Toronto Cow Save Vigil – Jan 10, 2014

Categories: Cow Save Vigils

Cow on slaughterhouse truck

A huge OPPORTUNITY/DUTY to bear witness of cows presented itself during this morning’s Toronto Cow Save vigil. There were three transport trucks which were sitting for 1/2 to an hour on Glen Scarlett Road, waiting to ‘unload’ at ‘St. Helen’s Meat Packers’ killing facility/slaughterhouse/death camp. There were seven of us… some day soon there will be dozens–help us make it happen by joining us and inviting your friends and family. Vanessa Sarges said she had time to make connections with specific cows. It was Christine Gittings first cow save vigil: it was her day off and her birthday… you’re a star for spending your day with the cows bearing witness, in front of a two cow slaughterhouses and a chicken slaughterhouse in the last 40 minutes. John Jessome joined us during his holiday time too. Thank you Agnes Cseke for documenting and Anne Griffin and Sharon Lax for spending so much time with the cows. Thank you.

Please join and like Toronto Cow Save

– Anita Krajnc –

For a cow on their way to slaughter – this is the view that they have for the last remaining few hours of their life. In a truck with their herd mates, the stink of the traffic and their own waste, the scary noises and constant bumping of the road, covered in their own urine and feces and in the dark. They are cold and scared and their behaviour reflects that. And all that waits for them, at the end of their journey, is death.

If you come to the vigils then they will see you instead. They will see kindness and compassion instead of bleakness. If you can come, please do. It might not seem like you do much good sometimes but you will make a difference for them.

I am not going to lie and tell people that it is easy to spend time with these sweet souls in the last hours of their lives because it isn’t. It is sad and miserable and it makes you depressed and angry at all humankind.

But I would also be lying if I said that it is not emotionally fulfilling. Most of these souls have spent their entire lives without any kindness or compassion shown to them. They have endured a miserable existence and a miserable journey and they will be dead within a few hours of the vigil. In most cases the only time that anyone has acknowledged them as living beings, capable of love and affection and who enjoy life as much as we do, is when they come in contact with people at the vigils. You can change their lives for a moment, no matter how brief, and that is important for both you and them. Please come out if you can

– Vanessa Sarges – 

Yes, today is my birthday. So I booked the day off work and decided to attend my first Toronto Cow Save vigil. It was heartbreaking to say the least. Truck after truck arriving at the slaughterhouse which resulted in a backlog and gave us an opportunity to spend more time with the cows. Such curious and sweet animals, frightened and cold, waiting to be unloaded and killed.

Attending the vigil really does make you realize how horrible mankind is and how we no longer think of these creatures as living beings. It’s a money making business with no consideration to the horrible conditions these animals are raised in, how they they are transported and how horrifically their lives are brought to an end. One truck driver pointed out to us that we all die. Yes, we can’t argue with that, but no one would opt to die like this.

An equally horrific thing we witnessed is several trucks loaded with the skins of other cows passing by on the way to the tannery down the road. These trucks pass by the trucks of cows still waiting to be taken into the slaughterhouse. Where on earth is our compassion?

All I keep thinking is that every cow I saw today and photographed is now dead, killed just to become someone’s dinner. It’s cruel, it’s nasty, it’s horrific and heartbreaking.

– Christine Gittings –



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Photos: Vanessa Sarges
Author: Toronto Pig Save