The Animal Cruelty System

People who feel connected to life do not exclude any living being from this connection. Therefore, the only logical conclusion for these people is to live vegan. Not just to eat. That means no leather shoes, no down jackets, no visits to the zoo or circus, no products that have been tested on animals, etc. That actually goes without saying. But now we can eat animals if they are well cared for beforehand and humanely slaughtered at the end. I don’t want to elaborate on the fact that it’s completely impossible to humanely kill someone who doesn’t want to die. Until the last moment, this being will cling to its life – because it has nothing but this. The topic is different. It’s about life as a so-called farm animal in Austria (this also applies to many other countries, but I want to limit myself to Austria for now). Supposedly we have one of the highest animal welfare standards. Seals of approval adorn the packaging of what was once a living thing, often not worth the ink with which it was printed. Because what does reality look like? The VGT is repeatedly fed recordings from companies, from people who do not dare to publish this material themselves, for whatever reason. The VGT, in turn, creates a reveal. Since few people dare to do this, the revelations are just the tip of the iceberg. The true extent of the atrocities happening behind closed stable doors may never be fully revealed. Still, the VGT had 12 disclosures in the last year alone. I would like to briefly describe them below because it makes it easier to see how systemic these tortures are:

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Cruelty to Animals pays off!

Germany and Austria are said to be among the countries where animal welfare is very important. If you look at the relevant legislation, you might almost think that there could be some truth to it. Right at the beginning of the Austrian Animal Welfare Act it says the following:

§ 1 TSchG: The aim of this federal law is to protect the life and well-being of animals from the special responsibility of humans for animals as fellow creatures.

According to the law, we are to understand „the animal“ as a „fellow creature“ and as such it is our responsibility to protect it and ensure that it feels comfortable. It is therefore important to read paragraph 5, because it lists what apparently contradicts this well-being:

§ 5 TSchG: It is forbidden to inflict unjustified pain, suffering or harm on an animal or to put it in severe fear.

In contrast, the German Animal Welfare Act, which combines both paragraphs of the Austrian counterpart, is as follows:

§ 1 TSchG: The purpose of this law is to protect the life and well-being of humans from their responsibility for animals as fellow creatures. No one may cause pain, suffering or harm to an animal without just cause.

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Dear wonderful fellow Creatures

I have fond memories of those two weeks in Ireland in May. We hiked around the Ring of Beara, over hills and above all over meadows, saw many sheep with their babies, but also cows, also with their families. They were together and stayed that way. Nobody tore them apart. They grazed peacefully, eyeing us with a mixture of curiosity and timidity. They seemed used to humans. But above all, they had a life, at least as much as is possible for a so-called livestock in our society. Sure, they’re slaughtered, too, but best of all, given the circumstances, we’re still living in a society where the majority thinks eating meat is essential. And the sweater made of sheep’s wool.

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Help, my child is still not #weaned

Family, interpersonal tragedies are usually carried out in secret. After all, you don’t want to be seen as someone who did something wrong, especially because you’re under the mistaken assumption that it’s just my problem and everyone else is doing it right. But as with many other things, you can also see here that someone has to start daring to go public to see that many others feel the same way as I do. I’m not alone in this. It falls like the proverbial scales fall from your eyes. Ms. K., as one of those affected, has kindly agreed to speak about it here. Understandably, she wishes to remain anonymous.

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I eat therefore I am

Protests, regardless of the topic, be it the meat, dairy, egg, fur or other exploitative industry, have the great advantage that you get to talk to people. This is important because then you can better assess how people think and act who are not actively committed to animal rights. In addition, this also creates the opportunity to fill in knowledge gaps that still exist. A classic is still that many people do not know that a cow has to have a calf in order to give milk. 35% of the citizens of the so-called civilized countries are still convinced that a dairy cow is a dairy cow because it is born as such. It is also interesting to learn what conclusions people draw from the newly gained information for themselves and their lives. It’s no secret that the aim of our educational work is that fewer and fewer people support animal suffering, i.e. change their lifestyle. Not decreed from outside, but as the result of rational and reasonable consideration that results from the facts. That’s the theory. I would like to illustrate how far the practice is from this in the following conversation, which took place at a protest on the subject of pig suffering, exactly that way and no other.

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We don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable

You eat as well as no more meat. Did you tell me
I looked at you and I knew you were lying.
No, actually you weren’t lying, because almost not much meat,
that’s a matter of interpretation.
What about the pizza, I asked.
Well, pizza, I’ll eat it with salami.
It just tastes too good.

We understand that.
We don’t want you to feel uncomfortable.

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Fur in Austria

Since 2005, when a nationwide animal protection law came into force, fur farms have been banned in Austria. The production of fur is one side, the trade in it the other. Even if there are no more fur farms in Austria, fur is still sold and processed. Fur industry puts the amount of processed fur exports at € 7.3 million for 2017[1]. This means that it can be assumed that at least a third of this value is imported as fur, because the fur of the 60,000 foxes[2] allegedly shot by Austrian hunters does not necessarily matter.

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You stole my child from me (3)

My unknown babies!

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been laying eggs in the midst of many others. It’s so tight that I can barely move. I have heard that it is good posture, down-to-earth posture. But it’s just cramped and smells. But I could endure all of that if it wasn’t for my babies. I lay eggs because I am a hen. My body does. I lay an egg every day. But I know more.

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You stole my child from me (2)

My babies!

You laid next to me and I couldn’t do anything for you, neither for you nor for me. “Mom, why are you just lying there and not building a nest for us? Why don’t you play with us? Don’t you love us?”, you seem to be asking. But it’s because I couldn’t help it. But my martyrdom did not begin when you were born, but a long time before that. I was chosen to have babies. All others are slaughtered after 6 months of suffering, but I was allowed to live longer. What a farce!

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They are just Babies

Max is curled up, curled up very tightly, in his box, in which he has to live in solitary confinement. Of course, he doesn’t have a name, just a number. It doesn’t pay to name him. He’s just a calf, plus a male that will soon be dead or somewhere on a truck shipped for slaughter. I gave him his name to give him a remnant of dignity, as if he had been someone in the middle of an industry in which it is only something. Something that will make money or not. He doesn’t bring any. He’s worth € 8.49 in this industry. The feed that he needs costs more, this cheapest milk replacer. Even that is still too expensive. His value is measured according to his usefulness. He doesn’t have one, not in this system, but for his mother he is the world. He curls up so that the cold goes away, especially that of loneliness. All he wanted was to be with his mother. Sucking, not only to satisfy hunger, but also because it is good for you. But he has to be there, all alone. He doesn’t understand why. He wanted nothing more than to be with his mom as it should be, nothing more than to live.

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