by: Jenny Moxham
October 15th, 2009
Geelong Advertiser, AU
WHY are humans so totally inconsistent, particularly where animals are concerned?
On Sunday at Barwon Park in Winchelsea _ the place where in 1859 the un-smart Thomas Austin decided to release 12 pairs of imported rabbits simply for the pleasure of hunting them _ there was a family day at which children got to cuddle rabbits and their parents got to listen to a Department of Primary Industry talk about killing them.
If you felt hungry, no worries, you could tuck into some rabbit sausages.
Just recently, I read that a church in the Geelong region was inviting the congregation to bring their pet animals along for a World Animal Day blessing. Guess what followed the blessing? A sausage sizzle! In other words, barbecued non-pet animals! Now how inconsistent is this?
On TV, I saw a group of guys being interviewed. They'd been rescuing abused dogs. Fantastic! I thought. The host then rewarded their kindness to animals by giving them loads of dog food comprising the minced up body parts of other cruelly-abused animals.
Why don't people get it? Cruelty is cruelty. It's cruel to wantonly hurt dogs but it's also cruel to wantonly hurt gentle cows, pigs and sheep.
Wherever we turn there seems to be this inconsistency. We pamper our dogs and cats yet happily tuck into other equally lovable, intelligent and sensitive pigs and lambs.
Last Sunday on Channel 9's 60 Minutes program a reporter was interviewing an official from Japan's Whale and Dolphin Meat Culinary Association regarding the slaughter of dolphins at Taiji.
The reporter asked the official if he could understand why many Australians would consider that what Japan was doing was barbaric?
The official retorted that to the Japanese people our killing of kangaroos is just as bad.
He was entirely correct, of course, but this time the reporter didn't seem to get it.
Then there are those charitable organisations which, every Christmas, do their best to entice us to send cows, pigs, goats etc. to people in third world countries to supposedly help alleviate hunger.
Well, hello! Guess who's eating up one third of the world's food? Animals!
The world's hunger problem would not exist at all if the food fed to animals in the West was fed directly to humans.
According to the United Nations, the amount of grain needed to end extreme hunger is 40 million tonnes and 540 million tonnes of grain is currently being fed to farmed animals in the West.
Clearly the solution to world hunger is not to increase the number of farmed animals in the world but to reduce it. Isn't it time for a little more consistency and clear thinking in our daily life?
_ Jenny Moxham is an animal rights activist.