Monthly Archives: May 2011

Stopping the Live Animal Trade Overseas

Shock horror! 

Are we really surprised that cattle were being tortured in eleven abattoirs in Indonesia?

Not so long ago we were all shocked and horrified that sheep were being squashed into unbearably close quarters as they were shipped overseas to the Middle East.

We were shocked that at the other end their legs were broken so they could fit more neatly into a car boot from where they could be carried live to their slaughter.

Yes, it is all horrifying. And I’m very glad that at least for the time being or at least until nobody is looking again, we have stopped transport to those abattoirs. However I have heard that it is impossible to ban livestock going to those eleven abattoirs since all livestock is delivered to a central point from where it is distributed. Nevertheless, we have all been assured by the PM that this is the case, and she wouldn’t lie to us, would she?

Whatever the case, give them a couple of months and the situation will undoubtedly return to normal. These days Australia doesn’t have that much  to offer the world by way of exports. We don’t manufacture much and really all that is left are minerals and animals.  So we can’t afford to be too uppity about the way foreigners treat our cows and sheep.

Animals Australia did a marvellous job putting this abomination in the spotlight so give them a donation if you can. I did as it would have cost them a lot of money to put together a sting like this and they are doing great work.

The implication however, is that these abattoirs are undesirable and horrific, so the rest are fine.

Well I wonder. I would imagine that the very nature of dying when you’re healthy is a horrific thing to face. Don’t tell me that a cow or sheep in any abbattoir doesn’t know what awaits them.

They can smell the fear in the air. They can hear the terrified bellowing of their friends.

I’ve heard that when cows face death they find their friends and huddle together. Just like we would.

I wonder about the public outcry if they saw this video – kangaroo hunters shooting kangaroos for dog meat and for your dinner via Woolworths and Coles; hauling the joey out of the dead mother’s pouch and bashing out its brains on their bumper bars. Incidentally, this is as per the government’s recommendations.

To meet our insatiable demand for poultry, a continuous conga line of over inflated chickens are sent along a conveyor belt and down the shoot where a blade chops off their head.

Now that wouldn’t be a nice way to die either. Recently a poor man who had been called in to do a repair above the conveyor belt, fell and went down the shoot where he was decapitated.

They wouldn’t even stop the machinery for ten minutes while the unfortunate fellow repaired it!

In the West animals are supposed to be stunned before slaughter. However, apparently Halal and Jewish methods of slaughter forbid the stunning of the animals. They have their throats cut and the blood is drained out of their bodies while they are still alive.

And add that to a bit of extra torture prior to their deaths – breaking their legs,  gouging their eyes, beating them – we can all be thanking our lucky stars that we weren’t born as animals.

Read this article on the nasty religious methods of slaughter,news-comment,news-politics,after-scientific-proof-of-pain-should-we-ban-islamic-and-jewish-religious-slaughter

The problem is that modern civilisation is incredibly reliant on meat. The average restaurant has a menu that is heavily meat laden. Maybe there is one vegetarian choice if you’re lucky and it’s often just a salad.

And yet recently I saw a documentary about some indigenous New Guineans. They were saying that every two weeks they need to eat some meat and they catch a bat to eat. A bit different to our daily gorging on meat. In the West each of us probably eats half a sheep every month.

If I cook a vegetarian meal for my partner two times in a row,  I hear an awful lot of moaning. My friends tell me the same thing about their husbands.

We are overly reliant on meat as a filler and I’m wondering how dangerous this is for our health and if an excess of meat is behind our soaring rates of bowel cancer. I imagine that due to the nature of our intestinal tracts, there is an awful lot of decaying meat stuck in our systems.

The Western culture does not traditionally offer ranges of vegetarian dishes. For the first eighteen years of my life I ate the same thing every day – a chop and three vegetables. Hardly inspirational.

However, go to Turkey and you’ll get stuffed capsicums and eggplant and the yummiest vegetarian dishes. Similarly, India which has a very high non-meat eating population, has a wonderful range of vegetarian dishes which are absolutely delicious.

If you want to help animals then try to replace at least a couple of meals a week with a vegetarian option. Buy a good vegetarian cookbook and you’ll see there are  some delicious dishes. Personally, I love vegie burgers.

Try this recipe as it is really terrific.



1 medium carrot, grated

i small zucchini, grated

1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 egg, lightly beaten 

2 x 300 gm cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained

3 teaspoons ground cumin

plain flour to coat patties

oil for shallow frying

lettuce leaves; Turkish bread rounds; 1 Lebanese cucumber, 1 sliced avocado and mild sweet chilli sauce to serve

1) Squeeze excess liquid from grated carrot and zucchini. Process carrot, zucchini, coriander, garlic, egg, chickpeas and cumin in a food processor until almost smooth.

2) Divide mixture into four portions; shape into patties. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Coat patties with flour and shallow fry in hot until browned on both sides.

3) Divide lettuce leaves over split bread rounds; top with patties, cucumber and avocado. Drizzle with chilli sauce.

P.S. I buy organic eggs as caged hens also suffer unbearable torture being stuck in a cage for their whole lives and forced to lay eggs under hot lights. I don’t trust the ‘free range’ label on boxes either as I understand that their would not be enough free range hens in the whole of Australia to keep up with demand. Furthermore, those that are ‘free range’ are hardly ‘free’. They are squashed in a shed with thousands of other hens and never see a blade of grass.  In fact, because it is necessary to eat green grass to get yellow yokes, they have a colouring added to their food so  that their yokes turn yellow.


Chop up an onion, a stalk of celery and thinly slice a sweet potato. Stir fry and add mirin and soy sauce to taste.  When the sweet potato is cooked, add brown lentils which have been soaked and boiled till they are cooked. Mix well and add an egg to bind.

Make into patties and serve as in the previous recipe.

This is a fantastic recipe although quite messy to eat!!!

Another organisation that does wonderful work drawing attention to the plight of farm animals is Voiceless.  Go to their website to see what they are up to

I also support the Catskill Animal Sanctuary in Saugerties, New  York, USA. which rescues abused farm animals

P.S. Bob Katter was quoted regarding the Live Meat Trade with Indonesia forWednesday’s Sydney Morning Herald. He said ‘A people without land will look for a land without people.” Hmm, do you think you’d like to be invaded by Indonesia now you’ve seen what they do to our livestock? I don’t think so!

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Monkey Magic

Staff at a zoo in Jersey in the Channel Islands are ecstatic at the birth of a Tamarin Monkey. The Black Lion Tamarin comes from Brazil but there are only 1000 left in the wild because their habitat has been destroyed by loggers.

How sad that the only specimens will be in zoos! Will the logging of jungles ever cease?

Oh sorry, of course they will – when they are all chopped down! And then everyone will be mighty happy. - pied tamarin monkey twins

The picture inserted is of rare pied tamarin monkey twins born in Colchester Zoo in June 2010.

It is thought the population of the pied tamarin in the wild has fallen by half over the last 18 years.

The pied tamarin, which originates from the Manaus region of Brazil, is an endangered species on International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List.

“There’s a European endangered species programme for them, so the studbook keeper looks to match genetically compatible animals together,” said Anthony, the zoological director.

Because of their nervous disposition, pied tamarins are notoriously difficult to breed, according to Anthony.

So this is another case of a species being almost wiped out because of their habitat being destroyed.

In July, 2010, London Zoo’s golden-headed lion tamarin adopted a baby emperor tamarin, when it was just two weeks old.
Emperor tamarins, native to South America, are generally brought up by their fathers who carry them until they are old enough to fend for themselves. 

However, the childless golden-headed lion tamarin monkey took a shine to the grey youngster two weeks after it was born at London Zoo.

Senior keeper, Lucy Hawley, said: ‘At first the father of the emperor tamarin baby was a little nervous about Juanita but now they all seem to get along just fine”. 

It certainly doesn’t pay to be afraid of anything. It does seem that you’ll attract what you’re afraid of. At least that seems to be the way with this British tourist who was attacked by monkeys.
I can sympathise with her as I myself was attacked by a cranky monkey in Thailand,  that clung on to my arm and gave me a big bite. I still have the scar.

The 56-year-old was surrounded and attacked by a group of macaques as she sat on a towel while on holiday in Thailand. She had a fear of primates after her father brought up a ‘positively evil’ chimpanzee.

So she and a friend joined a tour on Monkey Island, off Phuket.

‘I thought I was heading for safety under this rock in the shade,’ said Mrs Darwell.

‘The next thing I noticed, this monkey walked up next to me and I thought, “Oh dear”.

‘Then, the monkey took my wrist and pounced on my right arm, sinking his teeth in and hung off it. He wouldn’t let go – he was locked on.

‘There was one man, a tourist, and when he saw the monkey bite me, he screamed and ran off. Then another monkey bit my arm… and all of a sudden I was surrounded by monkeys.’

Mrs Darwell, of Peterborough, collapsed and was taken to hospital with puncture wounds and bruising.

She said: ‘I wouldn’t have got off that bloody boat if the tour guide had said at all that there was even the slightest risk.’

Tour leader Yongyut Buasod said: ‘We can’t control the monkeys if they decide to bite someone.’
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Hateful Hunters and Strange Governments



Last week I entered this post but it was buried under another item.  It seems bad enough to repeat it this week. Don’t we have enough problems with guns already? Sure, there are other weapons freely available, but guns are particularly lethal and in the hands of children, neverlone adults, they are a recipe for disaster.

Sadly, the recent change of government has given a higher profile to a very unsavoury political group –  The Shooters’ and Fishers’ Party.

There is a revolting photo in circulation of their leader, Robert Brown MP, crouching proudly beside an elephant he has slaughtered and then later, hauling away its tusks.

It is a very sad day indeed when a political party with the sole goal of ensuring that as great an area as possible is made available for blood sports, should be able to gain so much power.

Extraordinarily, they want the introduction of hunting classes in schools! 

Their list of demands go on and on and although they are sugar coating their requests under the guise of ‘saving’ Australia from the terrible threat of feral animals,  their only goal is to indulge their blood lust by killing as much as possible with the help of their dogs.

Among other demands, they want national parks opened up to them and their dogs. Just imagine – the very place which has been set aside for native animals – the only ‘safe’ place for animals now that their habitats have been destroyed to build apartment blocks – is now going to be invaded by brutes with guns and dogs! How sad that we can’t and won’t protect our native animals.

Their manifesto includes –

  • The Party asserts the right of the law-abiding citizen to own and use firearms.

So they want everyone to be toting guns,  and for children to learn about killing at school. Is there enough wildlife for everyone to kill? They won’t be surprised when children bring guns to school and shoot each other, will they?

I quote directly from –

Professional safari hunters, recreational hunters, sports shooters, or weekend warriors? This Bill would overturn all environmental legislation protecting our remaining wildlife in NSW. It is repugnant. This proposal is nothing to do with noble gesture of taking on the task of the government’s culling feral animals in National Parks.
The Game Council in this self-interested set of demands, simply wants to give its weekend warrior member base open slather access to shoot almost anything and everything in the bush. It would be 24/7 open season on wildlife perpetually across NSW every day of the year. Every weekend would be weekend warrior party time in the ute with the spotties and the beers and the guns – just like in the good old days eh? In doing so, The Game Council and the Shooters Party have shown their true colours. The Game Council’s objective is to provide for the effective management of ‘introduced species’ of game animals. By advocating the hunting and shooting of native animals and birds is outside its ‘introduced species’ charter.

According to Greens MP Ian Cohen, if feral animals are to be culled then “it should be managed by trained Livestock Health and Protection Authority officers.” “Recreational hunters are not helping when it comes to feral species – the reality is that hunters, with their dogs, are often a cause of pest species dispersal, driving feral animals into national parks.”

It will be truly unfortunate if this group of rednecks get their way! What they stand for is repugnant to the majority of the population.


Dr John Hadley from the University of Western Sydney has proposed legal rights for Australian native animals. He says that Australia has the largest loss of biodiversity in the world and this is due to habitat loss.

Naturally, farmers aren’t having any of it.

When I was driving home late last night I heard a radio announcer debating the subject of who ‘owns’ the world. He scoffed that snakes and frogs don’t own the world. We do!

How interesting. At last look I thought that the world belonged to everyone and everything that exists in it. I didn’t know that people, who incidentally are only a relatively recent addition in terms of the planet’s timeline, had special ownership rights. 

And if we are under that ridiculous illusion we can so easily be taught a jolly big lesson. We have already proved that we are powerless in the face of nature’s wrath. A single tsunami in Japan wiped out tens of thousands of people. Tornados wiped out homes, crops, farm animals as well as people. Floods have collectively killed hundreds of thousands of people all over the world from Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan to Australia just in the last two years. In the face of earthquakes we have also proved to be powerless.

And we think we ‘own’ the world? If we did then these problems would surely not exist. Would they?

And yet, if the oceans were to raise 10 metres in one night I wonder how many islands would be wiped out and how many people drowned. No problems – we own the world and we’ll make sure THAT doesn’t happen.


The same radio announcer was also furious that Baulkham Hills Shire Council has effectively put a green ban on all its residents. The locals who have huge blocks of land of up to five acres, have found that overnight huge swathes of their properties (the parts with trees on them that is) have been slapped with a no destruction order. So they are banned from cutting down the trees or subdividing the land.  Interesting! Of course they mostly undoubtedly bought the properties with the express intention of doing just that in the fullness of time.

However, I have to question the consistency of councils’ and governments’ attempts to preserve the environment.  Just down the road at Lane Cove, the State Government has still maintained its rezoning of Batten Reserve and appears to have the full intention of chopping down all those trees and killing all that wildlife. So where is the logic?

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