Don’t You Dare Question Me. I Am An Animal Activist!

Animal activist sticker on street sign. Source: Flickr
Animal activist sticker on street sign.
Source: Flickr

Is the animal advocacy movement truly a social justice movement or one that people are using to further their own standing within society?

When I first got into this movement all those years ago, it would have been hard to convince me that this wasn’t a social justice movement. Unfortunately, today I am not so sure.

For any social justice movement to succeed in challenging the accepted paradigm, I believe the movement needs to be in a constant state of growth. Just because something worked or was successful yesterday, there is no guarantee the same will happen today.

For some reason, today’s animal activist and groups seem to be under the impression that what they do is sacrosanct, all because they declare themselves an animal advocate.

For example, a number of animal groups in Queensland are complaining about the possibility that Swan Lake in the Port of Brisbane may or may not be filled in to become a car park, yet they all seem to be silent on the news that the Inghams’ plant at Murarrie, (which they would have all driven past on their way to the protest) has increased it’s kill rate from 600,00 in 2008, to 1.1 – 125 Million this year.

Whilst I do accept that it will be a loss for 1,000 birds to be displaced, it should be of greater concern to these animal activists that this plant can easily kill 1.5 million chickens a week, nearly tripling it’s out put in five years.

Then there are the activities of these animal activists themselves.

For some time now, I have been questioning the motivation behind Animal Liberation (NSW) Executive Director Mark Pearson, much to the condemnation of other animal activists. With someone making a comment in a recent piece I wrote, about the Animal Justice Party inciting violence against Tony Abbott, that alludes to the possibility that Mr Pearson isn’t even vegetarian, should cause people to legitimately question his motives.

If this allegation is correct, then it serves to make a mockery of Mr Pearson’s claims that he is concerned about the plight of other animals, and his suggestion to me via email that I “go and actually do something to directly assist animals”.

I have not heard any animal activists questioning the reasoning behind Animals Australia and the Animal Liberation franchise inviting representatives of the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union to speak at the Ban Live Export protests. Mind you, it could go some way to explain why Mr Pearson believes that building more slaughterhouses will stop the live export trade.

And yet these same animal activists are getting up set about a recent comment made by the Senior Scientific Officer from the RSPCA, which I wrote about in The phrase that shocked a nation.

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There are other examples such as the Gateway To Hell protests against the transportation of primates, and circus protests that because they are done by people who claim to be doing something for the animals, that the ineffectiveness of the activity shouldn’t be mentioned. The reason being, at least they are doing something.

If those who have no hesitation in consuming other animals or their by-products are able to have their actions excused because they loudly proclaim that they are an animal activist, then this movement has become one of social promotion.

So much for social justice, and doing it for the animals.