Photo Journal Monday: Aitor Garmendia
Trans Los Muros
Social concern about the abuse suffered by animals in farms and slaughterhouses is on the rise, and the images of violence against them are increasingly taking more and more space in the media. Those images are usually obtained by activist researchers who, through the use of subterfuges that allow them to enter these places with a camera in their hands or through the placing of hidden cameras, expose to the public eye the truth of an industry that’s becoming increasingly armoured to the sight of its consumers.
The debate about speciesism —the discrimination and subsequent oppression suffered by animals— and the social movement born to fight against it wouldn’t be where they are now without the existence of graphic investigations carried out by organizations and activists. These investigations have helped people all over the world become aware of the atrocities perpetrated behind the slaughterhouses’ walls, and as a consequence, they have inspired them to get committed with the defence of animals.
The constant abuses captured by these images are not isolated instances of animal cruelty, they are just part of a systematic exploitation regime backed by the support of our institutions. This kind of investigations are undermining the meat business image, and provoking massive monetary losses.With the aim of never letting these images come to light, managers in meat companies receive specific guidelines so as to prevent the hiring of undercover activists who could gain access to their premises.
I’ve been visiting animal exploitation plants for many years. I’ve climbed over the walls of industrial farms together with other activists while they were carrying out their investigations. I have travelled inside trucks loaded with cows and I have accessed almost a hundred slaughterhouses. In them, I have witnessed countless abuses and aggressions suffered by animals, and I have verified the systematic exploitation they endure.
These images are another window to the secretive world of industrial livestock farming, and they’ve been taken for the sole purpose of offering some tools to face the distress suffered by millions of animals.
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