This video shows animal rights activists in France get branded as a means of highlighting animal abuse. The video shows the scantily-clad women, caked in blood. They even had someone dressed as a butcher selling fake human body parts packaged as “meat.” Numerous activists lay together to form a “Human Meat Mountain.” These activists from 269 Life France–whose goal is complete “animal liberation” being branded with a hot iron to brand the number 269 on an arm or a leg. The number 269 is a reference to a number that was found on a calf in a factory farm in Israel.
Some of the activists can be seen being led around in chains with a number tagged to their ears to show solidarity with the animals. As far as I am concerned the only thing they prove is that as protesters they can be led like a dumb lamb.
“I made this choice because animals are living this every day before being killed,” an unnamed male activist says in the video. “I want to pay tribute to them and show my solidarity. This is just humanism and empathy.”
This is not a new form of protest from the animal rights crowd, but it certainly is the dumbest. Protesters in London, England performed the exact same stunt back in 2013. Not only is the branding graphic and gross, it’s also stupid because it does not reflect reality. According to the UK Guardian in 2013:
The National Farmers Union livestock adviser, Joseph Keating, was perplexed by the planned protest: “I’ve never seen hot branding done in this country. It has been outlawed for a generation. I’ve only seen it in old western films. Cattle are now identified with ear tags from birth, as are sheep. They are applied with plier-like tools. There’s no anesthetic, but the process is very quick and the animal barely notices. It’s just like an ear piercing. Pigs get ‘slapped’ with an ink mark, but again, this is only momentarily painful.”
Some dairy farmers might freeze-brand their animals, says Keating; a process that kills the hair follicles or the skin’s pigmentation cells rather than deeply scarring the skin itself ; but many farmers are now turning to neck or foot collars with electronic chips inside to more accurately monitor and manage their herds.
“Hot branding stresses the animal needlessly and also potentially damages the meat,” he says. “It was introduced many centuries ago to guard against rustling. But we’ve moved on a bit since then.”
Basically what the representative from the livestock union is saying is that these people have needlessly gone through the pain and effort of branding themselves to make a point. A point that doesn’t need to made because it doesn’t exist.