Warning: This article contains shocking imagery which readers may find distressing. All photos courtesy of Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals
A photographer has exposed brutal practices in the Thai pork industry with a collection of horrific images of animal abuse.
Undercover photographs taken by Jo-Anne McArthur for welfare project We Animals show slaughterhouse workers clubbing pigs to death.
Animals are also shown stunned on their eyes with homemade stunners in abattoirs which activists say have little regulation.
Pork is a staple food in Thailand, where 18 million pigs are reared for slaughter every year.
Photographer McArthur captured animals arriving crammed into trucks, and followed them to the slaughterhouse where they were beaten with clubs in a slaughterhouse where 500 animals are killed every day.
Pigs were also slit open with a knife and allowed to bleed out before being dragged into boiling water.
These shocking procedures reflect countless small and medium-sized pork operations in Thailand, according to Kate Blaszak of the international charity World Animal Protection (WAP).
“Caged transport is a common mode of transport in south-east Asia. Usually the animals arrive cramped, dehydrated, exhausted and severely sunburnt if they’ve been transported during the day, often across borders,” Blaszak told The Guardian.
“Then you’ve got poor unloading and handling of the animals: falling and slipping pigs, or pigs which are dropped, dragged, beaten and kicked. Clubbing is a manual attempt to stun an animal – to render it unconscious before killing by bleeding by knife. But clubbing is very ineffective in pigs.
“The simple speed of manual clubbing cannot meet the necessary energy for an effective stun. Clubbing just beats, bruises and abuses animals and is ineffective.
“Electrical stunning is sometimes done and usually with completely unregulated stunning equipment, which is sometimes homemade. It’s consistently wrongly applied and completely ineffective as it doesn’t even span the brain. It’s just cruel electric shock and pain. Good practical training and enforcement can overcome all these issues, to the benefit of all involved.”
Thailand does have laws which require pig slaughterhouses to run ‘without suffering’ inflicted on animals, but activists say this is rarely enforced.
UK vegan activist Will Holmes described the practices as ‘cruel and disturbing’.
“But unfortunately, not surprising when you consider how the world generally view pigs as products rather than individuals,” he told Totally Vegan Buzz.
“Regardless of the method of slaughter, taking the life of someone who doesn’t want to die for an unnecessary reason is never humane.
“We should all boycott the industry, whether in Thailand, the UK or anywhere else, to reduce the demand for killing these animals.”
The slaughterhouse has not responded to requests for comment.
What do you think of this investigation? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Vegan culture, food, beauty & more
- Totally Vegan Buzz Team
- 19th June 2020
All sorts of plant-based foods and products will be up for sale at this summer’s Vegan Farmers’ Market in Vancouver. Vancouver is gearing to launch the city’s first Vegan Farmers Market on 27 June at Vancouver’s Concord Community Park. The event will operate right through summer for eight full Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 …
- Charlotte Coates
- 13th January 2020
Perfume has the power to transport you. A favourite scent can remind you of many things – conjuring up the bliss of a relaxing holiday, the comfort of home or even a butterfly-filled first date. There are so many wonderful scents to choose from, no matter if you prefer musky notes, floral hints or fruity …
All the quizzes you love to binge!
- Marlon Farrugia
- 10th January 2020
How much vegan knowledge do you have stored away? Do you have to Google your way through a shopping trip, or do you have all the bad E-numbers memorised? Find out now with this quiz. Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a dedicated vegan for many years, and …
- Marlon Farrugia
- 13th October 2019
Spook Season approaches. There will be ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and glucose. You need a costume, and you want to it to show off your personality, which means VEGAN. But what to choose? Take our quiz to find out your perfect outfit. Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a …
- Marlon Farrugia
- 26th September 2019
“If you were a vegetable, what kind would you be?” A question that has tormented humanity throughout the ages – until now. Read: QUIZ: If you score 19/20 on THIS quiz, you’re a Vegan God Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a dedicated vegan for many years, and …