Chris Delforce from Aussie Farms has stamped his foot like a spoilt toddler, and demanded that Katrina Hodgkinson, New South Wales Minister for Primary Industries, and Steve Coleman, RSPCA NSW CEO, face off against him in a public debate.
Would a debate, public or otherwise, advance the cause for equal consideration for other animals, obtain some sort of justice for pigs/other animals in general, or allow the challenger to increase his unwarranted 15 minutes of fame?
Cameron Blewett thinks it is the latter, and that he is still doing more harm than good, and explains why.
Carrying On Like A Spoilt Child
There is no denying that what was exposed at Wally’s Piggery was atrocious, and the maturity of the movement can be measured by the way that it responds to this set back. A movement that has a matured understands that there will be ups and downs with progress towards equal consideration for other animals.
Except that hasn’t happened in this case. Instead, the movement, and those who want to be leaders of it, are stomping their feet carrying on like spoilt little children. The protests and theatrics of the past weekend are indicative of this.
I’m not really sure if this behaviour is because they were told no, or that the pride and ego of some has been damaged by the dropping of the charges or a combination of both.
One thing is for sure, that these people have now made it about them, rather than what has happened.
In his speech over the weekend, and various comments on social media, Chris Delforce has claimed that increasing biosecurity protocols is misdirecting us away from the true purpose of the legislation. To shut ‘activists’ out, and keep consumers in the dark about where their food actually comes from.
To reinforce this, Mr Delforce claims these facilities are often plagued by mice, rats, flies, birds and other insects/animals, potentially carrying diseases, who freely enter or leave through open windows or gaps in the infrastructure; they are typically not “biosecure” facilities at all.
All this does is indicate how little Mr Delforce and others actually understand about biosecurity.
Biosecurity is about minimising the chances of something biological posing a threat to the area. Just like a doctor washes their hands before touching a patient, or we wash our hands before touching food to prevent the spread of germs, these protocols do the same thing.[GARD]
That is the reality.
There is no denying that intensive animal agricultural practices make them more susceptible to disease outbreaks, which is why these protocols are there in the first place. It is also worth noting that biosecurity protocols exist for agricultural farming practices too. I am sure many of us remember seeing those bins for fruit along various state borders, and warnings about fruit fly and other insects/diseases.
Bullying Or Presenting The Other Side?
One minute Chris Delforce claims that Rather than looking for specific answers in a debate, I am simply looking to start an open conversation where until now, only one side has been presented by the media.
Yet his press release says something completely different
“I am challenging both Minister Hodgkinson and Mr Coleman to put those arguments to the test,” he said.
“They must explain and defend their decision to withdraw the case against Wally Perenc, a decision that leaves him free to start up his appalling operation again.
“Minister Hodgkinson and Mr Coleman must also explain and defend to the people of NSW their rationale for introducing US-style ag-gag. Minister Hodgkinson must further explain and defend why she has allegedly been threatening RSPCA, the NSW Police and the Animal Welfare League with a loss of powers should they attempt to prosecute farmers for animal cruelty.
Confusion about what he wants aside, it all boils down to is this. Mr Delforce is bullying people into participating in a stunt where whatever answer they give, despite having already been given, won’t be good enough.
This also means that unfortunately for the animals and regardless of whether the debate is held or not, Ms Hodgkinson, and Mr Coleman have already won.
Animal advocates are already viewed as bullies and out of touch with reality, due in no part to the poorly thought out and self-centred actions of others, Sydney Vegan Club v MLA ‘Should We Eat Animals’ debate comes to mind. This stunt is only going to further increase the divide between animal advocates and the general public.
The bullying isn’t only reserved for Ms Hodgkinson and Mr Coleman, Animal Liberation NSW and Aussie Farms are now calling for RSPCA NSW to relinquish its role as a prosecutor under the state’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Though in true Animal Liberation form, they haven’t offered any alternative or solutions.
Can’t Have It Both Way
One common theme throughout this whole saga is the refusal by those involved to accept any responsibility for RSPCA NSW dropping the charges against Wally’s Piggery.
Mr Delforce has stated that they “acknowledged from the start that it was far more important to show the Australian public the realities of pig farming, rather than silently prosecute a single pig farmer”.
Could someone then please tell me why they, Animal Liberation NSW and Aussie Pigs, are complaining now that the charges have been dropped?
What is really interesting about this stunt from the vegan point of view is the behaviour of Mr Delforce himself. Here he is demanding that two individuals bow down and answer to him. And the sort of verbal violence in his words “I am challenging both Minister Hodgkinson and Mr Coleman to put those arguments to the test,” he said. “They must explain and defend their decision”. Yet this movement is all about the rejection of violence in any form, and the oppression/subjugation of others.
I guess Chris didn’t get that memo.
Do It For The Animals
Instead of playing this pitiful game of he said/she said and attempt at one-upmanship through the media, it would have been more productive for the animals if they had have all got together and had an honest discussion on how to make sure that that something like this doesn’t happen again.
Except that isn’t what these groups are about.
Lately, it seems that they are more interested in being ‘seen’ to be doing ‘something’ than it is to ‘actually’ be doing something.
Understanding that these animal groups always seem to put promotion ahead of prosecution or protection, is it any wonder that there is talk of legislation being introduced that requires footage to be handed over within a particular time frame?
At the end of the day, if these people really do care about the animals as much as they say they do, it is time to put egos, headlines, and self promotions aside and do something that will truly help the animals.