This is a photo of pigs at a slaughterhouse.
Pigs like these were slaughtered for meat. Pigs like these had their heads cut off. Pigs like these had their brains blown out so some people could eat pig brains.
The process the slaughterhouse used to remove the brains has caused a new disease for slaughterhouse workers. A New York Times article explains:
“The disease bore no resemblance to mad cow disease or to trichinosis, the notorious parasite infection that comes from eating raw or undercooked pork. Nor did it spread person to person [...]
“A survey of the workers confirmed what the plant’s nurses had suspected: those who got sick were employed at or near the ‘head table,’ where workers cut the meat off severed hog heads.”
Pigs like these have the intelligence of dogs or three-year-old human children. Pigs like these can be gentle and playful with people and other pigs. Pigs like these can play video games, know their names, and dream.
The Times article continues…
“[E]xposure to the hog brain itself might have touched off an intense reaction by the immune system, something akin to a giant, out-of-control allergic reaction. [...]The aerosolized brain matter might have been inhaled or swallowed, or might have entered through the eyes, the mucous membranes of the nose or mouth, or breaks in the skin.[...]
“‘[I]t makes biologic sense that what you have here is an inhalation of brain material from these pigs that is eliciting an immunologic reaction.’ What may be happening, [Dr. Osterholm] said, is ‘immune mimicry,’ meaning that the immune system makes antibodies to fight a foreign substance — something in the hog brains — but the antibodies also attack the person’s nerve tissue because it is so similar to some molecule in hog brains.[...]
“Anatomically, pigs are a lot like people.”
Pigs like these are very similar to humans. Pigs like these would rather be your friend than your dinner.
As Mary Martin says,
“When I look at the photo above [..] I am nauseated and distressed. What if they were dogs? Why is it that we can slaughter 19,000 hogs in one day, at just one plant, and the reporter doesn’t find anything wrong with that? What has become of our sense of right and wrong when the story is about the 12 people, most of whom have recovered and none of whom had their brains blown out, rather than about what we do as a matter of course to sentient beings? Why isn’t the story about the ‘distinctive scent’ of the plant that makes it ‘easy to find from just about anywhere in town?’ Do you think that stench is harmless? And why do we think we wouldn’t have problems (other than the obvious karmic ones) when we blow animals to smithereens?”