Adelaide singer Millie Austen attended last year's five day vigil at Diamond Valley Pork, Victoria's largest pig slaughterhouse, where she witnessed hundreds of pigs being trucked to their deaths. Here Millie talks about how her chance meeting with a pig on one of these trucks sparked her new song "Echoes".
It was day two or three of the Five Day Animal Justice Camp Vigil in Victoria when I decided to put down my phone and share a moment with the pigs. Being to being. Soul to soul. No camera between us.
One of the pigs came straight up to me when I reached out my hand. She pushed my hand up with her snout, much like a dog does when they want a scratch behind the ears. It was a beautiful, happy moment.
But then it hit me, and the tears came streaming. "She's about to be in there" I thought to myself. I pictured her in there, scared, confused, screaming. Screams that I don't have to imagine because just moments later one of the hundred screams I heard would have been hers. I pictured her flesh being pulled apart and packaged neatly, sitting on a store shelf. I pictured someone walk into the store with a smile on their face, pick up her flesh and take this part of her body home. I pictured them frying her up in a pan and, without a second thought, consuming her body for breakfast. This body that I was standing here with, in this moment. With this face that I was holding and those eyes that I was looking into.
This song is for her.
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