The Tour was launched as part of our ongoing “Scammed!” campaign, which aims to create awareness about the fact that Food Standards Agency Official Vets and CCTV in slaughterhouses do little to prevent serious breaches of what are already laughably toothless animal welfare regulations, and that the true purpose of such measures is to lend legitimacy to the idea that there could ever be a “right way” to rob animals of their lives. In other words, such measures are a smokescreen which can never justify animal killing, and don’t even prevent the kind of violence which meets the government’s own narrow definition of “animal abuse”.
This campaign follows our investigation at a small Cheshire-based slaughterhouse earlier in the year (G. & G. B. Hewitt Slaughterhouse). The footage we obtained during the investigation was horrific – animals were killed in full view of each other. Many were improperly stunned and appeared fully conscious when the stabbing and slicing began. One piglet even appears to have been conscious as he was thrown into a scalding tank. It’s the kind of footage that most people try their level best to never see… which is why we decided to take it on the road!
Our Tour of Truth saw us engage in a pressure campaign as well as public outreach, and so we worked the slaughterhouse investigation footage into an animation urging Boris Johnson to abandon all plans for using taxpayer money in the funding of slaughterhouses.
The less-than-flattering animation features the Prime Minister giving an address to the public in which he assures them that animal slaughter in the UK is well-regulated and humane. However, each new assertion causes his nose to grow slightly longer, and his broadcast is repeatedly interrupted by disturbing scenes from our undercover investigation. The video was screened to hundreds of Christmas shoppers during our tour via the 4-metre-wide screens of a digital ad van. Watch it HERE!
On the first day of the tour, we protested outside Smithfield Market in London where our blood-stained slaughterhouse worker was handed a giant cheque by “Boris Johnson” to symbolise the divestment of taxpayer funds into the inherently violent industry. And make no mistake, it is the industry that we target, not the workers themselves who also suffer in what can only be described as hellish working conditions – conditions which unsurprisingly cause many to suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome.
In each location we also engaged in strategic “snacktivism”, giving out free vegan “pigs-in-blankets” to Christmas shoppers. Some of the vegan sausages we gave out were generously donated by vegan food company “THIS”, and some of the vegan bacon was provided by “No Homer’s” plant-based deli in Nottingham – and we can attest to the fact that they tasted great!
We had many great conversations with people who were receptive to learning more about the philosophy of veganism, and the tour was a resounding success! We’d like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to everyone who came and helped on the day – both activists, and the members of Vegan Action for Animals UK, who joined us in Reading, as well as Oxford Vegan Action, who joined us on our final day in Oxford on “Super Saturday” – the busiest shopping day of the year!
Check out our Flickr album of the tour HERE!
For those of you who couldn’t make it to any of the events in person, but still want to get involved, you can still help out by sending our campaign letter to environmental secretary George Eustice, demanding an end to the public funding of slaughterhouses. And if you’d like to help fund our future actions, you can donate to our Christmas ‘Respect All Life’ fundraiser which will run all this week!
Thank you to everyone who has supported Animal Justice Project this year, we couldn’t have achieved so much without you!