"Get Some Kiwi In Ya!"
Hello and welcome to Episode 17 of Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals.
I'd like to say hello to one of my friends, Gordon, who has listened to many of my episodes and sometimes leaves comments on my blog. I'd love to hear from you by email Gordon. Also, just as I were planning this episode, a new email showed up from Randi from Ohio in the United States of America. Its great to think that people all around the world listen to what I say on my cheap mic, sitting in my bedroom. I've seen downloads from Ireland, Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, although most of my listeners are in America. I love hearing from anyone who listens to me ramble on, my email is j a y w o n t d a r t @gmail.com .
Following on from Australia day, and its Lamb meat promotion, I've named this episode after a recent New Zealand slogan for bacon. The brand is called "kiwi", and the ads ask us to make videos that represents New Zealand culture, no doubt the meat company is trying to link bacon with being a "New Zealand" activity, like the Australia Day Lamb ads do for "australian-ism"
I'd like to mention a recent story about a farmer who would like to, in his words,"commercialize" a New Zealand endangered species, the Weka. Weka are flightless birds that are endemic to New Zealand, they look somewhat like a thin kiwi. Weka are known for being very curious, they like to grab any shiny items they find.
As usual for many of our native flightless birds, they are killed by predators such as cats.
I'd think most New Zealanders would have vaguely heard of Weka, but they are not one of our most well known native animals such as Kea, Kokako, or Kiwi. I'd liked to have added the Maori word for the "New Zealand Wood Pigeon", but I always screw it up, Kereru.
Its currently illegal to kill Weka, on the mainlands of New Zealand.
And now, a Farmer would like to, well, farm Weka for their meat, to save them of course.
Now this next bit is nuts, I've heard similar claims before from slaughterhouse workers who claim "peta members" turn up wanting to try killing animals. I find it all very unlikely.
I've also noticed more people who eat animal products explain how meat can be "organic" and "free range" and all kinds of other crazy Happy Meat labels. I really think those terms do more to make people feel better about hurting animals, than they do for the actual animals who suffer. Hell, the SPCA members here sometimes wear clothing that says "SPCA guaranteed cruelty free", but the SPCA has its own brand for meat that I've seen, "Freedom farms" or "SPCA approved"....it seems that cruel acts only matter when they are done to cats and dogs, who cares about the millions of pigs each year, when theres shocking cruelty performed to a cat or two each week on the news...
The Farmer is about interviewed, and is quite cranky about the New Zealand Department of Conservation, calling them "communists" and wanting a "monopoly" and all kinds of other crazy rambling. Honestly, I didnt know rural New Zealanders could be so worked up about "communists", although I guess we do have a tendency to label things "politically correct" and whine on about all the damn "bureaucrats", and also about all the "dole bludgers", people who are on welfare, even though New Zealand only has a 6 percent unemployment rate, you'd think that every single nonfarmer were a communist who lived off the farmers taxes the way some talk.
I've got a good quote from Federated Farmers, they are a farming group that lobbies the government I guess. They come out in support of farmers on basically every issue thats contentious, such as "cow cubicles" or keeping pigs in sow crates.
"Federated Farmers said it was sure that farming the birds would lead to more of them.
"Here's a true Kiwi entrepreneur who ought to have every policy encouragement to see if a new market can be created," said Federated Farmers' game spokesman Donald Aubrey. He said New Zealand fauna offered unique potential to be farmed.
Mr Aubrey said Federated Farmers saw Mr Beattie as being in the same mould as Sir Peter Jackson and Weta Workshop's Richard Taylor.
“Roger Beattie is told can’t but he replies can and without any subsidies too. Let’s face it, if the weka was instead a turkey, it would make us look like one for not trying,” Mr Aubrey concluded."
All I know is how the guy laughs.
The Close Up poll apparently gave about 85% support FOR farming Weka....I didnt see the poll myself, but 85 percent of those who voted were FOR killing our little native friends? That look so similar to Kiwi? Would those same people be FOR Kiwi Burgers too? Can you imagine Australians eating Kangeroos? Um, well, some of them actually do that, ok, bad example, Can you imagine Americans eating Bald Eagles, using American Flag as a napkin, like Homer Simpson? I would have thought that most New Zealanders would have been very much AGAINST eating our native animals, but what do I know. On Stuff.co.nz, another poll was 64% AGAINST farming Weka, so it probably depends on the audience asked to vote.
This reminded me of Ted Turner, the eccentric billionaire media mogul, probably most well known for founding CNN, but also for giving a billion dollars to the UN. He also is the largest land owner in America, AND he created the Captain Planet cartoon series I grew up with.
He owns a chain of steakhouses that serves bison meat, from his own bison that he claims to have helped save from extinction.
Theres one more story I'd like to lump in, a New Zealand Snail Farm.
I thought this snail farm was especially odd, since the snails are really no different to what you would find in your garden. I've always found it odd when farmers are so proud of "THEIR" quote "quality", as if the farmers do something special when they allow animals to grow on their land, as if the meat grew from their own bodies. How can you really make a "top quality" snail? Its not like you do anything to it thats unique to your company, the snails are no different, and even if they were magically genetically modified to be somehow better, a competitor could always steal a few from you.
I guess you can never really tell what you are eating, all meat looks fairly similar, its not like some animals have neon green muscle. I was reminded of this while listening to the audiobook version of The Power Of One, an Australian book about South Africa I read while in primary school.
I like the perverted sounding laugh Rasputin uses
I've offered to show some autopsy videos that I have on my iPhone to friends, and most of them refuse to look. I think its important to be able to understand, "we are all made of meat", but even my father who worked for a decade at an abattoir really doesnt want to see the videos. To him, its just plain "different", he wont see any similarities between our bodies and those of the countless sheep he cut up and eats to this day. I kept pushing the point and got told, "they are just animals, its not emotional when the die"....
I've got a number of few second clips I'd like to use often on this show, I just need a way of fitting them in to what I talk about each episode.
Lets give it a try.
I can never understand why so many people get upset if you disagree with them about eating animals,
Some of them accuse you of being a radical animal rights terrorist, that you've got to be insane, absolutely out of your mind,
But at the end of the day, we're talking about eating native and ENDANGERED New Zealand wildlife
It just seems so crazy, for us to be farming ordinary garden snails to be killed and eaten, after being "purged", ugh, isnt that what Anorexic people do, and in some ways even crazier for us to even consider growing native ENDANGERED New Zealand animals, for them to be killed and exported overseas. Native animals belong on coins, on flags, in the wild, hell, all animals belong in the wild. Certainly not in your refrigerator, to be eaten, and to be flushed down the toilet in a few short hours later.
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 . blogspot.com
If you want to contact me, even just to say you listened, like Gordon and Randi, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter, twitter.com/ j a y w o n t d a r t, I'd appreciate it.
Thank you for listening.
stuff weka poll 64.1% when I looked
weka farming meat
eating weka video
hawkes bay snails