Felicity is one of the reasons few farmers write blogs. On the whole, we’re terrified of Animal Liberation activists and tonight’s episode of Living with the Enemy was an excruciating reminder of some of the rare but outlandish comments I’ve refused to post on Milk Maid Marian.
People like Felicity, who calls Steve the hunter “a serial killer”, hinder the work that more moderate animal welfare bodies do with farmers.
Equally, Steve’s emotional disconnect with any of the animals he loves to hunt is almost incomprehensible to Felicity. And she’s not alone in that. Plenty of farmers I know can’t stand guns, either. Of course we can’t ignore feral animals but I find it gut-wrenching to kill anything, even when euthanasia is the only choice.
I hope – I know – these are the extreme ends of the spectrum. The reality is that most farmers and most animal welfare activists all want the best for our animals and recognise that the only differences are in the interpretation of exactly what that means and how to get there.
Farmers need to have meaningful conversations with others who share our passion for animals. That takes trust.
8 thoughts on “Living with the Animal Liberationists and the hunters”
I once took gem cutting lessons with an old man who was part Pequot, one of our native american tribes here. He told me a story once, how when he got his first BB gun, he shot a bird, just for the fun of it. His father was not pleased, and wanted to teach his son the meaning of taking a life. So he made his son take the tiny sparrow, skin it, cook it and eat it. He never took life wantonly again, but hunted to sustain his own.
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What a great story, thanks Lavinia!
That series has been pretty interesting.
It is important to distinguish between animal rights organizations and animal welfare organisations. Animal Liberation Victoria is an animal rights organisation, I think we can characterise such groups by their completely uncompromising nature. I wonder if they really achieve much at all.
Animal Welfare groups generally adopt a much more pragmatic approach and, I believe, achieve better results for their members. RSPCA is one such group. While farmers might have differing views on the merits of what they are trying to achieve, at least our farmer organisations can have a sensible conversation with them.
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Such a good point, Nick. Do you think some of the animal rights lobbyists are presenting themselves as animal welfare organisations?
I believe they are Marian. That said, of all the groups I’d label “animal rights” Animals Australia have in the past participated in a consultative approach to an extent by being involved with DEPI’s Animal Welfare Advisory Committee. I’m not sure if that is still the case as I’m no longer a member myself.
Upon watching the show I was actually concerned with the welfare of all those animals in Felicity’s back yard…. Hmmmmmm
The RSPCA is a mere veneer of what it was. Its role in the Live Export fiasco was such that it is no innocent. Before being infiltrated and taken over by those for whom animal welfare is a second to political objectives, the RSPCA had a good name.
I just watched the first half of it this morning, and this probably makes me a terrible person, but when that older lady cried over the dead duck, I did one of those snort giggles. I couldn’t believe she was for real.
As for meat/hunting/necessity… I love this guy and I have his book. He really sums it all up. http://wholelarderlove.com/about/
RD – Thank you for appreciating the story of my gem-cutting Pequot friend, who also took in and befriended many injured animals over his life. Sometimes presenting a complex problem in story format helps prevent polarization, and can lead to useful dialog.
I have to admit I have not seen the special “Living With The Enemy”, so I am not familiar with the scene with the older lady you mentioned. Your description of it though has made me feel a need to reply to your comment. Most of these people do feel a real compassion for life, which in this age of beheadings, senseless wars and legislation accomplished by screaming matches instead of analysis of real data, is in short supply, and nothing to snort at. It would be good if compassion could be tempered by reason and education and channeled into productive endeavors. I don’t know how to do that myself, or what the answer is. The Biodynamic movement started by Rudolf Steiner probably comes the closest that I have seen. All have a viewpoint to be heard, and someday, perhaps, there will be a reasonable solution.