Vegans stage protest vigil outside slaughterhouse in Preston

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Vegans held a vigil outside a slaughterhouse in Preston ‘to acknowledge the lives of the chickens and offer them comfort’.

The vegan group from Lancashire Animal Save staged the protest outside Gafoor Slaughterhouse in Fletcher Road on Friday.

Protesters outside the Gafoor chicken factory (Pic: Neil Cross)

Protesters outside the Gafoor chicken factory (Pic: Neil Cross)

Organisers behind the vigil, Stefanie Smith and Cat Race, said the aim of their vigil was two fold.

“First we do these vigils at lots of slaughter houses to spend some time with the animals in the trucks before they go in, to acknowledge their lives and offer some comfort,” said Stef.

“Secondly, in this case, we want to object to the expansion.

“Also, with all the environmental impacts connected with animal agriculture we shouldn't be looking to expand, we should be looking for ways to reduce.”

Gafoor chicken factory

Gafoor chicken factory

Gafoor is a halal-certified slaughterhouse supplies poultry in Preston and Kirkham and is gearing up to be able to process 1m birds per week.

Asked if the group was protesting specifically against the halal method of slaughter Stef said: “We are against the slaughter of all animals regardless of the method.

“There is much discussion about ‘humane’ slaughter. The definition of humane is to show compassion or benevolence but how can we compassionately kill an individual that wants to live?

“The word humane is used to make people feel better about their food purchases, it does nothing for the innocent animal about to face an inevitability painful and distressing death.

“The slaughter of animals in the civilised world is an unnecessary practice when we have an abundance of alternatives that don’t involve suffering. We can get the same great taste of meat from any supermarket now, just without the cruelty.”

Stef argues that while killing animals for food might be legal and customary, it is not ethical. She said: “It is logically inconsistent to claim that it is wrong to hurt animals like cats and dogs and also to claim that eating animals like pigs and chickens is a matter of choice, since we do not need to eat them in order to survive.

“We have to look at it from the victims’ perspective and question how our choice affects what would otherwise be the animals’ choice to live.”

She added: “The key objective is to raise awareness of the animals plight and help people become vegan.”