Grassroots animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) performed another demonstration locally, this time in protest of US slaughterhouse gas chambers. The event, which featured a special slam-poetry segment complete with percussion instruments and background chanting, also marks DxE’s 10-year anniversary. The protest started off at a Sprouts Farmers Market in the Winter Park area, then later migrated to a Central Florida Walmart supercenter in Casselberry.
The demonstration follows a recent investigation into U.S. slaughterhouse practices that made national news last week. The investigation, which led to the public release of hidden camera footage from inside a pig slaughterhouse gas chamber, was featured in WIRED. The article describes how activist Raven Deerbrook was able to capture the footage:
“Deerbrook had snuck into the slaughterhouse with a fake uniform and badge and climbed 26 feet underground into a “stunning chamber”—essentially a three-story-deep elevator shaft designed to be filled with carbon dioxide. Here, pigs in cages are lowered into the shaft’s invisible swimming pool of suffocating, heavier-than-air CO2, where the animals asphyxiate over a matter of minutes before being dumped out of the chamber onto a conveyor belt, hung up, drained of blood, and butchered.”
The video constitutes the first ever gas chamber footage taken from inside a U.S. slaughterhouse. The disturbing imagery, which depicts visibly distressed pigs squealing and thrashing as they are slowly killed, has generated outrage among activists and animal-lovers. In response, DxE is urging food companies and lawmakers to address these rights violations of animals, and has called upon each of its chapters across the nation to hold protests condemning animal exploitation and abuse.
Orlando is just one of dozens of U.S. locations where DxE gas chamber protests are underway. The nation-wide collaboration began with another Sprouts protest at a San Francisco location earlier this month, and coincides with the 10-year anniversary of Direct Action Everywhere. The Orlando chapter has asked community members who care about the plight of animals suffering in the US food industry to help them mark the occasion and bring awareness to their cause by joining in future protests in the area.