Animal right activists, farming and the police

Written By: - Date published: 4:06 pm, December 21st, 2008 - 44 comments
Categories: activism, police - Tags:

On ABC last night there was a excellent video “Animal rights campaigner spreads message“. It is worth watching for people who (unlike me) haven’t been seen some of the material before. It concerns a animal rights activist in aussie, wealthy backers, and a certain amount of bloody silly self-righteousness from groups that don’t enforce their own legislation and standards.

There are some absolutely ironically hilarious parts in this video.

JAMES KELLAWAY, AUSTRALIA EGG CORPORATION: I question the authenticity of this footage. We need to carefully analyse and question it. I don’t want to disregard it, but we need to question it. Why? Because it has been shot by someone with a vested interest and a motive and motive – a motive to shut down egg production.

What he doesn’t stress of course, is that he also has a even stronger vested interest in questioning this footage. After all it is shot at a farm producing eggs.

In New Zealand, the best summary material I’ve found was from “Falls the shadow“* by Peter Beatson which is the notes for a oral presentation to the New Zealand Law Commission on 28th August 2008. Essentially from my reading of it, we have a reasonably good basic act, some moderately dubious regulation of top of it in terms of welfare standards, and pathetic enforcement.

How pathetic? Really really pathetic – read the section “Inadequate resources” starting at the end of page 14. I’ve pulled a few quotes below to give an idea of the issue .

MAF resources:

…there are around 150 million farm animals being processed in this country each year. MAF has only five inspectors to monitor their well-being and to enforce the codes of welfare. One inspector, for example, has to police a region encompassing the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Coromandel, Auckland and Northland (Fox 2008). The inspectorate has a working budget of only $180,000 a year (ibid), and the entire animal welfare establishment has a budget of only between $2.5 and $3 million a year. When you consider that the product of those animals accounts for the majority of our export trade and earns the country over $20 billion a year (Carter 2008), ….

SPCA resources:

A similar resourcing problem is experienced by the SPCA. It has the statutory responsibility for investigating and prosecuting alleged acts of cruelty to animals (11000 last year) and to house animals that have been confiscated in the course of those prosecutions. To carry out this work, it maintains around 100 officially accredited inspectors in the field which is 20 times more than the MAF inspectorate. Even so, like MAF its resources are often stretched very thin. For the entire West Coast, for instance, there is just one unpaid volunteer SPCA inspector. The SPCA does the state’s work for it, thus saving government coffers an estimated $5 million a year (RNZSPCA Annual Report 2007) or twice the budget allotted to the official state welfare apparatus.

In short:

Even outside times of drought and flood, it is clear that MAF is massively under-resourced to police the institutionalised brutality that occurs in the animal production sector. It is also manifestly inequitable that the SPCA should shoulder the statutory responsibility of policing and prosecuting breaches of the Act in regard to companion animals, and housing the animals involved, while having to rely on charitable donations and volunteer inspectors. Wherever one stands on other debates, it would seem undeniable, considering the Minister of Agriculture’s own words on the subject, that the New Zealand government wants to have a clean international image for animal welfare without earning it. Putting it crudely, it doesn’t put its money where its mouth is.

As in Australia, this is the situation that leads to the animal rights movement getting into egg farms illegally. They shoot the footage to make the public aware of this situation and others, inform the SPCA about where to look, and put up with harassment of the police.

The police have the powers since 1999 to also do enforcement in this area. However they seem to prefer to push it to the under-funded SPCA, while using their funds to push silly charges on activists and to spy on them.

This is why there are an increasing number of animal rights activists and a increasing vegetarian/vegan community. Since Rochelle has been exposing me to these videos and frameworks, I’ve stopped eating factory farmed food for a different reason to hers. In my opinion, the conditions are almost guaranteed to generate public health risks at some point.

Hat-tip to Rex Widerstrom for the video and Rochelle Rees for the reading links.

* I’ve given a google cached document here because the link is broken on Peter Beatsons page at Massey Uni.

44 comments on “Animal right activists, farming and the police ”

  1. Ray 1

    So it is an outrage when some low life send all the emails that go through his computer to the cops for money

    But quite alright for some else to poke through his computer and tap his phone with out being paid (could be a revenge motive though)

    And (coming to the point) quite acceptable to illegally invavde private property and take photos if the it is for the right reasons
    I cannot see any difference between any of these except the motives of the last are pure and the first’s actions were legal

    [lprent: relates to the post – how? Why didn’t you post this comment on thread related to the spying?]

  2. Peter Burns 2

    Animal rights activists rescue pigs, farmers grow em and cops act like them.

  3. I find it an outrage when people call the police, Pigs. Actually I just find it disgusting.

  4. gingercrush 4

    Just so we’re clear. In terms of animal rights one can be legitimately concerned about poultry, eggs and pork. Venison, beef and lamb/mutton should all be fine and really only comes down to whether you prefer organic food or not. In terms of pork. Most pork in New Zealand comes from reasonable places and isn’t the cramped spaces that are seen elsewhere in the world. Though lets be clear, there are a few places where pigs are intensively farmed to an extent that one might question the safety and well-being of pigs there. Poultry ie. Chicken sold tends to be rather humane. But one may be concerned about the treatment of them. But typically, the meat is reasonably safe and rarely comes from the same place as where eggs are farmed.

    In terms of eggs. While most eggs in New Zealand are battery-caged eggs. They are not the horrific conditions as seen in the youtube video above. Most battery-caged hens live reasonably safe and meaningful lives. And in terms of issues around health etc, as long as you store the eggs in a reasonable place and use them by their due date you should remain healthy. While there are legitimate concerns around some battery-hen farms, most are rather safe and humane. Personally I have no health concerns in eating battery-hen eggs and nor do I have concerns about the well-being of hens.

    If you really don’t like the idea of buying battery-caged eggs but find the prices of free-range eggs to be absurd (which they are). You can generally find smaller egg operators on the outskirts of cities or try a market in your city. While, the eggs won’t be free range. These operators typically have a small barn or pen and the hens have a good space to run around. They likely don’t sell to grocery stores but rather directly sell eggs to consumers.

  5. Free range eggs is the way to go!!!!

  6. RedLogix 6

    Ray,

    There is the letter of the law, and then there is the spirit of it.

    In general one is well advised to obey the letter of the law, up to the point where the spirit of it is being greatly offended against.

    Where exactly that point is reached is a matter of conscience and personal integrity for each one of us. A man or woman with high principles and strong integrity will presumably arrive at it far sooner than someone who lacks them.

  7. James 7

    GIngercrush the idylic country scene you are painting has no basis whatsoever in reality. Over 90% of eggs sold in Aotearoa come from battery sheds such as those shown in the footage above. Many clear their dead hens out more regularly that the one in the footage but it is still common for activists to find rotting hens and conditions similar to those shown in the footage when they enter factory farms.

    Over 350,000 pigs are kept in tiny barren cages in stinking sheds throughout New Zealand all suffer from incessant pain, boredem and stress brought on by constant captivity.

    For accurate information on the animal abuse industrys including the dairy and fishing industries please check out this site http://www.animalliberationaotearoa.org.nz/Issues/

    Animal Rights activists have a problem with any animal being used or killed for their flesh. We see the use of animals in any form as a moral wrong. This is based on the knowledge that all animals feel pain, fear and stress and the belief that humans have no implicit right to use and kill animals however we want. While our views are not widely accepted at the moment we view our movement as a liberation movement comparable to the movement to eliminate slavery.

  8. Lew 8

    GC: In terms of animal rights one can be legitimately concerned about poultry, eggs and pork. Venison, beef and lamb/mutton should all be fine and really only comes down to whether you prefer organic food or not.

    You beg the question which is the entire foundation of the animal rights movement – that animals have the right to not be farmed for our foot, clothing and other products.

    You might not subscribe to that view (I don’t), but you must realise that that, fundamentally, is what the movement is about – not about the treatment of animals at the worst end of that exploitation scale. The reason animal rights groups focus on the most egregious examples of exploitation is because those abuses are, if you’ll excuse the mixed metaphor, the low-hanging fruit.

    L

  9. Lew 9

    Ah … that’d be `food’, not `foot’.

    L

  10. gingercrush 10

    Lew: Completely disagree. Yes the extreme viewpoint of animal rights is what you describe. But the majority of people that believe in animal rights don’t share such viewpoints. Many believe in animal rights but are neither a vegetarian or vegan. Many do consume meat, many eat eggs. The activist wing of animal rights are typically an extreme group that take things too far. Illegally invade properties etc. I don’t necessarily have a problem with going into properties where animal welfare is a concern but it should be action taken only when absolutely necessary. In reality, this extreme animal right activists represent a small number of those that believe in animal rights. They have the right to that opinion but it is not shared by most.

    James: Sorry but I am hardly going to trust some extreme activist site. Sorry but I won’t. I’m not naive and I know there are some farms and places where animals are in dangerous and inhumane conditions. But that is hardly the majority of places. Also you do not represent the whole of animal rights. Most animal rights action taken anywhere in the world do so legitimately within the legal rules of countries. They work with legislators and governments. They also work with actual industries to improve the lives of animals. Those for me are the real animal rights groups.

    Your group and others like you represent a narrow and extreme viewpoint. Something I won’t subscribe to and something most other people won’t subscribe to either.

  11. gingercrush 11

    Hmm thought I had typed up something. Must be getting moderated or something.

    [lprent: Yeah not sure why. There has been a bit too much capture from the various systems. I’ll have to do some work. Your one above got caught by the anti-spam engine.
    BTW: Have a look at the link of the doc I was quoting from. That is pretty balanced, and it did raise real concerns with me about the enforcement side.]

  12. Quoth the Raven 12

    GC – Having been to a battery farm and taken chickens, legally as the place was closing, I can tell you it’s pretty much like the video. When I got the chickens home they had to learn to walk. They were pathetic looking things with big bald patches, but after a while they came right.

  13. Rex Widerstrom 13

    Brett Dale says:

    I find it an outrage when people call the police, Pigs. Actually I just find it disgusting.

    Same here. Pigs are gentle, surprisingly intelligent creatures. Comparing them to police officers does them a grave disservice.

    😀

  14. John BT 14

    I first found out about battery hens about 35 years ago when I was training to be a hippy and a friend brought some home. I can still remember the state they were in. Not pretty.
    I don’t usually agree with extremists, regardless of the cause, but ….
    I do have animals, including big dogs in case protesters turn up waving posters of Miss Clark or Groucho Marx, and I do eat them but I do avoid any unnecessary suffering.
    What really annoys me re that clip is the fact that Jan Cameron would be helping out Kiwi causes if Michael bloody Cullen had agreed to give her a tax break for her donations.

  15. John BT 15

    Sorry, I meant “Karl”.

  16. ak 16

    Saddest comment of the week, and poignant insight into the tory psyche:

    Gingernut: Most battery-caged hens live reasonably safe and meaningful lives.

    Sheesh, Ginge, tell me: is your own life “reasonably meaningful”? Feel for you son….

  17. Been there 17

    GINGERCRUSH: “In terms of eggs. While most eggs in New Zealand are battery-caged eggs. They are not the horrific conditions as seen in the youtube video above. Most battery-caged hens live reasonably safe and meaningful lives”.

    Sorry Gingercrush, but you are incorrect. I have legally been inside several standard New Zealand battery hen farms to purchase ‘end of lay’ hens to save them being slaughtered at 18 months to 2 years.

    The conditions are similar to those in the video – there are dead and dying birds in with living ones, there are great piles of stinking excrement all over the floor, there are bald bodies, cut off beaks, toenails curiling back onto the bottom of the hens’ feet. Perhaps worst of all is the deadpan look in the eyes of creatures who normally have bright, alert eyes. This lifeless facial feature is not a result of a “safe and meaningful life”.

    And the handling of the birds by the “farmers/operators” can only be described as brutal. They pull the birds from the cramped cages by one leg. It’s not unusual for the other leg or a wing to be broken as the operator forces the creature through the front of the cage. A number of them are carried in a group by their legs to the waiting pen of someone like myself or shoved into plastic bags or boxes to be killed at a later date by whatever method the purchaser chooses.

    Please don’t state your beliefs as facts when you clearly have not researched or had first hand experience with battery hen farming.

    The public has a right to know exactly the cruelty that is involved in their egg choices. Even free range egg production results in millions of male chicks being killed immediately after hatching, since they have no economic value. The only way to ensure you are not part of this cruelty is to boycott all eggs altogether.

  18. jbc 18

    So what would be the best way to stop this abuse from happening? Enforcement is always going to be dodged.

    Perhaps if egg cartons were covered in pictures of dead, rotting hens – like the photos of bleeding cancerous mouths that adorn cigarette packets in some countries. That would certainly slow egg sales. A farm could avoid the photos if they paid fees to MAF sufficient to cover the cost of regular random audits.

    “The only way to ensure you are not part of this cruelty is to boycott all eggs altogether.”

    I can’t agree with the opinion above. I’ve stayed and eaten at a few places where all of the food served grew in the surrounding grounds or roamed on it – and no, not a gimmick, just genuine homemade food (if you want eggs for breakfast then find them yourself). While this was great I know it wouldn’t scale to feed the world. Not everyone can have a self-sustaining farm (livestock and veges) in their backyard – many people don’t even have the brainpower to grow a cactus on their windowsill so they have to pay for their nutrition. Some form of high-density farming is a pragmatic reality.

  19. Shona 19

    GC: Get a grip! Some FACTS Over 70% of NZ’s pig meat is imported from Canada and Australia. Where it is factory farmed. All Nz fresh chicken ( unless it is biogro or demeter) has live bacteria present in the flesh, frequently these bacteria are antibiotic resistant, due to the constant feeding of antibiotics(mixed with the feeding pellets) to the chooks in the battery farms to prevent the mass outbreak of disease.Organic NZ is a an excellent website/magazine for verifying such information. And before you slap on those Tory blinkers it is the mouthpiece of the independent 50 year old Soil and Health organisation. Also the work of the eminent Wellington epidemiologist Dr Michael Baker ( who has been campaigning for years to have all chicken flesh sold in NZ frozen and not sold fresh)is worth reading. And finally GC There are no so blind as those who will not see. You simply don’t know what you are talking about on this thread. Read, listen and learn.

  20. Mr Magoo 20

    Some form of high-density farming is a pragmatic reality.

    I totally agree. However, I believe you are implying in this statement that high-intensity MEAT farming is a pragmatic reality and it is not. In fact, given our world-wide population and environmental problems I would argue the exact opposite was true!?
    A properly organised vegan diet has been ok’d as perfectly healthy for ALL stages of human life. (i.e. including pregnancy and childhood etc)
    Meat is not essential to the human diet. It never was. In fact, meat makes us sick and kills us and thus could be considered poisonous to the human diet. (cancer, heart disease, etc) Conversely vegetables heal us and make us healthy.
    This is really a no-brainer.

    From all that you would probably guess I was a vegetarian? Wrong.

    I LOVE meat. Smoked. Fried. Etc.
    I grew up fishing and spent time on a farm. I have no problems raising, slaughtering and eating my own animals. (in humane ways)

    I think that most NZers have lost respect for the luxury of meat, myself included. We would probably enjoy it more if we ate is LESS. (most things are like this I guess)
    We eat it by the truck load (read: sickness inducing levels) and most people have little to no skill in cooking it so it is typically seared flesh we are eating…possibly with a sauce if you are lucky.
    This has caused a lot of the unsustainable demand that we are seeing.
    We have lost the art in most of the first world of meatless cooking. Vegetarian options are considered “rabbit food” etc.
    The price of meat is going to go up. It will keep going up. (carbon tax, high-intensity farming or not)

    With all these reasons, it might be time for us to dust off a few of those “rabbit food” receipes. You think?

  21. Lew 21

    GC: Your argument is simply flawed – not because you don’t have a valid point to make, but because you’ve singularly failed to make it. A bit of rhetorical schooling follows.

    Completely disagree.

    Disagree with what? All I did was point out that you’d begged the question of what constitutes `animal rights’. This isn’t an arguable point – you did. You don’t just get to impose your idea of what they are as a normative position on everyone else, any more than the meat-is-murder lobby does.

    Yes the extreme viewpoint of animal rights is what you describe.

    This was my only point. I wasn’t trying to claim it was right or valid or legitimate – they are better-placed to attempt that.

    But the majority of people that believe in animal rights don’t share such viewpoints.

    Two objections: 1. redundant and 2. undefined. Everyone believes in animal rights to an extent – it’s motherhood and apple pie. Without delving deeper into what `animal rights’ actually means there’s no meaning to this statement, and you can’t just say `they believe in animal rights therefore the fact that they approve of farming and slaughter practices means those practices are humane’. It’s the equivalent of saying `my wife agrees with me, therefore I’m a feminist’.

    Honestly, you come across as having decided on a position (that farming and eating meat is humane), are avoiding evidence which doesn’t suit that view, and fobbing off arguments with which you’re not rhetorically or evidentially equipped to engage by crying `extremist’.

    The counter-arguments can be made, but you’re not making them. Lift your game.

    L

  22. Lew 22

    Mr Magoo: Meat is not essential to the human diet. It never was.

    A more complicated argument than it seems. By saying `never’ you’re going all the way back to the beginnings of humanity, at which point it becomes arguably false. Humankind’s evolutionary advantage has come from two main things: adaptability and culture. The ability to eat anything (a core aspect of our adaptibility) is a major part of this, and a major part of the reason why humans have thrived everywhere from the tropics to the Arctic. You can’t legitimately argue the counterfactual that it would be the same if we just ate plants.

    And before you come with the argument that we can now afford to give up eating meat – what? Give up competitive advantage? No thanks.

    L

  23. Mr Magoo 23

    Lew: Nice try at straw manning my argument. Sorry, wont work.

    The statement was quite obviously in terms of what we need to sustain our bodies nutritionally, not what societal and cultural reasons we have historically ate it were.
    There was also comment on the harm that meat appears to do to our bodies and conversely the good that plants do.

    I will not argue to your new point because that would entertain the fallicy. However, I will say that your new point is not as strong as you might think and this revolves around another point I made which is about meat being a “luxury” item.

    I would also hope that your “competitive advantage” comment was a joke…because it was…

  24. Draco T Bastard 24

    Illegally invade properties etc. I don’t necessarily have a problem with going into properties where animal welfare is a concern but it should be action taken only when absolutely necessary.

    And if the farming isn’t being monitored, which it isn’t, then how are you going to determine when action should be taken?

  25. Lew 25

    Mr Magoo: Not intended as a strawman, and not really one until the last line, since I’m not arguing against the main bulk of your argument, that meat production and consumption in its current form isn’t ideal. I think the gap is that you’re arguing the abstract `humanity’, and I’m arguing actual implementation in societies.

    The statement that meat isn’t essential to the human diet is strictly true, but only quite recently so – and it ignores the fact that in order to live without meat, other sources of some nutrients (notably protein, iron, b vitamins) need to be found, and this still isn’t possible for everyone. I don’t object to most of your post, but you can’t just ignore cultural and historical aspects of food – they are part of a feedback loop with the nutritional, social political and economic aspects of human development and civilisation. I’d also take issue with your false dichotomy that meat is bad for us and vegetables are good – this is a matter of consumption patterns more than anything, and on the general matter of consumption patterns we seem to agree.

    The claim of competitive advantage is legitimate, though I accept you’re not arguing for giving up meat altogether and therefore the comment about giving it up is invalid. The fact is that the ability to eat practically anything has stood humans in good stead, and still does in many situations. Large-scale specialisation is the enemy of adaptability. Also, meat production and consumption has even quite recently lent competitive advantage for some societies over others – as overproduction and overconsumption is arguably now causing competitive disadvantages for those who could better use their land, water, and other resources producing other things.

    L

  26. jbc 26

    Mr Magoo: “I believe you are implying in this statement that high-intensity MEAT farming is a pragmatic reality and it is not[…]”

    I was simply implying that high-intensity farming is a pragmatic reality. Farming of whatever it is that we eat. Meat is a well-established part of our diet but it was not the sole emphasis of my point. At the time I posted that comment I was recalling an image of a house in the middle of a vegetable garden that I had dined at recently. I’m certainly no ‘meataholic’.

    On your point of excessive consumption of meat I am in agreement. As far as “no meat” goes I say that Lew has presented a far more eloquent argument that I could make.

    Whether or not we can survive without meat is a side issue. The reality is that we do eat it and that isn’t going to change as long as it is available.

  27. Anita 27

    gingercrush,

    Most battery-caged hens live reasonably safe and meaningful lives.

    Well I just went out into the garden to check what my girls think are a meaningful chook life. They reckon it includes:
    * pottering around as part of a flock, with all its social interactions,
    * sleeping all lined up together on a nice high roost,
    * dust baths, sun baths, heaps of cleaning and preening, and
    * lots of digging and scratching and foraging.

    Glad to know battery cages offer all that.

  28. Dangermouse 28

    Gingercrush – have you been living under a rock?
    Everybody knows Battery cages are ridiculously cruel – they dont even comply within the Animal Welfare Act – but because economics is more important than welfare – they continue to be used.
    Battery hens live a stressful, crowded, brutal and unnatural short life then are dragged out of their cages and killed.
    Open your eyes, you are living in a fairyland.

    Pigs fare no better.
    This is a typical pig farm in Auckland, NZ.

  29. Mr Magoo 29

    Lew: I am guessing that if we sat down face to face instead of this txt based interaction, we would probably agree on almost everything here. But these are forums….

    Not intended as a strawman, and not really one until the last line, since I’m not arguing against the main bulk of your argument
    Actually that is precisely what a straw man is. Side tracking or reframing the main argument into a weaker one that can be debated more easily. Your reponse was the perfect example of this:
    Turn nutrition into sociological then defeat sociological argument as if that is what I was talking about.
    Don’t get me wrong, I would enjoy a discussion on the historical orgins of food choices, but that is another topic.

    can’t just ignore cultural and historical aspects of food
    Another perfect example of reframing.
    The cultural aspects of food consumption are not what I was referring to and this was obvious because I was talking about the vegan diet being healthy for all phases of human life – which has nothing to do with why we eat what we eat.
    You have neglected to mention animal husbandry. Are you ignoring that meat production techniques of today are not possible without it?? (etc.)

    I’d also take issue with your false dichotomy that meat is bad for us and vegetables are good – this is a matter of consumption patterns more than anything, and on the general matter of consumption patterns we seem to agree.
    Yes, like alcohol. It is not what we are eating, it is HOW we are eating.

    My point here was that meat has a poisonous element to it and certainly in the quantities that we eat. (hence my reference to it as a “luxury” product and referring to “truckloads”)
    It is not a false dichotomy because my statement was “COULD be considered” in that rather than being essential to the human diet and a must have, we should consider it as luxury that has negative health impacts associated with it. (Just like alcohol.) I was juxtiposing the image of meat as an dietary essential, not giving a blanket, black and white definition of it. This is not my own opinion, this is scientific research.
    Of course you can have meat 3 times a week in small portions and be completely healthy and never worry. Just like you can do the same with alcohol.

    I will agree with you that you have to source your protein and iron etc from other sources in a purely vegan diet. If you go on the Atkins diet you have to find alternate sources of vitamins also. That is all part of eating healthy.
    “Meat and 3 veg” eaters can be deficient in a whole range of vitamins if they have poor choices.

    My main beef (haha..sorry) is with our cultural perception of meat as a “must have”. As I mentioned I suffer from it also.
    I was actually somewhat annoyed that I was indoctrinated into the “meat with every meal” syndrome that I am sure most of NZ shares. I honestly could pick a 10 year period of my life where I never had one totally vegetarian meal.
    With population (and waistline!) increases and such we are going to have to eat less of it. My points were around the fact that this is not a terrible thing and would actually do us all the world of good! Both financially, environmentally AND nutritionally.
    As a side benefit it would make PETA smile…actually no…nothing makes them smile.

    We would have to change our culture of food though…but what would I know about that, eh? Mostly I ignore it! 🙂

    jbc:
    Your point was made in a paragraph talking about chicken and livestock as well as plants. Sorry if I misinterpreted it.
    Perhaps I should not have tied my statement to it at all? You sentence just sparked off a thought process.

  30. Anita 30

    jbc,

    Whether or not we can survive without meat is a side issue. The reality is that we do eat it and that isn’t going to change as long as it is available.

    In the first world what we eat is cultural and social more than it is about availability. Cultural and social norms change. Our eating patterns are changing, what we ate a generation ago is very different from what we eat now. The reaction to me telling people I’m vegetarian is very different today from 15 years ago. 

    Whether we will start to eat less meat, or start to eat less very cruel meat, 
    I don’t know. But there are reasons to believe we might  people are more aware of the issues today (particularly the educated elite who drive many consumer behaviours), and the environmental cost of meat is very resonant with many other issues triggering change.

  31. Lew 31

    Anita: <i>what we eat is cultural and social more than it is about availability.</i>

    Absolutely.

    <i>Whether we will start to eat less meat, or start to eat less very cruel meat, I don’t know. But there are reasons to believe we might</i>

    I agree. And even among people like myself who will remain omnivores for cultural and social reasons, I think this trend is to an extent is already becoming apparent – a move to less meat, and higher-quality meat, and more sustainably-produced meat.

    L

  32. Lew 32

    Mr Magoo: Yes, I believe we might.

    <i>Actually that is precisely what a straw man is. Side tracking or reframing the main argument into a weaker one that can be debated more easily. […] </i>

    No, I wasn’t using my one disagreement to try to invalidate your entire argument. I just debated the one point I wanted to debate – notwithstanding the remainder of the argument, which I have said I agree with.

    <i>The cultural aspects of food consumption are not what I was referring to</i>

    Quite. The specific bone of contention [heh] was whether you can legitimately have a useful and meaningful discussion about food upon strictly nutritional grounds – you tried to do so, since that suits your argument. I argue you cannot, and my argument relies upon that. I did address the strict nutritional argument eventually, but I think that to an extent it’s stating the bleedin’ [heh] obvious.

    Regardless, I think we understand each other given those different frames of reference.

    <i>It is not a false dichotomy because my statement was “COULD be considered’ in that rather than being essential to the human diet and a must have, we should consider it as luxury that has negative health impacts associated with it.</i>

    Fair enough.

    <i>”Meat and 3 veg’ eaters can be deficient in a whole range of vitamins if they have poor choices.</i>

    Absolutely. Traditional kiwi meat-fried-in-fat and three-veg-boiled-to-hell is indeed a poor diet. Especially if you add gravy-from-a-packet.

    <i>We would have to change our culture of food though </i>

    This one is the big deal for me. So much history and cultural knowledge is tied up in food production, preparation and consumption. Like you, I prepare all of my own fish and game, and do pratically everything from scratch – not just because I don’t trust the means by which the poorly-paid, poorly-trained people out back of a supermarket do things (though I don’t), but because it’s skills and knowledge which need to be practiced to be retained.

    L

  33. Lew 33

    Lynn: Why can’t we use proper html tags any more, like the blurb above the comment box says? GUI editors hurt mine eyes!

    L

  34. Anita 34

    Lew,

    Why can’t we use proper html tags any more, like the blurb above the comment box says? GUI editors hurt mine eyes!

    Yes yes yes! 🙁 

    HTML button doesn’t behave like the old editor, and logging in and ticking “Disable the visual editor when writing” does not help either. 

    Icky 🙁

    [lprent: Well the things that have been distracting me are over for the moment. I’ll fix it after boxing day because Lyn is due back tomorrow, but then heads away to see her parents. See http://www.takuufilm.blogspot.com/ for what she has been doing.]

  35. RedLogix 35

    And it seems to take me three or four goes to get a simple href link to work. If I just copy and paste it in I get all sorts of unexpected results, usually with some “no follow” extra which prevents the link from working.

    If I edit that out, then the link dissapears. Probably what happened to Rex’s last comment.

    Only if I carefully type the whole thing in from scratch does it sometimes work.

    [lprent: Try logging in. The MCE editor makes it easy. I can’t turn it (easily) on for the non-logged in. It doesn’t work on all configurations (yet). So I wrote a plugin so people could turn it off in their profile if required.
    Incidentally the nofollow isn’t the problem – that is normal HTML to open in a new page]

    [lprent: Ah damn. I forgot and upgraded the comments without my test tweaks. Fixing – fixed]

  36. Chris G 36

    Gingercrush:

    You made a huge tirade of generalisations about groups of peoples, battery farms and all sorts of things in your rant at 7.30 on December the 21st.

    Funnily enough this seems to be at odds with your comment here: http://www.thestandard.org.nz/unambitious/#comment-109264

    I quote: “I just love how Janet seems to think she represents every female in New Zealand. In fact I’m always astounded when anyone here believe they represent the whole of New Zealand. I’m sorry you don’t.”

    Yet in your aforementioned rant on battery farms you’ve got pearlers such as:

    “But the majority of people that believe in animal rights don’t share such viewpoints”
    “Many believe in animal rights but are neither a vegetarian or vegan. Many do consume meat, many eat eggs”
    “Also you do not represent the whole of animal rights”
    etc. etc. etc.

    Jeepers… Oh how things change huh?

  37. Chris G 37

    hmph, I just posted a decent size post but it aint showing up… any moderators see it? Lprent im gathering that your online?

  38. Lew 38

    Lynn: See http://www.takuufilm.blogspot.com/ for what she has been doing.

    This link is much better than fixing the editor. Thank you.

    L

  39. Of course the whole idea that animal agriculture is *not* necessary is what’s at the base of the fears of the industry… And the more reasons you give for people to see that a plant based diet is the most compassionate, healthy and sustainable alternative the less profits the animal businesses make… I admire people (animal rights activists) that bring these truths to the public – I am Vegan because of the information and hopefully the information I pass to others convinces them as well – It is a ripple effect… In 50 or a hundred years animal agriculture may be all but gone… we can only hope – Be Vegan.

  40. jbc 40

    Anita:

    In the first world what we eat is cultural and social more than it is about availability. Cultural and social norms change.

    That is true. In my haste I wrapped up that message a little too simply. In my defense I was considering the point of “no meat tomorrow” rather than a gradual change. I originally thought of writing “won’t change any time soon” but then I thought that there are potentially immediate threats that could change eating patterns significantly (eg: very mad cow disease, mad chicken disease or some other undiscovered shock that wipes out food stocks and scares people into eating differently). So I made the last-second change to availability – perhaps without enough thought.

    Whether we will start to eat less meat, or start to eat less very cruel meat,
    I don?t know. But there are reasons to believe we might ? people are more aware of the issues today (particularly the educated elite who drive many consumer behaviours), and the environmental cost of meat is very resonant with many other issues triggering change.

    I couldn’t agree more. My own eating patterns have had a huge change over the past decade – driven by largely by being closer to different cultures – and I can imagine how a change of similar magnitude could gradually make its way through western culture. To some degree it already is.

  41. Roflcopter 41

    If we weren’t supposed to eat cows, pigs, chickens etc., why did God make them out of meat?

  42. RedLogix 42

    Rolftroll,

    So what are you made of? And can I have you for Christmas lunch?

  43. Chris G 43

    Gingercrush launched a tirade of speculation and Generalisations in the rant at 7.30.

    This appears to go against what GC suggests Here

    I quote: “I just love how Janet seems to think she represents every female in New Zealand. In fact I’m always astounded when anyone here believe they represent the whole of New Zealand. I’m sorry you don’t.”

    Oh how times change GC?

    In the aforementioned rant we have pearlers such as:

    “But the majority of people that believe in animal rights don’t share such viewpoints”
    “Your group and others like you represent a narrow and extreme viewpoint”
    “…something most other people won’t subscribe to either”

    Without trying to sound like I’m flaming, thats not the intention, I just think as you pointed out in your linked post one has to be fairly careful when making all sorts of generalisations.

  44. chris 44

    The Labour Party has had nine long years to improve animal welfare in New Zealand and they failed to even lift a finger. Shame on them and all their supporters.

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