Animals' Angels inspects Calarasi animal market in South-East Romania. An especially large number of animals is here today: Turkeys, geese, ducks, chickens and 150 pigs. At the next day’s celebration of Saint Ignatius, it is tradition for families to slaughter a pig for Christmas.
The pigs are either transported home in ordinary cars and slaughtered there, or stabbed brutally to death right at the market. At the entrance a sign prohibits the slaughter of animals at the market, but ‘of course’ neither the police nor a veterinarian is present to enforce the rule. Many horses and donkeys who have carried their owners and their ‘goods’ (two-hundredweight pigs) to the market are out of breath and soaked in sweat while standing in the turmoil.
Animals’ Angels already filed a complaint to the local veterinary service.
In the evening the market is over. The big premise is empty. No cars. No trailers. No people. No animals. Just litter. Empty plastic bottles, cigarette butts, beer cans. And pools of blood on the trodden gras. Red, fuggy, almost still warm. The four of us from Animals’ Angels place a candle next to each puddle of blood. Christmas. Here? Especially here.