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I have something of a liking for gory horror movies and watched a great film the other day, “Inside“, a French movie from 2009 starring Alysson Paradis and Beatrice Dalle. A genuinely very fine film, emotionally taut and deeply involving. There’s also a heck of a lot of blood on show. I strongly recommend this movie. It lingers in the memory long after the final titles have rolled…
But I know that a lot of people won’t watch it because it is violent, it does have a lot of blood being splattered everywhere. A lot of people just don’t like that stuff. It’s not a film for all the family. It’s not uplifting, it’s not a feel-good film … it is brutal and cruel. And a lot of people just don’t like that. And I can understand that.
But what I can’t understand is why many of those same people seem okay about the meat and dairy industries. If they don’t like violence, and lots of blood being spilt, and cruelty and brutality, why then do they like eating meat and dairy products?
At least with “Inside” I know that everybody’s okay. At the end of the filming Alysson Paradis and Beatrice Dalle had a shower, cleaned off the fake blood, and went home. The studio hands got their buckets and sponges out and cleaned off the fake blood from the walls. The hammer and the knife didn’t really cause injury, pain and extremely violent, bloody deaths… it was all pretend. Beatrice Dalle is a very good actress and a very nice person I’m sure – she doesn’t really maim and kill. She wouldn’t really do that for a living.
The slaughterhouse is real. The knives and the hammers really do kill. The people who work there really do maim, torture and kill for a living. The walls are splattered with real blood; the channel on the kill floor runs very deep with a shocking torrent of real blood. The workers’ clothes are saturated in real blood, real scraps of split flesh, stained with the slashed mess of evisceration, the tissue of brain and spine. The slaughterhouse is truly hell on earth, an unceasing, unremitting, unyielding scream of violence, viciousness and cruelty. It is a totality of brutality. Mercy is dead at the gates. Within is only murder.
The slaughterhouse only exists because of those who want to consume meat and dairy products. The violence only happens because of those people. Those damned, bloody deaths only happen because of those people. The person who walks the supermarket aisle and picks up the meat and reaches for the carton of milk has directly, absolutely caused the bolt to be fired into the animal’s head, has switched on the conveyor belt to take day-old baby chicks on a short death rattle journey to the mincing machine, has spun the blade that slashes the throats, has powered the slicing blades that rip the animal’s insides from his or her body, even as they breathe their last. The kill floor is awash with deep rivers of blood pouring from destroyed bodies that were only destroyed because of that person reaching out in the supermarket to do their weekly shopping. They made it happen.
The gore in the slaughterhouse is brutally real. An intense agony that never ends. No credits roll. No pretence, no fantasy, no “story”, no joke.
People might not like my taste in movies but I can always and absolutely honestly say that no-one was harmed in the creation of that entertainment but when someone sits down at table to enjoy their meat and dairy they absolutely cannot ever say that no-one was harmed. They caused harm. They killed. They may have washed their hands thoroughly before sitting down to eat but I can still see the stain of blood that lingers on their fingers and rings their mouth with every bite.