Here I am again.
More than a little bit confused by some of the campaigns that are coming out from those animal advocacy groups.
Take the events of the Warwick rodeo for example.
There are a number of groups calling for rodeos to be banned because they are cruel and animals can get injured or killed by being unwilling participants in this alleged sport, using what happened to the bull Destination Unknown as an example.
Though what if rodeos were in some way made less cruel, would that satisfy the need to look after the welfare of the animals involved?
Or would these groups say that animals shouldn’t be used for entertainment and no amount of improvement to the way that they are treated will change that?
Here comes the part where I am confused.
Why is it not ok to use animals for entertainment, regardless of how they are treated, yet it is ok to use animals for food if they are treated as a free range commodity?
In an attempt to answer this I looked at the campaign from a number of different viewpoints.
I started off to see if the organisations were speciesist, treating cattle better than other animals, except they aren’t because whilst cattle can’t be used in a rodeo, they can still be kept in a feedlot and killed for food, so long as their basic needs a met.
Then I thought maybe the organisations were sexist in their views, except that wasn’t the case either, as these groups aren’t campaigning for an end to egg use because the male chicks are discarded and ground up alive. All they are asking for is the hens to be taken out of the cages, with no mention of the treatment of male chicks at all.
Maybe these organisations are elitist, because rodeos are traditionally a blue collar source of entertainment. Except this isn’t the case either. Whilst they want to see an end to greyhound racing, which is often described as a poor mans horse racing, they want to see horse racing stopped too.
Now can you understand why I am confused?
Maybe someone from Animals Australia or Animal Liberation Queensland can explain to me why the baby steps approach is acceptable for animals used in food, yet an outright ban is required when animals are used in sport.
Using the excuse the world won’t go vegan overnight isn’t really good enough, because the world won’t stop rodeos, horse racing or greyhound racing overnight.
Why not draw a line in the sand and say that animals cannot be used for any purpose?