With the increase in the number of animal “matters” being ‘exposed’ through the media, is it time for animal protection groups to refer campaigns to an ethics committee?
In an ideal world, before any campaign or investigation was started, the group would lodge a submission with the ethics review board to assess the long and short term impact to the animals, and how the action compares to the aims of the organisation.
That way, only those activities which aligned with the aims/objectives of the group and had a long term positive benefit on the lives of other animals would see the light of day. Instead of how it is at the moment where groups are doing anything and everything for their share of the spotlight.
What’s More Important, Animals Or Attention?
For arguments sake, let’s use the recent greyhound live-baiting expose as an example.
Once again the Race That Stops The Nation,The Melbourne Cup, has been clouded in controversy. This time due to the deaths of two horses, Admire Rakti and Araldo, after the race had been run.
And once again, so-called animal ‘protection’ groups are calling for racing to be banned, and/or people to ‘pledge’ not to bet on racing whilst horses die.
All this is fine and dandy for those groups as it will allow them to build on their 15 mins of fame, and in the case of Animals Australia – increase awareness of their ‘brand’.
Though will it really do anything with regards to the way that humans view other animals?
Sadly, I will have to say no.
To begin with, as long as betting on horses is seen as a way of striking it rich, and horse racing is promoted as the sport of kings it will continue to exist.
Mind you having a look at some of the photos of Flemington racetrack AFTER the event, I believe that it should be renamed the sport of slobs. Sadly, that sort of behaviour isn’t only reserved for racing and is more indicative of our collective lack of respect for pretty much everything.
It is a virtual uphill battle to have other animals given equal consideration when even those who supposedly care for them the most still view them as nothing more than an object. Take the following quote by Mick Moroney, the trainer of Araldo.
Nothing could be done to save the horse after scans showed its pastern had been broken in seven places and resembled a “bag of ice”.
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.
Since then, more and more ‘animal advocates’ have started to fly the anti ‘ag-gag’ flag.
Even though they are starting to sound like chicken little with their endless preaching of doom and gloom the reality of things is more then a little different to what we are being told.
Sure the media and politicians are branding talk of draft bills as ag-gag, though that hardly means that they are. We all know that sensationalism is what the media thrives on, and politicians only respond to that which will get them votes and time in the media.
That being said, and understanding that both sides will say whatever will get them the most publicity, it is time to sort out fact from fiction
Activists Are Not A Law Unto Themselves.
First and foremost, we need to realise that those new laws have come about because ‘activists’ are ignoring the laws that we currently have.
Despite whatever altruistic reasons are being given for breaking the law, the law is still broken.
If these people are willing to break the law with trespass and property damage to get incriminating evidence, where will they draw the line?
On the other side of the coin, seeing as digital piracy is another issue that is gaining attention, I am sure that these activists wouldn’t mind if a farmer broke in a placed a camera above the area where they use their computer to ensure that have purchased the correct licenses for the software they are using.
Have you noticed how it is becoming more and more popular and acceptable to ‘advocate’ for a particular animal at the expense of another?
We see it most weekends at our local supermarkets/hardware store where a Save The ‘X’ group is having a sausage sizzle to raise funds for their designated animal.
Unfortunately for the animals, these types of campaigns aren’t only reserved for those ‘small’ groups that don’t know any better.
Animals Australia does it with their Make It Possible campaign, and their continual focus on land based food animals who are kept in factory farms, show total disregard for those animals raised for research or aquatic animals raised in aquaculture.
The Animal Liberation franchise does it in nearly everything that they do.
This past week I received two emails in particular that both upset and infuriated me at the same time.
The first one was an email from Animals Australia that was asking for donations. The email featured a picture of a bull that I believe is from their recent Gaza/Ban Live Export investigation.
Whilst I don’t really have any issue with Animals Australia asking for money via email, they are a business after all. The bit that infuriated me was the big bold caption that said “Because of you, we will save animals like him.”
Unfortunately for the animals, and regardless of how much money you give to Animals Australia, all they “may” be able to save other animals from, is being killed overseas.
What Animals Australia have conveniently forgotten to tell potential donors is that these animals are designated food animals, and will be killed regardless.