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To Protest Or Not To Protest. That Is The Question

This time last week, Sunday 10 March 2013, somewhere between 30 and 70 people, depending on who you listen to, gathered to attend a protest on Australia’s Gold Coast organised by Coast To Coast Animal Friends, against Lennon Brothers Circus‘ use of exotic animals.

As you can imagine with this sort of protest, there were placards, shouting, people in cages, slogans on t-shirts, an over the top police presence, and they even had a chant going.

It should be noted that the excessive police presence was explained away in the local media as a result of the organisers overestimating the number of people that would attend, and falling well short of that number.

Whilst I am unsure what the intent of the protest was, apart from getting media exposure for Coast To Coast Animal Friends and maybe air time for some of its members. I would like to think that they believed that the protest was about increasing awareness, and getting people to think about the treatment of animals in circuses. Except I would be guessing, as they were unwilling to respond when I approached them for a comment.

I was told by some of the attendees that the wearing of ‘vegan t-shirts’ was expressly forbidden, with the colours of the day being black, red or white, or their own anti-circus t-shirts —  which also happened to be available for purchase on the day.

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Another Step In The Right Direction?

Coming up from March 18 to 24 this year will be Australia’s inaugural Meat Free Week.

A week where, as the name suggests, consumers give up eating meat for a week.

Don’t worry about this being a deceptive vegan conversion program, as according to the about page, … it’s not about becoming a vegetarian or giving up meat for life. All we’re asking is that you give up meat for one week from the 18th to 24th March and ask some buddies (friends, family, work colleagues) to sponsor you for each day you go without.

By the end of the week, the organisers hope you will do two things:

  • Commit to eating less meat, thereby reduce the demand for factory farming, take the pressure off our environment and improve your health
  • When you do eat meat, make the choice to buy/eat meat this is ethically produced and sourced

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Is There Such A Thing As An Ex-Vegan?

Incase you have missed it, or not been on Facebook for the past few days, Alexandra Jamieson has decided that she is no longer vegan, and proclaimed it to the world in a blog post titled funnily enough, I’m not vegan anymore.

Not surprisingly it has started all sorts of discussions in different groups and forums, and getting more than a few comments on the post itself. Some of the comments as you can expect have been a little less than pleasant, and others have been supportive of her, though most of those have come from people who are not vegan or claim to be ex-vegans.

This leads me to ask the almost obvious question. Is there such a thing as an ex-vegan?

Answering this question, I would have to say no. Because in all honesty, if you can become an “ex-vegan” you honestly never were a vegan in the first place?

Ms Jamieson’s regression does raise a few interesting points worth considering.

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Does Silence Equate To Loyalty And Approval?

Confusing loyalty with silence
Some organizations demand total fealty, and often that means never questioning those in authority.

Those organizations are ultimately doomed.

Respectfully challenging the status quo, combined with relentlessly iterating new ideas is the hallmark of the vibrant tribe.

this post orignally appeared at http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2013/02/confusing-loyalty-with-silence.html

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Sexism, Bullying, And Patriachy

sex·ism
noun \ˈsek-ˌsi-zəm\
Definition of SEXISM
1: prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially :discrimination against women
2: behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex

sex·istadjective or noun

3bully
verb
bul·lied bul·ly·ing
Definition of BULLY
transitive verb
1: to treat abusively
2: to affect by means of force or coercion
intransitive verb
: to use browbeating language or behavior : bluster

pa·tri·ar·chy
noun \-ˌär-kē\
plural pa·tri·ar·chies
Definition of PATRIARCHY
1: social organization marked by the supremacy of the father in the clan or family, the legal dependence of wives and children, and the reckoning of descent and inheritance in the male line;broadly : control by men of a disproportionately large share of power
2: a society or institution organized according to the principles or practices of patriarchy

For a movement that exists primarily to remove the oppression and subjugation of a species who are not able to defend themselves, you could be forgiven for thinking that the vegan/animal rights movement itself was at the forefront of equality and respect for all.

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Week In Review Sunday 10 Feb 2013

Starting this Week In Review article off with a reminder of the battle that is ahead of us in the promotion of veganism, and animal rights, the Kill stats page has been updated for the week ending 01 Feb 2013.

Whilst some of the numbers are down on last week, it isn’t cause to celebrate, as the drop has been due to the inclement weather that has hit most of the eastern states over the past week.

Speaking of the bad weather, a piece in the North Queensland Register has one property owner saying that his stock losses from ex cyclone Oswald will be in the thousands.

If one property in the region is claiming a loss of thousands of head of cattle, I dare not think about what the final total will be.

Continuing with the stories of woe to come out of the bad weather is this one by milk producers who are literally crying over spilt milk. Well dumped milk actually.
Dairy producers in the Monto region have had to dump thousands of litres of milk when access to their farm was cut off due to floods.
One producer dumped approx 3,000L whilst another had to get rid of 13,000L

A $15 Million saleyard has been built near Tamworth. The saleyard which is due to open in the middle of the year comes complete with soft floors, non-bruise panelling and are fully undercover. With the saleyard’s managing director, Garry Edwards, saying “It’s all designed to put less stress on the animals,” and Tamworth Selling Agents Association president Ian Morgan said the expected rise in stock numbers would translate into increased competition and better outcomes for both buyers and vendors.

After all, that’s what is important here, increased competition and better outcomes for both buyers and vendors.

And now for some good news, or well sort of.

On Friday, the Australian meat judging team arrived home after their month long tour of the US. The team consisting of, Isaac Allen, Vanessa Campbell and Jordan Hoban of Charles Sturt University Wagga Wagga, Tim Ryan of the University of Melbourne, and Rozzie O’Reilly of the University of New England.

Supposedly judging animal flesh is a big thing here and overseas, so if you want to catch up with the Australian team, they will Be at the 2013 Australian Intercollegiate Meat Judging program to be held in Wagga Wagga on from July 9 to 14.

Inspired by the recent Got Milk? ad that appeared recently at the US Superbowl, Dairy Australia could be launching a similar campaign here especially considering the success generic milk campaigns have had in Europe.

I wonder what Australian personalities they will get to sport the white milk mustache? Maybe it’s another job for Darren Lockyer once his Coal Seam Gas propaganda piece has finished.

And finally, something for us all to cheer about, especially those who supported the carbon tax. The Federal Government has just handed over $4.4Million to JBS Australia to help them upgrade their Dinmore slaughterhouse. The grant is part of a dollar for dollar program to help these awful places improve their competitiveness and energy efficiency, and reduce carbon emissions.

The project is expected to save the Dinmore slaughterhouse approx $1.1Million in energy costs, and reduce the company’s carbon price liability by $790,000 each year.

And let’s not forget a $6.2m allocation made to renderer, AJ Bush, to upgrade boiler systems at its factory near Beaudesert

Here is a list of the meat processors who to date have received funding from the Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program include:

  1. Teys Australia Tamworth, NSW – Project cost: $996,050; grant offer: $328,696; expected benefits: $327,000 in energy cost savings a year
  2. Jertvu Pty Ltd, Midland, WA – Project cost: $52,154; grant offer: $26,077; expected benefits: $7800 in energy cost savings a year.
  3. Greenmountain Food Processing, Queensland – Project cost: $997,500; grant offer: $498,750; expected benefits: 34 percent reduction in energy costs.
  4. Dew’s Meats, South Australia – Project cost: $68,907; grant offer: 34,453; expected benefits: $6500.
  5. Rivalea, NSW – Project cost: $823,966; grant offer: $268,810; expected benefits: $195,600 in energy costs a year.
  6. Wodonga Rendering, Victoria – Project cost: $4,123,000; grant offer: $1,053,500; expected benefits: $761,000 in savings a year.
  7. V&V Walsh, WA – Project cost: $837,772; grant offer: $279,258; expected benefits: $170,000 in energy cost savings a year.
  8. Harvey Industries, WA – Project cost: $565,000; grant offer: $188,000; expected benefits: $211,000 in energy cost savings a year.
  9. Hunsa Smallgoods, WA – Project cost: $451,426; grant offer: $225,713; expected benefits: $26,000 in energy cost savings a year.
  10. D’Orsogna Ltd, WA – Project cost: $288,457; grant offer: $96,152; expected benefits: $61,000 in energy cost savings a year.
  11. GM Scott, NSW – Project cost: $182,746; grant offer: $85,373; expected benefits: on-site emmissions cuts.
  12. A.J.Bush & Sons (Manufactures) Pty Ltd, Bromelton, South East Queensland Project cost: $12,369,179; grant offer: $6,184,589; expected benefits: Savings of $1.5m reduced carbon price liability per year at Bromelton facility and will reduce their energy costs by 46pc.
  13. JBS Australia Dinmore – Total project cost: $8,770,452; grant offer: $4,385,226; expected benefits: $790,00 reduced carbon price liability per year at Dinmore facility and will result in savings of $1.1 million in energy costs per year.
  14. Kalleske Meats Smithfield, South Australia – Project cost: $83,482; grant offer: $41,741. Expected benefits: savings of $45,000 in energy costs a year.
  15. Wagners Fine Foods Victoria – Project cost: $82,000; grant offer: $41,000; expected benefits: $9000 in energy cost savings per year.
  16. D A Holdings Pty Ltd, trading as Afflick Abattoirs, NSW – Project cost: $223,450; grant offer: $111,725; expected benefits: savings of $44,000 in energy costs per year.
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Strip Clubs, Veganism, and Baby Steps.

The other night, I was out for a ‘night on the town’ with some colleagues of mine that I have known for a number of years. As most of this group are aware that I am vegan, and respect the decision that I have made, it was decided that on this night we all ate a vegan friendly meal at the restaurant we went to.

After dinner, as is usually always the case, it was time for a few drinks and to plan what was happening next. As I was ordering the drinks, the gang was more than happy with the vegan friendly wine and beers that I chose.

After a few bottle of wine and a number of beers had been consumed, it was decided that it was time to head out and see what ‘trouble’ we could get into for the night, and part of that ‘trouble’ usually involves visiting a strip club or two.Continue reading