Happy Pigs in Austria

Isn’t it wonderful to see how the pigs, big and small, gallop across the meadow, visit the cow, chat with her. We know it from the yes-of-course piglet. It’s a delight and pigs, especially the little ones, are so cute too. We know the pictures from advertising, and if you search long enough, from reality too. They actually do exist, the pigs, the sweet pink ones, who by now everyone knows that they are intelligent like three-year-old children and are therefore far superior to our domestic dogs. They play and dig and enjoy life. They build nests for the babies and experienced old sows support the young, inexperienced in rearing. And they have a separate area in which they relieve themselves. So much for the idyll. So much for the illusion. Not quite. For 1,500 pigs in Austria this idyll is actually a reality. For 1,500 out of 3,000,000. So it’s 0.05%.

Well, I only buy organic meat, I’ll be told. They then make up a large part, namely 66,000, i.e. 2.2%. However, organic farming does not mean that the pigs ever see the sun, just that they have a little more space than their fellow sufferers. But what does the reality look like, apart from the whitewashed advertising? They are not outright lies, but pretending to be in a condition that only 0.05% of pigs experience. But what about the rest of them? Fabian is one of 1,800,000 pigs that live their short existence on fully slatted floors.

Fabian is coming on January 30th. to the world. His mother is wedged under a grille. She cannot look after him and his 11 siblings, was never allowed to experience what it is like to build a nest for her babies, to nurse them in the seclusion, a secret corner. All she can do is lie there and make her breasts available, while the little ones make their living on fully slatted floors, hard concrete floors with slits through which their excrement fall. After four days, Fabian and all of his male siblings have their testicles removed. It hurts like hell for a long time afterward, but there’s nothing for the pain. One of his siblings bleeds to death in the night. The farmer throws it away.

As soon as he is old enough, he comes away from the mother so that she can be inseminated again. One pregnancy after the other, by force, and he was never allowed to cuddle with her. But he always has death around him. Not all survive the cruel ordeal. Cut off tails, dock ears. Then he can do nothing more than eat, stand and sleep. Because he’s bored, he nibbles. On ears and tails. There is nothing to be done and he cannot avoid it. There is no light and not a single straw, just the hard floor and far too little space. Hardly that he can lie down. His joints ache from the hard ground and his eyes water from the ammonia fumes from his own urine and feces they live over for six months. on 07/30 he has 110 kg. He is only half a year old. Then it is loaded onto the transporter. That’s when he sees the sun for the first time. The second time he’s dumped at the slaughterhouse. Twice the sun in this life, which is actually nothing more than vegetation in a confined space, with artificial lighting, on hard ground, degraded to a mere eating machine. But whoever thinks that he will at least be murdered painlessly also believes in Santa Claus. He is crammed into a small gondola with several other fellow sufferers. It should have a calming effect, because there are several, but how can it when the screams of fear and pain roar through the halls. Locked up again. Then a sharp pain bores into his breathing organs. It feels as if he is suffocating. He desperately tries to get away from what torments him. He rears up in panic. Until the CO2 finally numbs him, it seems to take half an eternity, around 20 seconds of suffocation and fear of death. A single martyrdom for a dubious enjoyment of man.

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