Campaign against Animal Factories

Campaign against  Animal Factories

Orientation and Background

The campaign is directed against the chicken slaughterhouses in Lower Saxony — currently focused on the future slaughterhouse expansion by Wiesenhof in Wietzen-Holte, as well as their suppliers.

In 2010 the campaign kicked off with actions against the construction of the slaughterhouse by the Rothkoetter company in Wietze. Ever since the campaign launched the ultimate goal is to close down all of the factories. Various forms of actions were used to achieve this goal; such as occupations of construction grounds, blockades, marches, protest camps, presentations, theater and more.

Besides the actions by the local citizens’ initiative and militant actions, the campaign is a part of the resistance, with the involvement of independent activists from different backgrounds. The slaughterhouses are an expression of a society ruled by power and oppression. These are the consequences of how society is organized, which is not oriented on the satisfaction of needs, but instead on limitless growth and profit.

One goal with the campaign is to show these connections. In this larger context the campaign can be seen as the exclamation mark behind the demands to abolish exploitation and its basis in society as a whole. There is great potential in the resistance against the two slaughterhouses to show the unbearable consequences of capitalism, to actively resist and to negate the destructive growth of capital.

We invite everyone who wants cooperate and/or work together, to reach out and get together or get active on their own.

The rival

The Wiesenhof slaughterhouse in Wietzen-Holte (near Nienburg)

For centuries 140,000 chicken get slaughtered in the already exsisting slaughterhouse in Wietzen-Holte everyday. Now the competition of the free market forces the company to expand their slaughterhouse to reach a capacity of 250,000 slaughtered animals per day. For this purpose in 2012 the company applied for a building permit for a new premises: several construction companies and service providers are part of this profitable deal.

After a lot of protests, acts of resistance, and lawsuits the permit application came to a stand still. A final decision is expected in 2016. (Latest update December 2015)

The PHW-group

The PHW-group with their brand Wiesenhof is the biggest supplier for poultry meat in Germany. As usual in this industry, the multi-national company supplies its contract farmers, who deliver the company chicken after a one month breed, with baby chicks and feed. The PHW-group and its sister company, the EW-group, is also involved in breeding, vaccine production and the production of feed (partially from abattoir refuse).

Wiesenhof has been an example for various scandals in recent years; the extreme brutality of industrialized animal farming, the disastrous conditions for workers and the consequences of the export of cheap meat to the global south. Campaigns by opponents of animal farming becomes an increasing problem for the PHW-group and its competition.

Backgrounds

The chicken…

…are adjusted to economic interests by breeding before they are even born. Right after hatching out of the egg at the hatchery, the baby chicks get transferred to a factory farm, where they get raised to high weight within only a month. To achieve the extreme weight gain the chickens are fed an antibiotic-enhanced feed. During their short life they are trapped in a small place standing in their own feces with several thousand other chicken.

About 5% of the chickens already die on the farm. After being transported the chickens reach the last stage of their short lives: death in the slaughterhouse.

Chicken are sentient beings. Even if we can’t communicate with them, it becomes clear by observation of free chicken, that they don’t want to live their life in cages and that they don’t want to be killed.

Given the technical and agricultural possibilities in the industrialized societies, the death of millions of animals to feed humanity is simply unnecessary and is an unbearable act of violence.

The companies who profit from the meat industry try to shift the focus away from the moral justification of animal exploitation with ‘cruelty-free’ and ‘organic’ labels, public-relations campaigns and by creating new employment opportunities. But the millions of lives taken everyday speak a clear language.

Environment and climate…

…take damage from monoculture planting of mostly genetically modified feed, which is mostly planted in former rainforest areas. Furthermore grounds and ground water get contaminated by nitrates and nitrogen from feces. In 2006 a study by the FAO estimates the greenhouse gas emissions from industrial animal farming at 18%. Other studies even estimate greenhouse gas emissions from animal farming at 50%.

The workers…

…in the feeding industry are exposed to highly poisonous pesticides on a regular basis. The fields for the animal feed often are made accessible by expelling native people. The hard work – day and night for minimum wage without secure employment – in Germany slaughterhouses are famous for the complete contempt of even the most basic of worker’s rights.

Capitalism…

…with its competition and the permanent need for expansion is the basis for a systematic exploitation and destruction of living being and their livelihood. As long as murder and exploitation pays off, the drive for more profit promotes the maintenance and the development of this system.

Capitalism is not about the satisfaction of needs, but the perpetuation of the economy. For a society free from oppression and exploitation, the overcoming of capitalism is necessary.

Repression…

…has to be understood in this context. Someone who questions existing circumstances usually becomes a target for government repression. Activists working on the campaign faced eviction, surveillance, and lawsuits.

An undercover spy from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Ralf Gross, was part of this campaign from early 2012 until the end of 2013, and a three month-long phone surveillance operation show very clearly how the government supports and protects the meat industry.

The resistance…

…still has a lot to do, but can already celebrate some success.

So lets keep throwing sand in the motor of the bloody engine of capitalism using informational campaigns, direct action and the advancement of theory and strategy.

Get organized. Get active. For the liberation of humans and animals!