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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.
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