Most peopleMost people would soon stop eating meat, if they visited a slaughter house
Animal Stories from All-Creatures.org

A deeply moving confession of an Slovenian ex–butcher 

The life story of Peter Razpet – Petko from Kamnik is so interesting, that it could hardly be written by the best film producers in the world. After 25 years of shedding blood in slaughter houses one day he experienced an intensive spiritual change, which made him put down his butcher's knife forever. Ever since he hasn't thought about taking a breath of life, not even from a fly. Nowadays, after almost five years of living a new life, he is happy, because he had recognized the love of God. But he doesn't regret the way, he had to pass. Petko says: ''All things, which seem negative to us, have their positive side in a wider spiritual perspective. Every man has to experience darkness before he can recognize brightness and love!''

How do you remember your childhood and youth?

Ever since I was little I have been incredibly fond of animals. I used to bring home puppy dogs, only a few days old, rejected by other people. I liked  feeding rabbits, pigeons and squirrels. Later at school I had little success, because I felt, I didn't need such education. So when I was in the sixth class I already applied for a job in some local company. At that time we had a bull. My father once beat him up. That is why the bull started to hate him, so my father did not dare to come close to him anymore. I used to talk to the bull a lot and caress him. But every time my father came into the stable, the animal started to fret and fume, so he finally decided to sell him. Therefore we took him to the cattle market in Cerkno. The butchers from Idrija bought him, but couldn't get him on their truck. He obeyed only me. However, I can still see tears in his eyes, when I tied him to the truck and said good bye. When the butchers saw how the bull followed me without any resistance, they offered me a job in the slaughter house. I actually don't know, why I had accepted their offer. Next week I started to work there. I shall never forget my first day in the slaughter house. They cut off the heads of twenty fully conscious calves right there in front of me. I felt like throwing up and could not imagine me having to do it. A young cleaner noticed my disgust and said: ''There's nothing to it, boy. If I can kill an animal as a woman, it will be much easier for you as a man!'' Then she took an axe and hit a living cow with it. Something broke inside of me and I said to myself: ''Well, O.K then, I'll be a butcher.''

How do you explain your decision for a butcher's job?

I am sure there are no coincidences in life. Obviously I had to pass such a bloody way. The bull with tears in his eyes surely wanted to warn me, but I simply did not understand the message at the time. As a teenager I simply did not understand, that God created people, animals and plants in this world to learn from each other. And I really still do not quite understand, why I had killed the animals, which I liked the most for so many years. However, it seems a bigger mistake to me, if you are aware of doing something wrong. In this case spiritual law of sowing and harvesting is even more inexorable. I really wasn't aware, that slaughtering animals was wrong up to that moment.

Do you regret your decision?

No, not at all. All things, that seem negative to us, have their positive side in a wider spiritual perspective. Every man has to experience darkness, before he can recognize brightness and love. Therefore we mustn't judge anyone. My opinion is, that Jesus and Hitler had a similar role. Jesus wanted to teach us how to love, forgive and be kind. I am sure, that Hitler on the other side wanted to teach us something we shouldn't do. In my younger days I caused quite a lot of troubles, so my father often spanked me in an old farmer way. I couldn't understand, why I liked him so much, even though he beat me up once in a while. Only when I had my own kids and once wanted to spank my daughter, I remembered in a flash, how my father's strokes hurt me. I became grateful to him only then, because I suddenly realized what he had tried to teach me: Do not beat the one you love! Every man becomes aware, why he is sent to this world and starts to live a completely different life. When I was a butcher, I simply didn't notice the beauties and wonders of nature, God and all the universe.

But you must have slaughtered very unwillingly all those years?

I think, that unwilling slaughterers are mostly butchers, who had been forced into this professions by their fathers. Every man has free will and I don't see, how some parents can force their kids to do certain jobs. Although my father was a village butcher all his life, he never expressed a wish for me to do the same job too. I think I always made reconciliation with an animal before killing it. I did not kill with hatred. Father and I used to slaughter pigs in villages and killing–days with pork and sausages were always a kind of holidays for village people. But I repeat, at that time I never thought of a pig as a victim of our enjoyment and revelry. On the contrary, it was pig's death itself, which joined us. I could agree with older village people, who once claimed: No matter how bad their relations were, birth or death always brought them together.

What does a slaughter house look like?

I'll say this: Slovenian societies for animal rights should organize visits to slaughter houses, so many people could see, how their steaks get on their plates. I am sure most of them would soon stop eating meat. Most meat eaters would resist in disgust, if they were told their puppies would be slaughtered. But most of them really don't care, what goes on behind the walls of slaughter houses. However, there are much worse things. A few years ago I travelled a lot in Bosnia and met some people, who were involved in the war at the end of previous century. They told me, they had learned how to murder people in slaughter houses. But in slaughter houses I never saw cutting of bellies of pregnant cows, like they did to pregnant women. Those people prayed to God, while they were cutting human necks. I kept wondering, what kind of God allows killing among brothers and sisters made to his image. God gave free will to man and does not interfere. Therefore, the biggest human mistake is, that people believe God, no matter how he is called, takes the side of those who kill everything he had created with love. When you hear such things, you recall the words of Leonardo da Vinci, who said, that it was only a small step from killing an animal to killing a man.

How do animals behave before their cruel death?

Thank God, I wasn't aware of it at that time. Nowadays, whenever I think of what I have been through, I remember many things. How the animals resisted me just like our bull had resisted  those butchers, when he didn't want to get on the truck. I could write a book of memories. I remember tears in the eyes of the calves, I had slaughtered. But I tell you once again, thank God, I did not always see it, let alone understand it. I am sure of one thing: If nowadays I asked a cow or a bull, if I could kill him, he would give me some kind of a sign not to do it. Killing or taking someone's life to appease hunger or thirst is not a sin, but it is a mistake, which will have to be rectified by individuals as well as by humanity. I am lucky, I don't have to make similar mistakes anymore.

The well known psychotherapist Borut Pogačnik said, that many butchers had problems with alcohol. Is it true?

In slaughter house in Idrija there was a habit: If a farmer had not brought two liters  of wine or a domestic brandy to butchers, he had to wait a little longer for his bull to be slaughtered. Many butchers became addicted to alcohol in this way. My father was a village butcher and he always came home a little drunk. I think he tried to make his work easier with alcohol. Personally I never depended on liquor and I don't attribute my actions to drinking, but to my destiny and alcohol would be no excuse for them.

I read in a German magazine, that some butchers even drink bull's blood and eat raw bull's stamens as a symbol of manhood. Is this true too?

It is true all right. I never tried it myself, but I had seen old butchers drink blood with my own eyes. They believed, it gave them strength and power.

What do butchers do with slaughter waste?

Once we used to bury all slaughter waste, horns, intestines, eyes and bones into a special hole. Nowadays they use all that for the production of feeding stuff, which is the main disaster. This also causes many terrible diseases. Besides that, they add many chemicals to meat in order to preserve durability. Some of the chemicals cause cancer. Some pieces of meat, which should be wasted, are remade to salami or hot dog.

What happened? What made you quit the job of a butcher?

One day four years ago a relative of mine suggested, that I should visit a fortune teller in Zasavje, because she wondered, if she would guess certain things concerning my life too. I went to her, but just for fun. I introduced my relative as my wife, but the fortune teller said, it wasn't true, because my wife had black hair and we had two kids. I felt she might know something, because everything, she said about me, was true. Then she threw cards on the table and found out, I knew many people, but the job I was doing, was completely wrong. I told her not to talk rubbish and bid farewell. I was busy buying a slaughter house at the time. I had a lot of money and was quite sure of my success, so her words didn't make sense to me. At parting  she was sure I would visit her again and added, I would cut myself and have a car accident in the near future. I thought to myself, she didn't know what she was saying. But on the way home someone crashed into me and three days later I cut myself. So I decided to go back to the fortune teller and ask her to tell me more about my future. She predicted, that if I carried on with my job, I would fail completely in three years, I would have troubles with police and judges and many people would start to hate me. I refused to believe her, for I was sure that opening my own slaughter house would be an excellent investment. I already had the building, the business plan was made and the documentation was ready.

What happened then?

Troubles in my business really soon began. Many business partners didn't pay me, so I soon ran into debts myself. Besides, my home folks turned their backs on me too. In great distress I took refuge in praying to God. Then I started visiting Brezje regularly. Once, when I was really desperate, I prayed to Mary Mother of God and begged her to give me power of forgiving. Instead I heard a clear voice: Do not kill! I thought, it referred to people only, because I had many debtors, whom I sometimes said in despair, I would kill them, if they didn't pay me my money. But on my way back from Brezje in the tunnel before Kranj, I felt, it also referred to animals! Soon I noticed a wet stain on my trousers and realized it was from tears. When I came home, I told my wife I would not kill animals and eat meat from that day on. She said, I was not quite O.K., there was definitely something wrong with me. Anyway, from that moment on I kept to my promise. A few days later, at the end of the year, I was at a birthday party with my friends. I was the only one not eating meat, ignoring their remarks, what kind of a butcher would I be, if I didn't eat meat.

How did you stop slaughtering animals?

Already before my spiritual change I promised my aunt to slaughter her pig immediately after new year. I was embarrassed, what to do, because I liked keeping my promises. I decided to go to my aunt and lie to her, that I had a very high fever. When I got to her door, the biggest miracle in my life happened. Before I tried to tell her, I was sick, she said: ''Unfortunately we won't be able to slaughter, because I have a fever.'' Unbelievable! It was my luckiest day. From that day on I didn't even think of slaughtering an animal, no matter how much money I would be offered.

What was happening to you in the next few days?

As I wanted to get to the bottom of the matter, I was solving problems with certain people and even with the church and some politicians in a way, that is understandable today. The latter sent me to the psychiatric hospital, because of my actions. Under sedatives I began praying to Mary to save me from all those nightmares and help me, because people didn't understand my new way. I know, many people didn't get my point then, so after my hospitalization I went to Father Leopold in Brezje, who is iniciated in Mary's miracles. In a conversation, which lasted more than an hour I confidentially described to him all the events, that had recently happened to me. He assured me, that after all humiliation and suffering my decision not to kill animals brought me God's grace, although he didn't quite understand how. But he warned me to keep my experiences to myself as much as it is possible, because people would not understand me and I might have troubles again. He added, that miracles happened every day, we just didn't notice them anymore in our heartless, materialistic world. My wife didn't understand all the events. She was sure, I was sick. That is why I remembered Jesus saying: If you really believe and trust in me and God, just stand up and leave. I often asked myself where, but there was no answer. I found the answer in me only when I really did it. I got a divorce, left home leaving everything to my wife and kids.

How did you feel physically?

After the change many people said, I would get sick not eating meat because of certain vitamines deficiency. Passing on to vegetarian food I became lighter, more active and had much more life energy. I could say, my sub consciousness  and consciousness began to act completely differently. Many people thought I was sick, but in fact I had never felt better in my life. I gave up all medicines, prescribed to me in the hospital. When I told that to my doctors after a year and a half asking them for explanation, they remained speechless. If people knew how much poison they take with every medicine, they would reconsider carefully before taking it. I wonder why people don't ask themselves, how our predecessors managed to live to be very old not knowing any medicines accept the natural ones. It is interesting, how I used to despise vegetarians. Once in my ''butcher times'' me and my business partners were visiting a farm in Dolenjska, where only bio food was produced. All the people there were vegetarians. I whispered to my colleague to go somewhere else, because I cannot watch ''the skeletons'' anymore. It made my mouth water, when I saw domestic lambs on the spit in front of a nearby tavern. Later we ate them with great appetite.

Did you notice any more positive changes after quitting the bloody job?

I haven't hated a living being ever since I decided to start a new life. Above all I remember my puppy dog Pika. She was so glad, because I had changed, that from that day on we have never parted. When we were strolling along the countryside, I noticed gratefulness in her eyes, which many people couldn't understand. She often comforted me, when I was in distress and clinged to me, when I was down.

Do you ever feel tempted to slaughter an animal?

No, not at all. Nowadays I cannot even kill a fly, because it also has the right to live. As I said, I like all the creation. My evening prayer is: I send my love to all people, my brothers and sisters and to all the creation, given to us by God, who said: Love each other.

The Church is still saying, that God's Commandment: You shall not kill! refers to people only. How do you comment that?

I know an ex-priest and religious historian, who was in service in Rome for a few years. He told me, he ate more meat there, than in his whole life. The Church doesn't really care for its own commandment: You shall not kill! The bloodiest wars, humanity has ever known, raged and are still raging in the world in the name of religion or because of it. How can we expect this commandment to refer to animals, if it doesn't refer to people? If the commandment was respected by everyone, the world wouldn't need neither priests nor state or religious leaders, because everything would go on according to natural laws, which are unfailing and eternal. As the Church and its leaders as well as the leaders of the world do not want to obey this commandment due to their benefits and manipulation with people, I can hardly believe that killing would soon be over. However, I do believe, that God's and nature laws are strong enough and that there are people in this world, including priests, who are getting more aware every day. With their help we will slowly change the world to what it used to be from the very beginning. Evil was created by man, not God, therefore we will have to eliminate it by ourselves, for it was caused by us. Anyway, after the change I realized that people really didn't need altars and churches, where priests often manipulate with people. A proverb says: God will not ask you, how many times you attended masses, he will be interested in your acts. Faith in God is not enough, it is necessary to be active. God himself will not do anything. We will have to unroot evil by ourselves.

What do you do nowadays?

I established a society to help people in distress. In many different ways I help people, who got into trouble. Having experienced many hard times, I can understand them and help them in different ways. I dedicated myself to nature and I live with it, so I also started to gather medicinal herbs. I heal with a help of bioenergy. In this way I treated many diseases, which couldn't be healed by official medicine. I also work on my spiritual development and using my own experiences I help people, who were pushed into distress by a modern way of life and are searching for new ways. I am also active on the cultural field. But I am most thankful to God for sending me to this world right now to accomplish all these things. I experienced a lot of beautiful, unforgettable moments. I accepted all the tests as my destiny, fought them and won. Help yourself and God will help you, is one of the most truthful proverbs. I enjoy very much in various handicraft skills too. I like making all kinds of products, chapels among other things. I especially cherish the Christmas time. Every year I make a big crib in memory of my new way. Together with God and Mary I can experience the birth of Jesus, whom we can see in every living being and nature, if we wish so.

Tolstoy said, that people would kill each other as long as there were slaughter houses. How do you comment his statement?

I will say a little differently: Blood will be shed until man becomes aware, that God created animals to be his friends. Not only animal blood, but man's as well. First we have to raise the spiritual consciousness, then slaughter houses will automatically disappear from the Earth. People will not eat meat anymore, therefore it will not be necessary to kill animals and destroy nature as well as everything, that was given to us by God as a present.

For more information about Peter Razpet please contact him on alvador@mail386.com or call  00386 41 312 698.

Peter
Photo: ex butcher Peter Razpet with his puppy dog Miša and his daughter.

Damjan Likar


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