Warning: This post and the accompanying pictures are graphic. If you’re a vegetarian or someone who doesn’t like the sight of meat, you might like to look away now…
BY MADELEINE PARRY
A mixture of hot fat, flesh and guts mixed with that clean, sanitised smell of a butchershop. That’s what I noticed first. Second, that this slaughterhouse was small – nothing like the super-abattoirs that dominate the Australian industry and operate 24 hours creating meat. On that first morning, as I pulled up to start work at a country abattoir I thought, ‘how did I get here?’
I was raised on meat. But food has done more than turn me into a woman. I’m half-Greek, and in my family a lamb roast is a sign of love.
Two years ago I calculated roughly how many animals had died to feed me. Averaging 3 meat meals a week for 21 years, I’d eaten a part of 3,276 creatures.
But I’d never killed anything bigger than a spider.
In primary school I was quite possibly a pacifist. At recess I was professing non-violent philosophy and mediating disputes between friends. I went through that stage, probably in Year 3, of protecting ants from the feet of careless school kids (likely whilst eating a ham sandwich) and in Year 12 was awarded ‘Most Likely To Win A Nobel Peace Prize’ at the Formal.