Alive. Free, as far as possible. Just be pig. That was my dream. It should be so.

Biting ammonia stinks in my nose. Carefully, I put my hand on a wet, pink pig’s nose. „Give me water,“ it seems to me to say. I would also like to scratch her. My hands do not really fit through the bars. They push themselves to the edge, as soon as they have noticed that there is somebody, also with water, because the transporter, in which they are penned, has indeed potions, small, inconspicuous nipples in the wall, which find however no pig. They do not know it. At the same time, at most, there would be an animal just standing by. And the others? Yes, the law is satisfied. Whether they can drink from it, that does not interest the legislator.

A wet, pink pig’s nose tries to breathe in the clear night air, to smell away the biting, poisonous fumes of its own feces. Pigs would never defecate where they are. They cannot help themselves here. Not here and not in the stable where they had been penned before. With their own weight, they pushed the feces through the floor, through the cracks. This is the most convenient and least expensive, because it has to be as cheap as possible. Rearing, transport, slaughter. Cheap. Cheaper. Cheapest. Bloodcurdling screams roar through the night. „I want you to be in the meadow, not in there,“ I think as I’m still trying to force my hand through the bars. Not feasible, so I reach for water. They drink eagerly. Only the one on the edge. Those in the middle get nothing off. They can lie right next to each other. 181 Pigs, breathing, feeling, capable of suffering, which one of penned his to be penned shifts and then to slaughter. Always subject to the efficiency criterion. Only that. „I want to sit next to you in the meadow, scratch you or just watch how you live,“ I think, „because what we expect you here, this is not life.“

The screams, the fear, the stink in the parking lot of the highway in the middle of the night. Last hours of agony before dying. Unnecessary prolongation of torments. For hours they had already driven around, and then spend more hours in this parking lot in a truck, where there is no water or food. That is pushing the sadism to the extreme. Exploit, torment, rape, imprison, humiliate, all the adversities that come to mind are harmed by these animals, while the consumers eat no dead animal, no carcass, no corpse, no carrion, but meat. Fat and sick, they sit at the table and eat the suffering and misery they cause. Not personally, but because they want it, others do it for them. It’s just as good as if they did it themselves.

I want to scream. Thirty people standing here to draw attention to this misery. Millions who close their eyes and do not want to see it. At some point the truck continues, and I know these creatures end up in the slaughterhouse. I cannot save them, not one of them. I can only hope that it will be quick. And as I look at the truck, I discover a picture, with a smiling pig and cow and a calf, a mockery of the sufferer, a humiliation. You cannot afford even the smallest bit of respect. At least pretend.

And I return home to my dogs, who are warm, dry and comfortable. Like millions of others who are coddled like their own children, while we allow billions of others to suffer. „Like a dog’s nose,“ I think again, and yet some are spoiled and the others mistreated, their whole, damn short life. There is no difference, actually. At least as far as the right to a painless life is concerned. But we’ve got it fine, they’re evaluating it to justify our beastly cruelty. See, hear and smell – it will haunt you, always and everywhere, until it stops, until it finally stops.

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