BRETONS: What prompted you to go incognito in a Breton slaughterhouse to conduct this investigation?
GEOFFREY LE GUILCHER : It was my editor who gave me the idea. We were in 2016 and, while looking for subjects of investigation, we were interested in the first videos of the association L214 which made the headlines. We saw there cases of animal violence which were too often analyzed as the isolated actions of workers. Observers, journalists, politicians and even the bosses of slaughterhouses discarded this workforce considered to be executioners. Faced with this unanimity, I had the idea to side with the accused.
How did you experience your first days of assembly line work?
The first sensation is visual: the industrial slaughterhouse is as big as a city, hidden behind hundreds of trees, with huge parking lots. Then the noise arrived: that of the chain, strident, like a giant chainsaw. Finally there is the smell of blood, powerful, to which you never really get used. And once inside, the contrast is striking between the immaculate white jumpsuits we all put on and the scarlet red blood, omnipresent. All the senses send back to you the fact that you are moving into something a little shameful. You better understand the taboo that surrounds this hidden world. It is not made aware, but the workers who work there all know that they are doing something for a living – killing animals en masse – hardly admissible and unknown to 99% of the population.
Find the rest of this interview in the Bretons magazine n ° 169 of November 2020.
Steak machine, Geoffrey Le Guilcher, Éditions Points, 168 p., € 6.50
This article is produced by the Bretons magazine and hosted by 20 Minutes.