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I could not see it anymore!



A former slaughterer comes clean

Hans F. was working as a head slaughterer in a Southern German slaughter house for 8 ½ years. His experiences sound unbelievable. But he assures that he has experienced everything in this way. It is not the single field report which describes this and similar circumstances.

Veg: How long have you been a head slaughterer?

Hans F. (Name has been changed by the editorial office): eight and a half year. Then I stopped it. I could not see the images anymore: How the animals are killed, how they have been shot down and how they are slit alive – then I had enough. I could not take it anymore.

Veg: How did you come to this profession?

Hans F.: I learned the normal job of a butcher.

Veg: And how was it later in the slaughter house?

Hans F.: I still have all images in my head – sometimes this catches me out of my sleep at night.
Many head slaughterers are alcoholics and they treat the animals as if they were the scum of the earth. When the animals are delivered in the early morning – they come from somewhere in Denmark or Sudetenland – the pigs and beef are just driven into the house. Afterwards they are shot down and hung up – many of them still alive – and then they are cut through. And then the blood ran from the bull. Meanwhile the blood is drunk from some slaughter men. Some of them put salt, pepper and an egg in it. Others of them drink this pure – all such stuff. And this was not my kind of acting. I cannot see it anymore and I do not want to see it too – I have two dogs, I am an animal friend.
Or at the sucking-pig which the people eat – the squeaking and the screaming from the cubs – they intuit this. They feel when they should be slaughtered. If someone cannot do this – they shoot in the wrong way or stick wrong and these animals are still living. Many of them are slaughtered alive.

Veg: How is the process in the slaughter house? First, the animals come from the transporters…

Hans F.: Yes, first the come in and then they come in a kind of boiler where they are depilated…

Veg: At this time, the animals are still alive?

Hans F.: Yes, of course, many of them still live! Severals get alive in the boiler to depilate. The water is boiling hot. The bristles are scalded. Afterward they are skinned and then they are slaughtered. And then, some slaughter men fuddle the bull blood pure and warm as it is. Or the lever of the pigs are eaten pure as warm as it is – all such stuff. Or they cut the testicles of bulls, hack them, add salt and pepper and then they munch it. They think they will become powerful because of it.

Veg: How do they eat this? Just with their hands or do they put it on a plate and eat with knife and fork?

Hans F.: They cut it when they bone – so they call it – and eat it as it is when they take it out. I honestly tell you; this is perverse!

Veg: And then you stopped working...

Hans F.: I could not see this anymore how the animals have to suffer. When they are driven into the slaughter house – this is lunacy. You have to experience this by yourself! I can take you with me to the company where I work. They slaughter on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It starts at night from around one o’clock and lasts until noon at eleven, twelve o’clock. They do this in accord. Only the number of pieces counts. Everybody fights against the other one who has the most number of pieces. The head slaughterer earn heaps of money. But I cannot stand it any longer. And if you hear the animals – I already get a goose skin when I just think about it. I did it and I also could not do this mentally anymore. Many of those head slaughter men are alcoholics. They drink a bottle of hard liquor already at night. That is not normal! I also know this from other slaughter houses, there it is the same. These are no human beings for me anymore – they are just nutty. I tell you it does not matter in which slaughter house you go- many of them are alcoholics. If controls would be made there – no matter if foodstuff police or commercial inspectorate – they will get a nasty surprise!

Veg: Actually, the public does not know this!

Hans F.: Nobody knows this that has not learned this profession or has experienced this. Normally, we are bound to professional discretion. I am not allowed to tell you all these things. My name is not allowed to be mentioned! I do not want to get any stress!
If the public health authority would control these people – I do not want to know how many of the slaughter men have illnesses according to the stuff they eat from the animals. I know a guy how put a piece of excrement in his meat when he cleans the intestines. If I had not seen this by myself I could not tell you. You do not want to eat anymore.

Veg: And the slaughter men do not get ill from this?

Hans F.: Part of them. One of them leaves for individual pension and another one is somewhere in a psychiatric clinic and so on – well, that is because they eat every bloody thing. And then they start to drink. They start with hard liquor at one o’clock and some of them are drunk as a skunk at eleven o’clock in the morning. Afterwards they go to the pub and there they spoon up kettle soup…

Veg: Do the slaughter men not care how the animals are?

Hans F.: Yes, most of them do not give a shit. Some animals still dither after they have been shot. They still have awareness of life. They are still living when their eyes are pierced out and the legs are cut – they are still dithering, they are still warm. The animals notice all this. This is a huge suffering – like for a human being. Animals suffer worse than we.

Veg: Do you still eat meat?

Hans F.: Just really seldom. I cannot do this anymore. Yesterday I made a pancake soup and today a rice soup… My dog also gets no meat out of a tin any more as I know what is inside, what feculence is used up in this meat. – Do you know what is in “Leberkäse” or in sausages?

Veg: No...

Hans F.: I can tell you that: an addition of 10% „calf“ and 10% pig lever is enough for calf liver pâté. Most people would not eat the rest voluntarily… Everything what is not used as a steak or cutlet in the butcher’s shop is used for sausage or “Leberkäse”: bowels, necks with oesophagus, legs, tails, eyes, old sausage – just waste.. This is then mixed with spices, flavour enhancer, colouring and chemistry. Everything is baked and then it is offered to the people.

Veg: This is hardly believable!

Hans F.: And most of all the animals suffer. I cannot stand it what some people do with the animals. This is not normal anymore. I am not able to bear it anymore. That is over!


Unfortunately, these experiences of Hans F. are no single case. Other former slaughter men and young veterinarian students which have to complete training in a slaughter house report about similar conditions.

A former head slaughterer has written a book about his experiences:
»My way through the hell – out of a diary from a slaughter man«, to order directly at the author for 5 Euro:
Burkhard Marterer, Reutiner Str. 5a, D-88131 Lindau

(from the journal »Freiheit für Tiere« 4/2003 / www.freiheit-fuer-tiere.de)