At the Top of Their Lungs

I've never heard screams like this before. As I stood with my mouth hanging open, my heart pierced by each shriek, I couldn't help but look around me to see who else could hear. At this moment the difference between hearing and listening became ever-more potent. To those surrounding myself and the pigs, their cries for help were nothing but background noise. Those sounds, for me, are some I will never forget. 

How can Screams mean Smooth?

"There aren't enough OOOOOOs in the word Smooth to describe this trailer" he claims. 

Has he himself ever taken a ride in one of his trucks I wonder? Would it be fit for his pets and family? 

"Much better than standard trailers" he brags as you hear a pig scream. I call out "It isn't much better- Is it!" It was almost as if the pig shook his head "No!" 

Calling out- "I'm Right Here!"

I ran alongside this truck approaching the intersection, reaching out my arm and calling out "I'm right here." The pigs kept my gaze as the truck turned the final corner. 

The final truck I witnessed this morning was full of pigs screaming for freedom. I responded- "I hear you!" After a minute the pigs stopped screaming and the truck went almost completely silent. It was an extremely surreal moment to experience. It was almost as if a wave of peace wafted over us -just in that moment. 

I Wait for Hours

Sometimes I spend hours waiting outside the slaughterhouse to endure mere moments that pass by in the blink of an eye. Patiently waiting is the most surreal feeling in the world. Obviously I do not want the trucks carrying pigs to their slaughter to arrive. But if they are, I want to be there to document their suffering and expose it to the world. 

Pigs Without Teeth

I had never had my hand so far inside a pig's mouth. She placed all of my fingers and palm past her lips to rest on the bumpy roof of her mouth. I was startled when I felt not a single tooth- They are always so gentle but these pigs had all had their teeth trimmed/ground off shortly after birth. This is a standard industry practice I wasn't aware of until today- even after 3 years of experience and research. Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse...

Apologizing Ins't Enough

Honestly, it never gets easier. Some think I'm numb to the heart-ache, some wonder how I continue to do this. It has been over three years- each time feelings of never being able to do enough keep me coming back. 

When you meet these animals for yourself; being present, even offering love and sympathy simply isn't enough.