269life Activists Etch and Burn White Calf Branding Number Into Skin

white calf, 269 life, animal rights, activism, israel, food industry, animal cruelty

This is not just “pretend.” Animal activists in Israel have started a movement where people are branded just like cows destined for slaughterhouse. 

Animal rights activism has taken a radical turn with a virulent new movement that has roots in Israel. Sasha Bojoor, 27, started 269life in order to create solidarity with a white calf that was branded with the number 269 within the first few days of its short life. Fattened at a private cowshed in Azor just outside of Tel Aviv, the calf will be shipped to a slaughterhouse for processing just over a month after its first birthday.

With millions of chickens, cows and other animals raised in feed lots across the globe, the industrial food industry has taken on an anonymous character that the activists behind 269life hoped to circumvent by identifying with one particular animal. And so far, they have been wildly successful. Hundreds of people from 40 international cities have either etched or burned the number 269 onto their skin in order to protest animal cruelty.

white calf, 269 life, animal rights, activism, israel, food industry, animal cruelty“This anonymous male calf will be forever immortalized on our bodies, and hopefully this message of solidarity will somehow bring a new way of looking at non-human animals,” the group writes on their website.

“No animal should be exploited to satisfy the selfish needs and whimsical desires of humans, and that is why we chose to use the industry’s own method of objectifying living beings as this symbolic means to convey our idea.”

Ten of the group’s followers have had the number branded onto various body parts. This is usually done publicly as a staged event designed to mimic the food industry’s rough practice of using hot steel to identify animals raised for human consumption.

Getting branded in Tel Aviv:

white calf, 269 life, animal rights, activism, israel, food industry, animal crueltyTangles Super Tramp had the number branded on the inside of his left arm.

“I had to be pinned down, one person stood on my wrist and holding my body back, when the tool was hovering I knew it would hurt but like a piercing I knew it would be a short pain followed by a rush.”

“Listening and smelling your own skin burning and popping before your eyes is not a good thing,” he continued. “I have no idea how the cows put up with it I just hope they don’t have as sensitive skin as we do.”

Local Israeli paper Haaretz estimates that as many as 1,000 people have had the number 269 tattooed on their bodies – some in discreet locations and others in deliberately visible locations like necks and forearms – either privately or during mass tattooing demonstrations that increase the movement’s visibility.

Other events are also staged. On October 2, 2012, on World Farm Animals day, three animal rights activists were publicly branded as “an act of solidarity” at Rabin Square in Tel-Aviv.

“The display’s aim is to call for empathy towards the most oppressed sector of our society and call into question the deep disconnect we as a society, have towards sanctioned animal cruelty.”

Most recently Israelis displayed the heads of one cow and three sheep in water fountains in Jaffa and Tel Aviv, and dyed the water red with food coloring. The police have subsequently launched a special investigation normally reserved for murder cases.

“You know,” Bojoor told Haaretz, “a few meters from every fountain there is a supermarket filled with carcasses of those animals. I think it’s a bit over the top to set up a special police team for food coloring in fountains. It’s not clear why people are shocked by the sight of animal heads but are perfectly calm when they eat other animal organs.

Veganism has gone viral in Israel over the last year following the widespread distribution of a speech by Gary Yourofsky which lambasts the food industry’s treatment of animals and humanity’s blind acceptance of its practice.

Despite its radical nature, which may alienate some sympathizers, 269life will go a long way to cement conviction among meat-eating Israelis that animals also deserve humane treatment.

All images via 269life.

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12 thoughts on “269life Activists Etch and Burn White Calf Branding Number Into Skin”

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  4. Lucy Mauterer says:

    I do not like factory farms. I am a carnivore therefore I do eat meat. However, I prefer to buy my meat from a local farmer when he takes one of his cows to be slaughtered. These animals live outside in pastures and only go to the barn to be milked or when the weather is really bad. I tried the vegitarian/vegan thing with a lot of research but my body just does not respond well to that type of diet. Everyone is different. These activists can mutilate themselves all they want but that kind of extremism just turns people off. Promote instead, the humane raising of cattle for food. Back those who are already raising their animals this way.

  5. That people are getting so emotional about this story tells me that the activists have achieved part of what they set out to do, but please folks, no need to get nasty. Let’s keep it civil, ja?

  6. Marty says:

    @Howard Hail, just another fucktard that knows nothing about nutrition, do some homework and stop embarrassing yourself publicly.

  7. Marty says:

    Myra, My god I can not believe you just put that into print (so to speak)
    B12 isn’t a vegan issue alone, and does not come just from animals, you are so naive. Soy beans corn or wheat are not made for just human consumption, jesus where do I start. These are estimates that have probably risen since they were put out, 80 percent of corn, 95 percent of oats and 80-90 percent of soy grown in the US alone are for animal livestock feed.
    Grass fed and pastured isn’t the answer either because, where do you think factory farming came from. If we (which won’t happen)all dumped factory farming meat and wanted grass fed etc, the resources would be even more and then the cycle would have to start all over again, because of supply and demand. Meat production is simply unsustainable period! The studies and scientific data to back that up are now overwhelming. Now, who needs to wake up!!

  8. Myra says:

    Vit. B12 is an ESSENTIAL nutrient, and can only be found in animal products. Modern agriculture and animal husbandry is the problem not eating animals. The extensive damage done by our vegetarianism is huge. Forests and jungles are being destroyed to grow fields of soy beans, corn and wheat! Did you know that when they harvest those fields hundreds or perhaps thousands of small animals are mutilated or die in the process. So where is the bottom line of what we are harming? There is a need to raise our animals in a natural and humane environment. Grass fed/pastured livestock and poultry will not only provide us with the best foods ever, they will also heal the soil that they grow on!!! Wake up and think for yourselves!!!

  9. @Laura, the calf was branded and tagged. The tag has its DOB information, the brand has its number.

  10. Laura Johnson says:

    You know, if these people had any sense, they could actually do some good for animals. However, this branding idea is simply stupid. I note that the calf had an ear TAG with the number, NOT a brand on its body! Maybe if they want to really be accurate, they need to wear ear tags!

  11. Howard Hail says:

    These people are idiots and lack enough Active VB12 to think rationally. Without eating meat your brain becomes irrational and overly emotional and that is what is happening to these people. Number one way to get people to do things against their own best interests is to deny them meat as a food. Lack of Active VB12 found only in meat causes irrational thinking and overly emotional responses it issues. You can get Inactive VB12 which does not work in the human body from a few plants but real VB12 only comes from animals. These people are mentally ill not heroes.

  12. JTR says:

    He scarred himself but didn’t save the calf. Instead he could have bought that calf so he and his friends could start a protected herd.

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