The other day, 10 August 2007, I was channel surfing around a few different radio stations, when I settled down to listen to a few songs on Brisbane’s 96.5FM. This radio station is promoted as being family friendly, with a positive message and all that sort of warm and fuzzy kinda stuff.
Anyway, the morning presenter, Tanya Gordon, was doing her show “Live from the ‘Ekka” and was interviewing some young girls that lived on a farm and were “cow-hands”. They were waffling about what they do on the farm and general chit chat, then Tanya asked if they had ever been fallen off their horse. One of the girls said yes she had, then one of them mentioned that they were almost trampled by a bull. This was when the talking head decided to say that she almost got stood on by a cow moving backwards in the stall that it was in, while she was looking at them at this years ‘Ekka. To make matters worse for her, she also made the comment “People think cows are these docile creatures…they can be quite viscous when they want to”.
I mean come on Tanya, think about it. This poor creature is in a new and strange environment, getting prodded and poked by heaps of kids, is hearing noises that it has probably never heard before in its life, tethered into a box that is not much bigger than it’s own body. Tell me Tanya, wouldn’t you get a little annoyed in a similar situation?
Now about the ‘Ekka…
The organisers crap on about how it is bringing the country to the city and stuff like that. There are “educational” displays talking about the different sorts of beef cattle, and there is even a milking barn with “Five live milking demonstrations daily”. Now where in all of this do they tell the public the truth about what happens on these farms?
Things like, that for a cow to produce milk, it has to be kept pregnant. Once the calf is born, it is taken away from it’s mother, after all, we can’t have a baby cow drinking the milk that is destined for us. If the calf is unlucky enough to be born male, it is either killed straight away, or sent off to become someone’s precious veal dish. We all know that there is no use for a male calf on a dairy farm don’t we?
Then there is the life of beef cattle. If these poor creatures are fortunate enough to be from a “happy meat” farm, then they may get to live some of their short life actually outside, and get some sunlight and fresh air. This is short lived, because the cattle need to be shipped off to the abattoirs to get “processed”, and become that steak that you are salivating over. The minute these animals leave the farm is also the same time that their “postcard existence” does aswell, becuase they are crammed into semi-traliers or rail carriages to be transported to the place where their life will be terminated. These methods of transport are in complete violation of the RSPCA’s “5 Freedoms for Animals”. There is very little shelter, if any at all, no fresh water, no freedom of movement. You would think that this would be the worst part of their “death trip”, yet it isn’t. They then arrive at the abattoir, where the highest act of cruelty takes place. These beings, that are aware of their surroundings and what is going on, are herded single file into the “killing room”. This is where the animal is supposed to be stunned with a captive bolt gun, to render it unconscious, before it’s throat is cut, and it bleeds to death. This method of stunning is only successful if the bolt passes through the right part of the brain at the right angle, which rarely does happen. This means that the animals are fully conscious at the time that their throat is cut, and in immense agony and distress as it is hung on the rack to slowly bleed to death.
So when are we going to see a “mini-abattoir” at the ‘Ekka, so the public can really see what happens to the cattle and sheep, for them to end up on your dinner plate.