Walter Bond sent a letter asking us to repost this essay from June 2013.
WALTER EDMUND BOND (37096013)
6/25/2013 2:40:01 PM
The Cruelty of Industrial Technology
There is no brutality as wicked as systematic cruelty, and systematic cruelty only becomes widespread by aid of technology. When I was a young man before and leading up to my Vegan awakening I built slaughterhouses. Industrial plumbing, welding. structural steel and machine installation were my daily routines. One of those machines was called ‘the beater’. The beater is a 10’x10′ stainless steel monster. It is one in a series of machines set in a row and dedicated night and day to the disembodying process of hogs.
After a 500 pound hog has had his or her throat cut and been hung upside down to bleed to death, he or she then gets disemboweled by a series of slaughterhouse workers evenly dispersed along the kill floor. After disembowelment is complete all organs are sent to another area of the kill floor via stainless steel trays rolling on a conveyor belt. The next part of the process is what’s called the ‘hog bath’ (which I also installed). The hog bath is a 50 foot scalding hot tubular bathtub that the hog carcasses go through mainly to slacken the skin to be peeled, salted and stacked. But before that happens, the now dead and hollow remains of a once living and feeling being must go through ‘the beater’.
The inside of the beater is similar in design to a car wash except the rollers all stand vertically and are on immobile swing arms. There are four spindles on each side and each spindle contains five, six foot metal lengths, each six inches wide and known as ‘strapping’. Every six inches on center running the length of the strapping is a bolt. Around each bolt is a large nylon rope with a loop and two knots that hang out of the strapping approximately 18 inches. When the machine is operational the spindles whirl with incredible torque and the nylon knots beat the hair of the hogs dead and softened skin.
One must always lock and tag out the electricity box while working inside the beater so that it is not possible to start it by accident while anyone is inside. Failure to do this has actually ended with workers being beaten to death while working inside the beater. Since all the strapping and bolts are made of stainless steel, impact drills cannot be used for quick assembly because stainless steel binds. What this means is that someone must individually set every single nylon rope and screw the bolts down by hand. That person was me in 1995 in Logansport, Indiana. It took me five 12 hour shifts to complete the task.
While working inside this machine it is simply impossible not to imagine how terrible it would be if you were stuck inside accidently (or intentionally). It’s one thing to look at it from the outside, where it looks like a huge metal box, but inside it’s a mathematically macabre sight. It also gave me another eerie feeling, which was that very few living beings will ever see the guts of this monster; it is for the newly dead only.
Another nightmare I was to witness was the blood tanks. On the kill floor there are drains that deal with the constant flow of blood. These drains are beyond industrial grade as blood is nothing like water and has a corrosive element. Beneath the kill floor are huge cylindrical tanks that hold the blood until it gets processed into industrial byproducts or disposed of. Before one can enter the inside of a blood tank for maintenance it has to be carefully drained and aired (which is a phenomenally wretched odor). Blood outside of the body coagulates and to do this it leeches large amounts of oxygen. If you step into a blood tank even drained the remaining coagulating blood will literally take the air out of your lungs and you will asphyxiate to death on the spot!
And so it goes, In vivisection and Animal research there are catalogs teeming with vices, clamps, restraints and torture devices to aid in the sinister science of flaying Animals to play with their guts. The deforestation of the Earth is done by megalithic yellow death machines that murder old growth forests worldwide with speed and precision. In human warfare we have rapid fire weapons, rockets, nuclear arms, chemical agents, drones and the latest technological advancements in the art of murder. Indeed the history of technological advancement is the history of cut, burn, torture, poison, explode and destroy! From the iron maiden, thumbscrew, breaking on the rack, the fearful Eliza and braiding on the wheel — to tanks, daisy cutters and napalm, and more, and more, AND MORE! The history of technology becomes ever more cruel and efficient as time proceeds.
Technology amplifies our most base and devastating endeavors. If I had been in the Animal slaughter business in the pre- industrial age and then had a compassionate awakening I could have easily spent the rest of my life helping Animals and at least could have died knowing I did them more hands on good than I aided in their harm. But as it stands the machines that I installed and animated have been methodically murdering every second of every day since 1995. Although I may be viewed as a prolific Animal Liberation activist, in reality I have aided machines that murder continuously. A death toll I can never roll back.
Before small arms technology, namely the handgun, one had to garret, skewer, stab, bash, poison or blunt an enemy to death. Even a renaissance serial murderer would have been hard pressed to kill in a lifetime as many people as the squeeze of a trigger or the push of a button can now kill.
Technology gets used far more for violent and nefarious activities than it ever will for caring and compassionate ones. Because violence, murder and slavery while often times economically or politically profitable are also dangerous, disgusting and eventually maddening to the perpetrators. While caring, caressing, petting and nurturing are pleasing and actually cannot be fully experienced through mechanical mediums. This leads to a disassociation, and disconnectivity. We become blind to the reality of what high technology is doing in abundance, namely violence, and we glorify its comforts and assistance. This is made possible in large part by placement of technologies. Anything that is an aid or viewed as beneficial is in the open, accessible and visibly promoted — optometry, dentistry, car lots, hospitals, laser removal, etc. — while anything vile and vicious is hidden and inaccessible, such as military bases, slaughterhouses, Animal laboratories, etc.
Governments and societies in general are aware that out of sight truly does equals out of mind. And by out of mind I am talking about disassociation. Since this is a prerequisite to the backdrop of technologically advanced human societies it is not surprising that we find much disassociation within liberation struggles as well. There’s a growing trend to not attempt to emotionally understand the reality of victimization or oppression but use catchwords like Animals, Earth, hierarchy, patriarchy, capitalism et al. as reoccurring rhetorical symbols. This is dangerous because it is a flight from the reality that is experienced by the oppressed and downtrodden all around this globe, be they human, Animal or ecosystem. In the final analysis, dissociative flights of philosophy are largely a privilege of those who are not oppressed.
In today’s world of the computer, we are witnessing a greater degree of disassociation and de-sensitivity than ever before in human history! Coupled with the mental and emotion damage which ensues. Once again we only see what is convenient and not what is so detrimental. All the information at the tip of our fingers often desensitizes us before in enlightens. People live in a mental netherworld that is neither here, nor there, but some part of the techno-hive. If you go into the city streets you will witness people stumbling around in droves fixated on pocket-sized screens of various technological devices. What is real is the completely fabricated and what is completely fabricated is now of mass importance.
Babies in their cribs are given the soft dull glow of a computer screen to curl up with, transfixed at their new electronic parent. And many toddlers now prefer an iPad to the voice of their mothers. Many people that consider themselves ‘activists’ and ‘radical’ or ‘militant’ just mean that those are the kind of websites that get them interested and excited, and that their avatar and facade personalities online are rigid and intolerant. In the real world they are scared to make eye contact with strangers on a bus.
You will find time and time again that those that put action above ideas and real world resistance above symbolic protests and gestures are the ones that on a deep fundamental level refuse to rationalize away the terrors of this world. And are also committed to effecting real world changes for reasons outside of their job, prestige, popularity, or to share and beg validation from strangers on a computer screen. The real fight for autonomy, liberation and life lies against the machines, outside of technology and off the grid. Until we start working outside the system we are just aiding, in innovative new ways, our own and others’ destruction. Every bit as part of the problem as I was on the day I finished building ‘the beater’ and watched it do it’s grisly work, for the first…… and last time.
Walter Bond is in prison until the year 2021 and cannot use Facebook or the internet. Since Nov 15 or 16 he has been held in the SHU (solitary confinement). The website supportwalter.org and the Walter Bond Facebook page were set up and are maintained by supporters.
Walter loves getting letters. He reads and writes Spanish, English and some Arabic. Here is his current mailing address:
PO Box 5000
Greenville IL 62246