Director of Alphadog AnimalArmy, Marcus Fillinger speaks about his research looking at multiphase kangaroo fertility control, undertaken in collaboration with the University of Technology Sydney. Marcus discusses remote delivery (darting) of contraceptives to kangaroos and the kinds of problems which have arisen where people with little training in marksmanship have targeted kangaroos. he also shows photos of clinical consequences of shooting that has failed to make a clear headshot. Marcus shows a number of rescues via tranquillizer dart and challenges as a myth the idea that you cannot relocate kangaroos because they die of stress etc. This talk was given at an event held by the Animal Justice Party on 5 April 2016 in Canberra. The purpose of the event was to look at government policy towards kangaroos.
On Friday the 13th of February I attended the “Great Debate: To Collapse or Not to Collapse,” hosted by the Sustainable Living Festival at the Deakin Auditorium. The following Wednesday I attended a screening on the movie Cowspiracy, hosted by Animal Liberation Victoria, which explored the impact of industrial animal agriculture on the environment and the resistance from environmental groups to address the issue in a meaningful way.
Both events painted a grim picture of the environment and society if we don’t make considerable changes, however as in most events that prescribe change, they did a good job of focusing on particular issues whilst ignoring others. I have reflected considerably over the past week, and after summarising the two events I will share three points that I feel get overlooked by the environmental and social change movements. I believe these points must be acknowledged if we are to sustain the planet for successive generations.
The Great Debate: To Collapse or not to Collapse
The Great Debate identified climate change as an immediate crisis and six key speakers argued as to whether change should happen as a result of ‘collapse’ (e.g. a breakdown of our current complex and fuel dependent society) into a simpler, more grassroots society, or whether to work within the existing paradigm to a society run on clean renewable energy. The audience had the opportunity to vote at the end of which option they most agreed with or to suggest an alternative solution. With Bendigo Bank and Future Super sponsoring the event and encouraging attendees to divest, it was clear that the clean energy option had more support, however if the MC was hoping for a clear cut debate from the speakers she may have left a little disappointed.
Speakers David Holmgren and Nicole Foss gave the clearest arguments promoting collapse as the best option. Holmgren, who has spearheaded the permaculture movements in Victoria and abroad, suggested that a move from the middle class from grid-dependency towards self-reliance based on permaculture principles will allow a change of culture permitting a smoother transition away from capitalist growth economies that greatly impact the planet. Nicole Foss (see www.theautomaticearth.com) argued that economic collapse is inevitable as we are currently living in a financial bubble. As the bubble bursts, it will not be possible to fund the investment costs required for a large scale transition to renewable energy sources. To the contrary, people will only become inspired to take grass roots action when there is resource and fiscal depletion, she argued.
Phillip Sutton (author of ‘Climate Code Red’); Jess More (Stop CSG Illawarra) and George Marshall (author) were more inclined to argue that economic or physical collapse isn’t necessary. Sutton stated that collapse would not take CO2 away from the atmosphere. Therefore we need green tech technology to reclaim these emissions. These three speakers seemed to believe that there is a failure to talk about climate change on across the political spectrum. So a bottom-up change needs to take place through a conversation with wider society. Hopefully this would eventuate in a critical mass motivated to change society away from fossil fuels and endless economic growth.
George Monbiot (Prominent UK climate change author) had reservations for both sides of the argument and counselled attendees to abstain from voting. He suggested on the one hand how the planet will struggle to sustain our societies with current growth even with a switch to renewable energies. Further, that it is impossible to grow on a finite planet, especially now that limits have been reached. On the other hand, he had reservations about the manner in which basic demands (such as health) might be met in a post-collapse society. He believed that history has shown that post-collapse societies are not a peaceful alternative as and that feudal societies or tribal pockets run by psychopaths tend to be the norm.
Once the votes were counted, it was found that a distinct majority of 123 voted for non-collapse, and 59 voted for a third option (whatever that might be).
Why collapse might be better
I was in the minority who voted for collapse (23 votes) because I believe that the planet and other species that still live in it have a better chance of recovery if we’re in less of a position to systematically exploit it.
I learnt much from this debate and all speakers raised clear and valid points. As I anticipated however, the largest two contributors to climate change and ecological destruction, human population and animal agriculture were never discussed. This is all too common in environmental discussions. Nicole Foss mentioned the ‘P’ (for population numbers) word in passing, and George Monbiot brought up limits to growth on a finite planet, however this was couched as an economic argument rather than in terms of human numbers.
The frustration that I have with environmentalists ignoring animal agriculture as the primary cause of climate change was shared a few days later when I attended ‘Cowspiracy’, in which this was the main premise. Despite the conspiracy theory nature of the title, the movie was much better thought out than that. The documentary referred to the fact that UN reports had been repeatedly reporting animal agriculture as the leading cause of Greenhoouse Gases (GHG), with the World Institute equating this proportion to 51% of GHGs, or 32 000 million tonnes  This takes into account Methane (with a global warming power at least 23 times that of Co2) and land clearance. The Standard American Diet is much less efficient in terms of land area use compared to entirely or mostly plant based diet, with many studies suggesting the difference is quite dramatic , . livestock agriculture now covers 45% of the earth’s surface . Consider that transportation, the next highest emitter of GHG emission, contributes a much lesser proportion at 13%.
See http://www.cowspiracy.com/facts/ for many links to some of these sobering statistics.
The documentary makers were curious as to why many environmentalist groups, such as Greenpeace, were not campaigning on the issue or even providing this information. In investigating, their conclusions were that many environmental groups were either ignorant of the issue, wilfully or otherwise, or had deliberate motives for withholding this information.
Reasons included perceived possibility of alienation of membership and fund base, due to environmental group awareness that people tend to be disinclined to change their own behaviour. Relatedly, campaigns that have a clearer ‘us’ and ‘them’ delineation (such as fossil fuel emissions from corporate giants) are easier to pursue. There was also some leads to suggest that some of the larger environmental organisations may also receive funding from the animal agriculture lobby.
Many of us in the population movement would sympathise with the frustration that the documentary makers felt at this disjointedness of priority. However, I became frustrated at the film of my own accord, because as although the filmmakers acknowledged human population growth, they took the approach of trivalising it in comparison to animal growth. As the two are so intertwined, I was once again left feeling that many loose ends were not tied. This is a sentiment that is now all too familiar to me. Although I understand that everyone needs to pick their battles and focus on particular campaigns, failure to acknowledge important and fundamental issues undermines the whole environmental movement in the long run. I have listed 3 important issues that I believe must be acknowledged if we have any chance on either a clean emission free society OR a soft collapse:
(1) We need to stop eating industrialised animal products
This won’t be a popular suggestion for many due to the fact it suggests such a profound change to our diet and a fundamental change that is difficult for most of us. But inaction now means even more uncomfortable change down the track. Unless the UN changes its statistics more favourably anytime soon, the best single change we can do individually in regards to emission and biodiversity loss is to transition to a mainly plant-based diet.
If there is any benefit to living in a global society, it is that we have an access to a variety of plant foods that allow us to have a complete diet easily. The earth unfortunately cannot sustain 7 billion humans eating at the top of the food chain. The option to change, however, is possible within our current paradigm.
If this line of reasoning sounds logical, it is mainly the animal rights movement that is relaying the message to the wider public at present. It is easy to acknowledge that a fair proportion of people would be wary of the messages conveyed by animal rights activists due to suspicions that their morality may be skewing the validity of an environmental based argument. If a recognised environmental movement were to champion this cause, especially where animal agriculture was not the only focus, than I believe more people would be convinced.
I also acknowledge that most environmental organizations do amazing and tireless work within their areas of focus, and it is impossible to fight all battles at once.
Given the proportion of GHG attributable to animal agriculture, one might have hoped that more attention would be directed towards this industry by all the environmental groups out there. Currently however, there are precious few environmental organisations advocating for this, which probably comes down to a perceived unpopularity of the issue to the membership base, where a fundamental change to the way an individual member lives would need to be advocated for.
As mentioned before, ‘Us vs them’ debates, where the emphasis is on fossil fuel usage by corporate giants resonate better with most people. This may be because it externalises the issue and the individual campaigner is less compelled to change their own lifestyle choices. I completely empathise why environmental groups choose to take this path, but anyone who successfully campaigns against animal agriculture will be much more effective in the long run for the well-being of the planet, if this is the ultimate goal.
(2) Our population growth needs to slow down or not grow at all
Many readers of Can Do Better would rightly suggest that industrial agriculture is an unfortunate consequence of feeding a large world population and would not be a phenomenon if the world’s population were less than it is today. This is theoretically true but the current reality is actually unavoidable. If global populations were to double however, than the savings we’d made on GHG by switching to a plant-based diet would be nullified. Essentially we’d be back to square one again and need to look towards another seismic change in lifestyle.
The major problem is that the demographic transition, or the plateau in global human population that we were hedging our bets on just isn’t happening. We were predicting human population to reach 9 billion and level for around 20 years, and only most recently has this been upped to 11 billion, or a 40% increase from 7 billion. Currently charts show human population growth rate as an almost exponentially rising curve since the 1990s whilst the growth curve of all other vertebrate species on the planet (with the exception of ‘livestock’ of course) going inversely the other direction by almost the same amount.
I personally believe that human population will continue to grow at this rate until we (a) do something decisiveabout it or (b) we overshoot and our environmental rug is swept from under us. Of course, we are at this stage heading for option b.
Population numbers is a difficult subject for many of those people fighting to save the environment. This is probably because most identify with the left side of the political system. They thus struggle to differentiate population stabilization from reproductive coercion of the majority world (on an international scale) and protectionism or xenophobia on the national scale.
There is also a persistent belief that the problem is one of per capita footprint (particularly in the West) rather the total number of footprints. Most serious research has suggested that both need to come down, with population, unfortunately, being the most powerful variable.
Canadian environmentalist Tim Murray suggests that: ‘One new citizen via British maternity ward or airport wipes out 80 lifetimes of responsible recycling’ and ‘The energy produced by a 900 machine wind farm in BC will be erased by the energy demands of just 22 days of population growth’. This certainly paints a dour picture of the effectiveness of a clean economy with today’s rapid population growth.
Another example is that found from the Union for the Conservation of Nature, whose study across the globe in 2004 found that human population density predicted for 88% of biodiversity loss, regardless of nation wealth or per capita consumption.
This latter finding complements my own anecdotal experience volunteering in Western Kenya where the Karkemega forest was being decimated literally before my eyes from a hilltop viewpoint to meet the survival needs of local people, living on a sustenance level on less than $40 per month, whose population numbers had been disturbed and boosted by the political and religious landscape. This suggests that a population living in a lower consumption, non-global or post-collapse society would cause a significant reduction in environmental impact, but as Phillip Sutton and George Monbiot suggested at the Great Debate, environmental destruction just becomes more localized in such societies and more dispersed in industrialised ones. Note that traditional societies, human and of other species, have lived for many generations in local ecologies at numbers that did not overwhelm their environment. We can deduce this from the fact that they obviously co-existed with a full complement of species in Africa, India, America and Australia before colonization. 
The good news is that population growth can be a relatively straightforward thing to manage, if the political and social will is there. The United Nations Family Planning association has found that high levels of education and access to NON COERCIVE family planning services result is lower birth rates AND lower infant mortality – essentially when women are empowered and enfranchised away from patriarchal political and religious institutions. This may be a relief to those on the left haunted by China’s one child policy and population control in the majority world as manifestation of Western imperialism. Targeted grassroots foreign aid is the key.
Population is therefore an international concern (total carbon output) and a national and community concern (effect on local eco-systems) with varying implications according to carrying capacity depending on location.
Australia has reached its 23 million carrying capacity  according to the Australian Academy for Science calculations in 1994. We are now expected to double our population in 35 years, which means to halve our national carbon output, each individual will need to consume at one quarter of what they consume now. Ironically, in the long run, human psychology would probably predict that most Australians would opt for less people than the dramatic cultural shift that would result in a short-term reduction in the very way they live.
This is, of course, antithetical to the open border ideology to many in the left. I would love to share this ideology, but one must take into account the carrying capacity of Australia in addition to the population growth rate of the world’s poor which, at last estimate, was growing at the rate of 80 million per year. Even if Australia had completely permeable borders, it could never accommodate the total annual population of the world’s poor (at almost 4 times Australia’s current carrying capacity per year).
Unless the ultimate aim is complete diffusion of the problem without addressing the root cause (which benefits no-one in the long term) than an international movement to address population and reduce poverty is the only real solution.
Totally open borders, without addressing the root issue, also don’t address the well-being of all other species and the first custodians of the continent. It may also be argued that unless aboriginal Australians have final say in our immigration policies, that this can be interpreted as further unsolicited colonization.
As it stands most of Australia’s population growth rate (388 000 per annum, or at 1.7% per annum, the highest in the OECD) derives from the ‘skilled’ or employment-related immigration channels (55%) followed by natural birth rate (40%) with humanitarian intake a distant third at 5%.
The job market has been slowing down, and it is evident that the continued push for skilled immigration is social engineering by the right of the political spectrum to raise GDP by increasing the customer base via the housing and asset markets.
This push for high housing prices and low wages is at the expense of the working and living prospects of people with disabilities, the young, the old, the first inhabitants and even our asylum seekers.
This stark local reality puts environmentalists and the left at a seeming crossroads: open borders vs diminished social rights, vested interests and worse conditions for asylum seekers.
Whilst environmentalists and the left remain silent on the subject, or continue to confuse all debate on population with refugees, ironically big business benefits at the expense of most of the social rights that the left are campaigning for in addition to the environmental goals which are diluted by impacts of rapid population growth.
If the left are concerned by Australia’s population growth and the political ideologies that fuel the wrong kind of growth, the good news is that any concerted campaign that succeeds in toppling the property developers, financial institutions and media moguls from power would mitigate the pressure on politicians to promote socially engineered growth without ever having to mention the dreaded ‘p’ word. Currently the cause is championed by single issue advocacy group such as Sustainable Population Australia and a major hurdle for such groups is in enrolling the wider public, many of whom are skeptical that such groups are using environmental green wash to promote a culturally protectionist agenda. Whilst this assumption is false in the most part, multi-campaign environmental groups who also campaign for population sustainability would probably present the message easier, as their true agendas are more trusted by the wider community.
A final consideration would address our national birth rate. Whilst it is already slightly under ‘replacement level’ (1.9%) further cultural change would allow for a more generous humanitarian intake without affecting the population growth rate.
A cultural change would be possible where people did not feel that raising children was the societal norm and that having less or no children was considered an equally valid life choice from the perspective of mainstream society. A community focused upbringing, where a wider network of trusted adults assisted in the raising of fewer children, could be a better alternative to the nuclear family arrangement that is the current norm . Furthermore, the education system could assist, where students could be facilitated in opening considering the many positives in raising a family, alongside the many costs, including financial pressures, changes to lifestyle, and the environmental impact of additional people on the planet. If we are considering that enormous change will happen in most of our lifetimes, including the possibility of economic and environmental collapse, this is something that people will need to carefully consider before deciding on having children.
Summary: we are not going to save our society from collapse if we are catering for a population heading towards a long term goal of infinity people, even with all the green tech in the world.
3. We have to keep our Ego under check
This last point comes more from my own philosophical outlook than through factual research that has resulted in my views on animal agriculture and population. However I do strongly believe that human ego has been at the core of all our problems and issues throughout history and fundamental to our ability to see through transition, whether through a clean capitalist economy or a soft collapse.
If we approach our problems from a place of empathy and compassion for each other and other species on the planet, we are in a better position to accept the facts of our predicament and make the necessary changes, regardless of how difficult the changes may appear to us personally. We’d also be able to work proactively with others and accept different opinions and factual evidence even if it initially conflicts with our own pre-existing beliefs.
I also believe there is some reason for optimism when it comes to addressing ego in what appear to be strong recent western trends to pursuing Taoism, Bhuddhism, mindfulness, and other spirituality which aim to mitigate ego and reconnect the individual to the planet. Not that this pursuit is reserved for spiritualists at the expense of atheists; most modern science, whether it be iquantum physics or biological science, is shifting from a Spencerian (false-Darwinistic) model of competition and reductionism towards one of mutual interdependence, symbiosis and balance.
If we come from a place of ego, we are ultimately coming from a place of insecurity and fear and tend to seek validation of ourselves and our beliefs at the expense of others. It makes us dogmatic and stuck in our beliefs, fearful of letting go and embracing change and the unknown.
These rigid characteristics are associated with big business, seeking short term profits at the expense of a future planet. The challenges for the environmental movement are to engage the wider public, of whom many are culturally conditioned, stuck in their ways and brittle in shifting their schemas.
Yet it would be delusional for those of us active in social change not to see the finger when it points back at ourselves.
Amazing though the work may be that we all do in our respective fields, if we are not addressing fundamental questions required to save ourselves, due to ego and fear, our efforts in other areas to save our planet can only be thwarted.
Ego is an issue everywhere, even in the animal rights and population movements. The animal rights and vegan movements are plagued by internal debate over many issues that can get personal, where this energy would be better diverted towards the animal agriculture industry. Some involved in population sustainability may be motivated to do so from a fear of losing their culture and lifestyle, however we all need to embrace that culture is a constantly changing phenomena, on those who currently live in Australia must also acknowledge that massive cultural shifts that we imposed and continue to impose on Australia’s original custodians. It was interesting at the Great Debate where there was much discussion from many of the speakers of the ongoing issues of promoting a dialogue to the wider public that is empathetic to their current beliefs and life circumstance.
Ego is most certainly an issue for myself. It was frustration which motivated me towards writing this article, itself a manifestation of ego, which means the finished article may be affected by judgment and fixed thinking. I still have a long way to go before I am a paragon of environmental sustainability - although I think I’ve addressed the two ‘biggies’ in regards my diet and my choice not to reproduce, I’m still sure that if everyone lived my carbon footprint that the earth would have been underwater decade ago, and there is still much, much more I can be personally doing. My aim is an ambitious one, to tread lightly on the planet and be as free from hypocrisy as I can. I would invite those inspired to join me in weaving all pieces of the puzzle together, and for those unconvinced, I would invite constructive debate on the thoughts I have raised, so long as it invites further constructive discussion towards a common goal of saving the planet.
In order to authentically save the planet and ourselves, either through green tech, zero growth or through soft collapse, we need a holistic view of change, of which elements such as fossil fuels are more of an accepted given whereas animal agriculture, population, and ego are not given the platform I believe they deserve. These are very difficult issues to address, and history has not given much confidence in our capacity to live rationally and harmoniously with ourselves and our environment, but they are necessary to avoid a hard collapse, as predicted by Nicole Foss and George Monbiot at the Great Debate. If we are unsuccessful, that is perfectly fine in the longer term for the future of the planet itself, as I’m cautiously optimistic it will repair itself in an event where we are no more. It would just be a dreadful pity for the human race if we didn’t face facts and worked together to be authentic about giving it a good shot.
It is ultimately those issues that we find most difficult to confront that are the most essential issues for us to open up to.
Michael Bayliss is Vice-President of Victoria First, an NGO decicated towards better stewardship of Victoria through highlighting population concerns to the wider community. He is a former committee member of Sustainable Population Australia (VicTas Branch) and member of the Sustainable Population Party. He is also actively involved in many animal rights campaigns such as Coalition Against Duck Shooting and grass roots post-growth movements such as Doing it Ourselves.
 Reference: “Livestock and Climate Change” World Watch Magazine, 2009. http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6294.
 Reference: Robbins, John. Diet for a New America,StillPoint Publishing, 1987, p. 352
 Reference: “Sustainability of meat-based and plant-based diets and the environment.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2003, vol.78 no.3, 6605- 6635. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/3/660S.full
 Reference: “Livestock and Climate Change.” International Livestock Research Institute, Issue Brief, 2011. (https://cgspace.cgiar.org/bitstream/handle/10568/10601/IssueBrief3.pdf
 Reference: Sheila Newman, Demography, Territory, Law: The Rules of animal and human populations, Countershock Press, 2013.
 In 1994, Australian Academy of Sciences held the Symposium, "Population 2040: Australia's choice". They issued a joint statement http://www.sciencearchive.org.au/events/sats/sats1994/Population2040-section8.pdf said: “The quality of all aspects of our children's lives will be maximised if the population of Australia by the mid-21st Century is kept to the low, stable end of the achievable range, i.e. to approximately 23 million. If fertility remains at its current level ‘a little below replacement’ and immigration is set at the low end of the postwar range (50,000 net per year) Australia’s population in 2040 will be 23 million and almost stationary. Australia can thus achieve a near-stationary population free of disruptive bulges of population groups (which require a sudden expansion of education facilities when young and sudden expansion of care facilities when aged) by a managed mixture of fertility and immigration.” Entire book source is: Population 2040 : Australia's choice / proceedings of the Symposium of the 1994 Annual General Meeting of the Australian Academy of Science by Australian Academy of Science. General Meeting Symposium, (1994: Canberra, A.C.T.)
Canberra : The Academy, 1995
Sheila Newman tells me that Jonathan Stone and others publicly stated that Australia’s population at the time of the event, which was 17 million, was probably already at carrying capacity. According to her memory, Dr Stone prevailed on those present to suggest they needed to appear generous to refugees and therefore should allow some leeway for immigration which, he felt, would take Australia to 23 million.
 In other species and in many traditional human communities, including Australia between the two wars, there is a long tradition of extended families helping one breeding couple. This is known to anthropologists as ‘cooperative breeding’. (See http://candobetter.net/taxonomy/term/6927) Aunts and uncles not directly involved in reproduction are able to engage actively with their local communities and wider politics. Status, position and identity need not depend on reproduction.
Fourteen activists from the hardline animal rights group Sea Shepherd, including an Australian, were arrested in Denmark’s Faroe Islands while trying to halt a dolphin "hunt".
Rather than a "hunt", the animals were help captive and were callously slaughtered without escape. They were arrested on the island of Sandoy while attempting to save a pod of 33 pilot whales — members of the dolphin family — which were being driven toward shore to be slaughtered. Islanders drive pilot whales and other dolphins into shallow bays, where the animals are butchered to the cheers of locals watching from shore. This is justified coldly as "tradition"!
Among them was Krystal Keynes, from Western Australia.
Faroese whalers support the atrocity of mass killings of whales by claiming that whaling in the Faroes stretches back to the earliest Norse settlements more than 1,000 years ago, and hunts date to at least the 16th century. The method of slaughter involves the whales being forced into a bay by flotillas of small boats before being hacked to death with hooks and knives! Many locals defend the hunt as a cultural right, but animal rights campaigners have denounced it as a "brutal and archaic mass slaughter".
Sea Shepherd has denounced the hunt as brutal and archaic, and this year brought celebrities to the North Atlantic islands to cast a spotlight on the practice.
A tradition of atrocities does not justify them! Back in the past, animals were thought to have no value as they were soul-less. Our understanding of animal physiology and ecology has made us wiser and more knowledgeable in the 21st century.
Dog fighting, bear baiting, slavery, child prostitution and sending children down the mines are no longer part of Western culture because these practices offend our morals. However, in this case, sensitivities, empathy, awareness and morals have been brushed aside, and the activists - the whistle-blowers - have been arrested - for the cause of preserving "tradition"! What other Norse atrocities do the Danish continue to cherish because they were done in the past?
Hollywood star Charlie Sheen has criticised Danish authorities over the arrests of 14 anti-whaling activists, including an Australian, in the North Atlantic. He generously donated one of three inflatable boats used by Krystal Keynes and other Sea Shepherd members to try to save a pod of 33 pilot whales being driven toward hunters on the Faroe island of Sandoy.
Other well-known supporters of the campaign include renowned ballet dancer Sylvie Guillem and former “Baywatch” star Pamela Anderson.
“Many Danes continue to argue that Denmark is not a whaling nation,” says Sea Shepherd's Paul Watson. “The actions of the Danish Navy and the Danish police demonstrate that Denmark is very much a whaling nation".
18th Century Anglo-Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist, and philosopher Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Sometimes evil proceeds anyway, because of hardened and cruel hearts!
For the first time ever right across Australia ( except NT and Tas) Australians will at this election have the opportunity to vote for a party dedicated to animals. At a recent presentation by the AJP in Victoria, I found out that their principle policy is 'kindness'.
You may know the recently formed Animal Justice Party from their efforts to stop the kangaroo slaughter in the ACT or other actions such as opposing the live trade. They were however formed to enhance the lives of all animals as can be seen from the policies on their web site Animal Justice Party.
More about AJP in the media:
- Animal Justice Party pledges to shut down live exports with industry campaign (please watch video there - second picture from the top- it tells all)
You can find where other parties stand on animal welfare in the following link:
If you want to know how AJP preferences work for the Senate please read their explanation below:
1. The AJP has preferenced other parties on the Senate Group Ticket so as to maximise its chances of having candidates elected. This is the best way you can use your vote to help animals.
2. We are required by the AEC to preference every party. Giving minor parties the highest preference gives us the best chance of winning when the votes are counted.
3. Parties that have policies that support animals have been preferenced highest by the AJP. Parties with policies and practices that support animal cruelty have been preferenced lowest by the AJP.
4. AJP preferences vary in each jurisdiction according to the performance of each party on animal cruelty matters. For example, we have put the Greens last in the ACT because of their active support of kangaroo brutality in that jurisdiction. On the other hand, we have put the Greens mid-field in Western Australia and South Australia because of their active support for banning the horrendous live trade in farm animals.
5. In all cases except in the ACT we have preferenced Greens ahead of the major parties.
6. If you want to vote above-the-line for the AJP, then simply follow the AJP Senate How to Vote Card (vote 1 above the line). Of course you can always vote below-the-line for the AJP if you want to preference the other parties and candidates in a different way.
There are a record number of 54 political parties represented in the Senate in these elections.
There are obviously glaring "gaps" in concerns and policies not being addressed by the mainstream parties, the ALP and the Coalition.
Each party below, and the list is not exhaustive, was searched for policies on:
(if any are absent it's because no policy was found)
Animals Justice Party
Animal Justice Party website
Foster sustainable animal habitats through upholding healthy ecosystems via revegetation and animal-friendly land practices.
Put in place the absolute opposite to institutional, commercial and recreational killing of innocent wildlife.
The Animal Justice Party will actively campaign at a government policy level against animal cruelty atrocities relating to wildlife destruction; factory farming; animal transportation; companion and domestic animals, pet animals and the use of animals for sport and entertainment.
We’ll advocate the toughening of animal protection laws; an increase in penalties for convicted animal abusers; the regulation and restriction in the sale and use of pets, and enhance education in greater awareness and appreciation of the needs of animals.
A land use and population settlement structure, one that's sustainable for its inhabitants and ecosystems.
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Australia First Party (NSW) Incorporated
Reduce and Limit Immigration. Immigration mistakes can be big long term mistakes. Immigration policy must take into account social cohesion, employment opportunities, urbanisation and environmental issues.
Abolish Multiculturalism. End the divisive, government funded and institutionalised policy of multiculturalism.
The boat-people and refugee intrusions began long ago, over 30 years ago, creating enclaves in Australian cities, no-go areas, crime. It resurfaced again in the late Eighties and in the early Nineties – and it has been a constant ever since. From a past emphasis on Asian ‘refugees’ (sic) it has become Moslem Middle Easterners and Central Asians, Tamils, Africans.
But the pace is quickening, towards a great noon, a flood. I call it nothing less than that. Masses of humanity are on the move.
There are today some 14,000,000 official refugees in the world. I use that term both in its accurate and scam aspects; but the numbers of economic refugees are limitless. The bright lights of European capitalism beckon to those ruined by poverty.
Warfare, some of it symbolised by the criminal wars in and in which participates, fuels it all. And what of the civil war in between the elites and the Communist Party of India (Maoist)?
If the latter wins the war, the escaping Indian rich-class is enough to drown your country. But the problem of refugee numbers goes deeper.
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Australian Christians website
Australian Christians believes that environmental issues are important because the environment is God-given and sustains life. Humans have an obligation to responsibly manage the environment and to mitigate, where feasible, environmental change and pollution. Land use management which enhances environmentally sustainable development.
We believe in protecting natural biodiversity and areas of significance.
Regarding stopping dangerous boat journeys, we believe the Australia Government should investigate opening a refugee processing facility, in conjunction with Indonesia and under the governance of the UNHCR in Indonesia. This could be staffed by Indonesians, providing employment for the locals, under the management of Australia personnel, and jointly funded by Australia, UNHCR and Indonesia.
Regarding refugee intake in general, we believe Australia should re-balance the refugee intake to reduce the number of Muslim refugees and take more persecuted Christians form various African countries.
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-Fishing and Aquaculture
-Rural Land Use and Management
-Salinity Soil Conservation and Land Clearing Policy
(Ironically, the one on Population is significantly missing!)
To ensure planetary biological diversity by restoring damaged ecosystems to health wherever possible; anticipating, preventing and stopping processes that threaten biodiversity; fostering greater ecological awareness and progressively addressing the underlying economic, institutional and social causes of the ecological crisis.
Yo ensure the sustainability of natural fishing resources and aquaculture industries by means of adequate research, management and enforcement with a mind to supporting a viable industry as well as conserving the environment. Research and development of organic farming will be encouraged.
The Australian Democrats believe in a non discriminatory immigration program which gives priority to refugees and family reunion, the total number of which, when included with overall population trends will not impede sustainability of the nation's natural resources.
The Australian Democrats Queensland Lead Senate Candidate for the forthcoming election has commended the Prime Minister for his actions to save the lives of refugees on the high seas, but contends Mr. Rudd’s solution is in itself an exercise in “People Trading”.
Mr. Stevenson has called for a debate on the merits of Home Detention and integration as the way forward for refugee management in Australia. “There are more than enough compassionate Australian families willing to take refugees into their homes, care for them and integrate them into the Australian way of life, as contributing citizens.”
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Australian Greens website
Good economic management means taking care of our earth — not treating our most precious resources like a giant business in liquidation: ‘everything must go!’. The levels of pollution in our atmosphere mean that business-as-usual will no longer work if we want to avoid dangerous climate change. The future for Australia can still be a prosperous one if we build our economy on green principles rather than short-term self-interest.
The Greens' plan proposes a national grants program of $5 million per annum to support volunteer wildlife carers. The program would help subsidise food and medical expenses for sick and injured wildlife and assist with purchase of wildlife care equipment.
We would support training programs for our wildlife carers.
We would fund increased knowledge about successful wildlife care and rehabilitation.
The funding would support other activities such as 24-hour wildlife care advice hotlines and community education.
Recognition of the essential role played by mature forest ecosystems in wildlife habitat, carbon storage and water supply. Australia is recognised globally as "mega-diverse” - over 80% of our mammals, reptiles and flowering plants exist only in Australia. But Australia’s wildlife is facing an extinction crisis. Many of our famous and important animals and plants are classified as in danger of becoming extinct.
Fund comprehensive studies to identify and map important habitat nationally (including protected ecological communities, areas of critical habitat for threatened species and important wildlife corridors);
The Greens have a long track record of fighting for better protection for Australia’s wildlife and precious places. In this term of parliament, we secured the $1 billion Biodiversity Fund, a grants fund supporting local and regional groups to rehabilitate degraded habitat and restore wildlife corridors and ecosystem health.
The Australian Greens believe that:
1.Animals have intrinsic value, separate from the needs of humans, who have a responsibility to ensure that animals’ rights and welfare are respected.
2.Humans have a duty of care to minimise physical and psychological suffering of animals resulting from human activity.
3.Strong animal welfare standards are necessary.
4.Native animals and their habitats are at particular risk and require stringent protections.
The Australian Greens believe that:
1.The current level of population, population growth and the way we consume are outstripping environmental capacity. Australia must contribute to achieving a globally sustainable population and encourage and support other nations to do the same.
2.Our environmental impact and ecological footprint is not determined by population numbers alone, but by a range of factors including per capita consumption patterns and levels, distribution of resources, agricultural practices for domestic consumption and export, levels and types of industrial activity, urban design and transport options.
3.Australia's population policy should be determined by its commitment to:
-global and domestic social justice and equity, including women's rights;
-international human rights obligations; and
-decent wages and conditions for all workers.
4.Population policy should not be primarily driven by economic goals or to counter the effects of an ageing population.
5.An Australian population policy must consider the geographical distribution of human settlements rather than just concentrate upon population size at the national level.
6.Australia has an obligation to accept humanitarian migration including that resulting from climate change.
7.The continuing rapid increase in the human population has the potential to adversely affect national or international outcomes in environmental sustainability, human health and welfare, and other areas. Current rates of resource use are not sustainable and are compounded by inequitable distribution of wealth and power.
Only the Greens are a voice for compassion in this debate.
In their rush to the right, both old parties have committed to sending refugees into danger instead of giving them safer pathways to a new home where they can rebuild their lives.
Punishing refugees with deportations, detention and military responses doesn’t work. Asylum seekers had enough intimidation, enough fear and enough danger already — and cruel camps like Manus are no place for vulnerable people and their children. It’s time to shut the camps down.
The only way to help refugees is to make sure they don’t feel the need to board a dangerous boat in the first place — and that means setting up safe, official ways for them to seek asylum in countries like Australia.
We can do that today by:
funding safe UN assessment centres to quickly process claims in Indonesia
urgently resettling more refugees once their claims are approved
then building a regional solution like Malcolm Fraser’s government did.
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The Australian Independents are for lifting the “Renewable Energy Target” to above 30% by 2020 and 75% by 2030.
The Australian Independents are for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
The Australian Independents are for renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, hydropower and biomass.
The Australian Independents are for significant investment in the renewables industry.
The Australian Independents are against Coal Seam Gas mining and are for an immediate ban on coal seam gas mining in Australia.
The Australian Independents are for banning gas-fired power stations, fuelled by CSG.
The Australian Independents are for outlawing uranium, its transportation and export trade.
The Australian Independents are for protecting residents from toxic waste.
The Australian Independents are for creative ways of dealing with bothersome native animals (i.e. kangaroos in Canberra), as opposed to mass culls.
The Australian Independents are committed to outlawing whaling, including whaling for "scientific" purposes.
The Australian Independents are for banning puppies and kittens being sold in pet shops (as most end up being abandoned).
The Australian Independents are against "puppy farming" and are for puppies and kittens only being sold by licenced, regulated breeders and animal rescue organisations.
The Australian Independents are pushing for the caging of large birds such as lorikeets and cockatoos to be outlawed.
The Australian Independents will advocate for educational programs to highlight the consequences of, and damage that can be done by, allowing predator pets to roam after dark.
The Australian Independents will push for programs to teach Australians about the importance of vaccinations and fertility control for pets.
The Australian Independents are for reducing oceanic noise pollution to prevent whales from becoming disorientated, stressed and beached.
The Australian Independents are for minimising human cruelty towards animals.
The Australlian Indpendents are for all refugees being processed in or near their own countries. The Australian Independents are for increasing the refugee intake to 50,000 per year. The Australian Independents are for asylum seekers boosting populations of small towns in rural and regional areas of Australia.
The Australian Indpendents are for asylum seekers securing employment in rural and regional areas of Australia (currently there are over 100,000 jobs that urgently need filling in outback Australia).
The Australian Independents are for all asylum seekers who arrive by boat to be transported back to their own countries by plane, for processing
The Australian Independents are for a wide-spread awareness raising campaign to inform asylum seekers of the locations of the processing centres in their own countries.
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Australian Protectionist Party
Australian Protectionist Party
Save Australia from the ravages of over-population, which is causing environmental ruin, and instead create a sustainable future for our land. Introduce measures to develop ecological sustainability. Immigration must be reduced until the completion of scientific research that will determine the “environmental footprint” of our population.
Implement a zero-net immigration policy, on a “one in, one out” basis. To have sensible immigration programmes that will be geared towards accepting into our country only those people who will readily fit into our society, primarily from culturally compatible countries. To seek a homogeneous society where we can all live in harmony, free from the ethnic and racial strife caused by social-engineering experiments. End Third World immigration and Muslim immigration, and offer economic assistance to those who wish to be reunited with their people’s homeland.
We recognize that a population’s impact upon the environment is caused not just from the water they drink, the food they consume, the roads they drive on, or the products they buy – an enormous environmental impact is necessarily caused by the very creation of all the consumables that those people use, whether this occurs on farms, in factories, or in shops.
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Australian Stable Population Party
Australian Stable Population Party website
Australia should progress economically and socially using resources in ecologically sustainable ways to protect the environment and the natural world. The aim is wellbeing for all Australians, present and future, and to preserve the biodiversity of our ecosystems, with enough space and resources to live well and in balance with each other. A sustainable Australia starts with a stable population.
The Stable Population Party is made up of Australians from all backgrounds who support an ongoing, balanced and flexible migration program. We also reject government interference in decisions regarding family size, including offering 'bonus' cash incentives to have large families. Responsible population policies are urgently required for Australia, in order to avoid draconian policies in the future.
Stabilising as soon as practicably possible will deliver us an optimum population target of around 23-26 million through to 2050. Australia's fertility rate, currently around two children per woman, and average life expectancy would largely determine the exact number. Population growth in Australia is a big problem but it is easy to solve, if our politicians have the courage.
Asylum seekers arriving by boat (recent annual average around 10,000-20,000 p/a) make up around 10 per cent of our immigration and around 5 per cent of Australia's annual population growth of around 350,000-400,000 people.
Stable Population Party supports an annual total refugee intake of around 14,000-20,000 - the highest per capita resettlement in the world
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Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)
The Rev Hon Fred Nile MLC, Leader of the Christian Democratic Party, has supported the 'National Parks and Wildlife (Adjustment of Areas) Bill 2010' in the NSW Legislative Council.
The Christian Democratic Party supports the National Parks and Wildlife (Adjustment of Areas) Bill 2010. Once land is reserved under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 it cannot be revoked unless by an Act of Parliament. The passing of this bill will allow the revocation of land, which is sometimes necessary to address boundary errors and encroachments or to enable the development of public infrastructure that is not permissible under the National Parks and Wildlife Act.
"Without getting into a debate about the ideology of The Greens, they always seem to have great concern about protecting the life of animals, even unborn animals—I do not oppose that—but a lack of concern for the lives of human beings".
The Christian Democratic Party respects the advice and leadership of the Shooters and Fishers Party in the area of game and feral animal control. They have expert knowledge—far exceeding the knowledge of The Greens on this issue. The Shooters and Fishers Party are part of the self-regulation of this whole area of game management licences and that is why there have been so many improvements to the area of game and feral animal control in this State.
Live exports: The animals' throats were cut and allowed to bleed, under Islamic law. they regard it as retrograde, but the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils regards it as a positive step by the Federal Labor Government to promote sharia finance law and the introduction of halal food into Australia. However, the federation is not simply promoting that; it wants a whole system of certification that companies have to apply. Apparently the companies pay a fee that goes to the Islamic body.
That the root causes of hunger, poverty and environmental decay are the breakdown of the natural family and political and economic failures, not human “overpopulation”;
We are pleased that the emphasis is on Australian schools. There has been a shortage of skilled workers in Australia, which is why hundreds of workers have been brought in from overseas on special visas to work in our industries. Ideally, we should be providing those skills from our own population and education system. The fact that we need to import hundreds of individuals from overseas on special visas highlights that our education system is not producing sufficient numbers of people with the skills needed to work in various Australian industries. As with the regulation of overseas students, we must ensure that we have the quality in our own education system to meet those needs.
CDP affirms that it is the sovereign right of any nation to determine who may enter its borders for temporary or permanent stay and that the operations of people smugglers should continue to be disrupted and frustrated.
CDP considers that Australia should continue to meet its international obligations to treat unauthorised arrivals humanely and expediently consider any claims they make for refugee status. Persons who arrive illegally and make claims for protection that are proven false should be removed from Australia as soon as practicable. Mandatory detention should continue for all persons without authority to be in Australia, although provisions for supervised release into the community for families with children should be considered.
Australia should continue to be a world leader in being a generous haven for genuine refugees through internationally supervised and orderly refugee resettlement programs. Priority should be given to refugee applicants who are most likely to readily integrate into the Australian way of life, including those who are being persecuted for their Christian faith.
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Citizens Electoral Council of Australia
“The ACF seeks to destroy Australia’s productive industries, and stop infrastructure development, because it is those things that support our human population,” Mr Isherwood pointed out.
“For example, it’s the ACF that has led the charge to shut down the Murray-Darling Basin, because it is our nation’s food-bowl.”
The green issue and climate change is a “fraud”. There is absolutely no scientific rationale behind Environment Minister Tony Burke’s opposition to letting starving cattle into national parks to feed.
As the Citizens Electoral Council exposed in its 2012 video ‘Ecosystems’: A Genocidal Fraud, the idea of the delicately-balanced ecosystem is a myth. Letting the cattle into the national parks to feed is no threat to nature; it is only a threat to the agenda of green fascism.
All Australians should demand that Tony Burke stop blocking this sensible approach to alleviating the present drought crisis.
“Who will save the farmers?” Citizens Electoral Council leader Craig Isherwood demanded to know, following the Gillard government’s suspension of live cattle exports to Indonesia for up to six months.
“This whole issue is Green/media bulldust,” he declared. “The government’s decision doesn’t suddenly ensure animal welfare. It doesn’t suddenly change the practices of small-time abattoir operations in Indonesia. As Four Corners admitted, Indonesians don’t have enough refrigeration, so they rely on the live export trade to allow them to buy their beef fresh. By denying them the trade, the Indonesian people are being denied precious protein which enables them to live longer and stronger".
We must establish generous immigration quotas, for the same reason which the Labor Party welcomed the "new Australians" after World War II—to help build our nation. From the very beginning, Australia has been a nation of hope and opportunity for people of many nationalities and religious backgrounds. While the CEC is opposed to the pious fraud known as "multiculturalism", because it pits one group against another, we warmly welcome those coming here to make a better life for themselves and their families. They will help build Australia (which will suffer a severe labor shortage as the rest of this platform is implemented), just as other generations of immigrants have done.
Ehrlich expressed his pessimism about avoiding disaster and called, like the Royal Society report, for a massive redistribution of resources from the rich to the poor—a grand Second Law of Thermodynamics leveling that will lead to even more rapid genocide.
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Country Alliance website
Country Alliance believes that Government must state its commitment to addressing the actions and consequences of extremist environmental protesters, such as those affecting the forestry industry and others.
Government must clearly and concisely state what actions protestors can lawfully engage in, what actions or activities are illegal and proscribe specific and appropriate penalties for those activities. Due to the 'serial' nature of some protests, prescribed penalties should be compounded with each subsequent offence.
Country Alliance opposes the creation of more national and marine parks until the management of existing management parks is assessed as adequate.
The creation of a statutory authority in all states to manage and oversee the management of hunting of both pest animal species and game. The amendment of current legislation to permit the consumption or use of any animal or waterfowl, whether native or introduced, that is legally taken under a pest mitigation program.
The exclusion of ducks from current provisions in existing legislation is a contradiction and should be removed.
Country Alliance supports the continuation of recreational use of four wheel drive vehicles, rodeos, recreational fishing, recreational shooting and hunting and the opening up of public lands to public access.
The Country Alliance is not in Government and not concerned with matters outside it's area of interest and influence.
The Country Alliance prides itself on being a local party focussing on local issues which matter most to people in regional Victoria - issues like access to basic services and fair treatment.
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Democratic Labour Party (DLP)
The DLP will continue to support programs and organisations that operate to protect endangered species of Australian wildlife.
Concentrated excessive growth and density in urban centres puts a great strain on the environment. To limit this, we must decentralise a large proportion of the projected growth from the major cities to provincial centres. As a general principle, whenever an area of native bush land is cleared for development, another equivalent area should be protected or created.
The need to protect native plants and natural beauty must be considered before any action taken toward development.
We must focus on what we can do to help the plight of asylum seekers in a balanced, dignified, safe and compassionate way. Rather than spending billions of dollars every year on keeping asylum seekers detained offshore, we should be spending this money within our domestic economy through an onshore processing solution. This will create jobs for Australian workers while treating asylum seekers with dignity. It will save lives and strengthen our economy.
We must work more closely with our regional neighbours, particularly Indonesia, to ensure our ability to help 30,000 refugees each year in an orderly and sustainable fashion and maintaining secure borders is not undermined.
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Future Party website
The preservation of the environment is necessary for a variety of reasons, such as to preserve our clean water, air and food sources, to avoid extinction of species and preserve genetic diversity, and to ensure that the world remains an enjoyable and comfortable habitat. The Future Party acknowledges, however, that humans have advanced by manipulating and controlling the environment and life around us. The Future Party believes that the existence of humans requires some impact on the environment we live in. It is important, however, that when a decision affecting the environment is made, options that minimise the impact on the environment should be given precedence where it is feasible to do so.
Policy: The Future Party believes that native forest logging should end.
Clearing of native forests threaten biodiversity and increase the chances of extinction of species. Land clearing also reduces the carbon stores of land, which add to the greenhouse effect. The Future Party sees native forest logging as being of low value to the economy, while having significant impact on the environment. Hence the Future Party is against the logging of native forests. The Future Party sees the future of the Australian timber industry being primarily based on farmed forests.
The Future Party currently has no formal stance on how to prevent refugee deaths at sea. However, we do intend to increase refugee immigration intake significantly, regardless of policy with regards to irregular arrivals. We consider ourselves to be the most pro-immigration party in Australia.
James Jansson, party leader and Senate candidate, said “There is no evidence at all that the program is being exploited at the expense of Australian workers. The Government is attempting to rush through legislation for a problem that isn’t even real, let alone urgent. This is purely about acting tough on migrants for political gain.”
The Government’s own report on 457 visas shows that applications have remained steady at around 6000 applications per month since 2011. The visa grant rates appear to have actually reduced slightly in recent times, with only 5150 applications granted in April 2013. The rule will do little to change employment conditions in Australia. Many of those who obtain 457 visas go on to obtain permanent residency, becoming long-term members of our society.
The Future Party prides itself on its uniquely pro-immigration stance.
As with increases in any form of migration, consideration must be given to the stresses that increases in population put on housing supply and infrastructure, and policies should be implemented that increase housing supply and infrastructure to ensure that migrants aren’t scapegoated for the failure of governments to plan ahead for increasing populations.
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Katter's Australian Party
Katter's Australian Party website
Katter: “These national parks have been grazed by cattle throughout almost all of their entire history – indeed some wild ‘scrubby’ beasts still remain – so there will be no difference to the flora and fauna from allowing them temporary access to greener pastures. In point of fact, national parks in North Qld have actually become ‘nurseries’ for feral animals and weeds since being locked up by governments who are obsessed with pandering to the greenie monster.
Mr Katter blamed governments’ “pandering to the greenie vote at the expense of human lives and safety” for the increasing populations of dangerous, destructive and disease-carrying animals such as feral pigs, flying foxes and crocodiles encroaching on human territory. Mr Katter said licensed shooters were far more effective and preferable to baiting, which was indiscriminate to species such as native carrion birds, or trapping, which captured young cassowaries.
Mr Katter said no one had accepted responsibility or been punished for the animal welfare breaches and suspension of trade, except the cattle men in Northern Australia and millions of Indonesians who were potentially going hungry. Federal Independent MPs Katter and Wilkie also want training for abattoir workers and the upgrading of abattoirs to ensure humane slaughtering of Australian live-stock is maintained to Australian standards, while working with Indonesian authorities.
Within seven days, they also want the government to deploy 60 stun guns, knocking boxes and video cameras with appropriate training measures.
Australia's sovereignty and independence as a nation requires Australia to have a sufficient population and for that population to be so distributed as to demonstrate occupation, control and utilisation of our land, water and other resources. Australia needs to increase its population to achieve acceptable levels of economic, scientific, strategic and personal development. Government must develop immigration and birth rate policies consistent with these principles. In addition, the population growth needs to be distributed widely throughout Australia and especially into northern Australia.
Federal Queensland MP Bob Katter declared war on mining magnates lobbying for unskilled foreign workers to be flown in to fill job shortages in Queensland. Mr Katter said the move would take jobs from Australians and undermine the nation's wage structure.
Mr Katter slammed the Federal Government for considering the plan.
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Liberal Democratic Party
Liberal Democratic Party website
Although some people view humans and the environment as distinct and separate, in reality humans rely on the environment in the same way as any other species. All animals and plants utilise what they need to survive and flourish, adapting to the environment and making it adapt to them. Inevitably, the environment changes as a consequence.
There is nothing inherently superior about the "natural" environment, a term that simply refers to that part of the environment man has not extensively modified, nor anything inferior about the man-made environment. The elevation by some people of the natural environment to semi-religious status is no more than a reflection of their personal beliefs and values. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) aims for a more balanced perspective.
Some people simply prefer the look of them and, because they have been here longer, many native species are also more practical because they are better adapted to Australian conditions. However, a lot of species introduced by Europeans are far more useful to humans. Indeed, Australia would not be able to support a fraction of its current population were it not for exotic species.
The LDP supports a vigorous, sustainable forestry industry. However, we regard governments as unsuitable providers of forestry services, incapable of achieving the goals of forestry more efficiently than private owners. Moreover, public funding of government forestry bureaucracies has contributed to waste and poor resource utilisation for decades.
The LDP would increase opportunities to live and work in Australia while carefully guarding access to welfare and citizenship. The LDP believes the free movement of people, within and between countries, generally contributes to greater prosperity.
It believes immigrants contribute a net social and economic benefit to Australia and advocates expanding opportunities to live, study and work in Australia while carefully guarding access to welfare and citizenship.
The LDP also supports “Free Immigration Agreements” with certain countries similar to the existing agreement with New Zealand.
It is important that Australia provides a sanctuary for people who are fleeing political oppression and persecution, both on compassionate grounds and to demonstrate to the rest of the world the attractions of a free and democratic society. Such people can also become fierce advocates of freedom in Australia, having experienced its loss.
After paying the immigration fee a migrant will become a Permanent Resident. PRs will have the same rights to live and work as citizens except they cannot vote, they do not receive an Australian passport, they are not entitled to welfare income payments (though they may still use public health, education and infrastructure) and they may be deported if they commit crimes of a serious nature or are unable to support themselves.
Migrants will be free to remain in Australia permanently as PRs without ever applying for citizenship or returning to their home country at any time. The maintenance of a significant non-citizen population is common in many countries including Singapore, Switzerland, Dubai, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan.
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National Party of Australia
“By 2050, Australia’s population will balloon to 40 million mouths to feed. At the same time, the world population will explode to over 9 billion. And half of these people will live in the Asia-Pacific region, literally on our northern doorstep.
“The world is entering an era of food shortage and shrinking farm production as water and farmland are eaten up by urban sprawl. Australia must ensure we can meet our future domestic needs but also capitalise on ever-growing world food needs. Their solution is to build and settle the north of Australia".
If elected, a Coalition government will establish a military-led response to combat people smuggling and to protect our borders – Operation Sovereign Borders.
An incoming Coalition government will treat the border protection crisis as a national emergency and tackle it with the focus and energy that an emergency demands.
The scale of this problem requires the discipline and focus of a targeted military operation, placed under a single operational and ministerial command and drawing together all the necessary resources and deployments of government agencies.
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One Nation believes in balanced, zero net immigration (subject to review depending on economic conditions) and that coming to Australia is a privilege that must not be undervalued. We reserve the right of discretion in protecting our economy, social cohesion and cultural heritage.
This does NOT mean zero immigration.
The justification for our policy of not exceeding zero net immigration is that environmentally, Australia is near her carrying capacity. Economically, immigration is unsustainable and socially, if continued as is, will lead to a further ethnically divided Australia. Current policy is encouraging large numbers of illegal migrants and it is time Australia, while recognising the contribution made by migrants in the past, sends to the world the message that mass immigration has passed its “use by date.”
We are losing control of our borders, and it is costing the Australian taxpayer billions of dollars. Australians wanting help with housing, health and services are pushed to the back of the queue because the illegals are more important. Remember we are on the world stage and Rudd and Gillard had to present themselves as leaders of a caring and compassionate country with regards to refugees in the eyes of the world.
What we have here is someone coming into your home telling you they like your house better than theirs and they are going to live with you. You have to feed, cloth, care, and educate them while looking after their needs. Your children now have to share a room and you have to make the dollars stretch further to provide for them. They don’t have to work you are providing for them. If you don’t give them what they want they will complain and you will be forced to answer why you are so inhumane not to have them live in your home, that you worked hard for.
A clear message from Australians is 'stop the boats'. Now we see Rudd and his Labor puppeteers, Bob Carr and Tony Bourke, espousing that they are economic refugees and have no right to come to Australia, after all these years and 46,000 boat people later. What a backflip and do they think Australians are that gullible?
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Palmer United Party
Mr Palmer said that large sectors of the rural economy had been disrupted as a result of Labor’s inability to handle the issue of live cattle exports.
“They’ve abandoned the country because they are more concerned with their own internal politics and factions,” Mr Palmer said.
“This issue has been around for so long but nothing has been fixed – it’s a disgrace.”
Over the last half century, in particular, Australia’s political, economic, social and cultural development has been expanded and accelerated by the migration of people from all parts of the world.
The success of modern Australia has been its ability to accommodate in harmony such diversity of backgrounds, and to find in that diversity not division but strength in the common acknowledgement of an Australian nationhood, its meaning and importance.
Revising the current Australian Government’s Refugee Policy to ensure Australia is protected and refugees are given opportunities for a better future and lifestyle. We spend Billions of dollars each year trying to deal with illegal entry into Australia. Our Navy is deployed at great cost and does
not now do what it should do and defend Australia. People are attracted to this country by many financial and other benefits that the government offers. Families of new arrivals are separated and kept in camps at the taxpayers’ expense and many people lose their lives while people smugglers make a fortune. While all this is going on the Australian People continue to suffer. We need to change things. It is the Australian government that creates the market for people smugglers to prosper.
If a person seeking entry into Australia was allowed to board a plane for $800 to fly to one of our airports such as Sydney or Brisbane they wouldn’t need to pay the People Smugglers up to $20,000 for illegal entry to Australia.
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Rise Up Australia Party
To ensure that Australia’s natural resources (forestry, minerals, fisheries, agriculture, water, biodiversity etc) and unique environments are managed wisely in accord with rational science and not by ideological environmental mantras; we therefore advocate expansion of scientific research by Australians on such areas as the marine environment, ecosystems, timber, agriculture etc.
We believe in “climate change” – for thousands of years the climate has been changing and it will continue to change; the notion that anthropogenic emissions of the plant-food carbon dioxide have affected, or will affect, the macro-climatic changes that would have occurred anyway as part of nature (e.g. volcanoes, solar variations etc) is a quasi-religious hypothesis unproven by objective scientific facts. Computer modelling always involves subjectivity and should not be used as the sole basis for policies;
To promote harmony, freedom and tolerance among Australians; specifically we oppose multiculturalism; we rejoice that Australia is multi-ethnic, and that people who come here are free to celebrate (at their own, not taxpayers’ expense) their own diverse backgrounds, while respecting Australian culture and complying with Australian laws;
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Socialist Alliance website
Capitalist globalisation is destroying the earth. We live under the reign of a class willing to jeopardise our lives and those of future generations for quick cash.
Capitalism destroys habitat and renders species extinct, yet the survival of animal and plant life is essential for human progress and should not be counterposed to so-called "development". We are bombarded with chemicals in our food, water and air. We are assailed by poisons at work, at home and in our communities. In our hands, technology will be used for human progress; in the hands of capitalists, it is used to plunder our world. The destruction of the once-mighty Murray-Darling river system, the mobilisation of megatonnes of salt which threatens not only agriculture but many rural towns (and, in time, cities); the lunacy of open-cut and acid leaching uranium mines; the huge volume of asbestos released from decaying cement sheeting and insulation - these are disasters which may take centuries to rectify, even in a socialist Australia.
"Capitalism" and "sustainability" are mutually exclusive concepts. Only socialism is sustainable
While supplementing and eventually replacing live animal exports for meat production with Australian frozen processed meat exports, subsidising the creation of a market for feral animal products within Australian and internationally, including non-meat production live camel etc exports.
The fear that immigrants will be used as cheap labour should be countered by recruiting them to unions and insisting that they be paid the same as other workers doing the same job.
In recent years, with the rise of the environmental movement, there has been a rise of environmental arguments for limiting immigration. Those who put forward these views argue that population growth is the main cause of environmental problems. Hence they say that limiting population growth is the key to saving Australia's environment. Immigration restrictions will supposedly enable Australians to have a good environment, even if the environment deteriorates in the rest of the world.
Those advocating these views want Australians to have a relatively privileged environment compared to the rest of the world.
Some environmental problems (e.g. global warming) can only be solved on a world scale. Limiting immigration to Australia won't help with these problems.
Other problems occur on a national scale (e.g. water shortage). But this does not mean that population control is the only or the best solution.
Australia's problems with water have little to do with population. Most water is used in agriculture. And since most agricultural products are sold on the world market, Australia's population has very little effect on the amount of water used.
A lot of water is wasted in irrigated agriculture. Water evaporates or soaks into the soil from open channels before it reaches the crops. These channels should be replaced with pipes.
Rice and cotton production in semi-desert areas uses enormous amounts of water. Production of these crops should be cut back and replaced by more suitable crops.
End the Liberal and Labor bipartisan policy of keeping refugees out of under the guise of attacking “people smuggling” and “border security”. Ending this policy would include the following measures:
a.Abolish the concept of a “safe third country” which is used to screen out those who would otherwise be assessed as refugees;
b.Return Christmas Island, Ashmore and Cartier islands and Cocos (Keeling) islands to Australia's migration zone, thus enabling asylum seekers arriving on these Australian territories to have the same rights as asylum seekers who arrive on the Australian mainland;
c.Immediately resettle all UNHCR-assessed refugees stranded in Indonesia and Malaysia, neither of which is a signatory to the UN refugee convention;
d.End the deals with the Indonesian, Malaysian and Sri Lankan governments to stop refugees coming to Australia under the guise of “stopping people smuggling”. End the practice of giving financial aid to the Sri Lankan navy to stop Tamil asylum seekers leaving Sri Lanka.
e.Abolish the legislation that criminalises people smuggling.
f.End offshore processing
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The Wikileaks Party
In the Senate, the WikiLeaks Party will:
-Demand full access to asylum seekers held in detention for media, NGOs, and human rights organisations and agencies.
-Demand government accountability over treatment of asylum seekers, including support for:
Reversal of the Rudd Government’s PNG arrangement.
Processing of asylum seekers arriving in Australia by the Australian government.
A cap of 45 days in immigration detention for any asylum seeker, for initial health and security checks, with any extension requiring judicial approval.
Requiring the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) to report to Parliament every 6 months on its case load, processes, results, and the health of detainees.
Repeal of the excision of Australian territories from the migration zone.
-Demand accountability in the assessment of asylum claims, including:
Opposing any legislative change to restrict or obfuscate the legal definition of a refugee.
Ensuring the Refugee Review Tribunal is respected and adequately resourced as a judicial body, able to assess facts independently and free from executive influence.
Supporting measures to subject ASIO security assessments to comprehensive and expedient judicial review, including rights of appeal for asylum seekers.
-Support measures to stem the flow of asylum seekers at the source, by working towards a foreign policy based on human rights and international law, averting conflict from the outset.
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Back in 2010, the Victorian Government made a pre-election promise to increase penalties for breeders found committing acts of cruelty and to eliminate illegal and/or poorly run puppy farms. Considering this, it is appalling that the Government is recommended "revisions" to its Code of Practice for the Operation of Breeding and Rearing Businesses. This code sets out the minimum standards of accommodation, management and care required by breeding and rearing establishments. This revision would legalise some of the abhorrent conditions and practices regularly seen by RSPCA Inspectors at puppy factories.
(images are the property of Oscar's Law)
I and many of the caring members of the public, would like to see the end of intensive breeding of dogs and cats for domestic sales. Why, when we have shelters overloaded and excessive numbers of animals being dumped and on death row, should these "businesses" operate anyway?
Companion animals should be that - companions. It shouldn't be an industry. More people are moving into units and apartment and animals are banned. Shelters and rescue organisations/charities end up picking up the pieces, the high numbers of animals discarded by society because of over breeding.
Downgraded and inhumane conditions for the benefit of the industry
Under the revisions, staffed ‘business hours’ for breeding and rearing establishments have reduced from 12 to eight hours a day. How are the animals meant to be cared for and their social/environmental needs met?
Litters need care and attention and mother dogs should be nurtured and protected. Long periods of isolation and non-attendance is not acceptable. They don't need to provide any warm bedding and there's no cap to the amount of litters that dog can have, so it can be legally bred for birth to death.
Puppy factory dogs are viewed only for their ability to make their owners’ money. Puppies are often confined in crowded cages with no room to move. The mortality rate of the puppies is quite high because veterinary care is scarcely provided. Puppies that do survive and are sold often suffer from ongoing health issues that the new owners have to pay for.
Vet checks to ensure animals are fit for breeding are no longer required before animals are bred from. How are any standards of "animal welfare" to be improved? Breeders will be able to declare an animal fit for sale – rather than vets. How will they be qualified?
The recommendations allow for ‘any method’ of euthanasia as long as it is humane. Humane is not defined and ‘any method’ could, in theory, include shooting or blunt trauma, causing incredible suffering. How is "humane" meant to be defined? We can't feel the animals' pain. This could mean animals are open to horrific attacks, and it's called "euthanasia".
There must be 24 hour per day veterinary access for the animals if they are sick or injured. "Any method" is far from being acceptable and chillingly callous.
There would be no maximum breeding age or period that an animal could be bred from, meaning these animals can potentially spend their entire lifetime confined to breeding establishments. Dogs and cats would be condemned as breeding machines, and valued for nothing more than producing litters. How is this "animal welfare"? This is commercial breeding, and all the evils associated with it.
Under the recommendations, some categories of puppies must not be left without food for more than 12 hours. The feeding of raw offal is now permitted in conjunction with a complete worming program. Standards of animal care are being weakened to cave into the industry's political and commercial powers.
A blight on our society
Puppy factories must end. There's no way to soften and make acceptable the fact that they are inhumane and a blight on our society.
If animals are to be adopted, first and foremost the potential buyers should go to one of the many shelters and homes for dogs and cats. There are many needing homes. Otherwise, they should go to a breeder and get expert advice. Puppy factories operate in secret, and they can't be contacted. They are not transparent to the public.
These callous breeding facilities are producing animals for mass markets, without accountability. Australians should be enlightened and our society should be walking and working towards more humane animal welfare systems, not in the retrograde darkness of lost and unwanted dogs and cats, and "businesses" breeding animals in cages for profits. They are cruel and unjustified, and are producing litters of animals for an already saturated market.
Pet shops should be linked to shelters and registered breeders, and not be allowed to sell the products from puppy factories.
Puppy factories must be banned
The Victorian government should ban puppy factories, not trying to weaken standards and loosen controls for the benefit of a few owners of these shameful establishments. These dark places can't be justified by money or profits. The government should be setting high standards, not caving into profit-making through the use of small and defenceless social animals.
We can all help fight the genocide in Australia's pounds, promote rescue organisations and shelters as the first option to adopting, and change the way Australians gets their pets. Adoption is the intelligent alternative to impulse buying. No puppy factory whether it is 'clean', 'model', 'state of the art' or otherwise is the answer for mans best friend.
Oscars Law is an organisation committed to "We no longer want the pet industry to mislead us about what is acceptable for our animals”.
-Abolish the factory farming of companion animals.
-Ban the sale of companion animals from pets shops/online trading sites.
-Promote adoption through rescue groups/pounds/shelters
Who is Oscar?
Oscar was one of a number of dogs who were rescued from a puppy factory in central Victoria where they had been neglected to the point they required urgent veterinary care.
The list of ailments the dogs suffered was extensive, including:
Severe matting — the dogs had to be sedated in order to shave their painful matted fur away from their skin; ear infections; gum disease; and rotten teeth. Once their matted fur was shaved it was evident that painful grass seed abscesses covered their bodies. The dogs were so severely malnourished their irritated skin was like paper and they were grossly underweight.
Days later and recovering from surgery, Oscar was returned by authorities to the very people who failed to provide veterinary care and neglected all their dogs including Oscar. They have never been charged with cruelty and Oscar remains in the puppy factory.
Oscar’s Law Campaign is in memory of all the ‘Oscars’ hidden away on factory farms treated as breeding machines to supply the pet industry.
Make a submission to the DEPI
Submissions may be emailed to [email protected] or posted to
Breeding and Rearing Code Review
Bureau of Animal Welfare
475 Mickleham Rd
Attwood, Vic, 3049
Hard copy submission must be post marked before 14 August 2013 to be accepted
The article below was published on 5 June 2013. That article, was, in turn, reprinted from CounterPunch of 12 January 2011. Since the article was first published, Washington has added the slaughter of Libyans, Yemeni, and Syrians along with that of wolves to its accomplishments. An addendum describes the wicked new "sport" of "canned hunting."
See also: Americas greatest affliction: the Presstitute media of 2 Jun 2013 by Paul Craig Roberts.
A print edition of The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism is forthcoming from Clarity Press. An ebook version of How The Economy Was Lost is available from CounterPunch.
Hribal's "Fear of the Animal Planet"
A Brief for Animals
by Paul Craig Roberts
5 June 5 2013
Jason Hribal in a book just off the CounterPunch/AK press, Fear of the Animal Planet: The Hidden History of Animal Resistance, regales the reader with tales of animal rebellion and escape from captivity. In Hribal's account, when big cats, elephants, and orcas injure or kill their trainers and keepers they are inflicting retribution for the abuse and exploitation that they suffer.
One of Hribal's most convincing examples is Tatiana, a Siberian tiger in the San Francisco zoo. On December 25, 2007, Tatiana cleared the 12 foot high wall of her enclosure to decimate the teenagers who enjoyed themselves tormenting her. Tatiana ripped one of her tormenters to pieces, and, during her 20 minutes of freedom, she searched the zoo grounds for the other two, ignoring zoo visitors, park employees, and emergency responders. As Hribal puts it, "Tatiana was singular in her purpose." She could have killed any number of people, but ignored them in pursuit of her tormentors.
Obviously, Tatiana could have escaped from her enclosure whenever she had wished, but had accepted her situation until torment ended her acceptance.
Most people, were they to read Hribal's book, would have a hard time with the intent that he ascribes to animals. Like the executives of circuses, zoos, and Sea World, most humans ascribe captive animal attacks to unpredictable wild instinct, to accident, or to the animal being spooked by noise or the behavior of some third party. Hribal confronts this view head on. Orcas purposely drown their trainers, and elephants purposely kill their keepers. Captive animals seek escape.
Hribal presents captive animals as exploited and abused slaves serving the profits of their owners. Just as human slaves ran away, captive animals run away. Hribal tells the stories of many animal escapes.
He also tells the story of animal executions. Animals that do not accept their slave status, rebel and cease to perform have been executed in the most barbaric and cruel ways. One can hardly be surprised in these days of "the war on terror" at human cruelty to animals when humans are equally cruel to humans. The video--allegedly leaked by Bradley Manning who is confined by the US military in conditions worse than captive animals--of American soldiers intentionally murdering news reporters and civilians for the fun of it, demonstrates the evil and wickedness that finds its home only in humans.
In contrast, animals do not commit wicked and evil acts. Satan's sphere belongs to humans. Predator animals kill to eat, but, unlike human hunters, they do not kill for fun.
Lions bring down a wildebeest or an antelope; they do not decimate the entire herd.
In contrast, I have heard hunters describe shooting 1,000 doves in one morning and 500 prairie dogs in one afternoon. It was all done for the fun of killing. Humans get pleasure from killing, but there is no evidence than animals do.
So, we are faced with a paradox: a wicked life form holds a non-wicked life form in captivity. Why did God give the wicked dominion over the non-wicked?
A number of Hribal's examples of animal abuse date back far in time. Today some of the human species who interact with animals follow a more respectful approach. If animals, as Hribal says, respond to their abuse with intelligence, would they not also respond to affection and respect with intelligence?
The answer seems to be that animals do. We have the case of Christian the lion, the cub rescued from Harrod's department store in London by two Englishmen who raised an African male lion in their London apartment and exercised him on the Church green.
When Christian became too large to continue living in the London flat, the Englishmen consulted an expert, transported Christian to Africa and released him. A year or so later, the room mates who had raised Christian missed him and returned to Africa to find him. They were warned by conventional wisdom that Christian was now wild and would be a danger to them if they encountered him.
As the videos available on youtube show, when the men found Christian the lion was overcome with joy and lavished affection on his friends. Christian was forming a pride, and the wild lionesses were content with the human company and to be petted by men. The video shows them all--Christian, lionesses, cubs, and men curled up together taking a nap.
There are a number of videos available online of people who have raised cougars (mountain lions) and bob cats and live with them in their homes. Perhaps the most extraordinary story is that of Casey Anderson, a wildlife naturalist who found two?newborn grizzly cubs next to a dead mother bear and took them home to save.
One didn't make it, but the other did. The photos on youtube document the interaction between humans and grizzly, considered by many the most dangerous and unpredictable of all wild animals, at least in North America. The 800-pound grizzly enjoys the family swimming pool, Thanksgiving dinner with the extended human family, serves as "best man" in the wedding of his human friend, and demonstrates genuine affection for the man who raised him. It is unclear whether the bear thinks he is human or that the humans are bears, but he, and they, are perfectly at ease with one another.
As this will strike many as unbelievable, see:
Hribal's book would have benefitted, in my opinion, from examining what appear to be successful human interactions with animals. Animals' personalities differ, as do people's personalities. Just as wives murder husbands, husbands murder wives, mothers murder children, and children murder mothers, animals can turn on their human companions. However, animals seldom turn on humans who treat them with respect and affection.
There are examples of humans interacting successfully with the great predator animals. The story of Christian the lion is one, but there are others. The "lion man," Kevin Richardson, did not raise many of the lions with whom he interacts, along with leopards and hyenas, all of whom accept him as one of them. Google Kevin Richardson and watch the extraordinary videos of Kevin's acceptance by lions as a member of the pride.
Clearly, humans have very little understanding of other life forms and little respect for them. So that we can enjoy transportation in oversize vehicles that get 12 miles to the gallon, we destroy the Gulf of Mexico. What happens to the bird life and aquatic life is of no concern.
Some thoughtful people wonder if humans belong on planet earth. Humans are great destroyers of animal and plant life, water resources, and the soil itself. Some people think of humans as alien invaders of planet earth. If one looks at it in this way, it seems clear that humans have contributed nothing to the health of the planet or to its life forms.
The notion that the life of a human, regardless of the person's intellect, accomplishment, and moral fiber, is superior to that of an elephant, tiger, lion, leopard, grizzly, orca, eagle, seal, or fox, is a form of hubris that keeps the human race confined in its ignorance.
Humans who fire-bomb civilian cities, drop nuclear bombs on civilian populations, act out ideological hatreds taught to them by sociopaths posing as pundits and journalists, and decimate their own kind out of total ignorance could be regarded as a life form that is inferior to wild animals.
Perhaps the human claim to moral superiority needs questioning. Without the presence of mankind, there would be no evil on the planet.
Many humans have difficulty with the idea that animals have rights. However, in the introduction to Hribal's book, Jeffrey St. Clair reports that in Europe of the 13th-17th centuries animals had rights and were represented in court by attorneys. This suggests that those who are trying to stop the slaughter of wolves and to protect animal habitat are not modern-day crazies but are empathetic people operating from an old tradition.
Those trying to curtail the abuse of animals face a difficult task. As long as humanity has insufficient empathy for its own kind to stop the slaughter of Afghans, Iraqis, Pakistanis, and Palestinians, protection for animals is unlikely to move to the forefront.
#CannedHunting" id="CannedHunting">Addendum: Recently, The Guardian brought to light a video on South Africa's flourishing "canned hunting" business. Lion breeders make money first by selling tickets to tourists who enjoy holding and petting lion and tiger cubs. When the animals reach maturity, the right to "hunt" the tame animals is sold to wealthy white Europeans and Americans.
The "hunt" is conducted as follows. The tame lion, accustomed to humans, is put into a fenced enclosure. Then 3, 4 or 5 macho tough-guy white males shoot the unsuspecting lion and return home with their "trophy." No doubt they describe to friends and associates and anyone who will listen their dangerous exploit.
This tells a lot about humans. One, they enjoy killing and will pay large sums of money for the pleasure of killing. Two, some business-minded people understand this and make money pandering to the human need to kill.
Canned hunting shows the human species in its worst light. There is no danger to the "hunter," better described as a murderer. There is no empathy for other life forms. There is a need to brag and boast about never encountered dangers.
I have never seen the virtue in killing creatures that are more beautiful and magnificent than humans. However, in the 19th century, big game hunting required courage on the part of the human, which canned hunting does not require. Any coward can participate in canned hunting, and I suspect most of those who participate are cowards and morally defective as well.
In the 19th century there were no tame lions to shoot. The hunter walked the veldt with a guide. Each had double-barreled rifles, or four shots, assuming no misfire.
In the close quarters in which a lion might be encountered, if the hunter missed the charging lion, the guide could save the day, or the lion would prevail. There are actual accounts of lions being hit in vital areas, but completing the charge and killing the hunter before expiring itself.
Today, hunters have become risk-averse killers. They are too cowardly to hunt. They only want to kill. So they go on "canned hunts." http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2013/jun/03/lions-canned-hunting-south-africa-video
Little wonder that US "soldiers" can sit in front of screens thousands of miles away from the country under attack and push a button to send a hellfire missile to obliterate some poor Afghan or Pakistani farmers' house and his wife and children. Or maybe it was a local medical center, a school room or aid workers.
Little wonder that the few remaining moral humans who expose these crimes--Bradley Manning, Julian Assange--are targets for destruction by the United States government, the epitome of evil.
In America the desire to kill is so great that wildlife refuges have been turned into killing fields. Pam Martens reports that thanks to President Clinton and the National Rifle Association, 300 of the 556 national refuges have been opened to what managers of refuges describe as "enjoyable recreation experiences" by which is meant that hunters are permitted to kill alligators, bobcats, cougars, blue and green wing teal, wood ducks, hooded merganzers along with many other species. In other words, an American wildlife refuge is a place where hunters can kill the wildlife. http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/nra-turns-300-tax-funded-wildlife-refuges-killing-fields
About Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.
Dale Peterson begins his thesis with the execution of elephants for crimes of murder against humans. An unusual, well-argued and inspiring book. Peterson co-authored the famous Demonic Males, an anthropological study in their own environment of several kinds of apes, including humans. I expected him to come up with something new on the subject of animal morality, and I was not disappointed. This is a real thesis, a slow burning one that reaches a high temperature.
Dale Peterson begins his thesis with the execution of elephants for crimes of murder against humans. He thus arrests our attention with a couple of concepts most of us probably don't mull over every day in relation to elephants: 'execution' and 'murder'.
Execution and Punishment
Firstly, he calls to our minds the difficulty of killing an elephant and of how authorities 'execute' elephants mostly when those animals have done something that makes them seem pretty dangerous - generally maiming or killing a human. The level of decision-making and authority to kill the elephant in question is such that it takes on the character of an execution and a punishment.
Then he introduces the concept of 'murder' by non-humans of humans. He shows how people in earlier times have tended to assume intent and deliberation in animals and that, even though this assumption has been largely dropped with the institution of Cartesian values that say animals are machines without feelings, with elephants people tend, despite themselves, to assume intelligence and planning.
Australians might recognise the motif of execution and murder in the way we sometimes deal with sharks and crocodiles after one of them has killed one of us. And then, there is our attitude to dingos. And pit-bulls.
An important part of Peterson's logic depends on establishing that most species think of themselves as the most important, possibly the only 'real' species, just as humans do. He gives an example of how, when human observers were educated not to interact at all with non-human apes in the Goodall studies - the non-human apes simply forgot the human apes were there. They accommodated their presence in the sense that they went around them, but the almost never attempted to interact. Humans went off their radar - just as most other species are nearly always off most humans' radars.
Obviously you have to read the book to understand what Peterson is talking about here. He is sufficiently original to surprise most people saturated in animal ethology, evolution and animal rights literature.
Empathy a widespread evolutionary trait
Species self-centredness does not exclude a capacity for empathy when there is meaningful interaction with another species and within one's own. Peterson defines empathy and argues very effectively that this is an evolutionary trait shared by many species apart from humans. Readers may not be surprised by this observation, but they will probably be impressed by the reasoning and examples.
With this significant beginning, Peterson goes on to examine other perspectives on animals in laboratories and in the wild which many of us won't have thought of. He also has a lot of unusual but well documented examples from the wild, in part due to his long association with Jane Goodall.
When I was deliberating about buying this book, I wondered how Peterson would deal with his own emotions on these subjects and with those he might expect in a reader. Emotional attitude is very important in such works because it can put readers off for a number of different reasons. For instance, some readers might seek to avoid the pain of knowing of awful treatment of animals. Conversely, animal rights readers might suspect an author who did not express indignation and anger. On the other hand, scientific readers and people used to repressing their emotions might prefer an absence of emotion. How does Dale Peterson deal with this? He doesn't become 'emotional' but he nonetheless validates the experience of animals by describing their reactions - for instance how laboratory rats would go hungry and even risk starvation to avoid imposing pain on their rat-neighbours when that was a risk entailed in seeking food - for instance where pressing a lever to get a pellet of food appeared to cause another rat to receive some kind of 'punishment'.
Does Peterson rail against the people who would deliberately cause animals - from lab rats to chimpanzees and elephants - pain? No, he doesn't. But the actions of the animals to protect each other dignify the animals themselves, and so the reader makes their judgement.
Peterson succeeds here in a very difficult field: he teaches us that the matter is too serious for mere indignation. Serious in a manner that requires intense reflection on our relationship with other creatures, with ourselves and each other.
"The puffin (harvested locally, the waitress promised) was sliced thin, its gaminess muted with litchi and fig. The minke whale, also finely carved, tasted like beef tenderloin with a faint metallic finish; it was savoury and delicate when paired with an airy washabi cream." (Liz Alderman, New York Times travel journalist, 2013)
The industrialized killing of whales during the twentieth century was 'perhaps the most callous demonstration history offers of humankind's self-appointed dominion over animals. One searches almost in vain for an expression of sympathy, compassion, understanding, or rationality. In their place were only insensitivity and avarice.' (Richard Ellis,2003. The Empty Ocean).
Whales are present throughout the book, an undercurrent in the form of educated interpretations of Moby Dick, which will absolutely fascinate anyone who has studied it, but the cetaceans surface, so to speak, in their full glory, in the last chapter.
Now I am not one to be impressed by interspecies comparisons with human intelligence because I don't think I judge other species' worth in relation to humans. I have therefore never been very taken by the popular iconology of whales and porpoises. I love the sea and enjoy the creatures in it. They are a whole other planet. They do not need to be like me for me to want them to be.
Whaling on the west coast of Australia
No, when I think of whales, I think about how, when I was a child about five years old I participated in one of the last whale hunts off the West Australian coast. Two whalers were involved - one Australian and one Russian. My father (a scientist) was a guest for the day on the Russian boat and my mother and I were on the Australian one. The two boats competed for a mother whale and her calf. The Russians caught the mother and the calf. It was windy. The sea was roiling. The whales, although huge, appeared and disappeared among the waves. I remember the excitement of the pursuit and apparently friendly competition between the boat crews pursuing the same whale.
When we came ashore, we left the real crews to deal with their catch and drove to the country pub where we were sleeping.
Early the next morning we returned to the whaling station, eager to see the work that had been done. We climbed up on a rise above the station and looked down into a bay like a pit between cliffs. Our stomachs lurched at the sight. Humans were climbing over the partially exposed skeleton of the huge mother whale in a scene that resembled one of Hieronymous Boch's versions of hell. They were hacking away at the giant creature like ants with axes and knives. Was the little one lying beside its mother? I cannot be sure of my memory. I do remember that even my father (a man who made his own spears for underwater fishing) lost his bullish enthusiasm for the scene. The terrible smell of rotting whale even outdid the visual desecration of such an obviously monumental animal. Above everything else, the smell drove us away, gagging with horror, suddenly deeply depressed.
I was glad when I became aware they had banned whaling some years after that. Since then I have enjoyed the sight of whales with the feeling that - at least those I can see in Australia - are not menaced by a local whaling industry. Since there are already so many people out there protesting on behalf of whales, with an apparent appetite for associated posters and films, I have felt I could choose to spend my time trying to defend our very deserving Australian indigenous land-creatures and vegetation, which lack the profile in their own country that whales do, but suffer similarly.
Reading Dale Peterson's last chapter, however, concentrated my mind on the precarious position of whales. Peterson doesn't waste the reader's time with excess adjectives and examples. He makes the matter perfectly clear. Some whale populations that recovered from initial whaling bans are now nearly extinct, largely due to the current activities of the Japanese, the Greenlanders and the Icelanders. Some of the biggest creatures on the earth - with much larger brains than ours and similar neuronal connections - and perhaps with superior morality and values - are close to being wiped out by a bunch of badly-educated apes who no longer are in touch with what is going on around them. There is no excuse for whaling. There is no excuse for extinction. We have no excuse, except perhaps that, collectively, we humans are not as smart as we think.
"Altogether the brains of cetaceans show 'a structural complexity that could support complex information processing, allowing for intelligent, rational behavior.' That's the word from the neuroanatomists, and those scientists who have been studying cetacean behavior for the last several decades strongly support it, finding a group of animals who have excellent memories and high levels of social and self-awareness, who are excellent at mimicking the behavior of others and can respond to symbolic representations, who form complex and creatively adaptive social systems, who show a broad capacity for the cultural transmission of learned behaviors ... and so on."
"Nearly half of the thirteen great whale species are currently listed as endangered, some critically so, while a number of localized populations are gone or just about gone. The right whale of the North Atlantic, once common, is now down to a population of around three hundred and still declining. These giant animals were given their name in the old days because, as slow-moving and naturally-buoyant-after-death creatures, they were the 'right' ones to find and kill. Now they are right for extinction, with their continuing decline today, largely the consequence of accidental collisions with ships. The magnificent blue whales of the Antarctic, abundant until whalers discovered them, have been reduced to around 1 percent of their original numbers. At more than a hundred feet long and 150 tons heavy, incidentally, these animals are the largest creatures ever to have lived on this planet, land or sea, but they, too, are teetering on the edge of nonexistence. Also endangered or threatened are the gray whales of the northwestern Pacific, the fin whales, the sei, the beluga, and the sperm whales. 'Trusting creatures whose size probably precluded a knowledge of fear,' writes author and marine wildlife expert Richard Ellis, in The Empty Ocean (2003), 'the whales were chased until they were exhausted and then stabbed and blown up; their babies were slaughtered; their numbers were halved and halved again.' The industrialized killing of whales during the twentieth century, Ellis concludes, was 'perhaps the most callous demonstration history offers of humankind's self-appointed dominion over animals. One searches almost in vain for an expression of sympathy, compassion, understanding, or rationality. In their place were only insensitivity and avarice.'
"The International Whaling Commission (IWC) was originally organized in 1946 to support the industry by promoting the supposedly 'sustainable' harvesting of whales. But commercial whaling had, by the second half of the century, reduced the numbers of most species so decisively that in July of 1982 the IWC declared a moratorium on all whaling.
That important and positive event has been challenged continuously by the Starbucks of this world. The Soviet whaling industry simply continued harvesting whales of all species, all ages and sizes, while falsifying their reports. The Japanese officially adhered to the terms of the moratorium by identifying their whaling as 'scientific' rather than a commercial enterprise. Iceland ignored the moratorium, allowing its ships to kill one hundred minke whales and as many as one hundred and fifty endangered finned whales during the 2008 and 2009 seasons. The Norwegians have never stopped whaling either and continue to slaughter hundreds of minke whales yearly, insisting that whale killing is a glorious part of their cultural heritage and, furthermore, that these giant mammals eat too many fish. During the 2009 meeting of the IWC, meanwhile Greenland,backed by the Danish government, applied for permission to harvest as many as fifty endangered humpback whales over the next five years for the purposes of 'aboriginal subsistence,' even though Greenland already has a surplus of whale meat, which is sold in supermarkets."
Exotic eating driving extinction everywhere
After I began writing this review, I was sad to read the following in an internationally syndicated travelogue by New York journalist, Liz Alderman, about Iceland nightlife:
"We studied the menu and pointed to the puffin and minke whale appetisers, Icelandic delicacies. The puffin (harvested locally, the waitress promised) was sliced thin, its gaminess muted with litchi and fig. The minke whale, also finely carved, tasted like beef tenderloin with a faint metallic finish; it was savoury and delicate when paired with an airy washabi cream."
Liz Alderman was not starving, was not an indigenous hunter, was not unable to procure other kinds of food, so how could she be so blind and deaf and dumb to the imminent extinction of the whale and the puffin? And, if it sold articles, would she also sample elephants' tusks and tigers' bones? Where would she draw the line? Would she, could she draw a line anywhere?
Is there any hope for the world? Are we any different from the Ancient Romans who gorged themselves with rare animal dishes and self-induced vomiting so as to be able to eat more?
It is as if every local rule that ever developed to save something for later and maintain the populations of food sources is being eroded by marketing for short-term gain to nations of unhappily fat people who cannot avoid exposure to the brainwashing.
I know I am not the only one who is absolutely sick of the multiplication of cooking shows on television. I rarely turn on my own television, but television is now everywhere - on the back of airline seats, in hospitals and doctors' waiting rooms, in public squares. It is a form of ideological pollution. At every hour of day and night we are sold the idea of eating more and more kinds of animals, to seek the out wherever they may hide and popularise their demise. So we are supposed to admire a man who urges us to taste fried spiders, then follow the camera's eye as it roves greedily over other produce, passing casually over the sad little face of a small dead bat. The image haunts me still, because I have actually been friends with a bat. I recorded it in this film, Gracie, the flying fox.
Julia Buch, who introduced me to the friendly bat took to saving baby bats orphaned on bat hunts in New Guinea, when she was a child. A tradition of bat eating among a small population of New Guinea clans-people is one thing; 7.5 billion people hunting down every bat and every spider, every tasty rare plant and turning their habitats into fields for soy and corn is like some kind of scary nightmare. Yet that is what is happening! Humans have become the nemesis of every other creature in the world. Our behaviour is monstruous.
 Starbuck was one of the characters in Moby Dick. He was less impressed by Moby Dick and Captain Ahab than most of the crew. He wanted to get on with business and go home to his wife.
 Liz Alderman, "The nights and lights of Reykjavik," Australian Financial Review, February 22-24, 2013, pp22-24.
 Puffins are hunted for eggs, feathers and meat. Atlantic Puffin populations drastically declined due to habitat destruction and exploitation during the 19th century and early 20th century. They continue to be hunted in Iceland and the Faroe Islands.
The Atlantic Puffin forms part of the national diet in Iceland, where the species does not have legal protection. Puffins are hunted by a technique called “sky fishing”, which involves catching low-flying birds with a big net. Their meat is commonly featured on hotel menus. The fresh heart of a puffin is eaten raw as a traditional Icelandic delicacy.
SOS Puffin is a conservation project based from the Scottish Seabird Centre at North Berwick to save the puffins on islands in the Firth of Forth. Puffin numbers on the island of Craigleith, once one of the largest colonies in Scotland, with 28,000 pairs, have crashed to just a few thousand due to the invasion of Tree Mallow, an exotic plant which has taken over the island and prevented the puffins from accessing their burrows and breeding. The project has the support of over 450 volunteers and progress is being made with puffins returning in numbers to breed this year.
In the summer, children in Iceland walk around local areas with boxes and containers to rescue puffins that land in dangerous spots, such as close to cities, where the city light has confused them into trying to fly into that direction, as opposed to diving in the direction of the light reflecting off the sea water near their burrows. The children who rescue puffins then later release them at sea, and away from the city. Source: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puffin
About the author of this review
Magnificent, significant, relevant, a happy elephant ... Thanks to Julia Hewett for sending us this film of an elephant playing ecstatically in surf in India.
Magnificent, significant, relevant, a happy elephant ...
Thanks to Julia Hewett for sending us this film of an elephant playing ecstatically in surf in India.
Apologies and warning that it requires a facebook connection to see without ads, although you can also see it here on you-tube.
other creatures enjoying
the sea. In Australia, where
I live, even dogs can only
swim in the evenings with
their human friends.
Highways cut off access to
the sea for any non-human
creature that cannot fly.
Here is a film to remind us of what we are missing by transforming this world into a uniquely human one.
We wonder if Bob Carr, Australia's Foreign Minister, has any idea of the utter distress he has given to wildlife carers all over Australia in his endorsement of the kangaroo-meat industry for export? It has reduced to despair mature activists who normally soldier on impressively (where the rest of us dare not even look) despite constant exposure to brutality, cruelty and a useless legal system in their daily rounds. Carr's position is even odder in view of his patron status with Voiceless, the vegan fund for animals.
Bob Carr, despite being a patron of Voiceless, the Fund for Animals, which has a vegan policy, is using his position as Foreign Affairs Minister of Australia to aggressively market kangaroo meat. [http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/forever-young-boomers-refuse-to-act-their-age-20130118-2cysa.html] and http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2012/06/14/Finding-Bob-Carrs-Twitter-voice.aspx and http://www.dfat.gov.au/facts/kangaroos.htmlThis will give the impression to China and Russia and indeed the world, that that kangaroo meat is safe to eat and that all Australians are just fine about reducing this unique social creature to a gimmicky gourmet item.
This behaviour which strikes animal activists as bizarre is not the only behaviour that has caused environmentalists to question Bob Carr's environmental and humanitarian credentials. Carr is also one of the patrons of Sustainable Population Australia, yet since his rise to the position of foreign minister, he seems to be completely silent about Australia's overpopulation.
Carr's fans faith much tested
There is some division of opinion within environmentalists as to whether Carr is sincere or not. Some hope that if he becomes prime minister, he will stand up for the environment and make policies to halt population growth. Those who hope that Carr really is an environmentalist suggest that he must be pragmatic until he rises to true federal power. Others point to his long history on privatisation in NSW and to opportunities missed to save green spaces and veto backward energy policies.
Is Carr among the many who sincerely subscribe to the official kangaroo count and the widespread official message that there are 'too many kangaroos'?
A strange country unlike the official Australia
It seems that it is only when you come up against real families of kangaroos and watch them starve slowly over a few years, trapped in new suburban wastelands amid filthy suburban factories in Thomastown and Plenty"Urgent need for wildlife corridors in Australia"; or see how kangaroos have been genetically engineered to midget status in Queensland by gunfire selecting out larger animals, that you start to doubt the official messages.
There are no effective laws to protect wildlife in Australia and no effective wildlife organisations with status to complain under the laws that exist.
The government departments which are supposed to enforce the law are more interested in granting culling licenses. 'Experts' who supply weighty evidence for culls seem actually to operate in contradiction to their own knowledge. See http://candobetter.net/node/1274
The only way to fight the cruelty and stupidity is by political activism.
No-one cares about the evidence that wildlife carers and activists can supply, even if they can produce the bodies. See http://candobetter.net/node/2918 As near powerless as they are, the wildlife activists are the only effective protection for our native animals.
Welcome to a new and strange country that bears no ressemblance to the official Australia.
Petition against Kangaemu burgers
Source of top half of picture was http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/food/kangemu-burger-some-just-love-the-taste-but-others-go-hopping-mad/story-fneuz8zj-1226556148786Source of bottom half was Friends of Animal Army.
Wildlife Victoria has created a petition to Grill'd, the Australian fast food chain that is promoting a novelty kangaemu Coat of Arms burger for 2 weeks to cash in on Australia Day. Many wildlife activists want to stop Grill'd from making this a regular menu choice and to use this opportunity to send a clear message that kangaroo meat is not green, clean or humane.
If you also think eating kangaroos is in bad taste and cruel, you can SIGN and SHARE this petition:
Why isn't using kangaroos for meat sustainable?
Many Australians, vegan and meat-eaters, have quite valid concerns that the numbers of several kangaroo species, currently treated as highly numerous, may suddenly drop close to extinction. This is in part because of the ongoing effect of killing off the large males and females and thus permitting young and inexperienced males to approach females who would otherwise be off limits. Thus baby kangaroos come into the world in a declining social environment where the extended family and clan has broken down and young parents are not able to protect them. Furthermore, their environments are filled with many new dangers for which evolution cannot prepare them. As well as hunters and increasing rates of gratuitous cruelty from rising numbers of human beings, new roads appear daily where for hundreds of thousands of years there was only grassland. Housing estates go up on traditional kangaroo grazing and social areas, leaving mobs to starve. Many of these gentle and intelligent creatures finish up dying painfully by the side of roads, chased out of their habitats by greedy aspirational humans and then fatally injured by cars. Kangaroos caught in traffic are often a source of callous mirth and entertainment for morning radio presenters in Melbourne as every week or so an unfortunate animal is reported to be running the gamut of morning peak hour traffic with probably no hope of surviving the ordeal.
It thus seems obscene for our foreign minister to promote further cruelty for the sake of an industry that is neither clean nor green, nor even lucrative. The kangaroo industry exists on the disadvantaged fringes of Australian society, where farmers have been priced out of sustainable farming, and where a generation of farm workers now seeks unreliable work on the city fringes.
Pat O'Brien, President of the Wildlife Protection Association of Australia which includes the The Kangaroo Protection Coalition has a very long experience of critical analysis of kangaroo counts and kangaroo policies. He also knows all about the meat trade because he was once a butcher. The late high profile environmentalists, Steve Irwin, had such respect for him that he gave him a house and funded his protection of kangaroos for life. Irwin contacted O'Brien many years ago because O'Brien was the only wildlife association representative person to speak up effectively for kangaroos in Queensland. You can listen to nine short interviews with Pat O'Brien about these matters on you-tube. He is particularly good on kangaroo censuses and on the wildlife meat-export trade and his knowledge is enriched by history.
He writes on the Commercial Kangaroo Kill:
"Probably the single most urgent wildlife campaign is to close down the commercial kangaroo kill. Kangaroo populations have crashed over the last few years due to heavy commercial shooting, compounded by drought, Climate Change, and loss of habitat. Regional extinction is common in many areas of Australia, in every State, and we are being left with small genetically impoverished family groups. Sometimes these 'mobs' are as low as six or eight kangaroos, trapped by suburban sprawl, and unable to escape and mingle with other small mobs."
Remember that the Thylacine was hunted to extinction in Tasmania and only a few short decades before the haunting footage of the last animal was filmed, the species was thought to be numerous. Now the only experience for most Australians of this unique Australian animal is on the label of a well known brand of beer. Is that all we will know of the kangaroo 50 years from now?
 See S.M.Newman, Demography, Territory & Law: Rules of animal and human populationsChapters Two and three. Some specific criticism of predator-prey theory applied to kangaroos (endnote) and review of other population theories, pp 79-85.
Did you know that the very last battery hen has been freed from her cage in the UK? Sadly, Australian Governments are still refusing to act. History was made on January 1st this year when barren battery cages were banned throughout the European Union. There are about 12 MILLION battery hens in Australia.
Did you know that the very last battery hen has been freed from her cage in the UK? Sadly, Australian Governments are refusing to act. As you read this, sensitive hens are still locked in tiny cages, unable to spread their wings, many living in constant pain with broken bones...
These hens now have one of Australia's best voices behind them. Singer-songwriter Missy Higgins has joined forces with Animals Australia to help make battery cages history. #00bcc2;">Click here to hear Missy's powerful new radio ad.
'All birds deserve to be free - to spread their wings, and experience the life nature intended. Join me and Animals Australia to make the battery cage history.' - Missy Higgins. [Click here to play Missy's message]"
History was made on January 1st this year when barren battery cages were banned throughout the European Union. As more and more countries step up for hens, tragically some 12 million birds still suffer inside Australian battery cages. They cannot afford to wait for our politicians to act.
#00bcc2;">Missy's radio ad is calling on concerned Australians to unite to help hens. With our decision-makers once again failing animals, Missy's message will let everyone know that hope for hens rests not with government, but with us.
Our goal is for every Australian to hear #00bcc2;">Missy's ad. Our work last year overwhelmingly showed us that Australians are appalled by animal cruelty, and if informed, will refuse to support it. As a united, caring community, we can demand an end to the cruelty of the battery cage simply by #00bcc2;">becoming informed and casting our vote at the supermarket.
The Animals Australia team made a commitment to animals this year to tackle head on the biggest cause of animal abuse in this country: factory farming. We are proud to unite with one of Australia's most talented and compassionate artists to launch the first phase of this new campaign. And this is just the beginning. Our informed, caring and active supporters are what sets us apart — and we know that with your help, our ambitious goal to end factory farming can be made a reality.
As someone who cares as much about ending animal cruelty as we do, you can play a key role in helping to make the battery cage history by #00bcc2;">sponsoring a radio ad today. Every time #00bcc2;">this message airs, hens take another step towards freedom. And if we all pitch in — even with just a few dollars — we can reach thousands — perhaps millions more Australians.
Source of material: Animals Australia
There is a move by a GoldCoast mayor to ban rodeos. Animal rights defenders want you to support this move. One way you might consider doing this is to vote on line for banning rodeos from Gold Coast City Council land and cutting funding for such events. You can vote here.
by Matthew Killoran, Gold Coast News com au, October 18th, 2011
"A CONTROVERSIAL plan by Mayor Ron Clarke would see rodeos banned from Gold Coast City Council land and funding for events involving rodeos or "animal cruelty" cut.
The annual Rotary Bulls on the Beach charity event and the Australia Day rodeo at Evandale are likely to be affected and the move could see the city lose the National Finals Rodeo, which attracts thousands of spectators and has been estimated to bring $10 million to the city each year."
The article goes on to say that the same Mayor managed to ban circuses using exotic animals from operating on council-owned land in 2009, and that the idea of banning rodeos was a response to a letter from the Animal Welfare League, complaining of animal cruelty in rodeos.
I am curious to know just how many people subscribe to spiked or are aware of the opinions expressed by Brendan O’Neill and other disciples of Frank Furedi. The website’s predecessor was the magazine LM or Living Marxism, a publication bankrupt in 2000 after losing a lawsuit to British Independent Television News (ITN) due to an article published by LM entitled “The picture that fooled the world”. The picture in question depicted a starving Bosnian Muslim behind a barbed wire fence that ITN claimed had been taken at a Serbian prison camp during the Bosnian war. A horrified world began to contemplate that once again, genocide was occurring on our watch and lessons supposedly learnt from regimes such as Pol Pot and the Nazis had been forgotten.
Enter LM Magazine.
According to LM’s author Thomas Deichmann, the picture was actually depicting a refugee and ITN’s opportunistic photographer had deliberately taken the photo with a barbed wire fence in the foreground to simulate the plight of a prisoner. In other words, the emaciated figure in the photograph was not a prisoner at all. This explanation fitted Deichmann’s claim that genocide was not actually taking place in the former Yugoslavia, the opposing sides were simply fighting a war.
Browsing through the articles on spiked and LM you will find many other examples of human apologist articles including some claiming that genocide never actually occurred in Rwanda either.
The overwhelming common theme throughout the site is the hatred of the environmental movement and any other cause that “stifles” human advancement such as the animal rights movement. The philosophy at spiked is that any activity is worth doing as long as it benefits humankind. Any person opposing this philosophy is dismissed as a misanthropic, miserablilist, Malthusian member of the left that resides in an inner city area drinking chardonnay, latte or any other elitist beverage you care to mention.
A straw man here and a straw man there
The routine denigration of people opposing their homogenous world view is something that spiked excells at and the undisputed king of this tactic is Brendan O’Neill. His often camp narrative is laced with straw men and largely directed at teasing and namecalling his oponents with scant regard to addressing the underlying issue. A recent piece by O’Neill for The Australian is a perfect example of this. In the article O’Neill depicts the left leaning public worshipping at the alter of Julian Assange and ridicules supporters of Wikileaks. spiked consider themselves to be champions of free speech however they have nothing but contempt for “St Julian of Assange” and anybody that supports Wikileaks.
O’Neill saves most of his energy for those that oppose an increase in human population. He has stated that the earth can support hundreds of billions of people and that anthropogenic climate change is an alarmist concept invented by the “green elite” – that chardonnay sipping, latte drinking lot mentioned earlier. It seems that Thomas Malthus got it wrong. When he was busily working out the concept of carrying capacity and the problem of human overpopulation he forgot to factor in the variable of human ingenuity. That’s right, human technology lets us off the hook. spiked envision a world whereby the human race settles every scrap of land and then begins the process of colonising other planets. Call them cornucopian, call them futurists, call them craaazy, just don’t call them a cult or bring up their rather dodgy Marxist / Communist origins.
The gang at spiked make no concessions for those other factors in the population puzzle that more than offset advances in technology. Human stupidity, human greed and human ignorance do not rate a mention. Instead, O’Neill argues that population alarmists fail to appreciate the contribution human beings have made towards the development of planet Earth, after all :
Without us it (the earth) would just be another ball spinning through space stuffed with useless coal and pointless uranium
Selective “faith” in science
You see the people of spiked have a lot of faith in the scientists of the world that form the cutting edge of human ingenuity and achievement. That is, unless the person is a climate scientist and belongs to the 97% majority of climate scientists that believe AGW to be very real. These people are referred to as “authority figures in white coats” or even described as “men in white coats who have replaced men of white cloth”. Yep that’s right, the subject of climate science is referred to as a religion with the scientists delivering the sermon. AGW, like it’s predecessor pollution is a subject only raised by those with alarmist tendencies – the folk at spiked (like the bloggers at The Australian) never waste an opportunity to ridicule the concept of AGW yet go weak at the knees at every advancement in biotechnology or engineering feat.
The subject of carrying capacity and finite resources is an alien concept to O’Neill, he firmly believes the earth to contain an infinite amount of resources and therefore an unlimited ability to support an infinite number of people. Once again, technology will see us through. O’Neill points out that in the past Romans have worn jewellery made out of coal and in the 20th century uranium was used to make glass and these people didn’t have a clue at the time this resource could be used for a more worthwhile purpose. This rather simplistic way of looking at how we once used these valuable resources does not convince me that resources are infinite. At least a piece of coal jewellery or a uranium glass vase can still be used today. What can you do with a cloud of carbon dioxide or a rod of spent uranium?
Another key point in O’Neill’s argument is that the Neo-Malthusians constantly refer to people as consumers when they ought to be labelled as producers. He takes great delight in pointing out that misanthropic miserabilists don’t see individual people as resources on this planet but dehumanise them by referring to them collectively as consuming masses producing nothing more than pollution and generally making life more difficult for the rest of us. O’Neill will casually link the modern Malthusian with unqualified support of China’s one child policy and even eugenics studies when the subject of family planning is raised in third world countries. He does have a habit of pigeon-holing people into the most extreme camps and doesn’t concede that the majority of people concerned about human overpopulation are moderates and see human overpopulation as a threat to humans in itself. No, in O’Neill’s world if you are not jumping for joy when the human population hits 7 billion this year then you are misanthropic. If you’re not with us you’re against us.
The website is run as a not-for-profit but the writers at spiked make no attempt to attract potential subscribers, on the contrary they make every attempt to alienate the reader of almost every persuasion – at least once. For example, a catholic reader may be offended by the myriad of articles published that are pro-abortion and pro-stem cell research. A non-catholic reader may be offended by O’Neill’s defence of the catholic church during the sex scandal that accompanied the pope’s visit to the UK last year.
The rights of non-humans
You would not have to be an animal rights activist to be offended by Helene Guldberg’s rather provocatively titled article :
Animals are useless, unless humans make use of them
Helene’s groundbreaking research has led her to the conclusion that there is actually quite a huge difference in the learning capacity of humans as compared to apes. We now know that all of the buildings around us, all of the stuff that’s been invented and every piece of culture handed down throughout the ages is the work of human beings. No ape made any contribution whatsoever. Furthermore, she’s written a book about it entitled “Just Another Ape?” I’m not sure why her book title isn’t quite as colourful as her article in spiked, maybe O’Neill comes up with the websites titles. I do know that a book outlining the differences between humans and apes would be a fizzer compared to one highlighting the similarities. Helene does attempt to spice up the article however:
This is not to say I’d advocate wanton cruelty to animals. Destructiveness for the sake of being destructive - such as taking pleasure from hammering nails into the eyes of cats - is degrading to humans. It is inhumane and uncivilized. But it is only so because of what it tells us about the person who is carrying out the act and the effect it has on other humans. That’s because animals only have value in relations to humans. They have no value in and of themselves.
So there you have it.
Hammering nails into the eyes of a cat is only wrong because the perpetrator is now considered to be a sadist and others have to deal with it? Maybe they should have used that statement for the title….
Going to Helene’s website you may notice that her book “Just Another Ape?” is recommended by a fellow that wrote another book entitled “Not a Chimp”. Suffice to say you would need a strong stomach when joining this pair for a coffee. Advocating vivisection is what Dr Helene Guldberg does when she is not lecturing in child development or co-editing spiked.
An organisation that conducts animal research such as a drug or cosmetic company will usually hide the practice from public view and not get dragged into an argument about what is right or wrong. Helene and other contributors on spiked take a different approach. If you manage to convince yourself that any non-human has no fear and feels no pain then you are well on your way – animal cruelty is but a thing of the past. Stripping an animal of its sentience will help banish that nagging empathy you may feel…….
This is sound advice coming from a person lecturing in child development. For more handy tips on parenting don’t miss Helene’s other book entitled “Reclaiming Childhood: Freedom and Play in an Age of Fear”
You would be excused for thinking that spiked is merely a front for lobby groups, PR companies or think-tanks and you may very well be right. The site does excellent work for drug companies, oil companies, the tobacco industry and property developers throughout the world (to mention just a few) but spiked maintain they are not in the pockets of corporations. Sponsors listed on their site include drug companies such as Pfizer and others such as Cadbury Schweppes and Hill & Knowlton.
Hill & Knowlton?
One controversial maneuver was the arrangement of the testimony of the Kuwait ambassador's daughter as “Nurse Nayirah” to the Congressional Human Rights Caucus on October 10, 1990. Nayirah falsely testified that she had witnessed Iraqi soldiers killing hundreds of premature babies at the al-Addan hospital in Kuwait City. This lie had an enormous emotional impact on the decision in US-American politics and public to support the war against Iraq. It was mentioned several times by president George H.W. Bush and other war-supporting people to manipulate the public opinion
The people at spiked routinely condemn western governments meddling in the affairs of arab nations. O’Neill himself wrote :
in the first Gulf War of 1991, US soldiers (like the rest of us) were fed a diet of propaganda about Iraqis doing nasty things to Kuwaiti women and children; even during the supposedly humanitarian intervention in Somalia in 1993, American troops referred to Somalis derogatively as 'skinnies', viewing them as gun-toting lunatics high on quat.
You would think that the PR company responsible for cooking up this diet of propaganda would be public enemy number one at spiked but you would be wrong.
spiked and Hill & Knowlton openly partner up for various events such as seminars and appear to enjoy a symbiotic relationship. It’s difficult to imagine how O’Neill can reconcile this and the simple answer is…. He can’t.
How spiked can ally themselves with the PR firm responsible for spreading lies about babies being killed by Iraqi soldiers in the lead up to the first gulf war seems almost beyond belief. O’Neill’s disgust with this propaganda seems laughable and surely reflects his lack of sincerity about this issue and for that matter any issue.
As a footnote it’s worth pointing out another passage in O’Neill’s article from 2003:
During the Second World War, particularly in the run-up to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, US propaganda depicted the Japanese as 'vermin'; in the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 70s American troops were, according to one Vietnam vet, encouraged to see the enemy as 'less than human'
Perhaps the US military should make Helen Guldberg’s works required reading once they have overcome their perception that the enemy is human. A soldier’s ability to hammer nails into the eyes of the enemy (minus the guilt) would surely be a useful quality to possess out in the field. Just remember son, they have no value in and of themselves…. The rest is easy.
On Tuesday, 8 February 2011, Member for the Victorian Opposition, Martin Pakula (ALP) pointed to the effective cartel which a supermarket may form in its own right, in a bad situation for farmers which, to me is a danger signal that cows will suffer even more (although Mr Pakula did not mention the suffering of cows).
"Anyone who has been to Coles or Woolworths in the last few weeks would know of the decision by the retailers to slash the price of their home brand dairy products, and it seems more of this is on the way in regard to baked goods. This has been described in some circles as a win for consumers, but in the longer term I am not sure that will be the case," said Mr Pakula.
Rising prices, falling standards
Like other people I have noticed that prices are rising in supermarkets. The prices for dairy rose markedly during the long period of drought which has only recently been broken by floods. At the same time, I noticed that supermarket brands were far cheaper than other brands of cheese and milk. It was very tempting to buy, for instance, Coles cheddar cheese, because it was several dollars cheaper than something like Crackerbarrel.
The bottom line
I wrestled with my conscience because I knew that the 'bottom line' in the case of dairy products was cows. The cheaper the cheese the worse for the cow. Cows are so badly treated that any worse treatment seems inconceivable, yet there seem no real limits to how badly commerce will treat the creatures it relies on for its bounty. Only government can legislate and enforce better standards for animals, but unfortunately they seem to do the opposite in this country because they focus on so-called efficiency over the meanest standard of decency. Only the other day we published an article on candobetter.net about how industry and government want to change laws to give permission to treat bobby calves so badly that they have a good chance of dying before they even get to market.
The way down
Prices for milk and agricultural product began to rise quickly as population began to grow in Australia and, in Victoria, as the Labor Government joined forces with corporate interests to take over farmland, using strategies like removing control of water from family farms and repackaging it at different prices according to opaque measurements of industry values. Corporate bidding pushed up land-prices and this eroded profit margins for farmers. If the price of land goes up, everything else does. Who pays - besides the farmer? Livestock do. Only the big corporate agricultural holdings can survive and then only in the short-term, but the corporates are only there for the short-term, to make a killing.
Prices continue to rise as widespread damages to agriculture surface with Australia's massive floods.
How low can you go?
I know it can get even worse for cows because in the US they are sometimes milked as frequently as four times a day, causing their skeletons to break down and they die or are killed around the age of four. Imagine the arthritic pain of constantly breaking bones.
In Australia cows often live to be eight. A very old cow may reach twelve. Some cows, however, have lived to be over 30. (Here is a lovely story about one in Australia who was saved by a livestock agent and resides with an abattoir owner.) Search and you will find the same for many other species. Such discrepancies in life-expectancy are an indication of how bad the effect of our industrial 'efficiencies' is for non-humans (and not so great for humans either.)
Below is Mr Paluka's statement, which describes a big problem in the centralisation of markets where individual farmers are disempowered by the more easily self-organising retailers.
In the end, supermarkets remove choice
On Tuesday, 8 February 2011, Member for the Victorian Opposition, Martin Pakula (ALP) pointed to the effective cartel which a supermarket may form in its own right, in a bad situation for farmers which, to me is a danger signal that cows will suffer even more (although Mr Pakula did not mention the suffering of cows).
"Anyone who has been to Coles or Woolworths in the last few weeks would know of the decision by the retailers to slash the price of their home brand dairy products, and it seems more of this is on the way in regard to baked goods. This has been described in some circles as a win for consumers, but in the longer term I am not sure that will be the case.
The retailers have enormous market power, far more than the multinationals that Coles CEO Ian McLeod talks about, and they use it ruthlessly. Many of the manufacturers who supply branded products — like Pauls, Pura, Devondale, Western Star and the like — also supply Coles and Woolies home brand products.
So the retailers saying they will not cut the price paid to suppliers for branded products is hardly the point. As supply contracts expire, the substitution to home brand products will inevitably impact on the price paid to manufacturers, the security of hundreds of Victorian jobs and the viability of primary producers as well. If the dairy suppliers got together and agreed not to sell to the retailers at a price below X, they would almost certainly be prosecuted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for collusion and would more than likely be convicted. But the behaviour of the retailers looks a little bit like predatory pricing, and perhaps it is time the ACCC took a look at that as well."
Martin Pakula (ALP) was appointed Minister for Industry and Trade and Industrial Relations in 2008. In January 2010, he became Minister for Public Transport. He is currently in the opposition.
MEMBERS STATEMENTS, Legislative Council, Victoria,
Tuesday, 8 February 2011, Hansardp.93, http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/daily-hansard/Council_2011/Council_Dec_2010-Jun_2011_Weekly_Book_2.pdf
 "Nutritional Disorders
Numerous diseases and conditions can occur within a cow’s skeletal system if the cow’s immune system is weak or if the cow is malnourished. Milk fever is one condition that affects cows when calcium leaves the bloodstream to support milk production faster than calcium is put back into the bloodstream through eating. The result is a muscular and skeletal breakdown, resulting in the cow being weak and unable to stand. Ketosis is another disorder that affects female cows in early lactation. By drawing body fat to help meet the energy needs of milk production, central nervous systems can become dysfunctional, causing cows to stumble, lose their appetite and become weak."
The cows whose milk we humans drink had their calves taken away from them. The male "bobby calves" are unwanted by dairies. The RSPCA estimates that there are 600,000 Bobby calves born per annum in Victoria. Many are induced prematurely in order to minimise disruption of milking schedules for human convenience. They are usually dragged screaming from their mothers when they are little more than a day old, fed milk from a bucket, and prepared for slaughter. In a new low ('standard') Department of Primary Industries wants to increase time calves may be starved prior to slaughter from 24 hours to 30 in all states and territories. The study they have commissioned does not support their aim - thank heavens. (RSPCA article on bobby calves is at the end of this article.)
To save money, the powers that be want to stop feeding bobby calves 30 hours before slaughter. They have been ripped from their mothers, thrown about in transports and now permission is sought to starve them for longer. What sort of society have we become?
What the study says
The study (of which the Executive Summary is published below) suggests that 30 hours would be very unadvisable and suggests that the maximum time without milk for calves should not be more than 24 hours. Closer reading indicates that stress rapidly increases in severity 18 hours after the last meal, as measured by glucose levels. Of course any new-born mammal senses it will die without its mother and ordinary observations show that separation causes extreme suffering immediately as it occurs.
Of course many of us eat beef and veal. We need therefore to take responsibility for the conditions in which these foods are obtained. They involve killing, and that killing, in our society, is carried out very distantly from most of us. Have a look at the film and educate yourself. Then hopefully you will make a submission to improve standards rather than cause even greater suffering. You may even decide not to use dairy or beef products anymore. Its a sure thing that better standards will make people less inclined to eschew meat or milk.
Where to make submissions before 3 February 2011
Submissions are due by 3 feb. 2011 at http://www.animalwelfarestandards.net.au/australian-animal-welfare-standards-and-guidelines/land-transport/bobby-calf-time-off-feed-standard.cfm
1. The proposed standard amendment to SB4.5 B4 Specific requirements for the land transport of cattle (175 KB) for a maximum of 30 hours without a liquid feed from the time of last feeding to the next feed or slaughter of the calf, contributes to the necessary specifications for protecting the welfare of calves while being transported. Source: http://www.animalwelfarestandards.net.au/australian-animal-welfare-standards-and-guidelines/land-transport/bobby-calf-time-off-feed-standard.cfm
In fact, the study used to inform the proposed amendment strongly counsels against more than 24 hours without food.
These calves are crying for their mothers and their mothers would be crying for them. A very sad industry. Cows are not the stupid and insensitive animals many of us have been educated to believe. They are creatures placed in very restricted environments who are not able to organise, express themselves or flee.
The video describes the life of a recently born calf destined to be killed for veal over a timeline for the 30 hours. Feel free to send to anyone. It might help with your submissions. Have a look. It is not sensational and it won't make you faint. It will just make you feel a bit like doing something to make these calves last day and a half better, if you hadn't realised how poorly these animals are treated.
Official Calf study for this proposed standard makes gruesome reading
Cited below is the Executive Summary from the "Final Report Determining a suitable time off feed for bobby calf transport under Australian conditions, Dairy Australia Project No. TIG 124, involving Andrew Fisher, Peter Mansell, Bronwyn Stevens, Melanie Conley, Ellen Jongman, Mariko Lauber & Sue Hides, dated May 2010, and provided by the Faculty of Veterinary Science University of Melbourne Victoria, Australia Victorian Department of Primary Industries at 600 Sneydes Road, Werribee Victoria, Australia Victorian Department of Primary Industries, 475 Mickleham Road, Attwood Victoria, Australia Victorian Department of Primary Industries, 1 Stratford Road, Maffra Victoria, Australia
Executive summary for calf study for Dept Primary Industries
"The recent development process for the Australian Standards and Guidelines for the Welfare of Animals: Land Transport of Livestock highlighted that the transport and management of bobby calves remains a contentious area. Debate has centred on determining a suitable maximum period that calves may be ‘off-feed’ during the transport process.
The objectives of this experiment were: 1) to determine the welfare and metabolic state of 5- to 10-day-old dairy calves in response to increasing time off feed- up to 30 hours, in conjunction with three transport scenarios; and 2) to use these results to provide objective scientific evidence, along with published information, to support the Australian development of an appropriate standard for maximum permissible time off feed for the bobby calf supply chain.
The study was conducted in three replicates over three consecutive weeks from late August to mid September on a commercial dairy farm in Gippsland, Victoria.
A total of 60, 5 to 10-day-old male dairy calves were utilized across four treatments (n = 15 per treatment): 1) Control- remain in situ without feed for 30 hrs; 2) No feed for 30 hrs including transport for 6 hrs to a new environment; 3) No feed for 30 hrs including transport for 12 hrs to a new environment; 4) No feed for 30 hrs including transport for 1 hr to a new environment, remaining for 6 hrs, then transport for 5 hrs to another new environment. These different treatments were designed to simulate the types of transport scenarios to which bobby calves are currently or likely to be subjected as part of the commercial industry.
The day before treatment, 20, 5- to 10-day-old male calves were randomly assigned to one of the four treatments (n=5) balanced for age. Prior to this calves had been managed by farm staff in accordance with standard farm practice. On the day of treatment, calves were offered their normal daily milk allocation of 5L at 0600h.
Because the national vendor declaration requirement is for calves to be fed within 6 hrs of transport, calves in treatments 2, 3 and 4 were loaded at 1200h and transported. A recognised calf transporter was commissioned to transport the calves in a standard commercial vehicle that is regularly used for transporting these animals. During transport, calves were on unbedded flooring and confined to one of the dividing pens on the truck at a stocking density of 0.3m2 per animal. The transport driver took a similar predetermined route on each of the 3 transport days returning to the farm at regular intervals to allow the calves to be checked.
Calves in treatment 4 were unloaded after 1 hr of transport into a temporary holding yard (1300h) with no water trough. Calves in treatment 2 were unloaded in the destination environment after 6 hr of transport (1800h). Calves in treatment 4 were reloaded after 6 hrs in the holding environment (1900h). Calves in treatments 3 and 4 were then unloaded in the destination environment at 2400h. All calves were allowed access to water from 2400h.
The study concluded after 30 hr of withdrawal at 1200h on the second day. At this point all calves in treatments 1 to 4 were fed milk and handed back to the farm to manage before they were transported to an abattoir for slaughter two days later.
3 Prior to treatment calves were fitted with behaviour loggers to measure standing, lying and walking behaviour. Calves were also fitted with rectal temperature loggers. Blood samples were collected by jugular venepuncture from all calves at the following time points: 0600h (Pre-feeding); 0900h (Post-feeding) ; 1200h (Pre-loading); 1800h ; 2100h;
2400h; 0600h; 1200h (immediately before re-feeding).
Blood samples were analysed to measure biochemical variables indicative of:
• metabolic state (glucose, 3-hydroxybutyrate, lactate)
• hydration (packed cell volume, total serum protein)
• colostrum feeding (gamma-glutamyl transferase)
• muscular exertion and bruising (creatine kinase)
Calves were weighed immediately prior to transport on the day of treatment (approximately 6 hours off feed) and at the conclusion of the study the following day at 30h off feed- this final weight was prior to the calves being re-fed.
Behaviour and temperature data did not reveal major effects. The blood results indicate that transport per se was not a significant additional impost on the animals in terms of the key variables indicating metabolic status and hydration. Muscle enzyme levels did increase somewhat in the 12-h transport group compared with the other groups. Most variation in blood variables measured was due to time off feed, rather than transport duration.
Hydration levels appear to be relatively unaffected by the time off feed. In terms of energy status, plasma glucose concentrations were the most altered variable. These increased after feeding, declined slowly for some hours, and then declined more steadily after about 18 h off feed. This pattern was relatively consistent between treatment groups. Mean glucose at 30 h was close to, but not below published reference values for dairy calves less that 2 weeks of age. However, a proportion of calves (~12%) were below the lower reference value at this time point, and this proportion was slightly greater than would be assumed by chance.
It is our conclusion that 30 h with good practice in other aspects of calf management and transport is defensible as an outer ‘legal’ limit for time off feed for bobby calves. It would appear that any extension of time off feed beyond 30 h would be decidedly unadvisable, and our results would not support such exemptions. Best practice management of transported calves would involve time off feed not longer than around 24 hrs."
Bobby Calves - notes from RSPCA Vic
[Source: RSPCA Victoria, "Bobby Calves":
"In order to produce milk cows have to give birth to a calf every year. Bobby calves are the unwanted male offspring born to dairy cows. Currently there are an estimated 600,000 Bobby calves born per annum in Victoria. Many calves are born prematurely after an induced birth as a way of keeping milking herds on a uniform milk production cycle. These male calves are usually separated from their mothers at a little more than a day old, and then fed milk from a bucket.
At around four days old these calves are then transported to an abattoir to be slaughtered for veal. Under the “National Bobby Calf Declaration” farmers must now sign a form stating that the calves they are selling are older than five days. However this is difficult to prove as the only currently-used measure to gauge the age of Bobby calves is the dryness of their umbilical cord. This measure has been found to be a poor indicator of age. A recent study found that if cord dryness was used to select calves for sale 86.4% of Friesian bull calves and 100% of cross- bred calves would be sold prior to their fifth day of life. (1)
A government-sponsored workshop to identify animal welfare issues within Animal Industries (2) determined that an “extremely important welfare issue” was the number of calves being loaded at three to five days of age. These calves are ill prepared to stand up to the rigours of transport, particularly as they are often transported at stocking densities that do not allow them to lie down. As farmers are not required to keep records that would enable individual calves to be identified and their date of birth proven (or if they have been induced) many calves are transported at only three days old.
According to the Code of Accepted Farming Practice for the Welfare of Cattle, calves can be transported for up to 10 hours and not fed for up to 24 hours prior to slaughter. Unfortunately even this low level of care cannot be enforced as this code of practice is only advisory in Victoria. Anecdotal reports suggest that many calves are transported for longer periods and remain unfed for up to 48 hours prior to slaughter. Holding facilities for calves are often open yards with concrete or dirt floors with no bedding or shelter (3). Whilst the Code of Practice states that electric goads should not be used on Bobby calves, these devices are routinely used by handlers, often in front of Government Audit teams (3).
RSPCA Victoria wants legislated codes of practice for animal welfare in Victoria to allow prosecution/penalties for non-compliance. Production animal Codes of Practice primarily define only the most limited levels of animal welfare and even these do not have to be complied with. This is the only way that the welfare of low dollar value animals such as Bobby calves can be protected.
Other issues that RSPCA wants to be addressed:
The practise of calve induction should be replaced by better on farm herd management. Induced
calves should not be sold and must be humanely euthanased on farm.
Bobby calves must be slaughtered within 10 hours of farm gate.
Calves should be at least 10 days old prior to loading. Farmers should be required to keep
appropriate records to ensure that under-aged calves are not sold.
Holding facilities for Bobby calves must have dry, non-slip surfaces and be well sheltered at all times.
Drying times of umbilical cord of dairy calves (Australian Veterinary Journal 83 (6) 2005 Sue J Hides.
A Workshop to Identify Animal Welfare Issues within Animal Industries 2002- Animal Welfare Centre.
The Jack Green Fellowship to study and document guidelines and technologies for the management of
surplus dairy calves which could be adapted by the Victorian dairy industry to enhance Bobby calf welfare
and improve the quality and yield of Bobby calf veal - Sue Hides 1999."
Traditional Chinese Medicine should be banned in Australia. It relies on animal cruelty worse than animal experimentation. The importation of TCM animal products should also be banned from Australia since it is illegal trade in wildlife. This would send a clear message that
practices involving animal cruelty and wildlife trade are not tolerated in Australia.
It is anathema to Australian moral values. The morality test is that if it is immoral to do it to humans, then it is equally immoral to do it on all sentient beings ('sentience' is the ability to feel or perceive).
The following incident recently reported from China is a case in point.
These backward Chinese also kill endangered tigers to use their penis to address impotence.
Traditional Chinese Medicine relies on killing endangered seahorses
More than 20 million seahorses are caught from the wild each year to supply the Traditional Chinese Medicine market to supposedly 'tonify the kidneys and fortify the Yang and for impotence, urinary incontinence, wheezing and old age debilitation. It enlivens the blood, aiding circulation: used for bleeding and pain from congealed blood and swelling due to sores and boils.'
Traditional Chinese Medicine relies on killing endangered rhinoceros for their horns
All five of the world’s diverse species of rhinoceros have been brought to the edge of extinction because of human appetite for their distinctive horns to supposedly treat fever, rheumatism, gout, and other disorders.
According to the 16th century Chinese pharmacist Li Shi Chen, the horn could also cure snakebites, hallucinations, typhoid, headaches, carbuncles, vomiting, food poisoning, and “devil possession.”
Traditional Chinese Medicine relies on killing endangered turtles for their plastron (shell)
Sold under the Chinese names 'guiban' and 'biejia', the plastron (shell) of the Reeves' turtle, a terrapin, as well as that of endangered sea turtles freshwater turtles and tortoises perpetuates an illegal trade to supply Traditional Chinese medicine. the plastron is supposedly used to for 'liver and kidney meridians and to nourish yin and subdue yang, and to soften hardness and disperse nodules. Among the conditions turtle shell is used to treat are febrile diseases, deficient yin with fever, night sweats, and amenorrhea.
Traditional Chinese Medicine, It is wicked and backward.
The Animal Justice Party (AJP) is close to the target number of members to be able to register with the Australian Electoral Commission. This is an indication of the importance the community gives to animal welfare. The party is now calling for more members so that it can begin to make an impact. By the way, isn't that a beautiful logo!
Dear Animal Supporter
Much of the cruelty inflicted on animals in this country results from government policy decisions, ignorance, and inertia. The interests of animals have not been represented in the Australian electoral system and as a result governments have not given due regard to their plight.
Over recent months, a small but widely representative group of compassionate animal advocates has been working to establish a political party to represent the interests of animals in the Australian Parliamentary system. During this time, a Charter, Constitution and Party logo have been established and a wide range of policy papers is currently being prepared, covering such areas as: vivisection, intensive farming, live animal exports, animals used for sport and entertainment, wildlife, kangaroos, domestic animals, animals and the law, marine animals, population and settlement, and others.
These policy papers will be on the Animal Justice Party web site in a few weeks from now.
To be registered as a political party with the Australian Electoral Commission the AJP will need 500 members. Simply through word of mouth and our website we have almost reached this target, but we will need many more members if we are to be the significant force that all animals need.
We therefore invite you to visit the infant (but soon to be upgraded) AJP website www.animaljusticeparty.org, read the key documents and download and complete a Party membership form.
Yours faithfully Animal Justice Party Steering Committee
20 April 2010
Photo by Brett Clifton of a new wild male kangaroo come to the neighborhood
This planet has a wide variety of life forms and incredible diversity BECAUSE most living things eat other living things, including ones we classify as "animals". Without the predation, there would have been no life, no evolution and no ecosystem. Without bird-shit, phosphorous would not be recycled, without ferns potash would not be drawn up and recycled, and nitrates would not move around throughout the soil without the actions of the vast underground net of the mycelium.
And without animals and their wastes, the nitrates and other complex organic materials could not return to the soil through the actions of earthworms and bacteria... and good soil is in a sense, vastly enriched by worm-poo. Without the predators, the grazers would over populate and starve, without the grazers, world ecosystems would not recycle nutrients as well as they do, nor would individual species of plants get fertilized and their seed
distributed far and wide...
The lion will never lie down with the lamb unless the lamb is dead, and that is how it should be, for the health of both the family of sheep and the family of big cats.
We humans, the compassionate predator, entered into a contract with a large number of species in the course of the past twenty thousand years (some think longer), and species like the wolf (our domestic dogs), Bos Taurus (domestic cattle), Tarpans (domestic horses of all breeds today) and a legion of others entered the relatively new ecological niche created within the sphere of the world's first compassionate predator. Many of these species, of both animals and plants, would never have been as successful had they not entered into the contract.
Let us not be blinded by the evil results of commercialization of this age old contract between us and these other species. Turning everything into money has betrayed these plants and animals as much as it has betrayed all of what is decent and compassionate about the human spirit.
When we turn our backs on the factory farms and the horrors they have unleashed, do not also be tempted to turn our backs on our long history of trust and co-adaptation that created the ecosystem of domestication. It is an
incredibly rich and rewarding ecosystem to live within, and one we have all but lost in our miserably urban wastelands.
Sure, it is hard on the heart to put an animal down to eat it, but it is infinitely better than to let these creatures be abandoned to the "wild". The death and drawnout horror of being eaten alive by parasites or merciless predators without any capacity for compassion is one of the reasons many now think animals like sheep and goats and pigs sought out the human sphere in the first place.
There are some that came early and were always under-appreciated like the cat and the dog, or even reviled, like the mice and the rats. But now we know that house mice by colonizing our ecosystem keep other kinds of mice out of it, like the deer mice that carry the deadly Hanta virus. But now look at how mice and rats have served us in research and still can be delightful housepets... (and the story of the bubonic plague is not nearly as simple as some have previously thought).
And what about house sparrows and chickens and starlings and crows? Pigeons? Even set "free" they congregate around humans.
The most ancient vegetarian cultures in the world revere all these animals, and certainly do not chase the domestic animals within their local ecosystems out into the wilderness or consider it politically incorrect to allow such creatures to breed and raise their young.
Please not be misled by some of the flawed arguments in favour of vegetarianism put by some misguided animal rights proponents. Choosing not to eat meat should not immediately mean you must disapprove of those who do,#main-fn1">1 nor that keeping our place in nature, within a vast ecosystem of symbiosis with numerous other species, must be rejected.
Animals may have chosen to be part of our homes and part of the human ecosystem niche on the planet, and we have no more right to turn our back on them than we have to turn our back on the plight of the whales or the plight of the tuna.
The agenda of the present AR movement is an evil and ugly one. No pets to snuggle in bed with at night, no glorious mornings to see the new calf just born, no milking the cow while the calf takes the other teats, no playing with puppies and mornings awakening to the happy crowing of the the rooster as he calls his flock of plump hens out to feed. No sense of searing tenderness as one is privileged to watch how carefully he attends the hen with the new family of downy chicks, blinking in their first view of the morning sunlight world, and makes sure these littlest one get the first crack at a tasty nest of ants...
Everything neutered. One generation and out. gone. No more poodles, and collies, labrador retrievers, haughty siamese, cosy angoras, athletic family mousers, no more pigs who love their backs scratched. No more omelets, souffles or angel cakes, and no more milk or butter or cheese or yogurt or ice cream. No more children wide-eyed with wonder to see the nest of baby bunnies for the first time, no more horse crazy teenagers or watching your daughter ride her first pony, with an expression of such incandescent joy that it almost hurts the heart to see it--often through tears. Rescued by the rowdy happiness of the pony himself, suddenly so careful to keep the novice safe on board.
Well, it is a long way from weeds and manure but it is all the same thing. I offer it to you all freely. It is not really free, of course. You have to have compassion and all the qualities that brought the creatures to offer themselves to join our world in the first place. Care. Love. Wonder. Gentleness. Courage. All the aspects that hunter-gatherers have, in caring for the animals around them, drawing them as close as kinfolk and often keeping them from harm.
The road that led, in some times and places, to that one further step we have come to call domestication.
There was no point when we conquered nature. We are still in nature.
The AR movement would sever that - or try to. Be very wary of this. It is
the last thing we can afford to do, both for the good of our species and for the
health of the planet.
As an aside to this main note, there is the following information, compiled by a staff writer at the New York Times:
Here is what he writes:
#main-fn1" id="main-fn1">1. #main-fn1-txt">↑ Editorial comment: In my personal experience, animal rights activists and vegans in particular go out of their way not to cast judgement upon those who consume meat and other animal products. - JS
Photo of big male by Brett Clifton
The Animal Justice Party has been formed as a response to growing public concern about the neglect of animals and animal protection issues by political parties. It will give a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves. It will provide a focal point for voters frustrated by the lack of political action and who feel strongly that much more needs to be done through our parliamentary systems to assist the wellbeing of animals. There is a need for laws and processes which recognise animals' needs and capabilities and which protect their interests, whether they are domestic, farmed or wild. The Animal Justice Party will also ensure such laws and processes are properly enforced and implemented to achieve genuine justice for animals.
Our treatment of animals and the environments we share with them are often marred by a lack of understanding, leading to disrespect and cruelty. At a time when the planet’s environment is being challenged on so many fronts, we must urgently act to ensure that all animals that both contribute to and depend on it are respected and valued for their intrinsic and fundamental roles. We need to build a new relationship with the planet that is inclusive of all of its inhabitants. With a fresh approach towards animals and the ecological systems of Earth, humans can create more rewarding and ethical communities and relationships built on deeper understandings and firm principles of justice.
The Animal Justice Party seeks a restoration of the balance between the human, natural and animal worlds which acknowledges the interconnectedness and inter-dependence of these worlds, and respects the wellbeing of animals alongside that of humans, societies, economies and environments.
A planet on which animals are treated with respect, dignity, compassion and kindness, where they are able to flourish in their respective environments, and where their unique needs and capabilities are recognised and their interests are protected.
To promote and protect the interests and capabilities of animals by providing a dedicated voice for them in Australia’s political system.
To implement its vision and give effect to its mission, the Animal Justice Party recognises the importance of the following:
• An education system which fosters in its values an awareness of the natural and animal worlds, and of human responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of the Earth and its inhabitants
• A political system in which participatory, deliberative democracy can be exercised so that citizens have the ability to express their true concerns about the treatment of animals
• An administrative system in which governments and institutions deal with animal and environmental issues in a transparent, honourable and accountable manner
• An economic system in which ethics, the protection of the natural world and its inhabitants, and the realisation of capability of all beings are highly valued for their intrinsic roles
• A societal system in which we acknowledge that it is our human duty and responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of all animals
• A robust legal system that recognises and protects the interests and capabilities of humans, animals and their environments
• A population settlement and land use system that is truly sustainable for all its inhabitants and ecosystems.
In all its actions, the Animal Justice Party will be guided by the following principles:
• Each animal is the experiencing subject of a life. Animals and the natural environment should be respected for their own sake, not merely for their instrumental values
• Animals have their own capabilities which they should be free to realise
• Human interactions with all animals should be based on respect and compassion
• Humans have the responsibility to avoid harm to animals and the environment through their lifestyles, diets and practices
• Policies of other political parties, both nationally and internationally, that advance Animal Justice Party principles will be supported.
The Animal Justice Party seeks the following:
• A legal framework and an administrative system in which animals' status is based on their sentience and capabilities, not their instrumental value
• Constitutional protection of animals and the environment
• A political decision-making process that is more responsive to the needs and interests of all animals
• An end to human practices that cause pain and distress to animals
• An end to the killing of animals for human benefit
• An end to the exploitation and destruction of the natural environment that is the habitat of so many unique Australian native animals
• Adoption by an increasing number of Australians of lifestyles and diets that are more respectful towards animals and the environment
• An acknowledgement that violence and cruelty are not the default settings for society and animals, nor are they solutions for planetary sustainability.
The Animal Justice Party will:
For All animals
• Develop a new legal status for animals which acknowledges their rights to live protected from human harm
• Ensure consistency in the protection of all animals – companion, farmed and wild – regardless of their commercial or instrumental value, or their geographic location
• Support laws, policies and practices that enhance the quality of life of animals and reduce animal suffering
• Oppose laws, policies and practices which harm animals and their environments
• Support and promote lifestyles, practices and diets which maximise support for, and minimise harm to, animals and the environment
• Support the work of appropriately accredited volunteers who care for injured, orphaned and mistreated animals
• Support commercial and recreational ventures that provide opportunities for humans to spend time with animals on the animals' terms and in their worlds, and otherwise raise humans' awareness of animals, their needs, and their quality of life
• Promote values education that recognises the interests and dignity of animals as individual beings.
For Farm animals
• Support animal-friendly farming practices
• Oppose intensive farm animal production and processes that deprive animals of their basic needs and capabilities, expose them to confinement, painful procedures, temperature extremes and other inappropriate husbandry practices, and generally reduce them to the status of commodities
• Oppose transportation of live animals over long distances or otherwise in ways that cause suffering, or expose them to extreme cruelty at the end of the journey
• Oppose the importation of animal products derived from cruel animal production systems in other countries.
For Animals used in experimentation
• Support non-invasive research methods to improve human health as alternatives to the use of animals and animal products
• Oppose the use of animals in any scientific experimentation that inflicts pain, stress, distress and behavioural deprivation unless it is likely to result in a net benefit to the particular animal involved.
For Wild animals
• Enhance animal habitats and foster healthy ecosystems through dedicated terrestrial and marine parks and wildlife corridors, land revegetation and remediation, and animal-friendly land practices
• Oppose the institutional, commercial and recreational killing of wildlife
• Support the development and adoption of non-invasive and non-lethal methods to control native and introduced animal populations, including fertility control and more appropriate land management methods
• Support commercial and recreational ventures that seek to raise humans' awareness of the intrinsic worth of wildlife and natural environments.
For Companion animals
• Support measures to protect animals dependent on human guardians and to prevent their neglect, ill treatment or abandonment.
For Animals used in sport and entertainment
• Oppose the killing and mistreatment of animals in sport, recreation and entertainment.
To join the Animal Justice Party, click here.
© Animal Justice Party, Australia, 2010. For more information, contact: info[AT]animaljusticeparty.org
Picture by Sheila Newman. Wild kangaroo using a recreational boxing bag under a mango tree at a kangaroo re-release centre in Queensland run by Anne-Marie Dineen.
A new political party - The Animal Justice Party - has been formed to champion the rights of animals by people who care about their rights and want them to have happy lives and their own space!
"Cruelty to animals has become an unfortunate and much too common feature of Australian society that needs to end. A number of non-government organisations have been tackling these animal welfare issues at ground level from various perspectives, however there is a need to bring some influence to this agenda from a government policy dimension. The Animal Justice Party is being established to pursue issues of animal welfare through the Australian Parliamentary System by encouraging the adoption of animal friendly policies by other political parties, demonstrating that voters care about animal issues by contesting elections, and educating the electorate about the animal policies of candidates from other political parties.
The Animal Justice Party will actively campaign at a government policy level against animal cruelty atrocities as they relate to wildlife destruction, factory farming, animal transportation, companion and domestic animals, pet animals and the use of animals for sport and entertainment. It will seek to toughen animal protection laws, increase penalties for convicted animal abusers, regulate and restrict the sale and use of pets, and enhance education in greater awareness and appreciation of the needs of animals."
Click here to see an excellent film interview with Christopher Cook, who wrote, Diet for a Dead Planet about the industrialised world's grossly inefficient industrialised food processing and distribution system (notably the US branch.) A quite rivetting book that goes into the destruction of small farms and the evolution of today's system, with full documentation.
The film-link below takes you to the same film (The Official Meatrix) as the link in the teaser to this article.
This TV ad takes the cake. Have you seen it? It is paid for by an organization that calls itself “Alliance for Life” (Ontario). It is a “provincial coordinating organization” of some 44 affiliates which, surprise surprise, includes seven Christian denominations, of which, another shocker, five are Catholic. Most interesting is an organization calling itself the “Population Research Institute”, founded of course by a priest, Father Paul Marx. Its mission? “...to expose the myth of overpopulation, to expose human rights abuses committed in population control programs.”
The Alliance, meanwhile, claims to present “a united voice for the dignity and worth of all human beings from conception/fertilization to natural death.” I can personally attest to the kind of dignity in death to which they are referring. My brother writhed in agony for months from terminal cancer, and repeatedly indicated that he wanted to die. But his Christian fundamentalist doctor was too concerned with his dignity to assist him in executing his wishes, and so my brother was forced to suffer without the ability to swallow or control his bowels. This conduct is sanctioned by the Alliance for “Life” as “morally and ethically acceptable”.
And of course, the Criminal Code, built on this kind of “morality”, stands behind them. This is the cultural “heritage” which some Canadian anti-immigrationists are intent upon saving. They are the people who grasp at environmental reasons for limiting immigration, but then turn around and advocate more birth incentives for native-born Canadians, most of whom are self-described Christians. Their objective is an ancient one. “Grow the tribe and screw carrying capacity.” So how does the Alliance for Life present its case on television?
The ad features children playing, when in a stroke, one in four of them vanish from the screen. This is to simulate the number of “children” or “babies” destroyed since the abortion law was struck down in 1988. That’s right. After 20 years the Christian right still doesn’t get it. They don’t understand the difference between a baby and a foetus. Between a life and a potential life. I once bought a lottery ticket, and I discovered that there was a substantial difference between a ticket that had the potential of winning the jackpot and one that actually did. It only took one purchase for me to figure that out. But then my learning curve is rather shorter and higher than a Bible-thumper’s I think.
But the Alliance for “Life” , or more aptly, the Alliance for the Increased Quantity of Life (rather than Quality of Life) is animated by different logic. They claim that since one-quarter of all pregnancies were terminated in Canada since the abortion law was passed, young Canadians are “missing” 3 million of their friends. Think of what a difference they would have made, they ask. Over to you Julian Simon. Another Sydney Crosby, or 100 cancer researchers, or 10,000 teachers perhaps. Forget the extra criminals, dead beats and real estate speculators. The more “life” we have the better. After all, “people” are our greatest resource.
Yeah sure. But each Canadian member of that “resource” emits, on average, 23 metric tonnes of green house gas (GHG), consumes 3 million tons of metals, minerals and fuel per year, and produces more than 150 pounds of waste annually as well. So what would those 3 million “missing” friends bring us? For starters, about 65% more GHG emissions than the tar sands produce, and about half the farmland that has been developed to accommodate the New Canadians that have arrived since the abortion law was enacted. And let us not forget the number of non-human species that would have been obliterated by the bulldozer to clear the way. Do you still miss those 3 million potential consumers now?
Each extra Canadian, whether he or she enters the country through the hospital or through the airport, diminishes the per capita share of non-renewable resources that existing Canadians enjoy. Even if the extra 3 million would have spurred more economic growth---a proposition refuted by two or three studies so far---that growth is still contingent on the supply of cheap fossil fuel and rapidly scarce minerals and metals upon which an industrial economy depends. More people does not mean a higher per capita GDP, and even if it did, the economic foundation upon which our inflated population rests is built on quicksand. The bigger we are, the harder we’ll fall. Triple digit oil will kill our transportation system and our ability to grow, harvest, transport and refrigerate our food. If we continue to grow our economy and grow our population, many more of us will starve, freeze and die, along with the flora and fauna we take down with us.
What is really required is an advertisement showing the number of various species on a screen, and those that disappear with each increment of the human population. Christians are fond of justifying the Biblical mandate for humans to exercise dominion over all God’s creatures by stressing our obligation to be wise stewards. That is a difficult task when the human population, to Catholic and evangelical cheerleading, has nearly tripled its size in my lifetime and is shrinking wildlife habitat relentlessly and mercilessly. Whether a primate’s life begins at conception or not, there are now fewer primates in existence than there are human beings born in any given day. If each one of God’s 214,000 miracles born each day is precious, what of the tens or hundreds of thousands of non human life forms that are murdered that day by our expansion? Yes, 100 species are lost each day. But many more life forms are killed than that each day. How many? Who knows? Each and every day we are breeding our life support system into the ground.
It is in this sense, then, that the Alliance for Life is the Alliance for Death.
PS Happy New Year to Canada’s greatest and most effective environmentalist, Dr. Henry Morgenthaler.
Lanamania is a distributor for possum yarn from New Zealand. Its website boasts: "Our passion for knitting, our love of nature and our New Zealand heritage all come together in one product...Possum handknit yarn of Zealana -the light and soft touch of New Zealand."
Lanamania promotes: "Our luxurious natural handknit yarns include 'KAURI' - 60% fine merino wool / 30% possum wool / 10 % silk, in 11 different brilliant colours. A luxurious blend. The silk fibre stabilizes the yarns and gives it a light shimmer.
In 'KIWI' - 40% fine merino wool/ 30% possum wool / 30% cotton, in 10 different natural colours. The cotton smoothes the yarn and adds elasticity and lightness.
In 'RIMU' - 60% fine merino wool / 40% possum wool, in 11 different brilliant colours. A very soft and nevertheless hardwearing yarn. Very minimal or no skin irritation.
and 'Zealana Eco' or 'Eco Merino Possum' - 80% Eco fine merino wool / 20% possum wool, in 16 different natural colours."
"...our ecological yarn."
But let's see what Australian children have to say about Australian Brushtail Possums from Anderson's Creek Primary School north of Melbourne in Australia:
"The Common Brush tail possum is hunted by many predators such as owls, Tasmanian devils, Dingoes, Foxes, Cats, Feral dogs, Large Pythons and goannas. If a possum is attacked it will climb up the nearest tree or it will its nest. If it gets caught it will kick, scream, scratch and bite. The Common Brush tail possum uses sound and smell to communicate. They hiss, growl, cough and scream to tell other possums to get off the property. In breeding season the mother possum uses a soft calls to round up her young."
"Brush tail possums eat different kinds of leaves .They also eat fruit that we grow which is a nuisance and they eat flowers. Common brush tail possums mainly are plant eaters (herbivores) some times they eat insects, grubs, moths, birds eggs and baby bids. They spend 4 hours eating at night."
But Lanamania thrashes out fur trader eco-spun yarn to its prime German export market:
"Possum yarns help to maintain the unspoiled New Zealand environment. Possum are not native to the islands and in proliferating very quickly they are a real danger to the ecological system. Using our luxury yarns you help to preserve the pure nature of New Zealand. The World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) supports especially the sales of possum products.
So lets go and check with the World Wildlife Fund on this and see what they have to say about this endorsement? ...'Through the Habitat Protection Fund, WWF has distributed more than NZ$ 1,400,000 to over 150 local conservation projects in New Zealand since 2000. “We'd like to see all possums as dead possums. From a conservation perspective, they are New Zealand's number one pest problem.” Eric Pyle, conservation director - WWF-NZ.'
Yet dozens of NZ possum fur traders are making a killing from the 1837 introduced immoral trade. Possum numers are not going down, they are sustaining an immoral international fur trade out of New Zealand just like the 19th century fur seal trade of Canada.
Oh and by the way "We sell possum yarn from New Zealand" is translated into German for die German export market:
'Wir verkaufen neuseeländische Possumwolle'
"By buying possum yarns you will help to maintain the environment."...and our 1837 immoral fur trade profits, danke schoen!
Then shopping online in Germany one reads at http://www.possumfur.co.nz/
"Possum fur has a similar feel to mink. Possum were introduced to New Zealand from Australia approximately 150 years ago to establish a possum fur industry. They thrived in New Zealand to the point that they are now considered a pest and a threat to the native bird life and flora."
So New Zealand is perpetuating its disgraced 1837 fur trade. What message is New Zealand sending to the world about its natural environmental image?
"The Brush tail possum lives in a hollow branch of a tree trunk. They sleep in the day and come out at night. They are located in most outskirts of Australia. The common brush tail possums are found through out Australia and Tasmania. Common brush tail possums live in a variety of habitats. They prefer open forests and woodlands but also they live in thick forests in wet areas. Many brush tail possums live in cities too." [Chloe and Kathleen, Anderson's Creek Primary School, Victoria, Australia].
In rural Wassau in the southern US state of Florida, the Wausau Possum Festival has become an annual summertime folk festival over the past forty years. This event is said to celebrate the role of the opossum in the survival of the populace of Northwest Florida during the depression. Aside from the music, a key feature is the fundraising possum auction for the local Wausau Development Club, which involves holding opossums by their tail. Possum is served up as a main fare.
The Virginia oppossum (Didelphis virginiana Kerr) is the only marsupial native to the south eastern region of North America and extending through Central America.
American Republican politician Katherine Harris of Florida is shown here in August 2006 during her campaigning for the 2006 Florida United States Senate election, holding a possum by the tail and is said to have bid $400 at the so-called 'possum auction'.
According to the festival's sick tradition, every election year, national and statewide candidates in Florida must prove they are good country folk by mistreating a possum at the Wausau Possum Festival. "Candidates bid for a possum, taking it out of a holding area by its tail and giving it a shake to terrify the creature into going limp so it won't claw them. They're later fed and released into the wild.
As one commenter rightly suggested:
"Someone should pick her up by her nether regions and shake her until she goes limp. Then take her back to the woods."
Jumps racing in Victoria will cease at the end of 2010 but key stakeholders say they will fight the decision announced on Friday by Racing Victoria Ltd.
The "death knell" of jumps racing in Victoria will mean a reprieve for horses from the ugly public deaths 10 have had on the race track this year.
In 2008, 12 horses died during hurdle and steeplechase races.
The fact that some will be condemned to the knackers if the "sport" is banned shows just how little the lives of the horses are valued, nothing but meat, outside the industry. It is a reflection of the exploitation of these fine and hard-working animals, and how little the owners, trainers and jockeys bond with them.
History or tradition do not justify animal cruelty or suffering. It is time horses were treated and respected for their intrinsic value and any horses past their "use by" date should be re-homed, not slaughtered, while still healthy and in their prime.
Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses yesterday welcomed Racing Victoria's decision. The group has also offered to find loving homes for all soon-to-be retired jumps horses to save them from being destroyed.
THE decision to end jumps racing in Victoria at the end of the 2010 season struck a blow in many regional communities around the state, but none more than in Warrnambool. Their Grand Annual Steeplechase carnival has been the mainstay of the local economy for decades. A $1 million for a transition and marketing fund is aimed at helping the Warrnambool Racing Club convert and promote the May carnival to a flat race meeting. Sincere concern for the horses' welfare can't compete with money and "tradition"!
Jumps racing needs to be shelved into our dark history, along with whaling and sealing.
I've only ever met a wild pig once, and it was on the run.
It was in a rainforest park in North Queensland, where pigs were reportable animals.
I came round a corner on a trail, and there it was, a little black and white creature, rooting around happily.
It looked up, saw me, and ran for its life.
The pigs locked in metal stalls are prisoners with no chance of running. Some of them cannot even turn round. Many never see the light of day before they die miserable deaths.
The activists who fight for animal rights and the activists who fight to save our forests must be the bravest people in the world. The animal rights activists don't shy away from what has become allowable, hidden away from ordinary shoppers.
A pig's life can be very happy, or very very sad. It doesn't take much to make it a great deal happier, but while our politicians don't care how much other creatures suffer, then most farmers will figure that they have to be cruel to 'compete'. The retail food industry leaves no margin for happiness for pigs.
I have visited a farm where the pigs had wallows and interacted together, as families, so I know that it is possible. Let's try to make it easier for farmers and for the rest of us who want to be kinder.
The embedded film in the teaser and here is the first televised ad that Animals Australia has run.
Help End Factory-Farming at AnimalsAustralia.org
"The shocked look on her face says it all. This shopper has just seen for the first time the miserable lives endured by mother pigs in factory farms. Like most Australian consumers she had no idea that the pork, bacon and ham that she had been purchasing for years had come from factory farms – and were the products of cruelty.
Most Australians are appalled by animal cruelty, but are totally unaware that their shopping habits are supporting one of the cruellest industries on Earth. Animals Australia's new campaign will alert the community to their power to end the suffering of animals in factory farms, and that what they buy, or choose not to buy, sends a crucial message to these cruel industries.
With your help, this powerful television commercial can air in homes across Australia reaching millions of people with the truth, calling on them to vote against animal cruelty at the supermarket.
Even if you've never donated before, please make this rare opportunity to help factory-farmed animals the reason to start.
On behalf of all animals thank you for your support.
The Animals Australia Team.
P.S. And don't forget to order your free action pack!"
ABC Australian news reported that someone somehow placed rocks on the road where rally cars would pass at some time prior to the Repco Rally event. Apparently stones or rocks were also thrown. See Rally rock-throwing 'could have killed', ABC news, September 5, 2009 http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/09/05/2677430.htm
First day of the rally
The picture of the car trailing dust has been included for educational purposes because it shows how much dust is being thrown up by a rally car on the unpaved roads that pass through national parks of World Heritage significance. One can imagine the noise and the speed from the picture. Unless you like noise, speed, metal and dust, this would be a very unpleasant experience. For wildlife it could be a fatal experience. Politically it could represent a fatal breech in the wall of law that has preserved Australia’s wild spaces to date.
Would Repco race cars through a cathedral?
The idea alone of racing cars through national parks is appalling to many. With the position of National Parks in Australia it is a bit like racing cars through cathedrals in Italy or France, except that the damage it is likely to do in the long term is that much more significant.
It may not result directly in the extinction of endangered species but, whether it does or not, it is like a big breech in the wall. If government can get away with doing this to our National natural cathedrals, they may soon be running the equivalent of brothels in cathedrals there. Indeed, the same NSW government which overturned local democracy (the most immediate form of democracy) to force this race on Australians, is also apparently prepared to allow the Shooters Party to shoot indigenous animals in National Parks.
The car is not exactly an endangered species
Many of us live on highways or have to drive to work and find this difficult enough. It is amazing to think that the NSW Parliament actually legislated away 12 environmental laws in order to import such a rally to this area, which, to date, was a sanctuary for animals, trees and humans. The local inhabitants have complained of the risk to life for humans and other animals in the area.
Today we received a letter to candobetter.org claiming that “Greenies” threw rocks at the rally drivers.
On September 5th, 2009 Jack (not verified) wrote:
"You greenies who are responsible for putting boulders on the road and throwing rocks might get charged with attempted manslaughter or murder if you are not careful. It is not a joke to do these things, one could expect it in a third world country but one would have hoped that in a so called educated society things like this would not happen. If you want to protest then do it in a more effective way than risking the life of another human being!”
The writer assumes that ‘Greenies’ were responsible for putting boulders on the road and throwing rocks. In fact we do not know who was responsible. However, let us take his other assertions in this paragraph. He says that we could expect such activity in a third world country, but not in an educated society. However it has been the anti-rally protesters’ contention that an educated society would not put a rally through international heritage rainforest national parks including 16 km of koala habitat. To many people the notion that we are an ‘educated society’ does not hold up because of this. Regarding third world societies: what are the criteria that make this kind of protest likely in the third world? Perhaps the quality of not having any other means to protest?
Is the writer actually unaware that 12 environmental laws were overturned to permit the rally?
Is the writer actually unaware that 12 environmental laws were overturned to permit the rally? This event has been enabled by the NSW Motor Sports (WRC) Bill 2009, which overrode 12 different planning, environmental protection and heritage laws and removed all right of appeal. Or has his enthusiasm for the rally diminished the importance of this fact in his eyes? If that is the case, I suggest that he reconsider these inconvenient facts.
What more effective ways are open to people in the Green Cauldron? They have protested peacefully in the streets, written to politicians, and invoked the law. The response from the government was extreme: The government abrogated the very environmental laws that the people had invoked to stop the race. Then, when a councilor took the matter to the courts, she felt that it was given the bum’s rush. Behind the abrogation of the 12 environmental laws was pressure from Repco, a global corporation of retailers of car parts, which apparently had far more pull with the NSW Government than the democratic wishes of members of its electorate.
Even some of the competitors sound as if they understand.
"Some people don't like us in front of their house but I didn't ask to come here," French competitor, Loeb reportedly said.
"I can understand why some people don't like the rally, but I have to do my job."
Indeed he does. But the problems are not the fault of the people defending their rights and their environment. (Source: "Rock throwers halt Rally Australia", ABC News, 4 September.)
What would have been much better is if the FIA had adhered to its stated high principles of environmental standards and good governance, saying, “No, Premier Rees, we want to be good global citizens. You must find a venue for this event which is acceptable to your citizens. We cannot stand by and let you overturn your own peoples’ laws in order to run a mere race. It will not do our reputations or yours any good. People have a right to self-government. We cannot impose things they hate on them. The French Revolution taught us that.”
So much for an educated, first world society.
“And do not bother denying it had anything to do with your movement, you ARE tarred with the brush in the same way that you like to tar motorsport with the "hooning" brush.”
Why didn't the FIA or drivers stand up for democracy against Repco and the NSW Government?
It would be reassuring if people in the rally movement had stood up for democracy. Since they have not it is hard not to see them as hoons. And since their representatives have not spoken up, they look like representatives of hoons. Those perceptions will change when rally-people stand up for democracy and justice along with the environmentalists. As long as you do not you defend the wholesale destruction of laws by a dictatorial government. Candobetter.org cannot comment on allegations about people who used rocks as weapons since we have absolutely no idea who those people were. It is even conceivable that people wishing to give the environmentally concerned a bad name threw the rocks themselves. That would seem to me more likely since, from the point of view of an environmentalist – a person who defends wild spaces – throwing rocks is rather similar, although not as bad, as driving racing cars through world heritage landscapes and biodiverse hotspots.
False argument pretends area not worth protecting
"I watched the you tube video and I have never seen so much rubbish in all my life,
Mostly it looks like farming country, overgrown with weeds, so much for the environment."
I am not a resident of the area, but, to me this is what the videos have conveyed. We saw a koala crossing the road and we have been told elsewhere that the rally passes through 16km of koala habitat. We know that koalas are endangered. That, to me, is enough to tell me that the area cannot be totally degraded.
Secondly, it would not be surprising if the area is being degraded, given the kinds of forces it is subjected to. That is not the fault of environmentalists. The area was rural with forested parts. There is obviously a tension between rural, other commercial values and the environmental values of local constituents. Environmental has to win out, however, because the area is internationally recognized for its biodiverse and landscape qualities. Car races, shops and farms already take up substantial parts of this country and if we still cannot make a go of what we have already got economically, then destroying more wildlife habitat is not likely to help.
Impact of farming
"Farming does far more harm to the environment than Rally could ever do!
After having experienced Rally Australia in Western Australia for 18 years I can assure you that there will not be hundreds of wild animals killed, in any way!
If the people who live and run businesses in the towns involved have any clues they will see the prospects for adding value to what they do or in fact even starting up new ventures all because of the Rally."
Farming is certainly problematic because it converts wild-spaces for food. However the farms are already there. The rally was not. It was an additional stressor. As for the damage it might do. I have compared it to racing through cathedrals and I stand by that. This country is absolutely covered and ringbarked with roads, for Pete’s sake – how could racing car drivers possibly justify taking roadspace in National Parks? And, I do not see how you could argue to put a koala at risk just for some ephemeral potential ‘profits’ which will not sustain any human in the long term.
Little evidence for much touted 'economic advantages' and no amount of money could make this right
The Rally will bring economic benefit to the area and to the state in general, you lot rave on about eco tourism, I can assure you that if the area does indeed have something to offer then the Rally will bring thousands of international tourists.
The insistance that this rally will bring lots of money to Tweed has been knocked down over and over. Our definitions of what constitutes 'economic benefit' must differ.
"Same Rally cost WA tax-payers $6m+ p.a.
Previous speakers who praised the rally indicated that it will bring $100 million of value to the area. They do not understand what they are talking about. For example, $100 million over what period? It is certainly not for this one race that is coming up; nor for the one in two years time or the one in 10 years time. It is the accumulated value they think they might get if everything is done and all options are accepted between now and 2027. A more true picture comes from Western Australia. The Western Australian Government no longer wanted the rally, indicating that it was costing Western Australia $6 million a year and it was not getting economic value to make up for that $6 million." Source For more on the debate read here.
Our definitions of ‘eco-tourism’ must also differ. Who want’s tourists in national parks who come to watch noisy cars go round and round and tear up the earth and vegetation, kill wildlife, and pollute the atmosphere with petroleum fumes and dead soil organisms from the dust? How could anyone consider that desirable? For someone who likes quietly walking through a forest amid a community of other species, just like someone who might enjoy praying in a cathedral and looking up through the stained-glass windows and imagining they were in God’s house, your idea that racing cars through these quiet and otherly places might add to their ‘value’ seems really strange.
And the thing is, nature preservation does not cause the extinction of car-rallies, since there are roads for rallies everywhere, but roads and rallies do destroy nature. I mean, what environmentalists do and like does not stop rally fans from doing what they do and like somewhere else. For instance, the Goldcoast Super GP Rally will be staged next month, through city streets, just across the border from this one. However, if you want to do your thing in our quiet places, you destroy what we have. Look around you: the world is absolutely full of roads and noisy cars. Your kind of ‘paradise’ is proliferating daily. Ours isn’t. It is disappearing. Have a sense of proportion.
There is a huge contingent of International Rally people who follow the WRC around the world, just like the people who follow Tennis or Cricket or Footy, Yep just the same, and they will be coming to your part of the world, generally speaking they have a few bucks in their back pocket and have great fun unloading the stuff, so do not think there is no money to be made.
Obviously money is very important to you, much more important to you than beauty, wildlife, peace and quiet and democracy. Even if money were more important than place for environmentalists, it has already been shown many times that the rally has brought a net financial loss when costs are taken into account or no benefit to other communities where it has been held.
You need to try to see that environmentalists need to protect what they love and that rally values will harm what they treasure most. The rally is invading green environmental space and trying to change it. It has also destroyed democratic space, by forcing the overturning of laws. That alone should signal "Danger! Danger!" On the other side, environmentalists are not invading road-space. The huge contingent of International Rally people have lots of places made of concrete and tar and cement where they can go and they will possibly even be welcome there.
"If you think however that you should just need to stand in line with your hand out to get your share then you have your head in the sand (or somewhere else!)"
Honestly, this stuff about making lots of money out of these rallies just sounds like pie in the sky. After the rally has been run, however, I think that residents would be justified in demanding compensation for the trauma of having their democratic self-government annihilated and their environmental laws overturned, as well as their peace disturbed and their happiness destroyed by the need to go out of their way to try to protect what they love due to the failure of their governments to enforce protections which were available at law prior to the rally and were overturned because of the rally and for no other reason. Those environmentalists would be justified in demanding ongoing compensation since the intention is to continue to stage this rally for decades.
Democracy is the big question
"An event like this will always have those who are against having it, well we live in a democracy, so if it is taking place then there must be a higher number of people who want it than don't, bad luck!"
But that is the very problem. We DON'T live in a democracy in Australia anymore, and things have got particularly desperate in Tweed Shire due to the Repco Rally. By removing legal protections from the community's right to environmental protection and self-government the NSW Government has left the community in a situation of lawlessness and injustice. Did you not realise that 12 laws were put aside to run this rally? Why would the NSW government and Repco have had to go to such extraordinary lengths to impose the rally - and overturn democracy - if so many people, as you believe, wanted this rally? Why did they not just allow democracy to prevail, instead of removing it?
"I suggest that you greenies would be better off spending your time and money trying to fix up a couple of the countries biggest environmental disasters which are on your back doorstep, like the Murray Darling disaster for one!"
At candobetter we continue to represent problems with the Murray Darling and other threatened waters. If environmentalists were not busy defending multiple cherished places under attack by developers and now democracy under this rally, they would indeed have more time to dedicate to these ongoing other threats. If the rally were withdrawn from the Green Cauldron we could all get on with the other jobs.
 "" Source: http://www.norallygroup.org/
A Mr Taufa of Mangere adopted his cousin's “pitbull-cross” because it was "too skinny". But Mr Taufa's wife found the dog noisy and messy, so hubby killed the dog and proceeded to start barbecuing it. The Taufa family invited friends around for a meal, and roasted their dog, a Staffordshire bull terrier named Ripper. This was defended by Lupi Taufa who said it was common in Tonga to eat dogs! Horse, dog – it is “good for you”.
It is currently not illegal to kill a dog for consumption provided it is done in a humane way and the dog does not suffer. This assessment came after a man killed his dog and cooked it on a barbeque! He faced no penalties because it was killed "humanely"!
Euroasia director Kenneth Leong, whose company specialises in cultural consultancy, said the uproar was a demonstration of cultural insensitivity bordering on ignorance and hypocrisy. However, there is a lot of hypocrisy imposed on us due to government and public sanctions. We raise and kill sheep, don't we? We slaughter and eat cattle? So why would dogs be any different?
The existence of abattoirs, hunting, lives exports, factory farms, puppy farms etc is the battle ground for animal rights activists. Cattle, sheep, chickens, dogs, horses, turkeys, kangaroos, dogs, pigs, whales and dolphins – where do we draw the line to what is “acceptable” to eat, and what is not? Each culture has its own definition. Cannibalism was culturally acceptable in some cultures!
We actually have no inbuilt right to raise, kill and devour animals, because their right to life trumps our right to eat what we want. Genesis, the first book of the Bible, prohibited the eating of meat, but due to the Flood and the consequential lack of food, permission was given to eat some species. However, this was not a general licence to enslave, breed monocultures of herds, kill and eat the whole range of living creatures to satisfy our taste buds!
Professor of Pacific at Auckland's Massey University, Sitaleki Finau, says in Tongan culture dogs are not viewed as companions, but as another source of meat, and the boundaries do not cross.
Every living mammal could easily be down-graded as a source of meat, and their killings justified for a meal! Customs and traditions cannot, and do not, over-ride barbarity, cruelty and betrayal. Staffordshires make devoted pets and bond strongly to their owners. An "emotional" response, over the desire for flesh, is something that makes us moral beings capable of making ethical decisions. Pets are animals we let get closest to us, and the ones we form the loving relationships with. They become family members.
There is no need for meat in our diets. As Primates, our diets should be mainly based on plants. It is purely about customs and conditioning. An animal's intrinsic value stands whole and does not depend on how they are "viewed" by us humans - as companions or for meat! Aren't animal rights universal?
Defence land in Canberra was cleared of supposedly 514 "starving" kangaroos last year that were “threatening” native grasslands and other species. The public were persuaded and conned by the pseudo-science of kangaroos as environmental pests, and their "humane" deaths as the best scientifically-concluded solution. The 149 hectare site at Belconnen, with 19,000 tonnes of waste including asbestos, is now planned to be developed for between 1100-1300 new dwellings!
Now, Majura kangaroos are blamed for threatening several rare species of grasses, insects and lizards due to habitat degradation. This is despite the fact that sheep have created a dust-bowl across the fence, and unsound farming practices are being ignored.
‘...there is a good reason to obtain access to carcasses from at least one future cull which is conducted to an acceptable sampling design.’ (D. Fletcher, Senior Ecologist, Wildlife Research and Monitoring, Environment ACT)
Mr Fletcher is NOT a vet, yet he wants carcasses to do his research on, to assess their "health"! Doesn't this sound like Japan's illegal and brutal whaling? Whaling continues under thin disguises, like Mr Fletcher's excuse to "cull" kangaroos!
Why are thousands of kangaroos being needlessly cruelly slaughtered at Majura when the facts and figures being used by Defence to justify this action are flawed?
The "threatened species" and native grasses are not at threat from kangaroos! No other science has come to the conclusion that Dr Maxine Cooper has come up with! The REAL threats are urban sprawl, heavy grazing from livestock, invasive weeds, rabbits etc. NOT kangaroos! They have evolved and co-existed together for millions of years and the grazing "pressure" from kangaroos is only about 1/3 of that of a sheep.
There are reliable reports of sheep grazing over the fence and have made a dust-bowl there. Why aren't agricultural impacts being assessed! This pseudo-science is about using "science" to justify a pre-determined outcome - the slaughter of kangaroos that are not wanted in the "Bush Capital".
These animals are on our Coat of Arms, and part of our heritage, part of our biodiversity and landscape. Making them a "threat" is purely pseudo-science so that a confused public is lulled and quietened by a "humane" solution!
Three kangaroos per hectare are quite sustainable, as evident! They are NOT STARVING but in peak condition! One kangaroo per hectare is just a way of ensuring that they die off, due to predation, loss of gene pool, human attacks and traffic.
Defence has not produced data to prove there are 9000 "starving" kangaroos, and what their REAL MOTIVES are! Housing estates are due to be built where the last kangaroo massacre took place at Belconnen! Now they will shoot 6000 roos instead of 3000 of these so-called 'environmental pests'!
There is no way of a "humane cull"! They will be running in fear, and bones will be broken, joeys will panic and be lost from their mothers, and the panic and fear and stress from these animals is well known!
If Defence were telling the truth they would let some trustworthy, independent, non-government-funded wildlife vets, entomologists, botanists and other experts visit to see for themselves, but they won’t because they think they can get away with lies and breaking the law by starting the massacre early.
There needs to be investment in wildlife corridors and crossings over roads. Kangaroos could be quite a tourist attraction, a draw-card for Canberra. This massacre is a scandal for Australia and our “management” of wildlife. We have such an abysmal record of animal treatment in Australia, and this killing field will just add to condemnation world-wide!