Sunday, December 20, 2009

Episode 11 "Cow Cubicles" , The Vegan Menace, "Rabbits Do Their Bit", Eating A Rat

Episode 11 "Cow Cubicles" , The Vegan Menace, "Rabbits Do Their Bit", Eating A Rat

Hello and welcome to episode 11 of Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals. "Cow Cubicles" , The Vegan Menace, "Rabbits Do Their Bit", Eating A Rat

This episode I'd like to mention a few different news stories.

I have a short clip about a farmer angry with paul mccartney promoting meat free monday. This is a fun story, about how farmers find vegans and vegetarians offensive!

I'd been trying to avoid covering it, but finally I'm going to mention New Zealand quote "cow cubicles", which are being branded as a type of factory farming. Also, a local newspaper story "rabbits do their bit for playground", about the noble act of shooting rabbits to sell for fundraising. And finally, getting in trouble for killing and eating a rat. How is this any different to how farm animals are treated?

Before I begin, I'd like to mention an incident that happened where I live, the city of Invercargill. Sadly, this has become somewhat viral online, a news story of an Invercargill woman who flashed passing traffic, and who ended up being hit by a car. "Flashing" means taking your clothes off in public. I cant believe the woman actually was filmed for subsequent news stories, she obviously is not a shy person. A few times in the news piece she is shown pretending to flash cars, I guess she's not actually doing it again, and also she pretends to flash a group of cows a few times. I think the whole story is "lets make fun of rural farming people from little old Invercargill".

Things like this make me embarrassed to say I'm from Invercargill. We often end up in the news for being seemingly backwards, or just a bunch of farmers. In the Cow Cubicle story, an Invercargill farm is mentioned as already using the controversial cubicle system, at least in a smaller role. And, not very far from Invercargill is Edendale, population of under 600, which boasts the worlds largest raw milk processing factory in the world....The main story in the last issue of our newspaper was about a young girl being trapped inside a tallow truck that had rolled over. Imagine coming across that, a truck carrying rendered fat from a abattoir, on its side, imagine the sight, imagine the smell. Both the driver and his daughter are ok now.

I'm doing my part to rebrand Invercargill as being a great place for vegans, I'd love if everyone listening to this podcast would move here, I need the company.

Stick To Your Music Paul

I often talk to farmers online, asking them questions about what practises New Zealand farmers use, and talking about farming related stories in the media. I like to know what New Zealand farmers actually do, as they are quite different to farmers elsewhere in the world. In some ways, New Zealand is probably what American welfare groups would like to see happen there, our cows live out in green pastures, they are not shot up with hormones, they eat grass, and now apparently palm kernels. We dont really have factory farming on the same scale, and New Zealand is marketed as being a very "organic" country. I'm not satisfied of course, since I campaign for animal rights, the right not to be used period. I'm just pointing out, when New Zealand vegans use footage of american farm animals, its often very different to what goes on here. Is it marginally better, yeah, I guess so, its 15 punches to the face instead of 20. Is it acceptable to me? No, of course not. I dont want the animals being used or killed in the first place.

So, I talk to farmers to learn all I can about what they actually do. A lot of them are quite defensive, and I've been called all kinds of names, or called difficult or unrealistic, I guess its like talking to Erik Marcus. I try and act as polite and friendly as possible, no matter what they say towards me. I know that other people are reading what we say, and I hope those people will listen seriously to the vegan message I'm spreading, not how many swear words are furiously typed at me.

I love it when farmers get upset about vegans, I really do. The idea that we are this massive threat, that we hate farmers and want to see them all homeless, selling their children into slavery to pay for bread, its hilarious. I'm sure there must be some concentrated effort of farming groups to portray vegetarians, and ESPECIALLY vegans as fanatical nutjobs. When I talk to farmers online, I remind them that we are a tiny percentage of the population, and have NOTHING against farmers, what we have a problem with is how animals are killed, for a farmers profit. We have no problem with farmers who grow vegetables, we campaign for animals. I've listened to American Agricultural podcasts before, some of them are hilarious. Most seem to be sponsored by Monstanto, which is possibly the most evil company in the world. At the same time, they throw out all these accusations about vegetarians and vegans, about how we hate hard working farmers, who are just trying to feed the country, while at the same time, we ourselves live off welfare, and never help anyone. Heres a fun clip

My dear friend Bea Elliot left a comment on the website.

"It’s not about “eating meat” – It’s about killing innocent, sentient beings! If you wish to troll the interstate or country roads for morsels of traffic victims, that certainly is within your right. However, deliberately taking a life – especially when there are thousands of alternatives just is not acceptable. When there is a choice – compassion should be the option.
Go Vegan"

Of course I cant mention Paul McCartney promoting Meat Free Monday without playing a song hes written, I'm sure it'll feature on his next Greatest Hits album.

Sure can Paul, I'd be promoting Veganism!

You know when we get accused of forcing our beliefs on others, how exactly are we going to enforce that? I'd assume vegans make up less than 1 percent of the population of any given country. Will there be some sort of, Vegan army, that goes about busting heads of nonvegans? Most vegans I know are quite nonviolent. So, what's so scary about the vegan message? Are people afraid that if they dont stop eating animal byproducts, that all the vegans will go on hungerstrike? Theres really no way of forcing someone else to be vegan, although I'm continuing the research on my vegan-ray gun.

Cow Cubicles

I dont know what to make of this issue, frankly, it sounds bizarre. I'll play some clips

So, essentially, in a very dry area of the country, farmers want to be raising large numbers of cows. All sorts of comments have been made about this, "oh, we dont want to be factory farming, it'll hurt New Zealands image overseas",or some farmers have said that this system works in the rest of the world, and that surely we dont want to have our poor cows out in the cold and rain, when they could be kept in a lovely shed for most of a year. "cow cubicles", what an odd idea.

Anyway, plenty of others have commented on the cow cubicle debacle, Im tired of talking about it! A good article is on the My Face Is On Fire blog, which I'll link to in my notes.

Rabbits Do Their Bit For Playground

I'll read a story from The Southland Times.

"Cardrona Valley rabbits were caught on the hop as they were rounded up as the signature ingredient for "Conie Casserole" at the Cardrona Village Fair yesterday.
Cardrona shooter Ray Anderson headed a family shooting team to get the rabbits for the fair.
Together with his wife Mary and daughter Natasha the Branch Creek Station runholder turned in about 100 animals for the traditional rabbit stew at the fourth annual fair. Mr Anderson is a crack shot – the shooting trip was done just one week after he competed against Australian skeet shooters as a member of the New Zealand veteran's team in Christchurch.
Ms Anderson said another competition in Invercargill meant her father was unable to attend the fair yesterday.
"Shooting the rabbits is just the start – I don't think people realise the amount of work that goes into preparing them for the pot – skinning, gutting and soaking them in brine."
That said, the demand for rabbit meat, with its similarity to chicken, was growing.
"We reckon there is a market for bunnie burgers, she said.
The fair held at the Cardrona Hotel had a steady stream of visitors checking the 25 stallholders goods on display.
Fair co-organiser Hil Stapper said proceeds from the event would be used to build a traditional children's playground at the nearby Cardrona Hall.
Conie is the traditional British name for adult rabbits.
which had comments,

Bea Elliott

Very disappointing. Wondering if your intent was to show yourselves as barbarians --- or was this just accidental?

Chris Noaro  
This is sick. Did you let future users of the playground watch as you shot, skinned and gutted the rabbits?

Is Killing A Rat Illegal?

This clip speaks for itself

When you kill a rat, how is it any different than when you kill a rabbit? In New Zealand, it seems we kill rabbits all the time purely for entertainment. Oh you say, but rats are classed as a pest. To which I'd say, so are rabbits. The RSPCA, this is the same worldwide group that promotes "happy meat", under the label of " freedom food". Going to the Australian RSPCA's site,, I saw no mention of veganism, but of course they promote animal products, with names such as "shop humane", "RSPCA approved farming","choose wisely", or by reminding you to look for the "good egg award". Would it really be so hard to say "veganism is the best way to respect animals right to live, their right not to be property"?

If its ok to kill countless sheep, cows, chickens each year in Australia, to eat, then why not a single rat? If being consistent makes you a fundamentalist, then I'm proud to call myself a Vegan Fundementalist.

Thank you for listening to Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals.

You can find the script for this episode, as well as downloads for every episode of Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals at coexisting with nonhuman animals .

If you want to contact me, even just to say you listened, send an email to, j a y w o n t d a r t @, I'd appreciate it.

Thank you for listening.



Factory Farmed cows in New Zealand

opposed by PM and Fonterra

NZ Image

My Face Is On Fire Cow Cubicle entry

"Stick to your music paul"

"Meat Free Monday Paul McCartney Song!

Cooking Rat

1 comment:

  1. Another great episode.

    About the rat thing in Australia. According to the anti-cruelty legislation in the particular state this occured, it is an offence to kill an animal for entertainment, such a tv show, film, or theatrical performance.

    According to the RSPCA, they said the rat suffered unnesessarily when it was killed. This is based off footage they viewed that didn't make it on the actual show.

    Also, they (the chef) actually asked (the production team) if they could kill a rat.

    Of course, though, there is no difference between killing an animal for a tv show and to satify your tastebuds. They're both entertainment...


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