Yay! Let’s Have Another Protest

Yesterday, a number of organisations joined together to hold public protests in the hope of bringing an end to the Live Export Trade. This post deals with the issue from a vegan and animal rights perspective. If you are interested in the other side of the issue, check out the post, “What To Do About Live Export?”[1].

Over 1,000 people attended the Brisbane rally[2], along with The Greens Senator for Queensland – Larissa Waters, Joy Verrinder (Animals Australia), Eileen Thumpkin (RSPCA Qld), and an audio hookup with Animals Australia’s Lyn White. I must say, I am surprised that they weren’t able to rustle up someone from the AMIEU like they did last year.

Did today achieve anything, and will the live export trade stop?
I seriously doubt it, as I cannot see either the ALP or the coalition changing their policy on the industry.

What about those hard talking and our political saviours, The Greens?
As I have mentioned previously, despite what people may believe, The Greens are not a “pro-animal” political party, and their stance on live export is only to further the domestic slaughter industry[3]. This has been further reinforced by NSW Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham who recently said, “Opponents say we are anti-meat. What we are about is best practice. A lot of this is about perception,”[4].

As far as I am concerned, this rally is probably one of the worst things that could have happened to veganism or Animal Rights in this country.

Here are all these people telling the government, a biased media and a gullible/easily influenced public that it’s OK to eat animals as long as they are killed here. Thereby giving them the impression that our slaughterhouses are the best in the world, and have achieved an incomparable standard. Yet as we have seen in recent times, this is sadly not the case.

I’d like to know why it is acceptable for the local slaughter industry to say whatever bad things happen are “isolated incidents” performed by “rouge operators”, yet those associated with the Live Export Trade are not afforded the same luxury?

Is it also not a tad hypocritical and problematic that The Greens’ Animal Welfare spokesperson, Sen. Lee Rhiannon, describes the Live Export trade as “a cruel, inhumane and immoral trade in living beings”[5], yet this same condemnation does not apply to domestic slaughter industry? An industry they only seem too eager to expand.

Could Sen. Rhiannon please explain to me how cattle crammed into a feedlot, exposed to the elements, standing in their own manure and mud, or baking hot dirt with no shelter or grass to graze on, is better than the conditions that those in the Live Export Trade endure? And this is without even mentioning road and/or rail transport, or their treatment prior to slaughter.

I would love to say that these Ban Live Export rallies have set the Animal Rights movement back 5-10 years in this country, except that is probably a conservative estimate, and there is no way to gauge the damage that has been done.

Any time that someone mentions the treatment of animals prior to slaughter as a reason for going vegan, all the other person has to do is reply with something along the lines of Australian slaughter practices being the best in the world, and there is not a thing that an be said to counter that.

As a bit of a side note, Australia is set to export 1.4 million tonnes of beef and veal (1,400,000,000 kg) this year, and based on USDA figures, we consume an average of 32.5kg per person[6].

In the related post on CameronBlewett.com.au[8], I raised the point that if these protests and groups were truly concerned about animal welfare and protecting ALL animals, then the worst thing that Australia can do is actually stop exporting live animals.

Today was a golden opportunity for the watermelons to reaffirm their position as saviours of the world. The “No Ban – No Vote” and “Don’t Lose My Vote. Ban Live Export” placards were a brilliant marketing ploy too, as it will help convince the swinging voter that they do care, and get things done.

Ultimately, all today was about was allowing those who consume animal products to feel better about their decision to do so, by having the sheer awesomeness of Australian slaughter practices reaffirmed to them.

As I have mentioned in a previous post, “Australia and It’s Cattle”[7], “there are the legions of meat eaters who seem to think that just because the animals that they eat are killed ‘humanely’ that it absolves them of any guilt. Sorry to have to tell you this, there is no such thing as humane slaughter”.

What really interests me is that none of these organisations or The Greens actually mention veganism. Supposedly, it is still seen as extreme, and maybe a tad confronting. Yet showing footage of an “Australian” bull writhing around on the ground in agony while he slowly bleeds to death in an overseas slaughterhouse, or telling us that “Australian” sheep were clubbed to death, or throats barbarically cut and some buried alive isn’t.

Could it have something to do with the fact that if they actually mentioned veganism in connection with live exports that people would actually be forced to do something about it, and take responsibility for their actions? Whereas by showing things that are happening overseas, all we have to do is throw some money at group A, B, or C, sign a petition, or even attend a protest, and thereby allowing us to atone for the sin that is domestic slaughter.

Have we really achieved anything if these animals have been saved from the hell that is live export, only to be thrown into a new nightmare of a domestic slaughter industry that is inadequately prepared for such a rapid expansion?

What will it take for people to stand up and say enough is enough, where and how these animals are going to be killed is irrelevant, they shouldn’t be killed in the first place.

The sooner that this line is drawn in the sand, and a beachhead established, the sooner that all animals will be saved from this senseless and unnecessary slaughter.

1: What To Do About Live Export?

2: Govt ‘failing’ on live animal exports
Retrieved 06 Oct 2012

3: A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Slaughter

4: Greens in a revitalised push for the bush
Retrieved 05 Oct 2012

5: Greens’ bill to ban live exports
Retrieved 23 Sept 2012

6: India takes over as world’s largest beef exporter
Retrieved 04 Oct 2012

7: Australia and It’s Cattle

8:What To Do About Live Export?

2 thoughts on “Yay! Let’s Have Another Protest”

  1. Excellent post. The main popular media reasons for such uproar when it comes to live export are money (and jobs staying in Australia), and ‘ownership’ (as in ‘how dare they treat -our- property like that’). The sentience of the animals seems way down the list of importance and as you rightly point out, is dismissed when the animals can be slaughtered in Australia.

  2. Pingback: Social Justice or Social Acceptance

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