Rescue at Oakland Slaughterhouse Shows New, Potent Tactics of Growing Animal Rights Movement
At least three animals – a rabbit, a quail and a lamb – were rescued, brought to a veterinarian for medical care, and are now recovering at a shelter. The police prevented more animals from being rescued by barring re-entry and by arresting almost two dozen activists.Another protester, Samer Masterson, a 23-year-old software engineer, described the scene as “disgusting,” even for someone like him who has seen dozens of equally horrific abuses at factory farms. “When I walked onto the kill floor, I wanted to throw up. The stench was overwhelming.” When looking around, he said, “all I saw were buckets full of dismembered legs and wings and heads – it look like a scene from a horror film – and it’s just down the road from where I live.”As atrocious as the conditions were, the activists said they are no worse than the standard factory farms run by large corporations. If anything, said Sawhney, the country’s largest industrial farms are worse, because the mass scale of the slaughter and abuse, where all the abuse and killing are mechanized, makes it easier to remove human conscience from the equation.
Animals aren't trash. pic.twitter.com/wtMbDuatah— Mercy For Animals (@MercyForAnimals) October 31, 2017
slam is to treat others compassionately. People generally have compassion toward animals but our actions aren’t consistent with that.”
Perpetrated by the egg and poultry industries, debeaking is to painfully cut off the tip of a bird’s beak, usually with a hot blade ?? pic.twitter.com/JLTR0lycXC— Mercy For Animals (@MercyForAnimals) October 30, 2017
Worse, Masterson said, is this fundamental notion at the heart of animal abuse that “humans are superior to animals and therefore have the right to impose gratuitous suffering. What’s the basis for this claimed ‘right'”? He added:
I experienced a lot of racism growing up, which opened me up to other groups that went through same experiences – including other marginalized humans. But this also applies to animals. I realized they aren’t here for us, but rather are here with us – so it’s our moral right to take care of the downtrodden. That’s another big part of Islam: the mandate to do charity work and help the poor: this applies to animals as much as it does to humans.
All of the activists who spoke to the Intercept agree that support for animal rights is growing rapidly around the U.S. “I think it will be one of the big causes of my generation,” the 23-year-old Masterson said. Not only are protests far larger than even five years ago, but so is online interest in animal abuse, veganism, and consumer demands against the worst corporate abusers. Animal rights is clearly on the brink of becoming a fully mainstream cause.
The latest protest, aside from generating more visibility, seems likely to produce concrete and immediate reforms. Rather than responding with anger and recrimination, Saba’s owner agreed to sit down for a vegan lunch with one of DxE’s lead organizers, Wayne Hsiung (pictured below during his arrest last weekend), to discuss needed reforms.
The Saba owner himself is an immigrant to the U.S. who works for the rights of refugees, has adopted three children since moving to the U.S., and, despite his ownership of a slaughterhouse, insists that he is committed to ending suffering, including for animals. Hsiung says his commitment to reforms, and particularly to instituting practices far superior to industrial farms, appears genuine: he has already ordered a sweeping clean-up of the slaughterhouse, and has agreed to periodically allow inspections and to release animals to DxE.
In many ways, this latest protest and the impressive results it is producing are a poignant reflection of the trajectory of animal rights generally – from a fringe and widely mocked movement stereotyped as the exclusive domain of coddled left-wing activists into one that is now resonating with people of all types, who – as a matter of basic human conscience – are beginning to grasp and be horrified by the widespread, wholly unnecessary and inexcusable cruelty and suffering that animal agriculture is creating.The post Rescue at Oakland Slaughterhouse Shows New, Potent Tactics of Growing Animal Rights Movement appeared first on The Intercept.
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