X15 is dead
X15 is dead. His death was like his short life: brutal, torturous and grim. A wave of emotions take over if you watch the last images of his life – anger, powerlessness, pain and even shame to live in such a society where everything that has been documented here is accepted as “normal”, as part of everyday life in the so called agriculture industry.
When the impotent rage of the observer begins looking for culprits, it is natural to wish to “kill the messenger”. In this case, it is we who are the messengers: we were able to publish the fate of X15 online, but we did not even attempt to save his life at the last moment. Instead, we cold-bloodedly and cynically held the camera up and filmed how he was murdered.
An understandable reaction, but it is missing something; the messenger is neither the cause nor root of evil: there are 5 million X15s every year in Austria alone, they existed before our project and sadly will continue to exist after it is over.
But how can we then channel the pent-up emotions, where is the “culprit”, who we could at least “hate” from the bottom of our hearts? Is it the simple farmer, who lives from his animals? Is it the veterinarian, who approves the forms to state the animals are being kept appropriately? Is it the slaughterman, who in the final moments does not manage once to set the bolts properly to ensure that the victim is at least stunned for long enough not to experience his own death? Or should we hate every housewife, every consumer who buys ham and bacon in the supermarket without a second thought?
The phenomenon of modern animal exploitation is so monstrous that there are no easy solutions. Anyone who wants to change anything must begin with their own surroundings. informing more and more people about what is going on behind closed doors and high walls, try to raise awareness and change behaviour.
When I look back over the PIG-VISION project, I am first of all glad that, as a direct result of this project, the little pig JACKPOT is able to live a happy live in the Schabenreith animal paradise.
A downside of the campaign, on the other hand, is that whilst the 30,000 people have followed the project in its various stages, we have not reached out even further beyond the sphere of people already sensitive to animal rights issues. We wanted to avoid the standard “preaching to the converted”, we wanted PIG VISION to interest people that sit eating roast pork every Sunday, provoke discussion and cause them to reflect on their attitude. That was indeed an ambitious wish – – who, of their own free will, would choose to deal with unpleasant truths or even change the habits? But this project can also be a useful boost in motivation for those that are already aware of animal rights issues: new motivation to inform others about the consequences of their actions. Just consider this: Statistically, the average European kills about 20 animals every year as a result of their eating habits – if at least one of every two followers of the PIG VISION project could cause three people to contemplate their attitudes to animal exploitation, what results this could have in terms of reducing animal suffering. Almost one million less cases of violence and suffering every year! These are only drops in the ocean, but only drops will fill the ocean.
Finally, PIG-VISION will not end with the death of X15; we will continue to report online about the adventures of JACKPOT, together with his friends. I also hope it will be possible to put this unique project together on DVD, so it may further serve as a tool to sensitise people.