Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I live just a few doors down from the rastro. Slaughterhouse for you English speakers. Although no longer an active place, they do occassionally bring pigs over to slaughter. The noise of the squealing pigs when they do this is one not to be missed! Actually, I could live the rest of my life without hearing it!

I have been on the car ferry many times when they have loaded truckloads of pigs to be brought over. It is an inhumane piece of business. The pigs are transported with no shade and crammed into the back of these trucks so they can hardly move. Who knows how far they have traveled like this before they reach the ferry. I suppose they figure they will be dead soon so why bother with making them comfortable.

Sometimes people come up to take a closer look. Sometimes to take a poke or jab at them, just to see the reaction. I wonder if there is even a word in Spanish for animal cruelty?

I feel sorry for them. I know they have no idea of where they are going, but they must be miserable and terrified anyway. I do enjoy my bacon and ham, but wish that it could come from a more humane source.

Special thanks to Dougie in CT for sending me these photos.


Isla Deb said...

That is so sad. I don't think I could stand hearing those poor things scream.

Life's a Beach! said...

That's horrid the way those pigs are stacked in that truck. Listening to the sound effects of the slaughterhouse must put a different taste on tocino.

KfromMichigan said...

So very sad .... I don't like to see or hear about people being mean to animals.

Steve Cotton said...

I wrestle with this issue a lot. I love people. I love animals. I love life. But I continue to eat some animals (even though vegetables are filling a larger part of my plate these days).

Is there a way to "humanely" kill an animal? Most of the patina of civiliation that we call humane treatment seems to be designed more to salve the human conscience. Kosher requirements for killing animals are designed to calm the animal. And maybe that is good. But there has to be some distress in any slaughtering process.

Thanks for the post. You have given me grist for my thought mill today.

Nancy said...

Oh, I bet they do know where they are going. Pigs are very smart animals.

One of the reasons I don't eat meat.

Anonymous said...

I'm flashing back to Sarah Palin and her Thanksgiving adventure in front of the turkey slaughterer.....

(I'll try not to make an uncalled for pig reference....;)

O Robert

Sue said...

This is why I don't eat pork on Isla - I have heard the screams as I laid on the beach across the road. I have seen the trucks, and I cannot bear thinking about those poor animals. I do eat bacon and ham on occasion, just not 'local' meat - not that it makes one bit of sense, I know.

Last year I followed a truck full of cattle on its way to market in Oklahoma. Looking at the faces of those poor animals, I was in tears and I laid off beef for a long time. Still rarely eat it.

I sure wish life wasn't full of awful things like these.

norm said...

Back in the day: We would raise a litter of pigs for summer pig roasts, the pigs would get wise to the program after the first act. One of my pistol loving friends decided he wanted to try his hand at the pig killing. The pigs got excited and were running all over the place, he ended up putting a nice hole through his lower leg. Guns are not toys and killing is not a game-a hard fact of life learned well by my friend.

Islagringo said...

Isladeb: it is a bit nerve wracking. Especially when the scream is cut off mid scream.

LAB: I have become very good at disassociating the screams from the taste of pork.

KfromMI: I don't think that they are intentionally being mean. It's just the way things are down here. Animals are animals.

Steve: interesting debate fodder. I firmly believe that not stressing the animal is paramount. That is not the case here though. This place was actually shut down many times because of the inhumane treatment of animals over there.

Nancy: I have to disagree with you on this one. I doubt that they know where they are going or why. Animals do not have a perception of their own mortality, only an instinct for survival.

O Robert: leave it to you to find the humor here.

Sue: but life is and will continue to be full of these sorts of things. It will continue because humans, as a whole, will never stop exploiting the animal world.

Norm: well said.

Michele in Playa said...

We have a friend who has a small ranchito outside of Cancun. We have been toying with the idea of having him raise pigs for us and slaughter them as need be. My thought for this being that it will be somewhat more controllable as far as quality of life for the animal and quality of meat for my family. We currently have a turkey that will most likely end up on our Thanksgiving table and a bunch of chickens that we keep for eggs. I like the idea of keeping my food as local as possible. Thoughts?