Agree or disagree with animal advocates and activists, no one can deny their dedication, commitment and focus. Every day members of the public are increasingly moved and inspired to join them. Last Monday, approximately 40 people, including Mark Pearson MP, gathered at the Riverlea Piggery in Corowa NSW to hold an ‘awareness vigil’ against the alleged mistreatment of the animals contained at the site.
Vigil spokesperson Lisa Ryan says the immediate aim of the vigil is to draw public attention to the plight of animals in intensive agriculture. It was a peaceful gathering, with the aim of ‘bearing witness’ to the animal suffering in intensive farming practices and slaughter houses.
“The public would be appalled if they knew the scale of the animal suffering and abuse that occurs inside these facilities, just to get pork, ham and bacon on their plates,” Ms Ryan said. “We will continue to hold these peaceful vigils at abattoirs, pounds, piggeries, wherever they are needed to raise awareness.”
One of the Riverina’s most vocal animal rights activists supported a vigil at a Border piggery on Monday night, aimed at drawing attention to “the plight of animals in intensive agriculture”.
The event, staged at Rivalea’s Corowa plant, was organised by vegan-activist group Sydney Pig Save, an arm of the international Save Movement.
Ms Ryan said the vigil was “a powerful but peaceful way for the community to express opposition to cruelty”.
“The public would be appalled if they knew the scale of the animal suffering and abuse that occurs inside these piggeries and slaughterhouses,” she said. “(A vigil) is an experience between each person and the animals.”
As dawn broke over Rivalea Corowa Piggery & Slaughterhouse…
Contains sounds of pigs screaming; no graphic images
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget the screams I heard today as we bore witness to the slaughter of nearly 2,000 pigs, their squeals continuing for hours after the sun came up. They could smell their deaths as clearly as we could. They knew what was coming. I’ve never felt so helpless in my life.
You cannot look into the eyes of a sow and tell me she can’t feel fear. Tell me she doesn’t know any better. Tell me she’s treated well. Tell me she’s killed humanely. Tell me her death is justified by your appetite. Because by now she is dead, and her death was far from painless.
To the animals: I’m sorry I couldn’t make them stop. I’m sorry I couldn’t make the pain more bearable. All I could do was bear witness to your death, and try my hardest not to turn away.
I feel guilty for leaving them all behind.
I feel like I’ve been run over by a bus. I feel worse that we had to leave these poor souls behind, screaming for their lives and no one to help; screaming and no one hears.
So sad, I just keep thinking they are all dead now.
I feel like I have more purpose and more meaning in my life than ever. Deeply touched and open to where this journey of activism can lead me to live a truly authentic compassionate life.
I feel more determined and filled with purpose. Everything is clearer and reality has shifted slightly. As if getting so close to the truth has brought my heart further into focus.
I will never forget the sounds of their screams as they fight for their lives while being lowered into a gas chamber. I will never stop fighting for their right to live and to end their suffering.
The smell was indescribable and I can still hear the screaming of pigs being gassed after being unloaded from packed transport trucks. The sheer horror of this is just not acceptable. Animals do not give up their lives voluntarily, nor do they live happy lives before slaughter.
There is a hell on earth, and its name is Rivalea. It is just one amongst many and it is the stuff of my nightmares.