Saturday, April 3, 2010

Episode 23 "humane lobster killing", Rabbit hunting, Crafar on the dole

Episode 23 "humane lobster killing", Rabbit hunting, Crafar on the dole

Hello and welcome to another episode of Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals.

This episode I have three stories. One about rabbit hunting, another chapter in the Allan Crafar Saga, the man who owned 20 dairy farms and had starving animals slowly dying, who had polluted rivers with animal waste, who owed 200 million dollars to banks, that Allan Crafar. The last story, possibly the largest is about a supposed outrage about how a lobster was killed on a New Zealand cooking show.

I've seen basically every act that can be done to an animal, I've watched Earthlings more times than I can remember, but I respect my friends who don't want to see or hear about animals being killed. So I've left that story till last, I have some quotes from the backlash clip I will read, and then, with a warning, I'll play the clip. If you don't want to hear the 10 minute clip talking about the backlash, how these people feel about animals feelings, or lack there of, you can end this episode there. The actual killing of the lobster takes about 5 seconds, and its near the end of the clip. The clip was played on national tv, it doesn't have any blood or screaming, that we can hear at least, its meant to be the animal welfare way to kill an animal, the quote "humane" way. I absolutely am against an animal being killed for our pleasure, I'll cover this clip from an Animal Rights standpoint.

Before I start this episode, I'd like to say hello to Justin, age four, who might be listening with Barbara DeGrande, whose podcast can be found by searching Veganacious on the iTunes store, or at

I'd also like to invite any vegans listening, from any part of the world to send me a clip about themselves, how it is to be a vegan where they live. It would be great to have other peoples voices on my show, to show how there are vegans in every part of the world. If you'd like to talk for 30 seconds, a minute, or longer, I'd love to have you on. You can email me at , j a y w o n t d a r t If I receive any clips, I'll be happy to play them.

I'd also like to mention something odd I found in a movie. I've been ripping DVD's to my new iMac, I have most of my DVD collection saved on this computer, just for my personal viewing, and while watching the James Bond movie, Die Another Day, I noticed something strange.

Die Another Day might be my favourite Bond movie, although I'm not a Bond fan, it has an invisible Aston Martin, North Korea trying to take over the world, a palace made of ice, a giant space weapon and a cool intro song by Madonna, who also has an appearance in the movie.

During one of the car chases with said Aston Martin-with-the-potential-to-appear-invisible, it seems like a small animal, a mouse, runs through the shot. Its can be seen at roughly 1 hour, 37 minutes and 15 seconds through the movie. It moves right in the middle of the frame, its small and dark against a white ice background. We see it just before Bond's car drives past, although the scene changes and we don't see what happens to the little mouse. I'm quite sure it could have been ok, there would be plenty of space between the little mouse and the car which was going to zoom past it.

Using a free software tool I'd like to mention, Chimoosofts "Capture Me" tool for Mac computers, I took a video screenshot of the scene. I've uploaded this to YouTube, being played back frame by frame, for the second that the mouse appears. I was really pleased to finally get a free video sceenshot tool. I've made a small donation to the developer, and I hope anyone listening to this episode gets the program, "Capture Me", if they want to record similar things. I'll include a link to the frame by frame YouTube video in my shownotes.

I mention this little mouse because it seems so odd, theres this epic car chase between a Jaguar and Aston Martin, through a giant palace made of ice, and a mouse is clearly seen moving about on the ice. I'm sure there are wild mice in the area, and this one was just minding its own business. I think its very likely the mouse was fine, but its odd to find it in the released movie. I checked IMDB, and nobody seems to have reported the little mouse before. Perhaps I could be the first person to find it? I've submitted it to IMDB, and while I wouldn't get credit if its accepted, I think it would be fun to say "I noticed the little wild mouse in the scene".

Of course, thats assuming it is a little mouse. I've uploaded a screenshot, a frame by frame video, and mentioned how you can watch 1 hour, 37 minutes and 15 seconds through the movie to notice the little mouse near the bottom centre of the frame. Backing me up that its a mouse, I've got comments from

"yea suppose it's moving. so its definitely some kind of rodent"


"Well I just showed my brother too and he said it's DEFINITELY a mouse! lol :) I think it is quite likely"

"just my 2 cents it has to be a mouse or some sort of a rodent because
what else could it be?"

So no matter what the comments on YouTube might say, at least I've got three people who agree with me :)

Rabbit Shooting

The article begins

"Run, rabbits, run. Shooters will line up Central Otago pests in their crosshairs this weekend for the 19th Alexandra Lions' Club Great Easter Bunny Hunt. Organisers expect to rid the region of thousands of rabbits, plus a few stoats, ferrets and possums. More than 400 hotshots convened in Alexandra on Thursday before setting out to their designated hunting grounds for a 24-hour shoot.
Competitors – divided into 39 teams of 12 – were allocated a back-country patch in a draw supervised by police, who also delivered a firearms safety briefing. Invercargill-based hunter Bruce Donald, whose team Cuniculus Terminators won the 2009 shoot, said about two-thirds of the cull was done overnight.
The hunt's success depended on the luck of the draw, he said.
"If you get the right block, then you're in with a fair chance."
Ray Moffat, of Gore, said this year could be different because of the increase in rabbit populations in Otago and Southland.
His team – Southern Hopper Stoppers – were gunning for first place after four successive years in the No 2 spot, and would be "happy with anything but bloody second," he said.
Almost 15,000 rabbits were culled last year.
The rabbit population in Central Otago has increased after a dry spring and summer, which makes for an optimum breeding season, and a decline in the efficacy of the introduced rabbit, (ok, give me a pass on this next word), haemorrhagic disease."

I've grown up around Rabbits before, and have never understood how they are soooooo incredibly dangerous. To hold actual contests about how many animals a "team" can kill is pretty sick, these are grown men, with guns, acting like a bunch of kids, with guns, joking about killing "the easter bunnies". With Guns. In New Zealand, almost nobody has a gun, only recreational hunters, people who enjoy killing animals. Our police officers almost never have guns, although they have recently got Tazers, an electrical stun weapon. In parts of New Zealand where I live, seasonal hunting can be a big event, we have "maimai's" which are traditionally grass huts where hunters shoot from. These have evolved into corrugated iron shanties, and there are always little contests to see who can have the best maimai, some have televisions, running hot and cold water, most have reclining chairs for the overweight slobs to sit in, and of course theres a cold place, possibly a refrigerator, for the beer. Now, theres always safety briefings about being responsible, "don't go drinking and shooting", but pretty much every video I've seen of hunting involves alcohol in some sense. I remember a recent news piece about a hunting season opening for ducks, and there were beer cans visible in the shot. I don't think all hunters drink, but from what I've seen of maimai culture, its an integral part.

I've been watching my dvd collection of Little Britain, a BBC comedy. In the Little Britain USA series, set in America, there are two hunters who act very serious about killing tiny animals. In the piece I watched last night, they get all excited about shooting a mouse, and then a wasp, it takes a dozen or more shots from a handful of different guns to take out the wasp. These trophy kills are then roasted together over a fire in celebration of their skills. I think this is a very accurate portrayal of many hunters, I wouldn't consider it comedy though. Many people just enjoy shooting guns, and if they can be brainwashed into thinking that they are superheroes by hanging out with other men, in the bush, killing animals that weigh a hundredth their weight, then they will feel great about themselves.

So we have these rabbits, that are the biggest threat to humanity in New Zealand by the way they are built up to be evil pests, how do we deal with the bunny menace? Why, with viruses that kill rabbits, released into the wilderness, and by having contests where a bunch of yahoos with guns drive about the country in the dead of night, trying to beat the other teams of yahoos with guns driving about the country in the dead of night.

I especially feel angry that the newspaper story has so many jokes in it. It began "run rabbit run". I know its absolutely an accepted event, but shouldn't reporters be at least a little like that wonderful Fox network, all "fair and balanced"?

Run Rabbit Run, I don't know if my friends listening from other countries know the children's song, I was reminded by the article.

Like many New Zealand things, the native Maori language versions sound better. More "spiritual" I guess, even childish lyrics sound meaningful. The song in Maori goes,

Oma rāpeti, oma rāpeti
Oma, oma, oma
Oma rāpeti, oma rāpeti
Oma, oma, oma

Of course the English version is

"run rabbit run rabbit
run run run….."

It holds true for our national anthem, which is often said not to invoke passion, apart from the Maori verse and the Haka, a war dance.

"E Ihoā Atua,
O ngā iwi mātou rā;
Āta whakarongona,
Me aroha noa;"

and the English first verse

"God of nations! at Thy feet
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our Free Land."

which I as an atheist hate singing. I went to catholic schools, and at one, the motto was "rely on god", what a great attitude. "Hey god mate, can I borrow 10 bucks? I'll pay you back next tuesday when I get paid, cheers bro".

Just to wrap up this episode of Maori-songs-pronounced-by-someone-who-cannot-speak-the-language, heres a clip of a song I learnt about the different colours. I love hearing another New Zealanders accent in recordings.

So everyone listening at home can sing along, I've included a link to a site where you can see the lyrics for more Maori songs.
I wish we were more like the UK schools I mentioned last episode, where children are taught to respect even the smallest animals. Singing traditional folk songs encouraging rabbits to run away from danger would be of great benefit to this cause. Come to think of it, that reminds me of MJ's song Beat It, perhaps we could do a mashup of Oma Rapiti and Beat It, , Maybe I can leave that to someone more talented.

Crafar Farms bought by Chinese, Crafar on benefit

You might remember my first episode, as in episode one, not episode zero :) On my first actual episode I covered the Crafar family dairy farm which had starving animals covered in the news. The main member of the family, Allan Crafar himself was quite a character, no matter what happened on his farms, it was always someone elses fault. It was someone elses fault that the animals on his farm hadnt been fed, but had been left to starve to death. Apparently, the farmers were tipped off that an inspection was going to happen at the farm, and supposedly most of the sickest animals were killed by hand so they wouldn't be seen. With all the effluent, or animal waste that had been dumped into rivers, that was someone elses fault, and we shouldn't be so strict with our laws. When his farm empire was found to be like said cow poop, being eroded away by a tidal wave consisting of $200 million New Zealand dollars in debt to banks, Crafar claimed he was ok, or that somehow reporters knew more about his business than he did. It was always someone elses fault, a conspiracy against him and his family.

Now, his 20 farms have been put into receivership, and it seems like Chinese business people will be buying the Crafar Farms. This has gotten some very angry, the topic of over seas investors buying New Zealands assets has long been an issue. The Green party has came out about the Crafar Farms being sold to overseas interests. Frankly, it doesn't affect me who owns a bunch of farms. What was interesting, is a news story about Allan Crafar applying for a benefit, welfare, living off money from the government.

Quote: "After 40 years on the farm, former dairy giant Allan Crafar has applied for the dole."

"Mr Crafar said the family had trusts, but any money in them was tied up by receivers. He claimed the farms in receivership were being run so inefficiently by the receivers "it has eaten up any equity we had"."

I've linked to the full story, but its amazing to learn more about Allan Crafar, all through every story he blames someone else. He cant afford a lawyer, because all of his assets were taken away, because, you know, he was kinda a little bit, you know, a couple hundred million dollars in debt. And he cant get legal aid because he wont show his accounting records, or he cant anyway, because his accountants haven't been paid money owed to them by Crafar.

Yes, for Allan Crafar, owner of 20 dairy farms, everything is a conspiracy to get him, everyone is out to get him. I'll paraphrase the quote above, "I don't have any money because I had a minor problem of owing 200 million dollars and so everything I had was taken from me and now those farms are being so poorly run that they wont be making much money and so the farms that are no longer owned by me will not be making me any money and so now I need to go on the benefit and live off other people".

I joined the animal welfare group SAFE's protest about animals being used in zoo's, and as I stood there with a banner after working 6 days, I was told to "get a real job" by a man who was probably retired. Farmers especially have this brilliant idea that all Vegans who disagree with what they do to animals must be "on the dole", or living off money from the government. Well, now Allan Crafar, former owner of 20 farms, 200 million in debt, is himself living "on the dole", on "welfare", not earning his keep.

Lobster cooked on Masterchef show, backlash.

I've kept this story for last, as I want to play the 10 minute clip about how to kill a lobster quote, "humanely". I understand if anyone doesn't want to hear the clip, I've taken some quotes that I'd like to read about what is said, but I respect anyone who doesn't want to hear the clip. I'll mention when Im going to play the clip, and if you like, you can end the episode there, and you'll hear me again next episode. In New Zealand, a lot of New Zealanders call lobsters "crayfish", its a weird little name that only New Zealanders seem to use. I prefer to say Lobster, if its good enough for every other country in the world, if its a more technical name, its just as easy to use the correct name. I'll use both names, lobster and crayfish about this story though.

On a New Zealand cooking show, a woman killed a lobster or two by throwing them into boiling water, she had to weigh down the pot lids because they would of course struggle. The judges on this reality tv show were not impressed, and they said she had killed the lobster in a inhumane way. She and her team mates were apparently sent off the show, mostly for other reasons I believe, but she appeared on the Close Up show the next day. I'll play that clip after talking about what happens in it. I hope you'll listen to the clip, but you don't have to.

These are not exact quotes, just what I quickly jotted down while listening to the clip.

"always respect your ingredients, especially alive ingredients". "this is a living breathing animal, a monster, when you kill a crayfish, you need to do it quickly and efficiently"

"try to chase a sheep around the back paddock and kill it, you'll have the toughest piece of meat on the earth"

"this animal is four years old and its a beautiful thing"

"chill it down and so when you put in the knife it doesn't feel it"

"its about giving animals the respect they deserve"

"I saw you put those live innocent crayfish into boiling water"

Yeah right, so when we kill an animal by boiling it, it was innocent and didn't deserve the death penalty, but when we kill it "humanely", it was guilty?

"we like to eat these beautiful things so we have to do it somehow"

"i don't mind to give it a whack, so to speak"

About people who had complained, and apparently threatened the woman who boiled the lobster with violence, she says in the later clip "its not ok to be violent to crayfish but its ok to be violent to people". I'm glad she mentioned that, if people who love and care for animals big and small, and yet are violently abusive to people, how does that make Animal Rights activists look? Not good at all, in my opinion.

"a vegan would have you believe a bunch of celery has feeling"

I have to interrupt there, ethical vegans disagree with hurting anyone who can feel pain, if we thought celery could suffer, we wouldn't eat celery. Or did you mean that we can ascribe feelings to any random item, such as celery? I think its pretty clear that a Lobster, as a random animal, feels pain, for no other reason than how you needed to put heavy items on top of the pot of boiling water. Why? Because it would be moving about, trying to live. You had its antennae jammed between the pot and the lid, and needed to force the lid down. Try and boil celery, it wont desperately try and escape the hell you've put it through. But thank you for a cheap shot at Vegans.

When the supposed "humane" way is performed, the tail of the lobster is held with a tea towel over it, and the very large chefs knife cuts about the length of a finger through to the front. The lobster moves for a second or two, which we are told is "rigor mortis", you know, when a dead body goes hard, thats the term that the expert chef uses to describe an animal, that would in my opinion at least, be feeling pain after we have sliced through a very large part of its body, including between his or her eyes.

Its true that the lobster only seems to jerk about for a second or two, although parts of it are sort of trembling afterward. It hadnt been moving at all really while it were on the table for that whole clip though, I guess it had been stunned for that whole time, was it even aware of where it was? Could it feel anything at all? I'd imagine it was close to death before they killed it. The chef guy actually says "you can put it in the freezer where it will go off to sleep", I'm trying not to swear here, but, ….sleep? You think if you throw a human being into a freezer naked, that they'd go to sleep? Hell no, they'd go into a coma if anything. They'd be closer to death than just "sleeping". Thats a feel good word, "ok honey, now time to put Mr Lobster off to bed, in the freezer, before we eat him. He's had a great life, and now its time for him to go heaven, by way of our digestive system."

I suppose the lobster hadnt been moving because it was in a coma type state.

"I get really upset when people don't look after their ingredients"

After saying this, a close up is shown and many parts of the lobsters body are moving, its feelers, if you will, are moving and at least one leg is twitching. These could be just death spasms as someone who eats animals might say, or these could be a dying animal's last painful movements. I am not an expert in what animals feel when you've put a knife the same length as their body through their head with great pressure. I certainly would expect an animal to feel pain.

"they've died, they've given up their life so you can walk upright on the planet." "any good chef respects their ingredients".

Mr or Ms Lobster certainly didn't give their life to you, you needed to put weight on the pot lid so it couldn't try knock the lid off in its death struggle. Animals don't happily slit their own throats for us to eat them, they want to live. You took the life of that animal.

Something else thats mentioned, that if you are "out in the wild", its still ok to boil a lobster alive in a pot, using the Jane Goodall excuse of "its too hard" to do the right thing. How could you be disgusted at what a young woman did to a lobster, if you'd happily do it yourself were you out at sea still? That reminds me of the Erik Marcus, Gary Francione debate, where Peter Singer had said eating animals was "morally justifiable", and Erik Marcus believed that something could be "morally justifiable" but not "the right thing to do".

The piece ends with the host Sainsbury saying "thats the most humane way, because they are certainly too yummy not to eat, we're going to be arguing about where this ones going next". Of course, all three people in the clip are laughing at the end. To repeat a quote from above, "we like to eat these beautiful things so we have to do it somehow".

And that is why I don't support Animal Welfare, we hear from large welfare groups "oh, well they will be killed anyway so lets try and make them do it a bit better and maybe we can have some mention that vegetarians are cool tucked away somewhere on our website". I don't care how they kill a lobster, or as we in New Zealand say, a crayfish. Its wrong to hurt an animal, its wrong to throw an animal into very hot water and to force the lid down with heavy objects to stop it trying to crawl out. Its just as wrong to thrust a large knife through its exoskeleton and pull the blade through its head, exiting between his or her eyes. I've never eaten lobsters before, I find it hard to believe something so, for lack of a better word, freaky looking, could taste quote "yummy", but even if they do, I think its terrible to hurt an animal.

I'll play the clip now, if you don't want to hear it, you can end the episode here. Theres no creepy music, theres no blood even if you could see what happens, but I respect people who don't want anything to do with an animal being killed.

As I said before the clip, how can any vegan possibly promote "humane" killing of animals for our pleasure? Hurting an animal is always wrong. We heard how people enjoy killing animals, and surprise surprise, they've found an excuse to keep doing it. They've discovered the amazing quote "humane" way to kill the animals, see, you just have to cut through their head with a massive knife the correct way, and then everything is A-OK, lets get stuck into our Happy Meat.

Hurting an animal is always wrong. I hope you'll join me in promoting Veganism.

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, or on Twitter, j a y w o n t d a r t, I'd appreciate it.

Thank you for listening.


Die Another Day Mouse?

Rabbit Hunt

Crayfish "inhumane kill"

Crafar Benefit

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