Testimony Tuesday

Every Tuesday we will show you the story behind a picture of one of our activists.

 This week it is the story of Audrey, an activist who was a part of the foie gras farm occupation last November.

I grew up in France.
Foie gras is a big thing there.
So, it was really special to expose the reality of this industry and to see it with my own eyes.
Not only could I see it but I could also smell it, feel it, touch it.
The place was the filthiest and saddest place on earth.
The ducks were in horrible condition, both physical and psychological.
They have a terrible fear of humains. We represent all the trauma that happen in their short lives.
They are not able to spread their wings, hence they are bleeding for trying. They fight, they struggle with fever due to liver disease.
Some have holes in their neck/beak due to the feeding. One had his tongue coming out of his neck.
Being the witness of this was the hardest thing of all.
During a few hours, we tried to negotiate with the farmers, but all we had in return was insults. We tried to nogotiate with the police, but all we had in return was disdain, hypocrisy and violence.
This experience marked me for life and gave me more motivation to fight for all animals.
There are many types of actions to do so, but I particularly believe in this one. Breaking a law in non violent manner, to make the light on many unjust laws, on a system that is so wrong.
I think it makes many speciesists people reflect on the situation and helps spreading the debate, focusing on the animals rather than on the nature of the action.
Our fight is from love and against violence so we lead it peacefully, always moving forward.

Previous weeks:

The day before the supermarket lock down, we targeted a foie gras farm. The next day it was time to target the places that sold this torture product. Since I was the outside team the day before, I was so ready to do something big, even get arrested.
I was super nervous before the event, but when we finally got there all that nervousness just went away, I became strong for the animals.

Emotions were big when we sat there, chains around us, people looking, but we just sang. Sang for the ducks, sang for the animals until the police asked us if we want to leave or get arrested.
The second time they asked I decided to leave because I was afraid, I had heard horror stories about the Belgian police. Especially the stories of the activists who were arrested the day before.
I didn’t think my psyche could handle it. I unchained myself and joined the team outside, to support the activistzs who were still chained up and ready for arrest.

I felt like I failed the animals and my team, but everyone outside was so supportive. They told me that we are still there for the animals, even if we don’t get arrested. We all have to go with our guts, and we don’t have to feel pressured to do something we feel uncomfortable with. We are still doing a great job, even if we choose to not get arrested. We were still there fighting for the geese and ducks, raising our voice for them. Knowing this and the support I get from other activists gives me the strength to keep on joining actions like this even if I choose not to get arrested.

From an early age I was disgusted and downhearted thinking about what happened to ducks and geese for making ‘foie gras’.
While they are force forced to sell their liver, I was forced to eat it during Christmas dinners. I will never forgive my parents and grandparents and I wish they saw and feel what I felt that day. And obviously clear their off-putting habits.
Going in to these farms is difficult but absolutely necessary. We only get to see a glimpse of what happens to animals in there 24/7 until the day they are transported and killed. Sitting with the ducks that day was difficult, but not even close compared to the confinement of the animals. Seeing the open wounds, the stress and fear…
While sitting down and looking at them, I question why there is only a few of us that see individuals in cages they don’t deserve. I wonder why usually people in parks are happy to see ducks but still consume the same species when it’s on a menu, when it’s a specific holiday. I ask myself over and over why people remain ignorant. I wish they could see what I see when I look into their eyes and tell them how sorry I am and will always tell their stories. They are remembered.
During the short period we were inside we saw a couple of ducks trying to liberate themselves. Most of us were rooting but we also knew the doors were already closed because the farmers locked us in. I’m sure there will be others ducks trying the same, this day, tomorrow, the next month. They have a will to survive and be free just like us.
To each and every one of them, I hope you find a way out.
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