The Sounds of A Slaughterhouse

Apr 2, 2020 | Farmed Animals, Pigs, Slaughter

The Sounds of A Slaughterhouse

Apr 2, 2020 | Farmed Animals, Pigs, Slaughter

Spent sows wait under sprinklers in holding pens outside a pig slaughterhouse in Taiwan.

Text and video by Kelly Guerin.
Images by Jo-Anne McArthur.  

To view more images from this story, please visit our Slaughter gallery on the We Animals Archive.

Covert shot through car window of pigs being unloaded at an industrial slaughterhouse in Taiwan.

The four of us were in an unmarked van, parked in plain sight at the center of an industrialized pig slaughterhouse in Taiwan. To our left, multiple loading docks busily received truck after truck of live pigs. To our right, a single open doorway framed a steady line of carcasses swinging down the production line. We documented the procession through tinted windows.

“Can we crack the window a bit so I can get audio?”

The sound of a pig at a slaughterhouse is somewhere between a scream and a roar. Whirring industrial fans, beeping machinery, and shouting workers add to the hellish chaos. To get the terrified, shaking animals down the ramps, workers have to climb the truck railings and jab them repeatedly with electric prods. Some stressed or sick pigs have to be carted off manually by chains and pulleys. One was suspiciously carted away – alive – suspended in the bucket of a backhoe. Trucks continue to arrive. All the while, bodies swung steadily past the open doorway. 

We clutch our cameras and pray that any of this will translate to anyone outside of this van. Will anyone else feel these screams? Will their hearts race for these animals as ours do now? We capture as much as we can until we can’t risk staying any longer without drawing attention. Then we drive away with these images, out of the gates to rejoin the world.

Pigs wait in a holding pen outside an industrial slaughterhouse in Taiwan.

Text and video by Kelly Guerin.
Images by Jo-Anne McArthur.  

To view more images like this, please visit our Slaughter gallery on the We Animals Archive.

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