The following is an open letter to those who left animals to drown in the wake of Hurricane Florence.
Dear North Carolinians,
How dare you! You had ample time to pack up your most precious belongings, gas up your car, and flee the state with your loved ones. And you still chose to leave animals behind.
For most of last week, I watched the updates about where Florence would land, how much flooding could occur, and how it would affect farmed animals in the area. As an animal rights activist, I felt helpless knowing people would choose to leave animals behind with no way to survive. And just “hoping animals would survive the worst of the storm is the biggest disgrace. Sorry, not sorry.
Now that rescue teams are in the area, my Facebook feed is filled with videos of people rescuing dogs trapped in waist-high floodwaters and dogs left crying for help, some barely able to swim and on the brink of death. And these are the lucky ones.
For every dog rescued by teams in North Carolina, thousands of pigs have already drowned.
Unlike companion animals, who by law must be included in government evacuation plans during natural disasters, farmed animals are afforded no legal protections. So while farmers fled for safety, animals drowned in cages and crates with absolutely no chance of survival.
Drowning is one of the worst things one can experience. Submerged underwater, fully conscious, you panic, unable to call for help. After a few minutes, your body doesn’t get enough oxygen and you lose consciousness, allowing your airways to relax and your lungs to fill with water. Your body eventually shuts down from brain damage and cardiac arrest. It’s easily one of the most terrifying ways to die.
And this is what you did to them. As floodwaters rushed in, pigs and piglets would have panicked, just like anyone fighting to survive. We’ve seen such panic time and time again when animals are being slaughtered. Most likely, they would have bitten the bars of their crates, hoping to break free. But many were unable to escape. Imagine if you were in their place.
You let them die because they were nothing more than property to you, and the insurance money was probably worth more than the hassle of moving thousands of pigs to safer areas.
I’ve heard on some news sites that there was “nothing we could do about the animals. That is a sheer lie. You can stop torturing them.
As a people, we need to take a serious look at ourselves and decide whether we truly want to be such monsters. Then we need to change the laws. Immediately.
And while that happens, all of us can stop supporting the disgusting meat industry by refusing to buy its products. Learn more here.