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Animal Rights Activists Protest at Manhattan Slaughterhouse

February 21, 2020 by Leave a Comment

The News

Slaughter Free NYC, a grassroots animal rights group advocating to shut down the nearly 100 slaughterhouses in the five boroughs of New York City, staged a protest at a “live market” in Inwood, a largely Hispanic neighborhood in Upper Manhattan. Live markets are storefront slaughterhouses where consumers can pick out animals in cages and have them slaughtered on site.

The protesters were joined by local area residents who assert that the slaughterhouse compromises their quality of life by polluting their sidewalk with contaminants and exposing them to infectious disease. “You never saw that in a good avenue,” said a local Dominican American man of the slaughterhouse. “This is Hispanic neighborhood. Poor people. They don’t know the infections this could bring to you.”

Activists with Slaughter Free NYC stage a protest and conduct educational outreach at a slaughterhouse in upper Manhattan

Mariolis Espinal, a woman in her 20s who lives on the same street as the slaughterhouse, joined the protest to speak out against both the public health risks and the animal cruelty. “I walk my dog through here every morning, and they leave a lot of dead animals on the floor. It’s wrong, so why is it still happening?”

At live markets in NYC, customers choose the live animals who the want to buy, and workers slaughter them on site.

Slaughter Free NYC launched in January 2020, when local activists learned of a New York City mandate that prohibits issuing new slaughterhouse licenses to any location within 1,500 feet of a residence, which is most of NYC.  “The language of this mandate, passed unanimously, illustrates the very reason why all slaughterhouse operations should cease within city limits, not only new businesses,” said Jill Carnegie, a co-organizer of Slaughter Free NYC. “These slaughterhouses not only pose a health threat, but they also jeopardize property values, exploit workers who are mostly undocumented immigrants, and dramatically impact quality of life for neighborhood residents with horrible odors and sounds of animals fighting for their lives.”

Before the vigil began, several activists entered the live market to document the conditions in which the chickens are held prior to slaughter. “You can hear them screaming. They’re intensively confined. They cannibalize each other. They’re dead in the cages,” said Slaughter Free NYC co-organizer Maureen Medina.

Chickens are stored in feces covered cages until they are purchased and slaughtered

The group is flooding the city reporting mechanism, 311, and New York State’s Agriculture and Markets agency with violation complaints. “Live Markets operate in a grey area between multiple city, state, and federal agencies. According to Jill Carnegie, these agencies consistently pass responsibility to each other, leaving these slaughterhouses free to violate the laws and with little to no oversight.

After customers select the live chickens who they want to purchase, slaughterhouse workers grab them from their cages and bring them into the back room to be killed

“Slaughterhouses are bad for everyone – animals, workers, communities, and the planet,” added Carnegie, “They have a devastating impact on public health and even undermine our struggles against prejudice, inequality, injustice, and violence.”

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Activists Rescue Animals From NYC Slaughterhouse

January 13, 2019 by Leave a Comment

The News

While participating in live market vigils in Brooklyn, several animal rights activists rescued chickens and a rabbit who were on the verge of being slaughtered. 

“The law treats these animals as though they are inanimate objects, but we know that they are feeling individuals who want to live,” said Katerina Travazzo, an organizer with Brooklyn-Queens Animal Save. “Each of us has an ethical obligation to bear witness to their suffering and, whenever possible, rescue them from the needless violence and death that has been normalized by society.”

A sheep about to be slaughtered at a live market in Brooklyn, New York

“People can bury their heads in the sand and pretend that nothing is going to change, but the reality and the statistics show that it is changing all around us,” said Earthling Ed, a London-based animal rights campaigner giving talks in the United States.  “We can either stand on the right side of history or the wrong side.” 

Journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell interviews Earthling Ed during slaughterhouse vigils in Brooklyn

While bearing witness to the chickens, rabbits, sheep and other animals who would soon be slaughtered, activists conducted vegan outreach with the slaughterhouse employees, offering them dairy-free ice cream sandwiches on a hot summer day. 

Katerina Travazzo, an organizer with Brooklyn-Queens Animal Save, convinces a slaughterhouse worker to sample a dairy-free ice cream sandwich

The rescued animals were taken to sanctuaries in Upstate New York to be rehabilitated and live out the remainder of their lives in peace. 

Activists rescued this rabbit from NYC slaughterhouse and brought him to a sanctuary

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The Impact of Anonymous for the Voiceless

July 14, 2018 by Leave a Comment

The News

During Direct Action Everywhere’s (DxE) 2018 Animal Liberation Conference, an estimated 500 animal rights activists took to the streets of San Francisco to participate in what was, at the time, the largest Anonymous For the Voiceless (AV) event ever.  As more than 100 video screens displayed footage of animal exploitation in six “Cubes of Truth,” dozens of advocates conducted vegan outreach with pedestrians who stopped to watch the videos.  Animal rights activists Chase Avior, Jane Velez-Mitchell and James Aspey spoke to TheirTurn about the impact of AV:

Anonymous for the Voiceless uses “standard-practice” footage of animal agriculture to expose the public to the atrocities that the industry goes to great lengths to hide, and it provides people with tools to switch to a vegan lifestyle.

Jane Velez-Mitchell of JaneUnChained reporting from the Cube of Truth in San Francisco

Since its inception in April, 2016, AV has staged over 4,000 “Cubes of Truth” in 650 cities around the world, convincing over 214,000 people to consider making the transition to veganism.

Cube of Truth in San Francisco organized by Anonymous for The Voiceless and Direct Action Everywhere during the 2018 Animal Liberation Conference.

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Onlookers React to New York City’s March to Close All Slaughterhouses

June 5, 2018 by Leave a Comment

The News

In New York City, hundreds of animal rights activists took to the streets to participate in the global March to Close Down All Slaughterhouses. The 1.5 mile march began with a rally on the steps of the NYC Public Library and ended with a mass die-in in Union Square. New York is one of 37 cities in 16 countries that are participating in the annual march. TheirTurn spoke to onlookers along the parade route to get their reaction to the march and the message.

At the rally, Carla Athena Tejada, an animal rights activist who organized the NYC march, told participants: “It is our goal to have others see what we see and know what we know — that this violence is unnecessary and that we demand the abolition of this exploitation.”

Kathy Stevens, founder of Catskill Animal Sanctuary, which rescues and advocates for farm animals, said, “If I’ve learned anything in 17 years of running an animal sanctuary, it is that animals want their lives just as much as we want ours.  In the ways that truly matter, we are all the same.”

NYC organizer Carla Athena Tejada delivers opening remarks at the rally before the March to Close Down All Slaughterhouses

According to StopAbattoirs, the organization that coordinates the global marches, 60 billion land animals and more than 1,000 billion aquatic animals are killed each year. That translates to 164 million land animals and almost 3 billion aquatic animals being slaughtered each day.

The 2017 March to Close Down All Slaughterhouses in Paris. The 2018 March takes place on June 23rd (photo:

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Slaughter-bound Pig Leaps from Truck

July 30, 2014 by Leave a Comment

The News

A pig attempts to escape from the truck taking her to a slaughterhouse.

News & Opinion

If anyone doubts the intelligence of a pig, please show them this video.  Of course all farm animals, not just the smartest ones, should be free.  As 19th century philosopher Jeremy Bentham once stated, “The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?”

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