We Couldn’t Save Them

This morning, as on numerous other occasions, I attended an Animal Save. Today we were in Guildford, Surrey outside the APB Food Group Slaughterhouse. We witnessed six or seven trucks pull in, all full of sad, scared animals who had no say in their fate and who are all now not only dead, but have been cut into pieces. Their body parts will now be sold to line the pockets of the APB shareholders and fill the stomachs of heartless, ignorant consumers. It is a joyless place.

There were no police in attendance which is unusual and this gave the APB staff licence to push us around however they liked, one of our group was almost caught under the wheels of one of the trucks, which was a frightening moment that could have ended very differently. All we ask is that the trucks stop for two minutes so we can whisper one last word of kindness to the animals, they would not even permit this.

It’s on a busy main road and we got quite a lot of support from the passing motorists and a fair amount of abuse. Most of the cars slowed down to see what we were there for and from the way many of them looked at us, troubled in some way, I have to think they wondered if they should at least think a little more about their eating habits.

It wasn’t a large group today, maybe 20 at most, but if I was ever going to be stranded on a desert island, these are the people I would most like to be with. Huge hearted men and women who give up their time and travel, what is often quite some distance at their own expense, to try and show these poor creatures that not all humans are monsters.

Jake, who just turned 16 this week, took a little camping stove, few boxes of Linda McCartney sausages, bread and ketchup and cooked for everyone. Olivia & Megan made a dozen or so fantastic looking cupcakes and gave them to anyone who wanted one. I took flask of Jasmine green tea and seitan sandwiches. No one left hungry.

The feeling of unity, of understanding, of empathy is difficult to explain. As we left, the hugs and kisses we got from people we’d never or hardly met before were completely sincere. We are family.

Unlike on previous vigils, we barely disrupted the working day of APB. We may have made a few of those passing a little more aware of the suffering of animals, I have to hope we did. One day we will put an end to this insanity, today sadly we couldn’t save them.

Nick Bean

Environmentalist, activist, writer and public speaker. Decided to "Go Vegan" at the age of four.

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