Christmas is a time of goodwill towards men, and cruelty to animals. Tens of thousands of pigs, lambs and chickens will be slaughtered in December to provide meals for New Zealanders.
That is why the Animal Save Movement, that bears witness to animals going to slaughter, is conducting the #wakeupworld campaign in the days leading up to Christmas. The aim of ASM is to spend a few minutes with the animals, giving them love and comfort in their final moments, and to take videos and photos to share on social media. The Save Movement is based on Leo Tolstoy’s philosophy “When the suffering of another creature causes you to feel pain, do not submit to the initial desire to flee from the suffering one, but on the contrary, come closer, as close as you can, and try to help.”
“By being present, and documenting the animals’ suffering, we are asking the public to take a moment to reflect on their fate” said Sandra Kyle, NZ Country Liaison for The Save Movement. “If it were a dog or cat being slaughtered, it would cause an uproar. But there is no difference between our pets and farmed animals in their ability to suffer.
“One of the hardest things at vigils is seeing the fear in the eyes of the animals as they peer out from the trucks. Animals are much more intelligent than we realise and they can sense what is about to happen to them. They stamp their feet, roll their eyes, froth at the mouth, try to ‘hide’.
“The industry talks about ‘humane slaughter’ but there is no such thing as humane slaughter for an animal who doesn’t want to die. The gun or cut to the throat does not always kill the first time either, and some animals die a protracted, agonising death at the end of a life of suffering in factory farms. In the dairy industry, mothers are routinely separated from their babies as soon as they born; and approximately 1.7 million calves, the majority males, are shipped off to the slaughterhouse at just days old. The females become part of the herd and like their mothers are impregnated on a continuous basis to produce milk for humans. Eventually the tired and weary mother cow too will end up boarding a slaughter truck for her final journey.
“As people learn more about animal rights, they are turning away from eating animals and moving to a kinder compassionate lifestyle. Just like all the social movements that ended, for example slavery, times are changing and we need to adapt. With so many companies creating delicious cruelty-free alternatives, it's never been easier to be vegan”.
New Zealand Animal Save will be holding vigils as part of the #wakeupworld campaign in Auckland, Whanganui, Wellington and Christchurch on specific dates from 15th to 24th December. The aim of the campaign is to invite non vegan friends and family to attend a vigil, and sign up for #Veganuary2020