How 2018 Was A Good Year For Animal Rights

by Neil Bamforth

Animal rights campaigners had a good year in 2018. New Zealand banned ‘mulesing’ – the act of carving chunks of skin from lambs supposedly for health benefits – weird eh? Fashion giants Burberry and Jean Paul Gaultier stopped using fur. Switzerland banned the boiling alive of lobsters. Mohair was given the heave-ho by over 300 brands after rampant abuse of the animals was found in the industry. Canada stopped whale and dolphin captivity and my cats got a fresh turkey for Christmas dinner. All in all, a good year for animal rights.

Of course, there have been some setbacks. The deforestation in some nations continues to cause terrible problems for Orangutans and many other creatures.

Japan decided to start whaling again, albeit only in their own territorial waters.

The problem is, whales don’t recognize Japan’s territorial waters and endangered Minke whales, for example, inadvertently swimming into them could well end up on the sushi menu.

Japan will argue that it is a cultural issue which only goes to show what a crap culture they must have if you ask me.

Speaking of cultural issues, or, I suppose, faith issues too. Kosher and Halal slaughter is still allowed in most liberal western democracies. Very liberal I’m sure to allow animals to have their throats cut and a prayer said over them as they squeal in fear and bleed out.

Vegetarians and, particularly Vegans, would possibly argue that I’m being something of a hypocrite given my penchant for bacon sandwiches and roast beef – not at the same time I hasten to add.

I would dispute that. Humans are not herbivores. It’s the way we are. We can choose to be clear but, it isn’t the natural order in my view.

Animals slaughtered for food should only be slaughtered in the most humane way possible – and I am aware that non-halal and kosher slaughterers are not always accommodating in this. Laws should be passed enforcing the stunning into unconsciousness of all animals before slaughter ensuring that said animals cannot sense nor scent what is in store for them.

A person’s faith or culture should not take precedence over the humane welfare of any animal. Jewish and Muslim communities would, I am certain, be ‘up in arms’ if their method of slaughter was outlawed in liberal democracies.

That’s fine. They can go and live somewhere it isn’t outlawed if they can’t accept their faith is secondary to animal welfare.

All in all, though, 2018 was a very good year for many animals around the world.

Animal rights movements seem to have considerable momentum on their side. Let’s hope this momentum continues into 2019 and, let’s hope liberal democratic governments have the guts to put animal welfare ahead of archaic beliefs.

Maybe the dolphins won’t vanish leaving a note saying ‘So long and thanks for all the fish’ if we carry on improving the lot of animals and, indeed, all other life forms on this Earth.

We can but live in hope.

In Case You Missed It: How Animal Slander Gets My Dander

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Posted by on January 2, 2019. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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4 Responses to How 2018 Was A Good Year For Animal Rights

  1. Glenn R. Geist Reply

    January 2, 2019 at 10:56 am

    Funny that I watched the Hitchhiker’s guide last night. At least nobody eats dolphins around here. I’ve seen how they’re slaughtered brutally and gleefully in Japan. It’s nauseating.

    In fact restaurants and fishmongers no longer call the dolphin fish (which is a real and tasty fish) by its English name but have taken to calling them “mahi-mahi” which is the Hawaiian dolphin fish. The tourists and other sensitive people don’e seem to know we’re not serving Flipper for lunch and they won’t listen when you tell them so we have to fool them. Damned fools don’t know it when they’re served snails or squid or other slimy things. Mahi-Mahi. No self respecting adult, English speaking person should have to say words like that.

    Hawaii is on the other side of the planet and in a different ocean. I don’t know whether we write this off to ignorance or hipster snobbery but it annoys me and I’m not going to start calling catfish by some South Pacific name either.

    But of course I’m very much in favor of painless and humane treatment of food animals. Four legs good, two legs bad, of course.

  2. Michael John Scott Reply

    January 2, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    Why do the Asians seem so intent on destroying living creatures? Why are we for that matter? Yes, we protect cetaceans, plus dogs, cats, and etc., but did you ever see how pigs are treated? These are intelligent animals as well, and the screams they make as they are unloaded from those trucks at the pig farms will curdle your blood. It’s all very sad.

  3. Neil Bamforth Reply

    January 2, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    Humanity are capable of extraordinary cruelty….especially against non human life forms.

    Culture and/or faith is often involved.

  4. Glenn R. Geist Reply

    January 3, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    I wonder if a history of want and privation desensitizes people. It’s true that compassion and respect toward animals seems to hardly be there and China during its bad years would do things like destroy all the birds and eat almost anything including human children if you believe some of the stories, but cutting paws off living tigers and bears and that sort of thing is just unforgivable and I don’t forgive it. I’ve seen pictures of dogs raised for slaughter and I want to slaughter people.

    It’s not that Americans don’t do some disgusting things to animals we raise for food.

    And all the religious teachings from asia we love to praise about compassion for all living things? Well you know me feelings about religious teachings.

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