Undercover on a Factory Farm - Robert Molenaar, founder of the animal rights organization Animal Rights Nederland


I was twenty years old when I stopped eating meat. During those twenty years I had never eaten snails or frogs, but also no horse meat, rabbits, ducks or veal meat. I thought it was weird - and above all dirty - idea to eat these animals. But eating frikandels and burgers at the football club I had no trouble with. Anyway, the penny dropped. This arbitrariness, eating pigs, cows and chickens but no horses, ducks and rabbits, was no longer defensible. Nine months later, together with a friend I've become vegan. Now I don't consume any dairy products and eggs either. It was a question of finding alternatives, the offer was limited at that time. In 1997 you could find a couple of desserts made from soy in the flavors vanilla and caramel, but no full shelves were with different kinds of dairy substitutes, as we know it today.


A lot has changed. Meat substitutes are now available everywhere The online choice is fantastic and eating out has never been easier. 

Today it is a pleasure to be vegan. I realize now more than ever that I did make a good decision. I am healthy, fit and do not contribute to animal suffering. I work for an animal rights organization. My job is to set up investigations into the living conditions of animals in the livestock sector. I literally hit the road with my camera to take pictures of the abuses. Because we want to capture the real situation, we visit farms at night through doors that are not locked.


During one of my recent investigations into irregularities in the livestock sector I ended up in a factory farm.

On the first floor, I came into a place where all sows were standing between bars. These animals literally couldn't make a single movement. There was a water hose broken and a poor sow had been sprayed completely wet. The poor animal couldn't  escape this persistent stream of water because of the bars (we have fixed that water hose on the spot). It is a sad sight to see these mothers in such a way. Often crippled, wounds on their bodies due to rubbing against the bars, and, above all, mentally crushed. On the second floor were the piglets. They were reared here for slaughter. In the hallway stood a wheelbarrow full of dead piglets.


These animals were not strong enough and died on the factory farm.

On top of the wheelbarrow was a piglet that already had been written off. But she was still alive. As I filmed this tiny baby animal blew out her last breath. Then there you are standing in the middle of the night above a wheelbarrow with dead piglets. In a stable of two floors where thousands of pigs are reared for our meat consumption.Places like this factory farm are a very nasty and dirty places. The hallways are filthy and there's a smell that will be absorbed by your clothes. But what the most surprising was for me, that the sick and injured animals never get medical care. Animals are literally left to their fate. It is simply not profitable economically to call a veterinarian. The bulk production of cheap meat causes many abuses. Literally the animals pay the price for kilo bangers in the supermarkets. But the meat products with the Better Life certificate ensure for suffering. These animals are too raised in feedlots, driven to slaughter houses, and then their throats cut through.


The question I pose to you therefore is this: May animals live their life or are they just to be eaten? And if you have doubts then I want to ask you to view the images of the dying piglet on top of her friends and family members. These images were seen more than 700,000 times on Facebook. Her last breath gave many people the final push to eat no more animals.


Robert Molenaar

Director Animal Rights


Watch the video here: