After losing optimism and hope that the headteacher at Farfield would make the compassionate choice to let the pigs live out the rest of their lives at an animal sanctuary, I emailed the school asking
“Will you let me buy the pigs?”
I didn’t expect to receive a reply, as all but one of my emails had been ignored.
The question he asked confused and annoyed me, to me it felt like a snide remark. He later told me it was meant to point out the financial sustainability of my request- they intend to get three pigs next year, will I spend almost £1000? (Yes, I would.)
Despite all the protests, petition signatures and stress this “project” has caused he would repeat it all again! I fail to see how this so called project has been successful in anything other than causing controversy.
I explained to Peter that I didn’t have enough money currently to buy the pigs and asked how much time I would have to come up with the money.
The following day we had another, less eventful, demonstration outside Farsley Farfield. We hoped to discuss with Peter how to pay for the pigs, and ask him whether the money would go to the school or to a farmer/breeder. (The money going to a farmer would not be an ideal situation as it will likely get spent on more death and suffering, however the pigs would either be slaughtered or go on living, the money would probably end up in the same place either way.)
Unfortunately, Peter was not around. We discussed between the four of us that we should raise the money to purchase the pigs to get them to a sanctuary. Or, I would personally prefer, to find a sanctuary first and donate the money directly to them so they could pay. Although it’s a shame that greed and not compassion had triumphed, we were happy that the pigs would be saved! Or so we thought…
What a cruel joke! Imagine someone was holding your dog for ransom and after you agreed to pay the ransom, they said, “just kidding!” I was absolutely furious when I got this email. I spent a long time staring at the computer screen seething with anger, then quite a long time crying.
I think it’s more than a little bit silly to accuse the vegan of creating demand for more “intensively reared pork,” (because they’re not pigs (!) they’re products waiting to be packaged) seeing as I would rather everybody ate no bodies! I have made that abundantly clear since the beginning of this campaign.
I was also told by a teacher that baked potatoes- not roast ‘meat’- were actually served at lunch on Wednesday… I guess Peter just wanted to rub it in my face that the students would be eating dead animals.
I would argue that having one ‘meat’ free day is tokenistic, though it may reduce meat consumption slightly meaning less impact on the environment and health, it means nothing to the animals that everyone will eat the other four days of the week. A life is not a token, it is a life.
As an educator I find it odd that one would make assumptions based on no evidence, or knowledge, about what other campaigns I spend time on.
I wonder what impact convincing my family, friends and strangers to go vegan has had on the world…
We have presented Peter with all the facts:
- Processed meats (ham, salami, sausages, bacon, jerky, canned meat, hot dogs, meat based sauces, corned beef, etc) are level one carcinogens. Meaning consuming processed meats can and does cause colorectal (bowel) cancer and possibly stomach cancer
- Red meat is in group 2A- probably causes cancers such as prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer and colorectal cancer
- Animal agriculture creates more greenhouse gases than transport (planes, trains, cars, ferries etc) globally
- Animal agriculture is also one of the leading causes of: deforestation (subsequently desertification), loss of biodiversity and species extinction, ocean dead zones
- A balanced vegan diet can halt and reverse cardiovascular disease (cardiovascular diseases take the lives of 17.9 million people every year, 31% of all global deaths) and diabetes, as well as lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure. People have even claimed that following a vegan diet has cured their asthma.
- A vegan diet requires less land, water, energy and creates less pollution than an a carnist (omnivorous) diet.
- People who work in slaughterhouses often suffer with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or perpetration induced traumatic stress (PITS – warning, link contains graphic images)
- There are no regulations for “free range” pigs farming in the UK and 98% of UK pigs are fattened (finished) in sheds, 93% of growing pigs and 60% of mother pigs in the UK are kept indoors.
- Animals feel pain
- Pigs in the UK are killed either by suffocation using CO2 gas, or being “stunned and killed” with electric tongues to the head, they then have their throats slit to drain the blood from their bodies. All methods are painful and traumatic for the pigs, and often the process is done incorrectly so the pigs are conscious as they bleed to death.
- Over eight billion billion animals are killed each year in the UK, this includes over 10 million pigs, over 15 million sheep, 14 million turkeys, 15 million ducks and geese, 982 million broiler (specifically raised for consumption) chickens, 50 million boiling (mature) fowl (including so-called ‘spent’ hens), over 2.6 million cattle, 4.5 billion fish and 2.6 billion shellfish
Despite knowing all this, he still wants the pigs to die. Despite having the knowledge that eating animals and animal products can cause/contribute to CDVs, cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure he will still feed 300 children animal flesh four days a week? What’s the point in having a wind turbine if you’re not going to be consistent in your efforts to lower your carbon footprint by serving free vegan school meals?
Veganism is healthier, cheaper and more sustainable than carnism.
As an ex carnist, ex vegetarian and vegan, I can testify that I was absolutely horrified and traumatised when I learned the truth about what happens to animals in the animal agriculture industry. I feel a massive pain knowing that I have contributed to such heinous crimes against non human animals: abuse, torture, rape and death. (Warning: video link contains graphic scenes of a violent nature.)
So, I know that children who grow up to choose compassion and go vegan will feel the same way as I, and all vegans, do.
Peter offered a price for the pigs, unless you’re a pedant, that is as good as saying we could buy them. He knows I am more than willing to pay the £600 to save the pigs from slaughter- I would pay whatever it takes. I could easily raise this money in days, I’m sure many of the 5825 (and counting!) people that signed my petition would be willing to donate what they can. This campaign has even been picked up on by the founder and director of Viva! a vegan charity based in Bristol: https://www.viva.org.uk/
Logic and compassion conclude the right choice is to let the pigs live. I don’t understand the motivation behind rescinding his offer. A change of heart, or a cruel joke?
Friends not food