“Lobsters do feel pain? Oh. Ummm… well sorry for all the boiling alive guys…”

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So it turns out that lobsters, octopus, prawns, crabs, squid etc probably do feel pain.  This article was recently published in the New Scientist and suggests that all of these animals not only feel pain but some of them feel it more acutely than humans do.

But do people care?  Will everyone who read the latest evidence in the New Scientist or all of you reading this blog post now, finish reading this and then vow to stop eating these animals?  No, most won’t according to what history shows us.  Not until the vegan movement gathers a lot more momentum and swells to much bigger numbers.  Why not?  I don’t understand why otherwise kind, caring, compassionate people don’t change their behaviour once they’ve discovered that that behaviour causes pain and suffering to innocent sentient animals. We’re not talking about political allegiance or tastes in music or something that is inconsequential in terms of pain and suffering.  We are talking about a global genocide that is causing billions of animals every year to endure immense abuse, pain and suffering.  Is that how incapable we are of thinking for ourselves, of acting upon proven facts, of swimming against the tide, of challenging the status quo?  It makes me feel so sad and angry and disappointed. But more than that it baffles me.  I’m not any more compassionate than anyone else.  I don’t love animals any more than anyone else?  I don’t enjoy seeing an animal suffer any more or less than anyone else I doubt.  We all have the same reaction when we see an animal in pain – we empathise enormously and will do everything we can to stop it’s suffering.  So why the massive blind spot when it comes to eating animals and animal products?  Is it ignorance?  It is fear?  I think we all know deep down that the process by which meat gets to our plates cannot be a wholly pleasant one.  But somehow we deem it worthwhile for the pleasure of taste and the fear of change.  So we do everything we can to remain ignorant and hide behind pathetic justifications such as ‘but we’ve always eaten meat’ (and?  we’ve also always enslaved other people and raped and pillaged our way around the world – it doesn’t mean it’s okay!) and ‘we need it for protein’ (no you do NOT).

The second I discovered what happens to the billions of male chicks born each year I vowed to never eat eggs again.  As soon as I discovered that I didn’t need to eat meat of any kind in order to eat a healthy, full and balanced diet I vowed to never be responsible for the slaughter of another pig, cow, duck, chicken, sheep, lamb or chicken.  I just the same way as when I discovered how foie gras was made I vowed never to eat it again. As soon as I discovered what veal was I vowed never again to eat it.  As soon as i discovered the life cycle of a dairy cow I vowed to never eat dairy again.  As soon as I discovered the human rights abuses committed by Primark I vowed never to shop there again.  As soon as I discovered the environmental ruin that Nestle is causing around the world I vowed never to buy their products again.  Why doesn’t everyone else.  Ignorance is a good enough answer if you really didn’t know.  But once you do know – what excuse do you have to continue to perpetuate the problem?

I’m bored of being polite and saying oh well some people don’t want to offend others or stand out from the crowd or be the objects of ridicule.  It’s not good enough.  Do better.  We all need to be better.  How can we pretend to preach the values of right and wrong to our children if we ourselves are knowingly perpetrating these cruel acts of needless violence and suffering day in and day out.  Enough.

Please stop eating and exploiting animals.  No more excuses.

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Confused.com

There were 2 big stories in the news last week which demonstrate how utterly arbitrary, hypocritical and deluded our morality is when it comes to animal ethics in this country.

Firstly there was the appallingly cruel arson attack on a Manchester dogs home in which 53 dogs died.  This story became bigger news for the fact that people were so moved by this deeply upsetting story that a JustGiving page was set up and donations flooded in from all over the world, exceeding £1.3 million in less than 3 days.  Staggering.  Heart warming.  Amazing.  It goes to show how deeply people care about dogs – even dogs that have been left unclaimed in a dogs home – dogs that would largely have been pit bull terriers and Rottweilers and other such breeds.  Breeds which are at the less ‘cute and cuddly’ end of the doggy scale.  And still people are enormously upset by the idea of these dogs suffering such a painful and frightening death.

In contrast, on the same day, there is a story about a cull that had been carried on miniature pigs and piglets in the Swansea area.

One of the piglets

Over 100 micro-pigs were culled by a licensed professional.  “These animals presented a serious risk to other livestock in the region in the event of a disease outbreak, and because of this we were left with no option but to carry out a cull,” said a spokesperson. What a load of horseshit!  The only threat these animals could possibly offer is if they come into contact with farm bred infected pigs as they could then spread the disease.  Why on earth should these wild pigs pay the heaviest price for the farmers carelessness.  If the commercially bred pigs weren’t harbouring disease in the first place then there wouldn’t be a problem.  It’s exactly the same story with the badger cull and TB.  The farmers should ensure that their cattle don’t get TB and if they do then they should pay the price.  They shouldn’t be farming cattle in the first place as far as I’m concerned so I’m afraid I have little sympathy.   If culling innocent badgers is their solution then they clearly it’s a non-starter of a business model!

These same farmers who claim to be animal lovers were the ones who put pressure on Swansea Council in the first place to carry out this appalling cull.  Yes, some farmers may care about their livestock, but as soon as something might get in the way of their profit margins, you see where they really stand on animal welfare issues.

The slaughter of these innocent, healthy and harmless pet pigs amounts to an atrocity that should be totally unacceptable to an educated and caring society.