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Live Animal Export, Humane Slaughter and Media Hegemony

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You can listen to the audio from this talk here: https://archive.org/details/NickPendergrastLiveAnimalExportHumaneSlaughterAndMediaHegemony

This talk was given at the Institute for Critical Animal Studies Oceania (ICAS) 2014 conference: Critical Animal Studies in the Asia-Pacific.

You can find out more about this conference here: http://icasoceania.wordpress.com/2014/04/24/schedule-update/

You can hear other talks from this conference on episode 54 of Progressive Podcast Australia: http://progressivepodcastaustralia.com/2014/05/03/icas/

You can also read Nick's interview with an Australian slaughterhouse worker that was mentioned during the talk: http://ebookbrowsee.net/nick-pendergrast-the-silence-of-the-lambs-pdf-d366878864

Published in: News & Politics, Spiritual
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Live Animal Export, Humane Slaughter and Media Hegemony

  1. 1. Live Animal Export, HumaneLive Animal Export, Humane Slaughter and MediaSlaughter and Media HegemonyHegemony Nick PendergrastNick Pendergrast
  2. 2. FramingFraming  The way that the news is packaged.The way that the news is packaged.  What is covered and what is left out.What is covered and what is left out.  Frames shape how audiences understandFrames shape how audiences understand and interpret issues and events, as well asand interpret issues and events, as well as theirtheir evaluations of political actionevaluations of political action..
  3. 3. The MediaThe Media Public SpherePublic Sphere • Habermas.Habermas. • Integral part of theIntegral part of the ‘political‘political consciousness andconsciousness and a vibrant site ofa vibrant site of resistance’ toresistance’ to “common sense”“common sense” political discourse.political discourse. • Public can hear allPublic can hear all views on an issue.views on an issue. • Wide range ofWide range of frames.frames. Media HegemonyMedia Hegemony • The manufacturing ofThe manufacturing of consent throughconsent through excluding alternativeexcluding alternative visions andvisions and discourses.discourses. • Debates andDebates and disagreements, butdisagreements, but within a limitedwithin a limited framework.framework. • Narrow range ofNarrow range of frames.frames.
  4. 4. Theories on Animal SlaughterTheories on Animal Slaughter Animal WelfareAnimal Welfare • Concerned withConcerned with howhow animals are treatedanimals are treated andand howhow they arethey are killed.killed. • Accepts humaneAccepts humane slaughter.slaughter. • Light green.Light green. • ““Default” position orDefault” position or “status quo“status quo position.”position.” • DominatesDominates mainstream media.mainstream media. Animal RightsAnimal Rights  Cannot justify using andCannot justify using and killing animals,killing animals, regardlessregardless of theof the treatment.treatment.  Not larger cages, butNot larger cages, but empty cages.empty cages.  Rejects humaneRejects humane slaughter.slaughter.  Deep green.Deep green.  Neglected byNeglected by mainstream media.mainstream media.
  5. 5. Four CornersFour Corners  Objectivity = tendency for media outlets ‘toObjectivity = tendency for media outlets ‘to reduce controversy to two competingreduce controversy to two competing positions’ (Gamson).positions’ (Gamson).  Luke Bowen (NT Cattleman’s Association): ‘WeLuke Bowen (NT Cattleman’s Association): ‘We in Australia expect thatin Australia expect that animals should beanimals should be slaughteredslaughtered quickly and speed and efficiencyquickly and speed and efficiency is what it's about’.is what it's about’.  Lyn White (Animals Australia): ‘Lyn White (Animals Australia): ‘We should beWe should be killing the animalskilling the animals here under Australianhere under Australian conditions, under our control, and then theyconditions, under our control, and then they should only be shipped as meat products, notshould only be shipped as meat products, not live animals’.live animals’.
  6. 6. Media Coverage 1-7 JuneMedia Coverage 1-7 June Number of Articles for Each Frame Newspapers Animal Welfare Animal Rights Neither Total The Australian 8 0 1 9 Sydney Morning Herald 6 0 0 6 The West Australian 3 0 0 3 Total 17 0 1 18 Social media Until the narrative changed
  7. 7. A Few “Bad Apples”A Few “Bad Apples”  Cattleman John Wharton: ‘a few dodgy abattoirs’.Cattleman John Wharton: ‘a few dodgy abattoirs’.  Kooline Station manager Peter Stammers: the ‘brutal treatmentKooline Station manager Peter Stammers: the ‘brutal treatment shown in graphic footage was not common’ and he blamed it onshown in graphic footage was not common’ and he blamed it on ‘the poor behaviour of a few overseas slaughterhouses’.‘the poor behaviour of a few overseas slaughterhouses’.  Jubilee Downs station manager Keith Anderson: ‘the footage wasJubilee Downs station manager Keith Anderson: ‘the footage was disturbing and the brutal treatment shown was not something hedisturbing and the brutal treatment shown was not something he wanted his cattle to go through’.wanted his cattle to go through’.  WA Farmers Federation president Mike Norton said he ‘supportedWA Farmers Federation president Mike Norton said he ‘supported a ban on facilities which undertook cruel treatment’.a ban on facilities which undertook cruel treatment’.  The Nationals leader, Warren Truss: ‘cattle growers were just asThe Nationals leader, Warren Truss: ‘cattle growers were just as horrified as the general public’.horrified as the general public’.  Heytesbury Cattle Company chief executive Paul Holmes a CourtHeytesbury Cattle Company chief executive Paul Holmes a Court ‘praised the Federal Government for cutting out abattoirs found to‘praised the Federal Government for cutting out abattoirs found to be killing Australian cattle inhumanely, which he believed were abe killing Australian cattle inhumanely, which he believed were a minority’.minority’.
  8. 8. Animal Welfare Laws = HumaneAnimal Welfare Laws = Humane Slaughter in AustraliaSlaughter in Australia  Two articles referred to Australia’s high standards in animalTwo articles referred to Australia’s high standards in animal welfare.welfare.  Cattleman John Wharton: ‘It is not the way we do things inCattleman John Wharton: ‘It is not the way we do things in this country’.this country’.  Independent politicians Nick Xenophon and Andrew Wilkie:Independent politicians Nick Xenophon and Andrew Wilkie: ‘If abattoir workers in Australia treated beasts in such a‘If abattoir workers in Australia treated beasts in such a fashion, they would be in jail’.fashion, they would be in jail’.  RSPCA’s chief scientist, Dr Bidda Jones pointed toRSPCA’s chief scientist, Dr Bidda Jones pointed to ‘substandard practices which would be illegal under‘substandard practices which would be illegal under Australian laws’.Australian laws’.  Dr Barry Smyth, President of the Australian VeterinaryDr Barry Smyth, President of the Australian Veterinary Association: ‘The live export of all cattle to IndonesiaAssociation: ‘The live export of all cattle to Indonesia should be suspended until the same animal welfareshould be suspended until the same animal welfare standards as Australia’s can be assured’.standards as Australia’s can be assured’.
  9. 9. Nationalism, Racism andNationalism, Racism and XenophobiaXenophobia  AustralianAustralian animals/cattle 31 timesanimals/cattle 31 times inin Four CornersFour Corners episode.episode.  ‘‘I’m a meat eater and I oppose liveI’m a meat eater and I oppose live export’.export’. Let’s keep jobs in Australia
  10. 10. Challenging the Narrative?Challenging the Narrative?  ‘‘Economics Overrides Ethics when it comes toEconomics Overrides Ethics when it comes to Animal Husbandry’ by Brian Sherman andAnimal Husbandry’ by Brian Sherman and AnneMarie Jonson (Voiceless).AnneMarie Jonson (Voiceless). • ‘‘Australian standards for domestic halal slaughterAustralian standards for domestic halal slaughter require stunning. However, it has been reported thatrequire stunning. However, it has been reported that several large slaughterhouses have allowed slaughterseveral large slaughterhouses have allowed slaughter without stunning…’.without stunning…’. • My interview with a slaughterhouse worker.My interview with a slaughterhouse worker. • Spoke of the likelihood of ‘introducing humane slaughterSpoke of the likelihood of ‘introducing humane slaughter methods based on stunning into Indonesian abattoirs’.methods based on stunning into Indonesian abattoirs’. • ‘‘Hundreds of millions of animals on our own doorstepHundreds of millions of animals on our own doorstep live lives of misery and deprivation…live lives of misery and deprivation…on factory farmson factory farms’.’. • IntensiveIntensive confinement of battery hens, hens raised forconfinement of battery hens, hens raised for their flesh and pigs raised in sow crates.their flesh and pigs raised in sow crates.
  11. 11. Many Voices, Limited FramingMany Voices, Limited Framing  Journalists, politicians, animalJournalists, politicians, animal advocates, animal farming industryadvocates, animal farming industry representatives and veterinarians.representatives and veterinarians.  Animal advocates: RSPCA…Animal advocates: RSPCA… Animal Welfare Animal Rights
  12. 12. ‘‘OBVIOUSLY WEOBVIOUSLY WE ALL KNOW THATALL KNOW THAT THE RSPCA ISTHE RSPCA IS FUCKED’ (IsonFUCKED’ (Ison 2013).2013).
  13. 13. Animals AustraliaAnimals Australia
  14. 14. Alternative Views in theAlternative Views in the MovementMovement  Animal Rights Advocates.Animal Rights Advocates.  Animal Liberation Victoria:Animal Liberation Victoria: • ‘‘Believing that humane killing exists in any abattoir isBelieving that humane killing exists in any abattoir is effectively turning our backs on an unjust reality in order toeffectively turning our backs on an unjust reality in order to preserve a way of life we have been conditioned to see aspreserve a way of life we have been conditioned to see as acceptable’.acceptable’. • Encouraged ‘all Australians to question the practice of killingEncouraged ‘all Australians to question the practice of killing animals for industry and personal greed. Not just how, butanimals for industry and personal greed. Not just how, but why?’why?’  The Vegan Society of New South Wales:The Vegan Society of New South Wales: • Exporting chilled meat from Australia to Indonesia ‘does not goExporting chilled meat from Australia to Indonesia ‘does not go nearly far enough’ and that for anyone concerned with thenearly far enough’ and that for anyone concerned with the plight of other animals, the solution is to ‘just stop eating orplight of other animals, the solution is to ‘just stop eating or using them and call for others to do the same’.using them and call for others to do the same’.
  15. 15. Final ThoughtsFinal Thoughts  Internet = the creation of new, alternative spacesInternet = the creation of new, alternative spaces for a variety of communities and interests thatfor a variety of communities and interests that are not well catered for or represented inare not well catered for or represented in traditional media forms (Goggin).traditional media forms (Goggin).  Media hegemony still important.Media hegemony still important.  Not limited to this example.Not limited to this example.  Beneficial to dominant interests.Beneficial to dominant interests.  www.ProgressivePodcastAustralia.comwww.ProgressivePodcastAustralia.com • Episode 32.Episode 32.

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