Live Export Dramas. Again!

Live Export - Open up! It's The Vegan Police! - AusVegan.com.au
Photo Credit: Charles Henry via Compfight cc

Animals Australia prophesied that there would be problems with ‘Australian’ animals during this years Festival of Sacrifice. Sadly for the animals concerned, their prophecies came true. Which resulted in yet another expose on the ABC’s Lateline program.

Once again, a bunch of politicians are filling soundbites with token gestures of stopping live export, calling for licences to be revoked and so on.

Whilst the public have every right to be upset, will this ‘cruelty’ to animals stop if Australia withdraws from a multi-million dollar industry, or is this simply another bigoted campaign by an animal protection organisation who seem to be more intent on brand recognition than actually protecting animals?

Now before any gets all excited about this piece, let me set the record straight and say here and now that as a vegan who believes that all sentient beings should be given equal consideration, it is my belief that ANY trade in animals, whether dead or alive is abhorrent, and something that needs to be stopped.

Live Export Horror In Context

The exporter at the centre of the latest saga claims that the animal that is featured prominently in the latest slaughter clips may not actually be from Australia, despite the ear tags being used as proof that he is. The exporter claims that there is a black market trade in Australian ear tags as that increases the final price.

This means that if there wasn’t an ear tag of Australian origin on the animal in the footage, I can almost guarantee that regardless of how horrifying the footage is, that it wouldn’t have made it to our TV screens.

It is only that this happened to an ‘Australian’ animal, that we are hearing about it.

If this type of treatment is as widespread as brand Animals Australia are claiming, what are they doing to prevent other animals being treated this way?

The other thing we need to consider is that if 400 cattle, for example, were exported to the region, and only one was treated ‘badly’, that is equivalent to 0.25% of animals being killed in a way Australian’s aren’t comfortable with.

It is also worth noting that when cruelty issues are discovered in Australian slaughterhouses, it is usually a number of animals that are being mistreated, not one or two by people who don’t know any better.

Our Laws Have Failed The Animals

Ask anyone and they will tell you that because one or two animals were killed in a way that we aren’t happy with, that it is proof that ESCAS is a failure. Yet somehow this same level of condemnation isn’t applied locally every time there is a breach of a Code of Practice.

Consider this from another position.

Every car driver knows and is aware that there are certain laws that must be obeyed whist driving, such as speed limits, blood alcohol concentration and seat belts. Yet on any given day there are scores of people who break these laws. Sometimes the consequences of breaking these laws is the death of another human being.

Does this mean that our road rules are a failure and don’t work? Whilst some would say yes, the majority understand that there are just some people who don’t care.

Are There Alternatives?

Unfortunately, I am going to have to agree with Sam Trethewey again when he tweeted this about the latest ban live export campaign “#BanLiveExport is like the Aus Republican debate… Until an alternative system is developed that’s as effective, change will be minimal.

When looking at this from a realistic point of view, there aren’t really any alternatives to ending live export. Especially where the welfare of those animals being exported/imported is concerned.

If Australia stays in the live export market, those slaughterhouses wanting to purchase Australian animals have a higher standard to follow than they would if they weren’t buying Australian animals.

If Australia withdraws, then there is no incentive for those places to abide by ANY standard. And we all know what that means.

Who Really Has Blood On Their Hands?

Alleged animal lovers all over Australia are screaming out that everyone from the farmer who raised then sold the animals through to the export company that shipped the, and even the politicians who stood idly by whilst these atrocities occurred all have blood on their hands.

Are they any more guilty than the politicians who boast about wanting live export stopped because it is cruel and our animals deserve better? Yet with the very next breath say it is acceptable to kill animals here because we treat them ‘better’.

[GARD]Or what about the animal protection organisation that stood by and watched these animals being killed this way because it would make good footage for the folks back home?

Unless brand Animals Australia is going to now tell us all that the consumption of ANY animal product is unacceptable, and start using that dreaded ‘V’ word (vegan), they are just as guilty as everyone else. Possibly more so, because they know better.

Think about who you are really helping the next time you take part in some Ban Live Export protest or share some gruesome footage. Brand Animals Australia or the animals themselves?

Can This Be Stopped?

As long as there is a trade in dead animals, there will be a trade in live animals. Regardless of what pre-election promises politicians give you.

If you genuinely want to stop this from happening ANYWHERE, you really only have two options.

A) Become a missionary and convert everyone AWAY from Islam to the more respectable religion of Christianity. Whilst animals will still be killed, it will be ok, because they will be killed in a kinder more civilised manner.

or B) Promote veganism. That way you are helping ALL the animals, not just those who come from Australia.