Tomorrow, Canada celebrates Thanksgiving. (Although in some ways, in my opinion, it may as well be called Thanks-taking for all the harm done to innocent beings.) And while last November I took a different (more generous?) approach when I talked about the occasion as Americans celebrated it, this year I want to focus on mercy. Or the lack thereof.
Because this past week has been merciless when it comes to animals in Canada, and even though it's Thanksgiving weekend, I'm still feeling more angry than thankful. As most of you may know, there was a horrible incident involving 180 pigs in a trailer rollover that left many vegans reeling. I don't want to retell the awful details (some of which you can find in the links posted below), but this incident (in many ways the word accident is insulting) demonstrated just how vile and merciless this industry actually is.
These posts will fill in the background for those not familiar with what happened, and provide good commentary for those who are:
On the same day that this travesty occurred, Bill C-246 (which would have updated Canada's antiquated animal cruelty laws) was defeated 198-84. This bill originally included things like changing the definition of bestiality, banning the import of shark fins, cat and dog fur, and making it a crime to profit from or breed animals for the purpose of fighting. This, apparently, worried supporters of hunting, trapping, fishing, ranching and medical research. So they said, essentially, screw animals.
My Houghton Mifflin Canadian Dictionary of the English Language defines mercy as "Kind and compassionate treatment of an offender, enemy, prisoner or other person [being] under one's power."
Where was mercy shown this week?
- not by staff of Fearmans Pork Inc.
- not by management of Sofina Foods
- not by the manager of communications with Ontario Pork
- not by Halton Regional Police officers (they charged Anita Krajnc AGAIN)
- not by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
- not by vets
- not by representatives of the Ministry of Transportation
- not by some of the media outlets and consumers, and
- not by members who opposed Bill C-246
In fact, more mercy was shown by some of the injured and needlessly killed pigs themselves (this haunting photo and others was originally taken by Andrea White), toward each other:
But I'm trying to remember that there ARE a lot of folk to be thankful for, and that mercy IS plentiful, as shown by:
- members of Toronto Pig Save (including Cow Save and Chicken Save)
- hero Anita Krajnc
- supporters of Anita and all those who attend vigils and bear witness
- everyone who expressed outrage at what happened in Burlington
- sanctuary supporters and founders (including Esther's dads of course!)
- animal rescuers who work tirelessly without being in the spotlight, and
- anyone trying to bring about change for all animals
I'm also thankful that I can virtually visit with Esther and other sentient beings. They give me strength, respite, resolve, and comfort.
Rest in peace, sweet pigs. We will NEVER forget you.