On Friday, June 22, at 8:00 a.m., Hamilton Burlington Pig Save held their first vigil outside of Fearman’s Slaughterhouse.
Present were Brenda LaFleshe and Coleen Tew, and we had posters made with our website – from the creative genius of Louise Jorgensen and the generosity of Anita Kranjc (both of Toronto Pig Save, our sister org and our mentor).
After the gut wrenching experience of seeing the trucks enter the facility on Tuesday, we felt anxious but determined. We were there during rush hour traffic, so a great number of people saw us! I stood on the north corner, while Brenda stood on the south, next to Fearman’s. Brenda has a gift for approaching and engaging people; she handed out literature and spoke with them as they went by. Three people want to join as a result! How exciting is that?!
At one point, six people came out of the facility and approached Brenda. After they crossed the street, Brenda motioned me over and asked me to stay with her. They were workers and were mocking her, calling us crazy bitches. Funny thing is, when I joined her at the corner, they decided not to come back! Cowardly behaviour, but working at Fearman’s must be soul destroying, so we tried to feel as compassionate toward them as possible.
On an exciting note, one man on a bike told Brenda that he thought what we were doing was wonderful; not to be discouraged because for every hundred people that may scoff, there are several that will really think about the messages we are displaying. We were thrilled and grateful to hear such encouragement!
Last, but certainly not least- to our surprise (and relief) – no trucks came into the plant! For a slaughterhouse that has the capacity to kill 45,000 pigs a week, this is unusual to say the least. We will scope out different days to determine the best time to hold a vigil, so we can acknowledge their suffering.