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The Interesting Deaths of African Susies

Before livestock is killed in certain parts of the world, they make them listen to music. Like, someone is actually employed to suit-up in a three-piece and play, for example, classical music for them.

First time I learnt about this I was casually going through the text on a tin of butter. Susan was the cow whose milk the butter was made out of. And Susan, it said, “fed in the greenest pastures, had access to the best healthcare and got milked by the most loving hands” (no pun intended).

And while I was laughing at what melodramatic nonsense it all seemed, my nigga Bo who makes it a point of duty to memorize nonsense facts, remarked, “But you sef, you no know say Oyibo people dey mad? People wey go siddan play flute for cow before dem kill am?” I thought he was joking. Only that he wasn’t really laughing.

“Serious matter?”

“Before nko!”

“Oyibo dey really play flute for COWWW?”

“I swear!” Bo swore. “Even violin.”

So I read up on it. Turns out that if you kill an animal that’s stressed, it adversely affects the quality and taste of the meat, making it unduly tough hence the music to relax its nerves. (I even read of a certain cow who, before its death, had Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’s audiobook read to it). There’s a humane way of killing them too, says these Oyibo people, as they’re being relaxed. Simple: a retractable bolt driven into the forehead by a stunbolt gun, immediately rendering them unconscious without necessarily causing them any sort of pain.

“…without necessarily causing them any sort of pain.”




In Nigeria, the closest thing to music the cow will ever get to listen to are the butchers whistling. These guys no dey wear shirt. Dem tie bandana, fold trouser enter knee. Reason is simple: they mean business.

Right in front of the condemned cow, its killers are sharpening two long daggers discussing its death, as if it’s not even there. One butcher might say to the other, while looking directly at it, “Omo, shey you know say the tongue and the ear na for me?” (If you tell them, “Don’t you know this cow has feelings?”, they will laugh at you and ask you if you don be cow before).

By this time, the cow is so fucking stressed because it knows of its gruesome end. But the butchers don’t care. Na normal tin. If e like, make he speak Hausa, na e business be dat. Those who strong pass am calm down! Him sef, e go still calm down!

(And what did you just say about meat getting stressed? Meat get feelings? What is dat tough meat that hot water and salt cannot solve?) NOBODY, and I repeat, NOBODY gives a damn about stressed meat in this land.

Once, in an abattoir, I saw a butcher stab a cow just for the heck of it. Then he burst out laughing as the poor animal winced in pain.

We Africans, we are mad people. Me, I can’t even talk too much because I’m one of the barbaric savages as regards animals.

Once, I beheaded a chicken and threw its bloodied body into a poultry full of chickens. After squawking about for a few wild minutes, I pointed at them with my dagger,

“Hear me, my brothers! Hear me,” I said. They kept their eyes on me, sorely terrified.

As soon as I was convinced they were listening, I told them: “Shey una know say na me Jago go personally kill all of una?”

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