05 May Crowdfunding a slaughterhouse
The myth of happy animals who thoroughly enjoy their lives and willingly give them up for us is central to this idyllic, romantic concept of small-scale farming reminiscent of days gone by. Even terms such as “micro-abattoir” can potentially sound cool and kind to those desperately searching for the right way to do the wrong thing, conjuring thoughts of care and passion, appealing to the average hipster and any others looking to move away from mass-produced anything. The consumer gets to pat themselves on the back as the world continues to spin in its current state of socially accepted violence and exploitation perpetrated against the most vulnerable and we rapidly head towards the point of no return in our complete destruction of this beautiful planet. Because, unlike a micro-brewery, a micro-abattoir slaughters gentle innocent individuals who do not want to die whilst leaving a much larger environmental impact to crop farming no matter how it is done.
It seems our desire to remain with our heads stuck in the sand is so strong that we are willing to throw money at it.
But please be reminded, ANIMAL SLAUGHTER IS NOT A CHARITABLE CAUSE!
Sure, there is a pretty clear understanding that donating to a crowdfund and donating to a charity are two quite different things.
the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need
the practice of funding a project or venture by raising money from a large number of people who each contribute a relatively small amount, typically via the Internet.
If we’ve seen a charitable project online that we think is worthy of our dollars, or we have a friend we’d like to support in chasing their dream, whether that dream is philanthropic or not, that’s our prerogative and of course very noble. But at what point are we giving away our money under the guise of generosity to instead fund myths because they in-turn let ourselves off the hook? If you are donating your likely hard-earned funds to a project that seeks to build a so-called “micro-abattoir”, (a slaughterhouse, where animals who desperately want to live are sent mostly as mere babies to be stabbed in throat against their will, bled out and chopped up in to pieces), you really need to stop and ask yourself, “what the #uck is wrong with me?”
Recently, one animal exploiter parading as a saviour successfully raised upwards of $100,000 so that he could increase the profits he makes from the suffering of others, in his case, chickens (learn more about where the chickens he raises to be killed come from here https://veganrising.org.au/chickens-used-for-their-flesh-2/).
Sadly, he is not alone. Another harmer is currently rolling in tens of thousands (and counting) in cyber pledges for his new horror show on wheels (read all about it here) where he will violently take the life of peaceful and beautiful bovines he so lovingly refers to in his online campaign as “meat” and “livestock”. A few years ago another self-proclaimed “saviour” convinced the public into giving her just under $30,000 to build an onsite butchery, so she could cut up the pigs she claims to respect into various parts on their return from the gas chamber whilst mocking them in the process.
Many others, both in Australia and abroad have successfully done the same thing.
So, how do they manage to do this you may ask? And, why would anyone donate to such a thing, when there are so many important causes – humans, other animals and our environment in need? Well, the human condition is complex but ultimately it is because we are being sold a lie. But not just that, it is a lie that is very, very convenient. The lie that you can care about someone, but still kill them and eat them.
Taranaki Farm, Provenir and all the others market themselves with feel-good terms such a “free-range”, “paddock-to-plate”, “ethicurean”, “pasture-raised” and so on and actually state repeatedly that they care about the animals they kill. They express their desire to create ethical food, reinforcing the myth that taking life from someone who wants to live can somehow be ethical. They talk about the stress the poor animals suffer in transport as the main motivation behind such ventures but when you read their pleas for funds, you will notice they highlight that the flesh of the animal they apparently care about tastes better when stress is reduced (that old chestnut) and for that reason and others, it is simply more profitable to kill and butcher themselves. In the case of Taranaki Farm, who recently convinced the public to hand them over $111,507, you will also see that they were running out of options as a small-scale “producer” as to where to send the beloved chickens to be murdered. These motivations are selfish not selfless as they like to appear.
Even though most who operate under these feel-good terms are completely fraudulent (as has been documented time and time again), in some cases, the immensely short lives of the individuals raised in these systems can be better than the lives lived by those stuck inside sheds, but, at the end of the day… a slaughterhouse is a slaughterhouse and a boning room is a boning room.
These are not charities or independent projects that are worthy of our donations. Giving them money is not noble. These are businesses that exist to ensure animals remain oppressed as “objects”, “commodities”, and “stock”. The operators’ interest lies in making profits off the exploitation of others in ways that suit their lifestyles. Their interest also lies in the gullible consumer being exploited by the feelgood terms instead of giving their money to the countless actual charitable projects across the country and the globe who are actually trying to end this cycle of violence and cruelty against both humans and other animals and protect our environment and free-living wildlife in the process. But, acknowledging that would mean making a personal change. Putting our hands in our own pockets to support a myth that justifies behaviours we know deep down are wrong is often the much easier option.
Making something a little less cruel doesn’t make it kind and it sure as hell doesn’t make it ethical.
Author: Kristin Leigh
Founder and President of Vegan Rising
Occupation: Communications Manager & Volunteer Coordinator
Credit: Love Bree Photography
Cover Image Credit: Unparalleled Suffering Photography