Vigil in Novi Sad – VivaBiH supported the Animal Save Movement
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu
Have you ever seen animals on a slaughter truck? You can look away or you can take a stand against killing.
Screams, sketches, trucks full of feces, unbearable smells and other horror scenes are experienced by animal rights activists during actions called “Vigils” in which they greet trucks with animals and witness their treatment. The fear of these tortured creatures in the trucks cuts through the air!
One such action in Novi Sad, organized by the Animal Save Movement group, was joined by members of our organization.
Animal Save Movement is an international organization. It consists of many groups of people who want to peacefully advocate for animals in cruel industries.
How did it all start?
This organization was founded in December 2010 with the beginning of the Toronto Pig Save, which was actually a record of the cruelty that happens every day.
After Anita Krajnc adopted the dog Mr. Bean, in their morning walks they witnessed sad and frightened pigs on their way to a nearby slaughterhouse in downtown Toronto. Six months later, Anita made a promise to the pigs that she would hold at least three animal vigils each week to witness this cruelty.
By taking photos and videos of those animals, and sharing them on social networks, the goal is to try to awaken people’s conscience and reconnect with the forgotten individuals who are actually behind our food choices.
Anita Krajnc was charged with Criminal Mischief – interference with property for giving water to dehydrated pigs.
However, Anita’s engagement launched the Animal Save Movement and the issue that compassion is not a crime has gone viral on social media and attracted worldwide media coverage.
Why are actions like these important?
Vigil activists, in addition to witnessing the treatment of these captive and tortured beings, are trying to make contact, comfort them, give them water and pardon them because most of these animals have never experienced this.
Although these experiences are too difficult for activists, witnessing animal treatment is actually necessary to raise awareness of what animals are going through. It is time to stop turning our backs to these atrocities.
The real life of farm animals is hidden from public view and that is why these testimonies of what is really happening to animals are important. Attention is focused on animals, and with that comes critical thinking and compassion.
Most consumers are affected by the advertising industry, believing that animals live a relatively natural and carefree life and that they end up being “humanely killed”.
However, the footage and photos from the “Vigil” actions show the opposite – yes, everything that happens in the transport of live animals is reminiscent of the scariest horror movies!
Sometimes their transport lasts for days, and sometimes even weeks, and they are forced to endure all weather conditions, without enough water and food, while staying in their own feces. On crowded trucks or ships, animals often tread on each other in panic, so many die of fatigue or terrible injuries and pain.
Those who survive the journey and are brought to certain countries, then travel again to their final destination – the slaughterhouse, where they are brutally killed.
The Vigil brings us face to face with animals and makes us see who they really are. We get a chance to see their pain and sorrow, to suffer physically, emotionally and spiritually. We see that they want love, attention and freedom, just like people. Animals feel hunger, cold, fear, loneliness and you can see it in their eyes.
These are the basic reasons why we should respect all sentient beings, respect their needs and give them at least basic rights.
Face to face with an individual who will in an hour become a product called “ham, pate, salami…” further forces us to re-examine the world in which we live. We see humans, but not the humanity.
How did we allow the life of one being to be less valuable than a few minutes of our lunch?
As an organization, we wanted to support this vigil in Novi Sad, even though we were aware that we could not save them. We wanted to give the animals at least a minute of kindness, because everyone has betrayed them so far and sealed their destinies.
Our presence at this vigil in Novi Sad was also necessary for us to show that the same horror scenes are happening in our region as in the big countries. Even small countries like Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina get animal products in the same way as the developed western countries and that is by torturing and killing innocent beings who have trusted humans too much.
And what now?
No animal wants death. And this is not the story of “Matijevic” slaughterhouses from Novi Sad, this is the story of all slaughterhouses that end the lives of countless animals every day.
Their deaths were caused by the demand for animal products.
Deep down, we all know that what we do to animals is not right and morally justified. Choose veganism and be in line with your beliefs.
Every day, we make decisions that have either reduced demand or sealed the destinies of some animals. Can you live with your food choices?