12/08/11 Bludgeoned on the Head, Stabbed into the Heart
Ms Lenka Gospodnetic
December 8, 2011
Dear Lenka Gospodnetic,
We are writing to tell you how much we appreciated your article "Bludgeoned on the Head, Stabbed into the Heart," which was published in Slobodna Dalmacija on December 6, 2011.
We would like to thank you and your colleague, photographer Mario Todoric, for having documented pig slaughter on photographs and described the very process of slaughtering, thus informing a large readership who tend to avoid thinking about what actually happens to the pigs and other animals before they end on their plates.
The cruelty and indifference that you have described, which are implicitly present in slaughtering as the most brutal act of man against another living being, will certainly compel many people to think over whether enjoying meat is a sufficiently good reason for inflicting such pain and torture upon animals.
Pigs are highly intelligent and sensitive animals (scientists have proclaimed them more intelligent than dogs) and their social behavior is complex to a degree that was earlier recognized only in primates. When they are bred for slaughter, they have no opportunity to behave naturally, to show their intelligence and preference for living in a clean environment, and cannot live their lives freely, safe from abuse and murder.
If anyone in Croatia assisted a dog slaughter, he or she would be appalled at the cruelty of hitting the animal on the head with a heavy object, stabbing her heart, and cutting her throat to let the blood gush forth. Such procedure would not be promoted as precious tradition and no one would tell jokes such as are usual in the pig slaughtering folklore. Whereas nauseating dog slaughter is a tradition in China, Korea, and other Asian countries, they would seem shocking in our culture. This change of cultural perspective when it comes to slaughtering other living beings, who cannot defend themselves from such legally ratified murder, will perhaps encourage you to discuss the topic of slaughtering in some of your future texts from an ethical perspective, rather than merely gastronomic.
Another topic could be the fact that pig slaughter heavily violates the Animal Protection Act and the Regulations on the Protection of Animals during Slaughtering and Killing, which foresees the minimum of conditions to be met while slaughtering animals. Although it is clear that there is no humane slaughtering and that these legal regulation are speciesist, properly implemented laws and imposing high fines for their violation would at least prevent people from stabbing the terrified animal’s heart. Whoever can stab an animal’s heart and cut her throat will easily do that to a fellow human. Whoever likes to see animals suffer will hardly feel genuine compassion when it comes to human suffering.
The photo of you and the pig who was ripped open, published on your facebook profile, will probably also move some people to reflect upon it, and they may even change their nutritional habits. As you know, food doesn’t have to be "yuck" – and thus we are sending you the cookbook called Mljac. We are sure that you will like it.
We remain at your disposal for any form of cooperation linked to animal protection, animal rights, and veganism/vegetarianism.