Now you are lying warm and cozy on the straw, have enough space and can go out into the pasture. A few days ago, it was quite different. You lived in a very small space on dirty slatted floors with many other fellow sufferers. Your wounds, which were caused by the sharp crevices, but also by your peers who nibbled at you because you were one of the weaker ones and they were simply boring, so completely without distraction and employment opportunities. Pigs spend most of their time happily exploring their surroundings. But in these shitholes? One step forward, one step back. That was all you could do, constantly exposed to the toxic ammonia fumes of your own excrement, which collected under the cracks in the floor and was never removed, at least for the few months you were allowed to live. You were also totally filthy, but that could be washed off, only the wounds that your body bears still bear witness to this difficult time. Finally, the barn was closed, and you came here to live the rest of your life in peace and quiet. I called you Fridolin.
„This is an animal welfare stable,“ it said. And I automatically asked myself how it works when it’s not animal welfare, but an animal suffering stable. Only the revelations led to something happening. It had been talked about for a long time, but only when the public was informed did something happen, something changed, for you too, Fridolin. It is sold as animal welfare meat, framed by beautified pictures showing happy pigs, also sold by Spar. It should be talked about, because this Austrian family business also lures customers into buying by telling them from the advertising that the animals that have to die for this meat at least had a happy life. The people who buy it believe in it, also because they want it. But then the revelation came and the whole advertising line threatened to collapse, because many saw themselves deceived. „Do something about it,“ they were asked. And they did something about it. What was this doing? Not about actually establishing more animal welfare or demanding it from suppliers. Completely different. It was sued. This is called a SLAPP lawsuit, i.e. a strategic lawsuit against public participation. Where the public, whether as journalists, NGOs or even ordinary citizens, expresses a critical opinion that could harm the rich organizations or individuals, which in most cases means reducing profits or just their reputation, one no longer goes into the arguments or tries to refute them, no, one goes a completely different way. one complains. The point of these lawsuits is not to serve justice, but only to harm those who bring the facts to light. Whether the lawsuit is won or lost by the plaintiff, it takes a great deal of effort, strength and money for the defendant to defend themselves against corporations or other wealthy individuals, who often maintain an entire legal department. They pay out of petty cash, but it can cost the defendants their livelihood. A threat of legal action is often sufficient. In this way, the opponent is not ruined physically, but financially. The Spar company has managed to ensure that it can no longer be mentioned in connection with pork because, according to the verdict, the Spar company does not breed pigs and therefore cannot do anything about it. This means that criticism is no longer possible. And the meat from the animal quality institutions may continue to be purchased and sold to consumers as animal welfare meat. This verdict is a slap in the face to a critical public. Many will be deterred by this, because they fear for their existence, and rightly so. But what does that mean? That these companies are allowed to lie to us, but you’re not allowed to say it. But what about a judiciary that makes deals with these companies? That she is anything but independent, that profit counts more for them than suffering creatures.
You sleep peacefully and sheltered, Fridolin. You don’t need to worry about anything like that. You can simply live, almost in a species-appropriate way, which most of your fellow species are still not allowed to do. But I promise you that we will not be deterred from continuing to bring the truth out into the open until your suffering finally comes to an end.