This was going to be a podcast

For the past week and a bit I have been trying to get my next episode of the AusVegan.com podcast recorded and uploaded. I have recorded and edited about 4 different versions of it, then when it comes to listening to the final version something just doesn’t feel right about it. I don’t know whether it is that I have had enough of hearing myself say the same thing over and over again or something else. Anyway, I decided that I would re-edit the script that I was going to use and make it a blog post instead.

Since my last podcast about 2 weeks ago, quite a few things have happened in the land down under.

Live Exports
The temporary suspension of live exports to Indonesia has been lifted and nothing has really changed. A few token gestures that have been implemented are, and reading from the Australian Government website, liveexports.gov.au

Under the revised framework, before an exporter can be issued an approval to export livestock to Indonesia by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) they will need to have a supply chain assurance system that demonstrates:

  • internationally agreed welfare standards
  • control of the supply chain
  • traceability through the system
  • reporting and accountability and
  • independent auditing.

From what I have been able to gather, this was what was already in place. An interesting thin to note is that the internationally agreed welfare standards don’t include stunning before slaughter. Exports are due to start as soon as 01 August with the Elders group hoping to be the first.

Something that is interesting to note is that the Indonesia government, since 2009, has been moving towards self sufficiency by 2014. with imports to account for approx 10% of the beef consumed. With the government and farmers knowing this, why was there such a hoo hah to even start it again in the first place?

This also means that all the excitement has been for nothing, because in 2014 or whatever date it is that they become self sufficient, no one will give a rats about the way that cattle are slaughtered.

Carbon Eduction
We are in the middle of a government sponsored education campaign about the Carbon Levy program that was released over the weekend, with both sides of politics taking shots at each other. I have had a bit of a waffle about it in a blog post on my other site cameron blewett.com so I won’t go over it all again here.
Things for the iPhone
Being totally obsessed with and having to try all the free apps that I can that are available for the iPhone, I have a the app for those shopping coupon groups installed.
Anyway, about a week ago one of the deals that came through from LivingSocial.com was for a $10.00 ticket to the Lyell Deer Farm.
The into to the deal goes like this.

Bambi – still officially one of the cutest Disney animals out there. And today, animation comes to life when you bundle up the family and head to Lyell Deer Farm.You have no i-deer how much fun this excursion will be where, for just $10, two adults and up to four children under 12 can visit the beautiful farmland (usually $34). Lyell Deer Farm is home to a small herd of these gentle four-legged friends, and there are four different species to introduce yourself to: red, fallow, rusa and chital. While there, you and your kids will be given the exciting opportunity to hand-feed these hand-reared animals. Fill your lungs with fresh, country air and let your family marvel at these elegant, always endeering creatures.

According to the site, 493 passes were purchased, and if you follow the link to the website of the Deer farm it has links to all sorts of interesting pages.

The main page tells you that you can hand feed the 4 different species of deer and you can buy Hard Antlers, rawhide, fur mats and deer leather, along with kangaroo and sheepskin gifts and souvenirs.

They have a $9.50 morning or afternoon tea package with home made biscuits or cake. Included in the price is an iced water/cordial on arrival, a bag of pellets to feed the deer, a deer antler demonstration (whatever that is), and an informative talk on the deer species and the development of the farm which goes for approx 45 mins.  All this, and it is only 40 mins out of the Brisbane CBD at Mt Samson.

With all the warm and fuzziness that is going on in that place, I am guessing that a tour of the slaughterhouse has been conveniently left out.

Animal Related News
Having a look at some of the animal related pieces that have made the papers recently.

  • London’s Daily Telegraph reports that 1 in 10 British pets have a social networking profile. This craze is called ‘petworking’ and there are now sites dedicated to this new craze.
  • DINGO doo-doo has been linked to a spike in medical cases of a deadly cystic parasite that has been found as big as a football in the liver and lungs of humans. Now correct me if I am mistaken here, wouldn’t a little bit of personal hygiene, like washing your hands before handling food prevent this?
    The article ends with a warning from scientists that are investigating a recent outbreak of tapeworm in cows in a feedlot in northeast NSW, that resulted in 35 cattle being euthanased. The lab coats warn that, if infected beef is improperly cooked, it can lead to a 9m-long tapeworm growing inside the gut of humans.
  • Mitch Davie, a  24 year old peanut from Ballarat who know lives on the Gold Coast has had his femoral artery severed during the running of the bulls in Spain. According to the article, this was the idiots second daily run, with the footage appearing on youtube.
    Still can’t understand why this act of stupidity made it to the papers, and let’s hope when he gets back here that Gold Coast residents get him to endure the same sort of taunting that the bulls received.
  • Now still speaking of stupidity, a 5.5m saltwater croc nicknamed Brutus has been photographed jumping out of the river by a NT News photographer.
    Brutus, an 80 yo croc was lure into jumping out of the water by the practice that is common amongst the region’s tour operators, and that is dangling pieces of meat attached to a pole to entertain tourists in boats in the crocodile infested parts of the Adelaide River.
    I don’t know about you, the last thing that I want to see if I am in a boat is an apex predator jumping out of the water, regardless of how big or small it is. Though it still baffles me, why anyone would teach any apex predator let alone one that is over 5 metres long to associate food with humans is beyond me.
  • The Hendra virus has reared its head and is spreading again, and today the recent outbreak it claimed its 10th equine victim.
    As a result of this recent out break there is the panic that goes along with it and calls for the bat population to be culled. Now, this seems to be a common reaction of people. Something happens that can be attributed to humans interaction with animals, so the first thing that people want to do is to kill a number of those animals. If only we could do that when humans got crazy.
    One thing that most people fail to notice is that it is the human and horse contact that is causing it to spread, not the bats. And this is the reason that most places are in quarantine. My only hope is that the hysteria associated with it hangs around long enough to have a major impact on this years spring racing carnival, without causing the loss of life.

Cameron’s Soapbox
Now time for me to get on my soapbox here, and if I can’t do it on my podcast, I don’t know where else I can do it.
In early July 2010, a woman posted footage on youtube of her cutting the head off a mouse with a steak knife, with the mouse taking 40 seconds to die. She was arrested and charged with animal cruelty offenses under Queensland’s Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 after someone complained to the RSPCA.

The woman, Naomi Anderson appeared in the Caboolture Magistrates Court today and walked free without a conviction being recorded. The 23 year old received a sentence of 180 hrs community work placed on a good behaviour bond for 18 months, and has to pay costs of $75.90.

The RSPCA’s spokesman Michael Beattie said his organisation was satisfied with the outcome. This is despite the Magistrate, Peter Hasted saying the act was “abhorrent and repugnant”, and that the footage was saved with the file name “kill 002”

Without making any comments about mental illness here, which was part of her defense, this was a premeditated act of animal cruelty with the mouse being bought by Ms Anderson prior to its death being filmed then uploaded to youtube.

The fact that the RSPCA didn’t seek a conviction because of her ‘youth and the hope that she might get back on track’ is an insult to the police or RSPCA inspector that investigated this case. With her being 23, I don’t think that the youth argument holds much water here.

Now, I do understand that the RSCPA is a charity, and doesn’t have unlimited funds, I am just a little confused that if it had a strong enough case to take to court, and with the person pleading guilty, why didn’t they at least seek for a conviction to be recorded?

What happened to the government’s supposed hardline stance on cases of animal cruelty?

Anyway, that’s about it for this post.

Before I go, I would just like to say thank you to all the people that contacted me regarding a suggestion that I made on here and facebook for vegans to check the ‘cheese’ that someplaces claim is vegan, when it isn’t.

We need to stay vigilant of what we consume, because manufacturers change ingredients all the time. Just the same way that you should seek clarification of the soy milk that places use when you order a latte, because some of them are not vegan either, soy based cheeses are no different.