Toronto Cow Save vigil September 12th 2013
A really intense vigil was held yesterday outside of St Helen’s and Ryding Regency bovine slaughterhouses.
One Cow Save member (Kristen Bethel) made vegan BLTs for the striking workers from Ryding Regency killing facility. They were made with her yummy coconut bacon. In doing so, many incredible connections were made with these individuals who are currently protesting the plant attempting to take away their hours and disability benefits. Some were already vegetarian, saying that the cruelty they have seen at the slaughterhouse has changed them. Kristen encouraged them to go vegan and some were excited about taking her cooking classes! Others stated that they would begin transitioning to a vegetarian diet, again with the help of Kristen’s knowledge of cooking.
Despite one slaughterhouse functioning at a lower rate than normal, we saw many trucks coming in and out of the other one (St Helen’s). One truck was carrying tiny babies that appeared to only be between two weeks and two months old. These little angels were not being slaughtered, the truck was unloaded other bovines to be murdered. They are instead traveling further across the country to be sold as “breeders”. Their fate is equally (if not more) heartbreaking than the beings who lost their lives yesterday, as they were yelling for their mothers the entire time, and will be facing a lifetime of exploitation.
Another truck carrying beautiful black Angus bovines stopped on the road for a significant amount of time, giving the activists many moments with the innocent souls trapped inside, who, despite what the driver said, were all gentle.
I spent a very long time with one being, who is pictured above in the third and second-last photos. He was terrified of me at first, so I stood there, with my hands hanging into the truck, and just spoke to him for awhile in a very quiet voice. I told him how handsome I thought he was over and over again. Eventually he came up to my hands and pressed his nose against them, even giving me a few tiny kisses with his rough tongue. After this, I gave the top of his nose (a spot that feels like velvet) a tiny scratch. He seemed to really enjoy this so I moved my hand up to scratch his forehead. He liked this so much that he began rigorously moving his head up and down to scratch it against my fingers. I have named him Albert in my heart, and there he will remain forever.
Very shortly after this, the driver yelled that he was going to back the truck into the slaughterhouse. I gripped onto the sides of the trailer and ideas of how to free these incredible beings whipped through my mind. Eventually, another activist had to pull my hands off the truck, so I wouldn’t get injured. She then embraced me and I sobbed for a long time. I kept picturing the horror these gentle creatures were about to face. It is so wrong. I quietly prayed to any god out there that their deaths would at least be quick.
These beautiful, amazing creatures are all dead now, their body parts packaged for consumption.
They wanted life. They wanted love (and indeed, responded to it so well after only knowing us for a few minutes). And they deserved it.
Please. Please go vegan for them.
Vegan Starter Kit.
Toronto Cow Save.
Photo credit to Agnes Cseke (the lovely, caring activist who held me for as long as I cried).