Dear Mr Taylor,
I am writing this letter to you out of concern over comments that you have made regarding the actions the alleged extreme animal rights group Aussie Farms, and its operations director, Mr Chris Delforce.
You have said that because Mr Delforce has the view that animal agriculture shouldn’t exist that he is un-Australian and their behavior is unacceptable.
Well Mr Taylor, just like Mr Delforce, I am also of the belief that animal agriculture doesn’t have a place in the modern Australian farming landscape.
Does this also make me un-Australian?
Mr Taylor, whilst the actions of Mr Delforce and Aussie Farms may get the approval of some within the animal advocacy movement, I personally believe that they are actually setting the movement back, and making it harder for those of us who want to have a legitimate discussion about the use of other animals. In fact, the recent piece that I wrote regarding this appeared in the same publication as your comments, some 2 days earlier.
What really concerns me about your comments Mr Taylor is that as a Federal Member of Parliament for the seat of Hume, you are supposed to the people’s representative in Canberra. Not an industry representative as you appear to be.
Mr Taylor, please understand that like Mr Delforce, I will do whatever it take to shut down animal agriculture, an industry that I believe to be archaic and out-dated.
Though unlike Mr Delforce, I will do it within the confines of the law. So please do not tar us all with the same brush.
Mr Taylor, you have said that you have worked hard to understand where the animal welfare lobby comes from, though have you taken any time to understand where the ‘animal rights’ lobby comes from?
Remember they are two totally separate groups with different views and goals.
Mr Taylor, as you have said “These people are un-Australian and their behaviour is unacceptable”, what behaviors do you think are Australian and acceptable?
Do you think it is Australian and acceptable to farm out national icons for their skin, eggs, and flesh as we have done with the kangaroo and emu?
Do you think that Americans would think it was American and thereby patriotic to farm and eat their national icon the bald eagle?
Do you also think it is Australian and acceptable when out hunting kangaroos to kill a joey by bashing his or her head on a bull bar or rock, or even ignoring them if his or her mother has been shot?
It must be, because it appears in the code of practice.
Do you also think it is Australian and acceptable to brag about our world leading standards for ‘animal welfare’ when explaining why Australia should stay in the live export market, yet have domestic standards that wouldn’t have gained ESCAS approval?
Do you also think it is Australian and acceptable to have the price of grain artificially inflated and increase the cost of living for Australians because this grain is fed to animals that are killed for food?
Please keep in mind that as humans we are able to exist and survive on a diet that does not contain any animal products, which means that the desire to eat an animal is done for your own selfish reasons
Do you also think it is Australian and acceptable to kill horses that are no longer needed, with some of them being exported for human consumption?
I supposed this is why horse meat is unable to sold as food in Australia. After all, how many Australian’s would be comfortable sitting down to eat a meal of Phar Lap sirloin or Makibe Diva steak?
I find it interesting that one of the comments on your facebook page said “The very acceptance of the notion that entire industries are cruel based on the actions of a few is insulting to any half intelligent person,”.
Now please correct me if I am wrong, wasn’t it the party that you are a member of that brought about draconian gun laws because of the actions of ONE person in Tasmania?
As for any half intelligent person, I do believe that any half intelligent person actually would have a problem with industry standard practices for slaughter and transport.
Whilst you are right in saying that “if most other industries in Australia were under attack by similar campaigning, underpinned by repeated trespass, it would be considered completely unacceptable”, I also think that if it any other industry resulted in as many people being charged it would have been shut down long ago.
You are also right when you say that part of Australian society have lost touch with rural Australia. Though I really do wonder how many Australian’s would be able to continue eating animals if they spent a day in a slaughterhouse, regardless of how sanitised their experience was?
Whilst I don’t view myself as an animal rights extremist, I do agree with you when you say that there would be no point in taking a tour of livestock production facilities because I do not believe that other animals should be killed for food.
And just to clarify, if sheep weren’t seen as a commodity, causing them to be bred for wool production, there wouldn’t need to be concerned about how they will survive without being shorn.
This is why, if you want to get a better understanding about where ‘we’ are coming from, I ask you come to spend a day with me on a farm animal rescue where you will be able see why there is a growing number of Australian’s who do not believe that other animals should be used for food, clothing, entertainment, or medical research.
If you do come and spend a day with me, which I honestly hope you do, part of your day will involve spending some time with pigs, who industry says need to be kept in cages because they are violent and aggressive when not in them. (It is also worth remembering that humans behave the same way which is why prisoners don’t sleep in communal halls when incarcerated).
Who knows, if the pigs that are there take a shine to you, they may let you get down and play in the mud with them, as I have. Or, if you are really lucky, you might be able to sit down and have a pig named Heather put her head in your lap and lay down beside you because she wants a belly rub or ear scratch.
Then you may be able to understand why ‘we’, those people that have been labelled as extreme animal rights activists, do not believe that other animals should be seen as a commodity to be used as per human whims. You may also get to see first hand the complex social structures that other animals have and are part of, and why keeping too many of them in the one spot leads to aggressive behaviour.
In closing Mr Taylor, I urge you and others who don’t understand where ‘we’ are coming from to consider that the issue of the use of other animals, isn’t going to be rectified/pacified simply by branding ‘us’ as extremists, and passing legislation. It will take a mature understanding from both sides of the discussion, something that is noticeably absent, with each clinging to catch words such as ag-gag, extremists, un-Australia, etc.
Please Mr Taylor, lead by example, and take the time to have a discussion with ‘us’ to understand what we are really about. As a member of parliament, this is really the least that you can do.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.