Live Animal Export, Humane Slaughter + Animal Rights

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This is the audio of a talk given by Nick Pendergrast from ARA at the Cruelty Free Festival, held in Perth, Western Australia in November 2011: http://crueltyfreefestivalwa.org.au/

This talk discusses the debate over live export and related concepts such as humane slaughter and animal rights.

You can view the powerpoint that accompanies this talk and follow along to see key points, graphics and sources for this talk. To view any of the links given in the powerpoint, hover over the link, right click, and click on 'open hyperlink'.

You can watch the Corridor of Death clip referred to in the talk here: http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=/watch?v=aHTNq33cXBQ

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Live Animal Export, Humane Slaughter + Animal Rights

  1. 1. LIVE ANIMAL EXPORT, HUMANESLAUGHTER AND ANIMAL RIGHTS Nick Pendergrast
  2. 2. FOUR CORNERS Luke Bowen (NT Cattleman‟s Association): „We in Australia expect that animals should be slaughtered quickly and speed and efficiency is what its about.‟ Lyn White (Animals Australia): „We should be killing the animals here under Australian conditions, under our control, and then they should only be shipped as meat products, not live animals.‟ You can view the Four Corners transcript here.
  3. 3. OTHER MEDIA COVERAGECraig Terry McGimpsey (butcher): „Customers are questioning how his meat is killed and whether it is different to Indonesia.‟ Increased sales of organic/ethical meat. „Theyre starting to ask now how our animals are processed, whether it be a Muslim product.‟ „…Our own animals, … , theyre treated like a human beings treated.‟after export horror revealed‟ Source: „Butcher backlash
  4. 4. IS AUSTRALIAN SLAUGHTER MUCH BETTER?  No footage.  Dave Hughes:  „horrible.‟  Stunning = humane slaughter?  Merely electrocuted before they had their throats slit.  My interview:  Overcrowding.  Whipped and beaten – including with chains and crowbars.  Throats slit while still fully conscious and kicking and twitching.You can read my interview with an Australian slaughterhouse worker here.
  5. 5. ANIMAL WELFARE „The problem from the animal rights perspective is that we kill and use other animals, whereas the animal welfare perspective is concerned with how we treat them and how we kill them‟ (Gary Francione, p. 24). “Default” position or “status quo position.” Humane slaughter. Reduce suffering – five freedoms:  free from thirst and hunger;  adequate shelter;  free from pain, injury and disease;  permitted to express normal behaviours – sufficient space;  free from fear or distress. Balancing of interests. Bourke, pages 132-133.
  6. 6. ANIMAL WELFAREDoes it adequately protectanimals interests?Interest in not being exploited.Interest in not suffering.Interest in continued life.
  7. 7. ACCEPTS ANIMALS AS PROPERTY Under the law, there are two categories, persons and property, and animals are legally classified as property. (White 2009, p. 97)
  8. 8. ACCEPTS INSTRUMENTALISM The view of animals as means to humans ends. Only possible due to the property status of animals: To be property means precisely to be means to an end exclusively. Instrumentalism = exploitation, which is defined as „use or utilization, especially for profit‟ and „selfish utilization.‟ Francione, pages 10, 25.
  9. 9. BALANCING OF INTERESTS?? Balancing interests of property owners and property?? (Gary Francione). Only (minor) gains for animals when in the economic interest of business eg controlled atmosphere killing. Despite animal welfare regulations, animals are largely unprotected from harm, so long as an overriding human interest can be identified. Instrumentalism and the property status of animals means trivial human benefits are placed above fundamental animal interests eg suffering, life itself. (White 2009, p. 97)
  10. 10. EGG AND DAIRY INDUSTRIES Males are an unwanted by-product. Killed shortly after birth. Females are killed once productivity declines.Sources: RSPCA on dairy, RSPCA on eggs and Peter Singer & Jim Mason, 2006, The Ethicsof What We Eat; pages 255-256. The story of “bobby calves” was also covered on the 7pmproject.
  11. 11. HUMANE SLAUGHTER?? RSPCA: Dictionary meanings of humane include: „kind, benevolent behaviour‟ and „compassion for the suffering or distressed‟ when applied to people and „inflicts less pain than others‟ when applied to an instrument. The animal welfare perspective gives animal lives no value at all. Punch worse than being killed? Interest in continued life. Jonathan Balcombe – listen to the whole interview here. Four Corners. Jamie Oliver: male chicks. of Death – watch here. Video: Corridor Bourke, pages 132-
  12. 12. ANIMAL WELFARE: INADEQUATE TO PROTECTANIMAL INTERESTS Interest in not being exploited. Interest in not suffering. Interest in continued life.
  13. 13. THE NEED FOR ANIMAL RIGHTS TO PROTECTANIMAL INTERESTS Watch the full Chaser clip here.
  14. 14. ANIMAL RIGHT NOT RIGHTS Giving animals the same rights as humans? Many human rights that have no application to non-humans. Just one right:  Theright not to be treated as the property of humans. Protects animal interests – exploitation, suffering, continued life. Francione 2005, ‘One Right for All.’
  15. 15. MOVING AWAY FROM ANIMALS AS PROPERTY? The best interests of the pet have been considered in family law disputes. In Spain the parliament wants to grant legal personhood to primates. ABC Radio National, 2009 ‘Animal Rights.’
  16. 16. DOLPHINS AS ‘NONHUMAN PERSONS’?• Dolphins declared the world‟s second most intelligent creatures after humans.• Scientists suggest they are so bright that they should be treated as “non-human persons” who qualify for moral standing as individuals.• „Morally unacceptable to keep such intelligent animals in amusement parks or to kill them for food.‟ Jonathan Leake 2010, ‘Scientists Say Dolphins should be classified as “Non-human Persons” ’
  17. 17. ANIMAL RIGHTS Oppose the property status of all sentient beings. Shouldn‟t just be for “smarter” animals (this isn‟t the case for humans). Shouldn‟t just be for animals we are more familiar with. Cannot justify using and killing sentient animals as things/property, regardless of the treatment. Not larger cages, but empty cages (Regan 2004, p. xiv). Animal rights is “radical”? Radical comes from Latin words that mean “of roots”/”root”. Utopian? „At the present time, politically unrealistic‟ – laws for animals have been passed on welfare considerations, not rights (Garner 2008, p. 7).
  18. 18. VEGANISM – ANIMAL RIGHTS Veganism = „diet choice‟?? Covers live export concerns eg transport, slaughter, abuse. Veganism is a philosophy and lifestyle whose adherents seek to exclude the use of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose. Veganism „is a moral and political commitment to abolition [of animal exploitation] on the individual level‟ (Francione 2007). Does not contribute to the demand for animal products/the use of animals as property. Social movement demonstrating that the property status is unnecessary.
  19. 19. VEGANPERTH.ORG.AU
  20. 20. FURTHER QUESTIONS/INFO Veganperth.org.au ARA:  Website.  Facebook.  Twitter. nick@ara.org.au To view some of the articles Nick has published on animal rights and other issues, see here.

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