Friday Night Miscellany

Watching Nightline this evening I am left wondering about justice and activism.

Farming couple successfully prosecuted for not moving stock to higher ground in the face of a bad weather report.
All survived (just as they would, had nature been left to run its course)

Meanwhile thousands of animals (cows, chickens, pigs) are butchered everyday to provide life threatening calories to people who don't need them.

I love a great big juicy steak. My son and I have our 'steak out' on Wednesday evenings. I like mine medium rare.

Recently I had a discussion with the marketing guy from SAFE, the animal rights activist. They wanted a campaign to promote the plight of battery chickens to the public. My suggestion was to promote a moderate view. Encourage consumers to simply eliminate one chicken meal every week. It's strange thing, but -in my observation - people are so used to seeing other PEOPLE eviscerated and dissected on CSI (the murder franchise: Las Vegas, Miami, and New York) that images of chickens in little cages fail to shock.

Let's do some math. Say chicken, in in all its forms, was worth $100 million dollars a year (and, if you've seen chicken prices at the supermarket there's no reason to think that's high) then simply choosing to eliminate one chicken meal every week is going to make a serious dent in profits. Nothing too radical. Simply eat fish fingers on a day you'd normally eat chicken.

Shock doesn't seem to shock any more. It would be kind of shocking for radical activists to be moderate. By being gently reasonable they would, I proposed, send a message to battery farmers that, while you enjoy chicken meals, you don' t appreciate the way they are farmed. One less chicken meal per week. That's all it takes. Take ownership of the consumer behaviour and let Neilsen track the results.

I would have thought it would work rather well. I guess it would be less fun than throwing blood on fur coat wearers. And what is the point being an activist if you can't conduct commando operations and feel like a misunderstood outsider?

As for the farming couple prosecuted for not herding their cattle to higher ground. Do we have nothing better for the justice system to do?


The Meatrix
a very well produced flash animated movie site that parodies the Matrix to illustrate the effect of factory farming in the U.S.

New Zealand Herald article about Cow case
The SPCA brought this ridiculous action. No one seems to care much about the plight of New Zealand's native wildlife - including birds and lizards being slaughtered for sport by domestic cats (let alone for food by feral cats). How many cows and sheep are butchered every year to sustain cats and dogs?

It has been a tough week - can you tell?


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