Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Indoctrinating the offspring

Three generations of the family went to a community rally to say YES to a price on carbon and action on climate change. It was part of simultaneous events held in all capital cities in the country.

Mum and Dad came up from south of Perth by public transport and we walked through our beautiful Hyde park on the way to the Perth Cultural Centre. Thanks to some rain last week the lakes are looking a little less sad at the moment but the week before the ducks were waddling through the water instead of swimming. We need well above average rainfall this winter or our dams (and duck lakes) will be empty by the end of next summer. We will not get even close to average on current trends and so water restrictions are going to be more severe than ever before and we'll be drinking recycled water.

This is why we protested.

Linus with his head full of deep thoughts and concerns for the environment was contemplative and pleased that we were all there.

Astrid was pleased to get her face painted.

But then, last year she was incredibly enthusiastic when we went to this rally.

As it turned out she had misheard the chant of:

"What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now" 

She thought it was:

 "What do we want?Christmas! When do we want it? Now!"

A social conscience takes time to evolve.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Things I don't understand

There are many, many things that I don't understand in the world.

Last Monday our premier investigative news program Four Corners exposed the unspeakable horrors inflicted on live Australian cattle sent to Indonesian abattoirs.

I didn't watch it. Just reading about it before the show was plenty disturbing enough for me.

I have for a long time been opposed to the live export of cattle, sheep and camels. Stories of incredibly tortuous journeys for terrified animals, only to be dispatched in an incredibly inhumane manner make me very angry.

OK, so I'm a vegetarian that's a personal choice but I doubt there would be many meat eaters who would want their food to be terrified and tortured and die an agonising death before they eat it. And I know that cattle farmers are by and large furious that their livestock has been treated this way.

So the finger pointing has commenced. How did this happen? There are guidelines and inspections, methodologies and payments. Which department is responsible? Who knew what and did nothing?

Australia has temporarily halted shipments to the abattoirs that were the subject of the investigation. Indonesia has responded by saying that while there are laws protecting animals, there is no penalty for transgression and so no reason to adhere to them.

The reason that live animals are sent to Indonesia is so that they can be assured a Halal slaughter. As I understand, Halal killing is much like Kosher killing. The animal must be alive (that is, you cannot eat carrion), the executioner must recite a prayer before slitting the throat and the body must not be touched until after exsanguination. Treating an animal the way that has been exposed here before death would result in the meat being Haraam or forbidden.

Clearly all the checks and balances, forms and departments of doing this and that have failed. If these barbaric atrocities are going on in the11 abattoirs that were filmed by Four Corners, then what comfort can we have that the same thing isn't going on all over the world at the final destinations for our livestock? 

Since animal rights guidelines in the countries are not going to change practices, I think more Muslims worldwide need to come out and publicly condemn this horror as being Haraam (some in Australia have already said this). If the meat is deemed unclean by clerics, just watch how quickly humane practices are introduced.

Unless that happens, we should not send any live animals overseas.

Please sign the petition at Get Up! HERE

ps. sorry for the still of the poor wretched creature in the video at the link. Watch the video if you aren't convinced and have a stronger constitution than I do. Or, if you're like me put your hand over the left-hand side of your screen!