Europe’s largest slaughterhouse to open for ‘business’

Activists have been speaking up against Spain’s new hi-tech slaughterhouse that plans to kill around 30,000 pigs a day.

Credi: Rafael Gobantes

According to Spanish media (LTR and Heraldo), a new slaughterhouse is to open in Huesca, Spain, a region where the main source of economy comes from animal agriculture.

€15,000,000 from Spanish taxes have been invested in the new facility, which covers an area of 65,000 square meters, is built on 14 hectares, and has  its own reservoir and treatment plant. The new facility aims to employ 1,600 workers and has the capacity to slaughter seven million pigs a year, making it the largest slaughterhouse in Europe – a record previously held by a slaughterhouse in Denmark.

The project has also come under unexpected fire, as the person in charge of the project is said to be part of the Italian Mafia and is currently in prison in Hungary for money laundering, tax fraud and labour irregularities.

Over the last few months, whilst construction took place, activists from across Spain and beyond have been hosting protests and events outside the slaughterhouse and in local towns to raise awareness of the horrors behind the animal agriculture industry, to educate the public on the environmental disaster that could be caused by such a large facility of this kind, and to draw attention to the mental and physical health problems suffered by slaughterhouse workers.

One activist explained:

From no point of view can we justify something that not only threatens the right to life of sentient beings capable of feeling, but also endangers our personal health, that of our communities and that of our nature.

Activism in the area has included flyering, round table discussions, ‘Cubes of Truth’, and vegan food tasting.

Although some local people have welcomed the activists and taken note of their messages, activists have also been threatened by people involved in the construction and business of the new slaughterhouse.

whats-wrong-with-pork

Although the opening of such a place is devastating, the fact that meat-free eating is on the rise in Spain is certainly encouraging. A 2017 report by the Lantern found that 7.8% of participants identified as being “veggie”, with 57% of them saying they were meat-free due to feeling sympathy with animals.

Furthermore, HappyCow (if you know, you know) back in 2011 listed 353 places in Spain that were vegan, vegetarian or vegan-friendly. This number rose to 1418 in 2017, before exceeding 5,000 in 2020.

There is still a long way to go before we live in a vegan world, but seeing the numbers of vegans increasing throughout the world is certainly heartwarming. People are starting to wake up, and whether they come to the vegan lifestyle for environmental reasons, for animals or for health, we are here to offer support and guidance.

Sign up to try the vegan life with Veganuary today, and help build a future without slaughterhouses.

PAGE UPDATED MAY 2020

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