Aussie Farms And Chris Delforce. Raising awareness or setting things back?

Australian ‘food’ animals have a new saviour in the Aussie Farms group of websites all thanks to the new poster boy for animal ‘rights’, Mr Chris Delforce.

Whilst Mr Delforce is gleefully enjoying his 15 minutes of fame thanks to an eager media, it appears that he is paying very little attention to the damage that his comments and websites are doing to ‘the movement’.

Unfortunately, the more that Mr Delforce and his Aussie Farms website(s) appear in agricultural media, the more that animal advocates are being demonised, and the harder things will become in the future.

Confusing Position

Mr Delforce is another one of a growing number of people who have labelled themselves as ‘Animal Rights Activists’, and have paid very little thought to what that actually means. Maybe ‘animal rights’ is the new black.

In a deleted facebook discussion the question was asked on the Aussie Farms fan page how they envisioned these ‘rights’ being granted. Would it be through the granting of a type of personhood or via legislated rights, and would it apply to all animals, or only those used for food.

Their response was we’re more interested in achieving a paradigm shift (as discussed in the interview) in the way animals are viewed, so that people view them not as stock or property, but as living, sentient animals who have a desire and a right to not be abused, exploited or killed. Laws prohibiting the killing of animals can only come as a result of this.

This appears to be contradictory to the footage and images that are on the Aussie Farms website. All I have been able to find are images and footage of other animals as they are used in the animal agricultural system. There are no scientific reports of the sentience of other animals, evidence of their desire to live or anything for that matter that would lead the viewer/reader to believe that they are anything else than property.

If it is Mr Delforce and Aussie Farms’ true intent to ‘convert’ people to veganism, they appear to have gone about it the wrong way.

Gruesome footage doesn’t get people to change their minds or create a paradigm shift. If it did, then the government wouldn’t have resorted to plain paper packaging for cigarettes after the ‘shocking’ photos, and we would be seeing ‘shocking’ images on TV in an attempt to improve the road toll.

No Alternatives In Mind

Despite Mr Delforce knowing that the media would be talking to him regarding the sites, and his intentions, he never bothered to present an alternative to animal agriculture.

Way back in August 2013, in the article about stopping live export, I wrote that the growing of industrial hemp could be an alternative use for the land that they graze cattle on.

If Aussie Farms has the network of supporters that Mr Delforce claims, then I am sure there would have been at least one person who would have been able to do some research into alternative uses for farm land.

We need to be mindful that as it is ‘us’ who are instigating the change, ‘we’ need to be able to present alternatives. Not stomping our feet on the ground like a child throwing a tantrum.

Maybe they could contact Harold Brown at Farm Kind (http://farmkind.org/index.htm) and have a chat to him before they talk to the media again.

Honestly, I am surprised that no one advised Mr Delforce to have his answers prepared BEFORE the media contacted him.

Saying Anything That Sounds Good

Speaking of talking to the media, it appears that Mr Delforce has gone to the Mark Pearson School of Media Communication. As he is starting to make totally irrelevant comments like Mr Pearson did before him.

[GARD]I am sure we all remember Mark Pearson’s statement that live export would be shut down once more slaughterhouses are built in Australia, and that it was a relatively simple thing to do, then a few months later taking part in a march to end slaughterhouses.

Mr Delforce seems to have Australia confused with the US as he believes that Australian farmers could possibly shoot and kill ‘activists’ that are trying to get footage. I am pretty sure that most states and territories have laws regarding when a firearm can and cannot be used. I am also sure that ‘trespass’ doesn’t count as one of those ‘reasons’.

Then again, I guess that is his way of painting a picture of these ‘activists’ being innocent and the ‘victim’ if something does go wrong and they get hurt. Before we do that, it is worthwhile remembering that they are trespassing on private property, and that is against the law.

The Way To Make Change

When it comes to promoting veganism and not using other animals, the best way to do it is to have an actual discussion with a person. NOT by bombarding them with shocking images.

Unfortunately for veganism and the animal advocacy ‘movement’, every time that he posts some sort of gruesome image on the Aussie Farms website, with some outlandish claim attached to it he is pushing meaningful discussion further and further away. And making all of us look like raving lunatics that are too lazy to do our own research.

I honestly hope that once Mr Delforce grows up, and decides he wants to make a meaningful contribution to discussions on animal rights that those bridges haven’t been burnt.

In the meantime, the rest of us will be trying to repair the damage that he has and is continuing to do.

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10 Comments

  1. I think you kinda miss the point of efforts like these to expose what happens in slaughterhouses. Isn’t it the factory farms which treat animals purely as property? You seem to be arguing that documenting this is somehow adopting the same view of animals. But that kind of argument wouldn’t hold for any other investigation into immoral practices. Would a website exposing slave-like conditions in a Cambodian factory be “harmful to the cause” because it didn’t also link articles about Cambodian sentience or offer an alternative to low-wage manufacturing? If you really are against efforts to expose what happens in factory farms how on earth does an animal advocate justify such a stance?

    I’m concerned that you seem to be rehashing a predicable argument thrown against individual activists: that their activism is useless because it doesn’t cover XYZ (where XYZ are the pet interests of the critic).

    • Two different things there Dr J.

      Whilst there are groups that expose the conditions within these farms, most do them to seek an improvement in the ‘treatment’ of the particular animals.

      Mr Delforce and Aussie Farms have said that they are seeking ‘rights’ for other animals, yet there is no mention of that on their website. Or there wasn’t the last time that I looked.

      If you check out their facebook page, all you see are gruesome images with no discussion on the sentience of other animals or even going vegan.

      This is why I believe that they are both a danger to ‘the movement’, and those they are allegedly advocating for. The animals.

  2. Thanks for replying. Your argument is a peculiar and I can’t say I really get it. So if Aussie Farms included some links to vegan food sites and explicitly made the (shocking) point that animals possess consciousness you would not have any beef with them?

    • The scary part about this site is that it will encourage others to break into farms to obtain footage for the site, and sooner or later, someone is going to get hurt or killed.

      What is it that you don’t ‘get’?

  3. Also have you ever actually seen plain packaged cigarettes?

  4. Well yeah, that kind of work has dangers attached to it and those who undertake rescues or film mistreatment are taking a risk. But your view that exposing animal abuse doesn’t change anyone’s mind is astounding – as if films like Earthlings “the vegan maker” never introduced animal rights to people. No one is saying that shocking footage alone will turn the world veg – there are many other websites and organisations who broach the subject differently and people are free to check out what really happens in Aussie farms as well as read other things. Also, I think you should have another look at their website as the homepage contains a large and highly visible link to “vegan tips and recipes”…

    • Hang on.
      There is a substantial difference between Earthlings and the footage to date on the Aussie Farms sites.

      Please remember that Aussie Farms has stated we’re more interested in achieving a paradigm shift (as discussed in the interview) in the way animals are viewed, so that people view them not as stock or property, but as living, sentient animals who have a desire and a right to not be abused, exploited or killed. Laws prohibiting the killing of animals can only come as a result of this.

      Yet this is something that they haven’t actually been able to do.

      Having a link on a website to something vegan related can’t really be called promoting veganism, can it?

      If that is the only mention of veganism on the whole site, that’s hardly presenting a vegan message now is it?

      • Um… no, the reason Earthlings is similar and turns people toward veganism is the shocking footage in the film (obviously). Aussiefarms is just Earthlings minus Joaquin Phoenix. Regarding your remark that Aussiepigs has failed to being about a paradigm shift – are you being serious? Also, I would tend to see that link to veganeasy.org in the top bar as promoting veganism, but I guess you must use an alternative system of logic to the one I do.

        • Earthlings is a well thought out documentary with a powerful narration that challenges the viewer to make the connection between the way that other animals are used and the way that we are ourselves.

          The last I looked at the Aussie Farms website or facebook page, there was nothing that even remotely resembled that.

          The Oxforddictionaries.com defines paradigm shift as: A fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions

          If you seem to think that having a link to the vegan easy website is enough to be defined as promoting veganism, can you please tell me how many times the word vegan appears on the Aussie Farms website? Excluding the vegan easy link of course.

  5. […] ANOTHER IMPORTANT NOTE: When I mentioned this in the article, Aussie Farms And Chris Delforce. Raising awareness or setting things back?, some of those commenting on it decided that this didn’t matter as the pigs were destined for […]


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