Monday, May 3, 2010

Episode 26 Cutting Off Fingers and Bloodstained Burgers

Episode 26 Cutting Off Fingers and Bloodstained Burgers

Hello and welcome to another fine episode of Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals.  I heard some positive comments about my peace episode, I was worried it was too off topic for an Animal Rights show.  I have fun making my little podcast, I encourage others to share their thoughts with shows of their own, you meet some amazing people from around the world.

I'd like to say hi to Randy and Adam, I just presume Randy has one, I've bought my way into become one of the "cool kids" with an Apple iPad.  It always drives me nuts when a hot new product is not for sale in New Zealand, the International sales date has not even been set, who knows when we will have iPads on sale here. 

My iPad was brought back from Orlando Florida, most likely my iPad smuggler went in as a drug mule, came back with my A4 sized and powered precious in his or her rectum.  However it got here, I probably don't want to know.  The first rule about importing "graymarket" electronics is you don't ask about importing "graymarket" electronics.  I know how Apple is with those who lose an iPhone prototype, perhaps they are equally as harsh with  those who jump the queue and get an iPad before they are allowed.  I feel like a modern day Prometheus, stealing a magic technology from the Technology Gods, aka America, and bringing it back to the mortals here in New Zealand.  It was a tremendous effort to get an iPad, although to get my Original iPhone from the USA, I did have to sell my soul.

I hope I don't get thrown into Gitmo for possession of a device not in sale in my country.  I've already noticed how natural it feels to use an iPad, and I'm not the only one, Adam Curry's thought patterns have been hijacked by Multi Touch as well   I certainly love my iPad, I think its going to be a great success worldwide.  I cant wait to talk about it on the casual podcast I share with my friend Andrew.

I like to mention new websites I'm told about, I certainly get massive help from people who promote my show and I like to think I can help other people too.  I really enjoy having my humble podcast, and if anyone else thinks they can rant on for episode after episode, I really hope they decide to try it, I'd love to listen to more vegan shows. 

If anyone would like to hear me mispronounce their name, please send me an email, j a y w o n t d a r t, or leave a comment on my blog, Coexisting with nonhuman  Paul Shayatovch is one such person, I saw that I'd been getting traffic from his blog, which I really appreciate, and I hope I can repay the favour. 

Paul says, "a Vegan Hello from the central United States to all non-violent people of goodwill working to live in harmony with our planet and all its inhabitants. Or you could just shorten that to "Howdy everybody."  You can find Pauls website at  "being and the .  Thank you Paul for linking to my blog.

Theres been a lot of coverage of Duck Shooting season, because Ducks are such a terrible thing to see in the countryside, I'm sure everyone listening feels sick to their stomach when they see a family of ducks, with the awful mother leading a formation of ducklings through the water.  Yup, Ducks are a menace, and must be dealt with as Public Enemy Number One.  At least the local newspaper coverage would have you believe that.  Oh, they have their clever little slogans, "'quacker' season as licenses run out", ha, get it, because Ducks sometimes make a noise that sounds like "quack"?  Another had a cartoon duck, wrapped in bandages, with a crutch, with the caption "I hate duck shooting season".  Yes, its very funny to laugh at animals who have been shot multiple times, have broken bones and are no doubt in terrible pain.  Shot for the crime of being a duck. 

We also get all the stories of duckshooters who end up hurting their friends, shooting each other in the face and the like.  I don't really understand how its so difficult to keep the end of a gun away from your friends head, and even if the barrel ended up pointing at another person, to refrain from pulling the damn trigger.  Then again, maybe it is difficult, I mean, the Vice President of the "greatest country in the world",  Dick Cheney ended up shooting someone in the head.  And presumably Cheney was a man who could hover his finger over the big red button that blows up the entire world.  Who knows, perhaps people who get their kicks from killing pretty little animals, duckshooters, are not so smart.  The ducks are certainly clever, I think everyone should admire any animal that can walk (or waddle), swim AND fly.  I certainly think mother ducks know how to care for their ducklings, perhaps even as well as the legendary Mother Hen.

I was shocked by the description in The Southland Times of one injury to a duckshooter  "One man received a "penetrating" eye injury".  I think that sounds awful, imagine being shot in the eye.  Theres no mention if the mans eye is ok or not.

I've seen some Animal Rights advocates who wear t shirts with slogans such as " I love hunting accidents".  I don't think its very funny, I don't think its very nice to believe that.  I feel sorry for anyone, ducks or people, who get shot.  One thing for sure is, the ducks are not the ones with lethal weapons.

Back to possibly not so intelligent people involved in the slaughter of animals, there was an amazing front page story about a Southland quote "Meat Plant", an Abattoir.  I've heard about the more modern, politically correct terms such as "a meat plant" or "harvesting" animals before, to try and sound all quote "humane" about what goes on.  The headline of the story is "Amputations at Meatworks Probed".    A union claims TWELVE staff have cut off THIRTEEN fingers in 18 months, cripes.    Quote "Otago-Southland Meat Workers Union secretary Gary Davis said one of those workers returned to work after losing a finger, was put back on the saws and lost another finger.
The operators of the South Pacific Meats Awarua Plant denied there had been so many amputations." 

What is there to deny, either these amputations happened, or they didn't.  I don't think its something you could hide, unless the staff were not allowed to mention how they lost their fingers.  "oh, my missing fingers?  yeah,  um, I fell over and they snapped right off and fell down a drain".

Heres another amazing quote "...claimed the company was using drug test results at the plant as an alibi for the accidents, saying 18 of 20 sawmen had tested positive for cannabis use about six weeks ago.
However, he understood only one of those workers had cut off a finger while using the bandsaw in the past 18-months. Others who tested positive were not stoned on the job, but had cannabis in their systems from smoking in the days or weeks before, he said."  So, of 20 workers using the saws, a whopping 18 had used an illegal drug!  Thats more than the vast majority, thats practically everyone involved. 
Apparently the cause of all these amputations is that the working speed is too fast, and that there is no water on the tables.  The water helped the carcasses slide through the saw blade, but the story mentions that dry sawing is now standard, as it extends the shelf life of meat.  What an awful choice, the workers are cutting off their own fingers because of stress and they cant lubricate the surface because that shortens the quote "shelf life" of a dead animal. 
Of course I'm not asking for um, better Worker Welfare at this slaughterhouse, no matter how drugged up the workers were, I doubt they would be cutting off their fingers if they were apple picking.  When your job is killing and dismembering animals, even if the workers wont admit our similarities, I suppose the equipment sometimes realizes that human beings are ALSO made of meat.

I found a New Zealand Herald story,  "Anger Over Bloodstained Burger", quote "Mrs Hughley was about to bite into her burger when her husband, sitting beside her, noticed what looked to be blood splattered on the inside of the burger's wrapper."  It turns out, the quote "chef" had given himself a papercut, and had bled on the burger wrapping. 

"Mrs Hughley said the incident was disgusting.
"The first thing I was thinking was Aids or hepatitis B," she said.
"It's blood - I was about to throw up."
Mr Hughley said that when he showed the burger to the store's manager, he jumped and said, "Oh my God, blood" ….She did not believe any other burgers were contaminated.."

Well hello, you are eating meat, did you think animals have diesel in their veins?  Like us, cows and chickens have blood.  I wouldn't be shocked to discover blood with a burger, although I do find it both disgusting, and I too would consider the item contaminated.

I would like to play a clip about the quote "Cow Cubicle" quote "factory farming" systems that are being introduced into New Zealand.  I think the clip will stand on its own.  Hans Kriek of SAFE features, and notice how he admits to not drinking milk, which is seen as shocking, or perhaps that he is a lost cause.  I've never noticed Hans speaking about not drinking milk before, I don't remember him every publicly labeling himself vegan in the media.

I often talk to farmers, and they had said "oh nooooo, New Zealand is proud of our pasture based systems, having cows on grass, we're the best in the world, we care about our animals….."  All that seems to be forgotten.  Now, many claim its much more humane for the animals, they no longer have to walk long distances, instead they get to stay in a much smaller area, indoors, although not chained in place, and they get pretty little quote "mattresses" to sleep on. 

I normally only have sad clips to play, I'd like to mention two more upbeat clips.  One is unrelated to Animal Rights, from an audiobook, and the other is a modern song.

I often listen to audiobooks while I work, I just finished Slaughterhouse 5.  Heres a clip from it I found strange, totally unrelated to animals.

I think theres a lot to think about those two people, a quote "gay 90's couple", hmm, I don't know what century is mentioned,the book was written in 1969, presumably the 90's mentioned were the 18 90's, and I suppose back then, a gay couple were probably a man and a WOMAN who were HAPPY together.  In the 19 90's, I think a gay couple would mean something else.  I have homosexual friends, it doesn't change our friendship at all, I just thought it was an interesting phrase, a "gay couple", which has probably changed in meaning over the course of a hundred years.

The other, on topic clip, is from the John Legend song  "Greenlight", about men hitting on women, perhaps by pretending to be a friend, offering to study together. Its a fun song to drive to, in Grand Theft Auto, doing my proverbial 300 kilometres an hour through New York in a stolen Lamborghini. It features Andre 3000, from Outkast.  3000 is often said to be Vegan, he's won PETA's "sexiest vegetarian" awards before, although at other times he mentions sometimes eating fish, and I've even heard the bizarre story that he likes to walk about with an actual tail from a wolf dangling from his pants.  He's said that he's vegan, but he still likes to "look good".  I don't think having a dead animals tail sticking out your backside is a good look, certainly not worth killing an animal over. 

He mentions an effect he has on women, comparing them favorably to a certain farm animal.  I thought it was rather original, I'll let the clip play, its nice to have music breaking up my tedious droning.

"Giggling like a piglet", of all animals, I really can imagine piglets giggling, they just have that sort of face.  I cant imagine cows actually giggling, chickens have beaks, so giggling is right out of the question, but piglets, sure, why not, giggling like a piglet.  It may just be the first time someone has been compared to a pig in a nice way.  As a single guy, I need all the pickup lines I can muster, I'll let you know how comparing a beautiful woman to a pig works for me.  

I have this story from my friend Bea, "school farms teaching food origins".

"From school to the slaughterhouse
School farms are teaching children about the origins of their food – and supplying tasty sausages.  Almost all the animals, which also include cows and hens, are being raised for slaughter, with the end product sold to parents, students and anyone else who asks.  It doesn't seem to faze the students one bit. "You don't really get attached to them," says Pauline Main, 16, one of several dozen students who spend at least three afternoons a week cleaning out the pens, rebedding the pigs and handscrubbing them when they're to be shown at agricultural shows. "When you join, you know where it all goes," adds Samantha Marsland, 16.
Only one student I speak to admits to getting upset about seeing the animals head off to the abattoir. Charlotte Grace, 15, says "sometimes you do get attached to the lambs, especially the orphans. But you get over it. They're not pets, they have to make their living."

"they have to make a living", what an awful thing to force into the minds of young adults, that animals are our property, that they are not allowed to have feelings for them, that they have to earn their keep.  I suppose that line of thought holds true for dogs right, we should be teaching pittbulls to tear apart poodles for a braying crowd, hey, dogs have to "make a living" you know, they were BRED to fight to the death, that makes it right.  I have a Stephen Corbert audiobook which mentions animals, about not thinking about what you eat.

A story about cows in the New Zealand media at the moment is to do with "mutant GE cows".

"When the calves were six months old, one died suddenly of a hemorrhage to her uterine artery, probably because of stretching and distortion caused by her deformed ovaries.
Five days later, a second calf died, after her ovary became twisted and separated from her uterus.
The third calf with over-sized ovaries was killed the same day so scientists could study her tissue.
Dr Suttie said the root of the trouble was that the human FSH genes had affected the whole calf and not the mammary glands only, as was intended - a problem that did not show up in trials on mice.
"This was not intended to happen. But, bluntly, this is what research is all about."

There will always be unforeseen problems when we do unnatural things to animals.  I have no problem with genetic modification, forget the science fiction staple of flying cars, dammit, I want my Damselfly wings already, we should never perform experiments on, or harm animals in any way.  A faint hope for human benefit doesn't matter to me, I'm sure a greater hope for humane benefit would come from testing extreme treatments on other humans, without their permission, but we would never do that, would we, because it would be immoral. 

Other animal quote "research" in New Zealand is performed on Cats and Dogs.  SAFE have spoken out against  this.

"We believe the beagles are used for toxicity testing and some are killed so that their tissue can be examined," says SAFE campaign director Hans Kriek.
In New Zealand, over 300,000 animals are used in animal research each year. While SAFE is opposed to all animal research, the petition focused specifically on the use of cats and dogs in animal research.
"Cats and dogs have a special place in New Zealand society as valued companion animals, and most New Zealanders would be horrified to find out that hundreds of cats and dogs are confined in small cages and subjected to potentially cruel and lethal experiments in our nation's laboratories," says Hans."

I've mentioned before being annoyed that I am the only one in my city who opposes Living Cell Technologies and their pig farms.  These animals are bred because they are apparently free of disease, they live in a sterile environment before being killed while they are still babies, for a single organ.  The organ is magically processed into a trademarked medicine, perhaps its patented too.  Perhaps the whole species of animal could be owned by the company.  I don't remember ever hearing SAFE speak out about this particular group, I would really expect them to join me on this issue.  I suppose its because the media, and possibly the public, are so positive about this company, that says its providing many jobs in Southland where I live, that will bring huge fortunes into the New Zealand economy.  Perhaps SAFE finds it easier to protest about the use of cats and dogs, but I think Auckland Island pigs are just as special, just as deserving of the right not to be property. 

I'd like to end with a clip from a PETA podcast.  I've long found it odd that PETA promote both animal welfare reforms and vegetarianism, in fact, I think they might actually be more well known for promoting vegetarianism, at least in popular culture.   Whenever I mention I'm vegan on online websites, I get harassed as obviously being a major PETA supporter, people seem to have PETA and Vegan as being the same thing in their minds.  They might mention how Ingrid Newkirk has said publicly about not owning pets, meanwhile, Hans Kriek from SAFE never mentions "I am a Vegan, I don't believe in using any animal products" during his media appearances to promote Happy Meat.

I cant really think of any New Zealand groups that are similar, SAFE do have some "quitmeat" website, but it NEVER gets promoted as far as I know.  Certainly, no American would hear the name "SAFE" and think of the illustrious URL .

SAFE instead focus on asking for larger cages, or shorter time spent in cages for farmed animals, never vegetarianism.  Hey, sometimes PETA even use the radical, difficult, hardcore V word, Vegan, which I find amazing.  How can a group promote three things, "happy meat", "vegetarianism" which includes some animal products, and "veganism" which contains NO animal products.  I wish all these Animal Welfare groups would join us in promoting Veganism as the moral baseline, it certainly is more straightforward, and its what the animals deserve. 

The clip is from a PETA podcast, as I mentioned, with two PETA members taking on different roles talking about being Vegetarian.  They actually talk about "Happy Meat" animals as NOT being acceptable, I don't get it, this is the same PETA that grants awards to slaughterhouse designers, right?  Gary Francione talks of "Moral Schizophrenia", which I think is relevant here, PETA seem to promote everything at the same time, even if each pitch contradicts another.

I love the end of the clip, about some of the difficult quote "dismissive comments" that Vegetarians and Vegans get from other people.  Its ludicrously soft, for promoting Animal Rights, I've been told that I'm worse than Hitler, that I want animals to suffer etc.

Yes, that sure was a dismissive comment, "I LIKE MEAT!"  The episode then goes on about how much the PETA members fondly remember milkshakes and fast-food, how they didn't become vegetarian because they didn't like meat, they loved animal products.  I certainly don't miss any animal product, I find them all absolutely repulsive now, I don't like to so much as touch leather, I don't want to swallow blood or drink milk.  To mention that one or both of these PETA members DO miss animal products makes all vegetarians or Vegans out to be martyrs, as if we are all deliberately denying ourselves something we desire, just to feel morally superior to everyone else. 

I absolutely find it easy to be Vegan, I wouldn't want to be nonvegan even if you paid me.  Somethings are even more important than the Apple iPad…gee, I cant believe I just said that……, for example, I had to wait until I got home from work until I could use my iPad, I had to register it through iTunes on my Mac.  It was killing me, waiting to get home, waiting to have a functional iPad.  And yet, I went into my backyard to say hello to my Chicken Friends first, to give them some bread.  My little friends will live for a long time, there have been chickens before the iPad, there will be chickens after the iPad.  In just a few years, this model will be junk, in a few years, I'll still love my Chicken Friends as much as I love them now.  Some things are worth more than money, or material possessions, how could you put a price on a life, how could you put a price on your friends. That is why I promote Veganism as a moral baseline.

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.


Paul Shayatovch's website

Amputations at meatworks

Duck Shooting

Dick Cheney Hunting Accident

Cubicle Farming

Mutant Cows GE

Auckland Water
Anger Over Bloodstained Burger

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for posting a comment :)

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.