VEGA News Item

Crying Over Spilt Blood - 28/03/2009
Leakage of Blood from a Slaughterhouse
1. "Rivulets of bloody liquid were seen emerging from a slaughterhouse in Guildford this week," reported the Surrey Advertiser (06 March 2009). The Chitty Food Group carries out the slaughter, cutting, and packing of beef and lamb at its site on the Slyfield Industrial Estate. County Councilor Mike Bennison, who was driving past the site, described his repulsion at seeing blood seeping out of drains and on to the road: He said: "It made me feel physically sick, I had to go into the middle of the road to get around it."

2. A spokesperson for the Chitty Food Group, explaining some niceties, said that the substance could not be described as "blood" and that there had been no risk to public safety. "It's water with blood going thru it," she said. "It's watered down quite considerably. There was a blockage between a manhole and a bit of kit we have in the yard. An accident has happened and we're dealing with it."

3. A drainage company was called in quickly to remove the issue, the spokesperson added: the substance had come from a cleaning exercise carried out at the site as a matter of course. "We're running an abattoir, we take all these issues extremely seriously and we're dealing with this in an equally serious manner," she said.

4. Some years ago the adjoining livestock market and the slaughterhouse attracted objections from animal welfarists and environmentalists - as well as local councilors and residents - for the noise, smells and nuisances associated with these premises and their operations. Many of the animals auctioned at the market continued, in the ways of the trade, to other auctions until they were finally delivered to a slaughterhouse; some animals were destined for killing overseas. Proximity to the Slyfield Slaughterhouse did not count for much in savings of food miles and stress on the animals. Vigils were held at the doors of the slaughterhouse when livestock from the annual Royal Smithfield Show at Earls Court in London were delivered to be killed in the judging for the live/dead event held during the show, to which animal welfarists marched from Marble Arch, once the scene of public hangings, for demonstrations and protests outside the Show.

5. The market at Guildford closed a few years ago and the Royal Smithfield Show at Earls Court was moved after some delays to occasional events at provincial shows. The burghers of Guildford could hardly protest innocence of their complicity and responsibility in the bloody workings of their part of the live/deadstock industry. Those objections remain, although transport of live animals, on hoof or hook, has latterly been overhauled, if only to lessen risks of transmission of diseases, some zoonotic.

6. However, animal welfarists "blooded" in the early days of Beauty without Cruelty and the publicity of the annual seal-kills in Canada and the stabbing, clubbing, and bloodshed that soiled the ice with a red tide of shame must recoil with renewed horror at a picture with the caption: "A sealing vessel loaded with pelts leaves stark evidence on the ice that the annual Canadian seal hunt began this week. During the hunt 280,000 seals will be killed - 5,000 up on last year and 10,000 more than in 2007, drawing protests from environmentalists who say that level is unnecessary. The EU is preparing to ban seal products."(The Guardian, 26th March 2009)

After all these years, with cruelty-free alternatives to meat, leather, footwear, and clothing, as well as with substitutes such as fake(faux) furs, bearskins, and products from "environmentally-friendly" farming, the bloody pursuits continue from Canada to Guildford in England, as well as the hunts for escaped and released mink causing environmental damage in the English countryside.

7. Veggies remain prominent in resisting the recurrence of the evil trade and the shame that attaches particularly to the fashion industry. Leather may be a 5th-quarter by-product of the meat and dairy-industries and therefore of their nefarious persistence. The persistence lies with the customers purchasing the objectionable products or turning the blind eye. Once, social reformers bewailed the blood on the coal; now the blood is spilling into the environment and drains.  

Registered Charity No. 1045293
© VEGA - 2008