I’ve seen it

For many years, even decades, I lived in blissful ignorance. Of course, I heard from time to time that our fellow creatures in the animal exploitation industry were not doing so well. „It won’t be that bad,“ I managed to convince myself. Advertising made a significant contribution to this. You saw and see happy cows running around in the pasture, cute little pigs digging in the ground or alert chickens scratching in the ground. Somehow it was also conveyed that the AMA seal of approval stood for animal welfare, even if the AMA denies this. That was a pure figment of my imagination. Too bad actually. But because it was shown so often, I thought to myself, this is the reality, and everyone feels the same as in the pretty little pictures or in the homely videos. Except for the few exceptions that also exist. But just as some so-called domestic animals are poorly kept, so it is occasionally the case with so-called farm animals. Of course, not wanting to see is also a certain protective mechanism.

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The Suffering of Calves for the Milk

Animals in the animal exploitation industry don’t have names, they have numbers, numbers in the form of yellow ear tags so you know straight away who owns the animal. You can also see which country it comes from. If animal transporters are now being pursued from Austria to Spain, animals appear whose ear tags can be assigned to Austrian companies, but these vehemently deny knowing what is happening to the animals, then it is obviously a very special form of memory loss. For decades, one disclosure has followed the next, the most serious abuses are documented, always with the same consequences. No. Like this fall.

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Animal Torture is extended

Many years ago, before automobiles existed, people either walked or rode carriages. At least those who could afford it. The very rich even had their own carriages. Back in the good old days that Conservatives can only dream of, it was the mode of transportation of choice for those in high places or notables. But times change. One would hardly believe it. Within a few decades, the automobile gained the upper hand, and it is impossible to imagine the streetscape without it. What’s more, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get around the city in any other way, be it on foot or by bike, always the sacred vehicle has priority and deserves the most space.

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The rescued Piglet

Once again there has been an exposure by an animal rights organization. This time in a pigsty. More precisely, it was a breeding and fattening stable. If the animals can’t get out, then at least they have straw, pens in which they can romp and the mums have extra pens with their piglets, one for each mum. That’s what we’re constantly being told. You have to understand that not every farmer is able to keep the animals outdoors, but in the barn, it’s nice there, they have fun there and they’re fine. Finally, they are looked at. Just think, after all, that’s the farmer’s chapter. Because if the animals are not doing well, they will get sick and die. This is not in the interest of the owners who want to make money with it. The explanation makes sense, so you sit back and relax and think the animals are fine. Until you see the revelation and actually have to admit that you were constantly being lied to and allowed to be lied to. It’s also much easier to just believe and not ask any more questions, just look it up.

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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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