Today is Friday and we need to smile and realize that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We isolated a pig farmer that went vegan and a Swedish radio channel for vegans interviewed Gustaf Söderfeldt och Caroline Walberg to find out the reality behind the meat industry. Let me inform you that Caroline is a vegetarian and had to endure great mental challenges during their involvement in the meat industry business.
The sound file below is in Swedish but you who do not speak Swedish and cannot locate an interpreter, here is the summary;
- They purchased an older farm that was decommission in the 60s which they refurbished and they use to have various animals such as ducks, chickens, pigs, peacocks etc.
- They became farmers because they wanted a new lifestyle.
- They started by growing vegetables but when people found out they did not have animals then they were not considered real farmers. The plan was not to have animals. They were convinced to have animals and bought their pigs online, extremely cheap.
- They loved their animals, they were considering them extremely nice, cuddly, and cute.
- The pigs escaped constantly, had a wish to be free. They continuously enforced the pigs to be fenced in since this was the only life they were meant for.
- The first slaughter was creepy. They used a stunner which destroys their brain and then they cut their throats while blood sprays all over the place. He just did it because it needed to be done, it was part of the process. He was very consumed by being a farmer, he had pigs, it is macho, tough, he was a real man.
- The meat could not be sold because they performed their own slaughter, there are strict laws so meat consumers were extremely happy that they were invited to taste the meat and told them they were doing a great job. Nobody ever told them that this was not right. People usually believe that local and non-industry production is better, Eco. Attention on them grew, positive reaction from other farmers, new friendships. The ate a lot of meat as well, they could eat so much that they became sick.
- They used to buy leftover potatoes from a neighboring farmer which they used to feed the pigs.
- As business grew they started to send pigs to a local slaughterhouse and they returned the slaughtered pig in different appeasing parts so they could sell it at their farm. They became famous for their meat and a restaurant in Stockholm specifically wanted to user their meat, they also ended up in a cookbook. They never let it grow to big because they did not identify the amusement within the process and Caroline was very much against it. To socialize with the pigs, to consider their eyes, knowing that they had a calling, to be slaughtered and served as food, this tore them to pieces. It became very commercialized, a money-making industry and it started feeling wrong. They did this for five to six years.
- They opened a store in the closest city and started selling vegetables and meat, both their own and from other farmers. They started to realize that this was only done for money. This meat was rather expensive so it drew a specific crowed, where most of them complimented the quality. These humans did not understand the process behind meat industry, it is an ugly process and all they had to do was to bring money and buy the experience of tasting the aftermath. The meat industry that do this at a larger perspective do not care for the animals like they did. When media presents a happy animal in a commercial, it is just show, a pure lie. These farmers are very involved into giving a false image, it is dug in deep into their consonance, it is self-deception for the real image of the meat industry. They were given the opportunity to see the entire chain of events from birth until being sold to the consumer and it is a dirty business.
- He also received an incredible horrible image from the slaughterhouse where he transported his pigs. There were skins everywhere, there was a tractor bucket filled with heads, intestines, and slaughter waste. It looked like hell on earth. The owner of the slaughterhouse was interviewed for his famous sausages, however, he had stopped carrying about his slaughterhouse and his animals.
- One day they woke up and realized that today we stop. Vegetables is good for your health and should be the investment. The feeling that animals is a need to be a real farmer faded away after much death and despair for the pigs they raised. His eyes were opened for veganism. He studied a lot of videos and articles.
- When they decided to make this adjustment, their friends that were meat- or/and dairy farmers turned their backs, progressed hate towards them. There were claims that they were weak and could not care for their animals, besmirching.
- Today they are trying to build new friendships. It is very uncommon with vegan farmers and they do not have a problem to mingle with meat- farmers or consumers but these farmers do not wish to befriend them since their farm is completely vegan.
- The usual attitude is that anything produced in Sweden is Eco. People eat Swedish meat because it is better but this is not true. Meat impacts the environment at the same grade which transportation does (trucks etc.), independently which country the meat derives from. Deforestation is another big factor but forestation is better than open landscapes. Pastures are unique but there are more species of plants in a forest. The virgin forest is what helps our planet to stay healthy.
- He has a hard time understanding how animals and humanity can work together. Animals want to be wild, someone will suffer in this conflict, either the human or the animal. When they think back they get extremely sad and have feelings of guilt for robbing these beautiful animals of their life, just to make money and to satisfy the meat consumption industry. Strong memories are constantly reminding them of the animals they used to care for. Caroline used to practice at dairy farms, even Eco farms and many people think cows live a happy life, but from her experience most of them are tied up and seeing a calf being taken from their mother is not at all a happy feeling, it is extremely sad and painful.
- He provided an example of when he had to take piglets from their mother and she started defending her children. He ended up crawling out from the enclosure with ripped clothes and bleeding heavily. Humans are extremely naïve not understanding that the sadness we feel when we lose a child or someone would take our child is the same feeling animals feel and express. Since pigs cannot talk it is extremely hard to understand their feelings but they tend to express this in both action and sound, we just chose to not pay attention.
- The animals enjoyed summers most because then they were outside and during winter the animals became very depressed due to be enclosed and not free. He can still remember when they use to get to close to the electric fence and he could hear them scream in pain. They tried to escape continuously but after a while they learnt to remain within their enclosure, perhaps a feeling of giving up. If they did escape they were extremely happy and showed their true image, the feeling of freedom. He felt like a prison guard at times.
- Most people say that we need to keep the dairy- and meat industry, it is the most effective way to feed humans, however, it is not the most effective way for the animals. If you grow beans on one hectare of land you produce 12 million calories compared to having animals which produces 300,000. Dairy- and meat farms represent unfashionable and outdated produce. Within Eco, the animal manure is a necessity, you are not allowed to use fertilizers and that is why they chose not be Eco, to not be dependent on animals.
- To keep animals within agriculture is abuse. Even if you run an Eco farm, there is much that occurs along the way that is not right. If a cow does not want to enter the transport, then it is forced. You must separate the calf from the cow. Animals get sick and do not feel well. You cannot contain an animal, it is never right. It feels liberating to not be part of this anymore. The burden of having animals and providing them to the meat market is not present in our life anymore. We grow so many different vegetables today, such a large variety.