The new 2011 "Free Range" "Happy Egg" campaign from local Animal Rights/Welfare group SAFE, how SHOULD we treat our Chicken Friends? Plus coverage of some movie, "Two Little Boys" ( http://www.facebook.com/TwoLittleBoysfilm )starring New Zealander Brett McKenzie (Flight of the Conchords) and some Australian guy nobodies heard of, Hamish, from "Hamish and Andy"
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Hello and welcome to another episode of Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals
Recently theres been some kind of a video thing being recorded here in Invercargill New Zealand. I saw the crew constantly buying furniture from the family Antique and Secondhand store where I work. Its apparently a big deal. Heres a clip from one of the Australian stars, cant be that big a deal if an Australian gets near top billing, they recorded this podcast episode from a nearby radio studio. Notice how Homo Australis simplify their names, Hamish becomes "hame", Andy, which, you'd think was already simple enough, don't want to blow their minds with the whole "andrew", becomes, apparently, in Australia, "ando". They're a special lot, those Australians, their mothers love them.
Few rivalries go as deep as the Australio-New Zealandy war
*sigh*, no, we do NOT sound the same, "south-land", "dun-eden", they were trying to say South LIND, Dunedin, Invercargill!
Fair enough about the English guys comment, "like Chernobyl ", we may be a seemingly deserted area compared to the England, our Vegan Societies, and Associations seem to have memberships ranging from 1 up to a maximum of TWO members. We cant compete with Vegan Ireland, and other Animal Rights groups in the United Kingdom.
With my mind stuck in 1992, it would take too long to sufficiently mock Australia, its pretty difficult to think of material you know, "oh, if you like giant islands colonized by hardened convicts, sent by ship to the other side of the world to hopefully die in the scorching desert heat, who survived by evolving into the missing link, who now drive about crappy Holden V8's and drink VB, come to Aussie, bring the sheila, fair dinkum, struth, stone the crows. If you're called Bernard, we'll call ya Bazza, if you're called Sharon, ya now Shazza, Gary Francione would be Gazza Frazza… we have a big rock, a big bridge, and a big opera house that looks like its made from big sea shells, sorry cobber, I mean big sea shazzas"
Meanwhile, my lovely little city ALONE boasts that movie accurately based on our own son Burt Munro, starring Hannibal Lecter as a crackpot who pees on lemon trees and builds world record beating motorbikes, by himself, just like Richard Pearse, the New Zealander who singlehanded built and flew a plane of his own design in the middle of nowhere BEFORE those crappy WRONG brothers, who had a whole factory of bicycle makers helping. Pearse was a little further up the South Island, but we also boast a one man Vegan society, AND our Pak n Save supermarket can offer underground parking. Come to Invercargill, where dreams CAN come true! (small print disclaimer) as long as those dreams are about patting soft Chicken Friends and promoting Veganism with a secondhand USB microphone.
This episode, New Zealand "Animal Rights Groups" pimping Free Range
Well, promoting "Free Range" sure as heck isn't free, the Chickens enslaved are not free, and neither is the time or money spent by animal activists. Perhaps this "me and Bobby McGee" we keep hearing about are feeling good, all it takes is a harmonica, or a couple bells and whistles apparently, but nothing is being done for our Chicken Friends.
I know what made me feel good, hearing the soft peeps of day old Chickens, who'd just hatched underneath their mother Hen.
Sadly, Can-Tucky, whatever that is, has more than one export.
SAFE have now forgotten about the Pigs, after claiming victory about one particular type of cage used against Pigs, now they can go on about Chickens in cages for a while.
I like most, almost all animals. I have nothing against Pigs, I found it very sad to see the same old videos of them screaming and biting bars, covered in wounds over and over. But if theres one nonhuman animal species I'm particularly close to, it would be Chickens.
And Chickens make up the VAST majority of casualties, when it comes to so called "Animal Agriculture". Some 49 Billion of the 56 Billion animals we killed in 2007 were Chickens. Of all the animal we "use", that we kill, perhaps Cows and Chickens are the most loving, the most caring for their own families, for their friends. We abuse the workings of each species female bodies, of taking their eggs, of taking their milk, of taking their children, of taking their lives.
Seriously, of all animals we know, who cares for each other more than Birds? This is not something that can be argued, birds represent love, peace, community, and "tweeting" each other about what you think of the new Lady Gaga song, if it ripped off Madonna or not.
Female Chickens, Hens, are marvelous: soft, gentle, caring. Male Chickens, Roosters are splendid, very handsome, and family based. They protect their whole family. Of course, no entire animal species are all alike, some of the Hens will sit on my happily, others generally wont, certainly Mr Rooster wouldn't dream of it. He's far too independent. He's always looking for danger, while the others eat, often after he's found the bread I've scattered, and he calls them over to eat first.
To see Chickens in ANY cages upsets me, it makes me very angry. I can think about how angry I would be if I somehow left my Chicken Friends in their shed all day. They always have warmth, shelter, water to drink, and each other for friendship, but I would NEVER leave them in their shed for a single day. Four Chickens, three Hens, one Rooster, left in a shed would be unacceptable to me, for a day. They sleep in there, and then have a whole garden during the day. To see Hens who live their whole lives in the space of a piece of paper makes me very, very upset. To see how their feathers have been pulled out, or dropped out through to stress, or rubbing against their bars, its awful. How do we do this to other animals?
And so what do we do? Well, we ask for millions of dollars to keep asking for bigger cages, OR, bigger enclosures. When it comes to the quote "humane" way to quote "treat" Chickens, there are a million different terms, and size allocations. "Colony Cages", "Barn Raised", "Free Range", "battery cages", "enriched cages"… it goes on and on. Its all meaningless. None of it helps.
The part I find hardest to deal with is when we DO recognize that they have feelings, and needs. And then we snatch all meaning from their lives again. To hear farmers talking about "they need room to stretch their wings", or a single place to perch… it make me very upset. They NEED a hell of a lot more. They need their freedom, which again isn't free, in terms of money spent for larger cages, OR in terms of "free range".
I'd like to share some audio clips I've heard, please pay attention to how the ONLY option given is for larger cages, or for so called "barn style free range". These animals are being seen as property, as someTHING to be caged off, fenced away, with no real worth of their own. They are to walk around, eating as little as possible, laying eggs until their bodies slow down, and they just HAVE to be killed. Its apparently cheaper to get MORE, younger Hens, than keep a year old Hen about, if she wont have as many eggs. When we talk about "our conscience", about how great we feel for picking the eggs taken from Hens who are "free", it makes me very upset. Their brothers are killed as soon as possible, for not having female bodies, for not producing eggs. These Hens are not free, they are slaves.
If we see other animals as being our property, why give a damn about how far they can move their wings? The LEAST others deserve is to live their lives as they wish, to truly be free. I can only wish more people were promoting Veganism as this issue comes up, I know I'm trying my best to show video and photos of how my Chicken Friends live.
In this case, where the choice presented is tiny cages of screaming Hens, VS technically larger cages of screaming hens, VS living in fenced off areas, Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose. Lets promote Veganism, for our *Friends*
Un bloody real. How can they "see" the radio host "needs" anything, um, its called radio, you know, a telephone call? Complete with all the line noise. And the company is called FRIENDS, F R E N Z.
I found those clips depressing, again, to have this portrayed as so black and white, either we get larger cages, or we do nothing, its all so utterly wrong. To hear of this "FRENZ" company, www.frenzs.co.nz, with an s, theres another site without the s, Free Range Eggs New Zealand,
quote from the huge, flash heavy site.
"for hundreds of years, people have been eating and enjoying naturally laid eggs. They're one of natures perfect foods: versatile, rich in vitamins and minerals, essential fats and protein. When you choose Frenz, you're choosing to join a number of people who believe most things are better the way nature intended"
Not bloody likely, what animal was "intended" to serve as a slave to another? Have Hens, perhaps the finest mothers in all the animal kingdom, second to none, first equal with a caring human mother and father, did they really evolve over all these millions of years to live in wire fenced areas? To be slaves, to be property, to be seen as "things"? Hardly.
"frenz by name... friends by nature!"
Not at all. My friends don't live to serve me, to have their Eggs taken from them. I do indeed break their eggs as a form of birth control, or maybe thats hatching control, and they eat their own eggs, as Chickens sometimes do naturally.
From their website,
"Where do the birds go when they have finished laying?"
Answer, "We collect end-of-lay birds from you and rebate you with the market rate".
UNREAL. I find that very offensive, all this talk about how "nature intended" this, "organic" that, "Free range", and actually calling themselves F R E N Z, Free Range Eggs New Zealand, that these are exported around the world, overnight on giant planes, that they talk of "When you choose Frenz, you're choosing to join a number of people who believe most things are better the way nature intended", and THEN have the nerve to call these birds your FRIENDS… unbelievable. Lets be honest, where are these Hens going when they become, all hyphenated, "end-of-lay"? They're going to be killed, right? Its obvious. They're not going to live in some insanely large farm, a tract of land paid for as a sort of pension plan, from taking all their eggs. But this "FRENZ" outfit doesn't want to say that, on their lame FLASH plagued site. Its all "organic", "free range" and "as nature intended". I'll tell you what "nature intended", for websites to be compatible with my iPhone and iPad! You'd have to be a Grade A, Free range moron to alienate all those urban hipsters, with their iEverything, you know, your intended, self righteous customers?
These are apparently the very best treated Hens in NZ, no mention of our Rooster Friends of course, who will be killed ASAP as babies, and in the end, the Hens are KILLED, with their OWNERS paid quote "market rate".
When my female human friends reach menopause, I don't claim "market rate" for them to be killed. Who sets this market rate too? Do people buy and short the
"end of lay Hen" market? I don't kill my female Human friends when they get to a certain age. They are my friends. So are Chickens. I'd actually be all too happy if all the Hens stopped having eggs, then I wouldn't have to pick up and drop these gross things that painfully come from their vents each day, its disgusting!
There isn't a "nice" way to treat others as slaves. Watching old episodes of the American sketch comedy show In Living Color, I found this scene about "Animal Rights Activists" harassing people who wear Fur, you know, skin with the hair left on, compared with that apparently lesser evil which we dub "leather", skin with the hair off. Because hair on, hair off makes a huge difference, right?
I suppose if you want to donate your body to science, good for you. I wouldn't like to see the doctors who cut your corpse up walking about with new skin jackets on though, would you?
When we make artificial circles of hell, we really do confuse non Vegans. For example, "Fur" is evil, "leather" is apparently not a problem. I cant believe that there are actually "Vegetarians" out there who wear skin, I saw one comment recently, something like "oh, I only bought these shoes because they were Indian leather, they wait until the animals die you know…"
Well, I don't want to touch a dead body, who was found lying in a ditch somewhere, covered in flies. Perhaps the maggot holes save drilling holes for the laces, I wouldn't know. I don't want to strap someones removed skin to my feet.
This idea of magical "Indian leather" too, I advised they watch Earthlings, to see how these animals were seen and treated in India. Heres a reminder, they were forced to walk to their deaths, if they refused they were hit, they had chillis and other offensive substances rubbed into their eyes to irritate, they were killed. There is no magic, no ethics when it comes to killing other animals.
Heres a clip from an audiobook about The Simpsons, one of the writers explaining his own ethics.
Theres nothing difficult about being morally consistent. Its not like its a hassle to be Vegan, "oh no, I need to kill someone to wrap my feet in their preserved skin". I don't see this as a matter of "steps", someone is either dead, or they are not dead. Unless you're in some kind of brain dead coma, I guess. Well, in the case of "but I wear shoes from skin, I'm Vegetarian, but I like eating some animals! Gimme a break, at least I'm trying to make some kind of difference for some kinds of exploitation", Id say it was as easy to be Vegan as not, there is no conflict. Here, we have the writers love for eating flesh, vs that animals right to life. Its not life or death, for the writer. It is for the animals that we jest about killing.
Another clip about those Magical animals in India, where people wait for them to die of old age before we take their skin for our own shoes. This clip is from The Big Bang Theory.
We might laugh as westerners about animals other regions consider "magic", but what might they think of our own obsessions? With how Dolphins and Whales are special, how sad it is when people throw rocks at Seals, or when someone kills a single Dog. Chickens are just as wonderful as any other animal. I think they are much nicer than average, so much more equal than the others, thats a matter of opinion though. And in the case of Whales and Seals, my own area was colonized by Europeans who wanted to kill these animals, the "whalers" and "sealers". We seem to have forgotten that, "nope, nope, we're decent, hardworking people, who come home to a big meal of someones flesh, while we wear someones skin, drink someone elses breast milk. But those evil Japanese, they MURDER whales!…"
I was invited to be a guest on ARZone. During the chat, I was asked what I thought of an Open Rescue group on the other side of the world from me, almost literally, in several locations, our countries are actually EXACTLY opposite, shown by GPS. I've seen photos of making an "Earth Sandwich", where people in Country X put a piece of bread down at location X, and on the other side of the world, Country Y citizens put a piece of bread at location Y, the two are coordinated using GPS. The entire planet in between serves as the meat substitute in the metaphorical sandwich.
I said outright that I knew very little of the group, but mentioned Open Rescue and Direct Action groups here in New Zealand. The kind that break into "Factory Farms" at night, while using all kinds of James Bond technology, and then give their recordings to SAFE, to use in Welfare reform promotion. I've never seen New Zealand Open Rescue go after "Free Range" operations, its always the same old "evil Factory Farms", with the cages and the sad looking Pigs, the cockroaches on the walls, the open wounds etc.
I mentioned on the chat that I didn't agree with these groups, I think its more about ego and feeling powerful than helping the animals, because they do not promote Veganism. I've always seen them as a group of young people, jumping in the Mystery Machine and cruising the countryside at midnight, looking for Old Man Jenkins Factory Farm, theres a big sign saying that outside.
They take more of the standard videos, and then its often reported to the media as evidence of how "cruel" so called "Factory Farming" is.
Any claim that this is somehow "animal rights" is confused, its not about their rights at all, its treatment, their so called "welfare" before we kill them.
At the end, the television camera crews chase after the senior man in charge of the farm, who can only shake his fist at the cameras, and utter
There is no such thing as a unified Animal Rights movement, what with "divisive" people like myself about.
I thank Vegan Ireland for uploading videos of a "Late Late show" appearance of philosopher Tom Reagan. This clip starts off with an ignorant comment, and goes in to accusing his soft spoken discussion of ethics as somehow hiding "the true face of Animal Rights activism".
I want nothing to do with those crazy antics, I'm too busy with my one member Vegan Society.
I'd like to see the NZ Open Rescue groups visit a so called "Free Range farm", like the kind their footage promotes in SAFE campaigns. Its not hard to understand the horrors of "Happy Animal Byproducts", I stumbled upon this comment online.
A person by the name of "petcommunicator" mentioned this some months back on the TradeMe message board, New Zealands largest site, an auction, eBay clone.
"The free range farm where I help out and collect eggs on the weekends so they can have a break have 4500 chooks there in 3 sheds, you sure see how vicious they can be in situations like that. Some of them are so terrified they simply never leave the sheds (it's a free range farm).
And because there is a glut of free range eggs out there at the moment, they may be culling one shed off early, my favourite shed!!! They are the best girls there, the least fighting, the most friendly girls :o( Have to get the word out around home here and get some of them a home to go too so they don't all end up in a hole in the ground :o(
If push comes to shove I could grab another 10, but then I won't have a 2nd pen to rotate my existing girls into... gawd I hate "businesses" that involve animals!"
I do understand many workers on farms, "factory" or "free range" alike genuinely like Animals. Perhaps they actually got pushed into that career path, "oh, I like working with animals", and so they ended up putting them in cages, taking their eggs from them, clearing out their dead.
The poster mentions having "pens" that these "Free" animals are left barricaded into.
Quite often I notice talk of mass killings of Chickens by farmers. One incident had a large number of Hens being "culled", or as we non Politically Correct people can say, KILLED. A large number of gentle Hens were killed, but when it was decided their flesh "tasted bad", the whole lot were piled into a pit and set alight. Their dead bodies were garbage, to be gotten rid of. Their lives were disregarded, they were killed in droves in the hopes they would "taste good", once they were all killed, they "tasted bad", so they were waste.
I noticed "petcommunicator"'s business website, quote
"Satisfied clients have, with Kelley-Anne's special ability, experienced a new, deeper and more profound communication with their beloved animals and pets.
Website link is below or go to www.talktoyouranimals.co.nz to read testimonials and details required for consultations.
Gift vouchers also available, ideal for those hard to buy for animal lovers in your life, $40 for 3 questions, whether they have "issues" or not, getting it straight from the horses mouth (or dog or cat or anyTHING else!) is a gift they will treasure.
"From their heart to your ear" is what an Animal Communication consultation can offer you."
Sounds like the kind of racket the Invercargill Vegan Society should muscle in on, we can do that, we'll lowball her, 39 dollars and you get FOUR questions. Oh, and using our latest empathy-matic 9000 series detectors, physical proximity is trivial, I can read their souls from the other end of the nation, over 3G on my phone during breaks, for my actual job. Heres a free consultation, the strongest signal I can pick up, its coming in at a million DB, over the VHF signal band, or bluetooth or some other mumbo jumbo that sounds technical, its being broadcast from the 56 Billion land animals we kill each year, "DONT *CENSORED* KILL ME!"
How ever could we have figured that out, without the services of IVS, the Invercargill Vegan Society
We find ourselves confused about other animals from how others speak. When Vegans create distinctions between how Animals are kept alive, fattened for slaughter, and killed, it really does seem to non Vegans that "theres a good way and a bad way".
We've seen this kind of division in whole countries before, of treating people differently base on arbitrary distinctions, such as the colour of our skin.
This clip is from one of my favourite books of all time, The Power of One.
The book is from Australian Author Bryce Courtney, about his earlier life in South Africa, although its a fictional tale, set around the Second World War. I should have mentioned "petcommunicators" use of the term "chook" too, its an Australian thing. I've ALWAYS hated it, I don't let other people say it without commenting, calling Chickens "Chooks", I'm sure they don't really care what another species calls them, but WE know what it means. Its a dumbing down, as if they are somehow lesser. The equivalent of Chook for other animals would be "moggy" for cat, "mutt" for dog.
Regardless of how dark or light our skin is, we all feel pain the same, we are all equal. I don't see any reason to believe Chickens feel pain any more or less than we do. I don't see any reason to believe that they were "lesser" than us, the master species, made in the image of a God.
Factory, Free Range, its all the same. Freedom in the sense of "Freedom Farms", or of "Free Range" does NOT mean anything about actual Freedom, of being free. Which is also different than "buy five kilograms of flesh, get an extra kilogram free" too. And promoting artificial distinctions, single issue campaigns, its NOT free either. It has a real cost. Its apparently taken over 25 years so far in New Zealand, it could apparently take another TWENTY. I'm 23 right now, I don't want to work hard each and every day, talking to people about Current Issue Occupying Animal Activists X until I'm 43. I'd much rather give myself a fancy title, and preside over a local Vegan Society, promoting VEGANISM as the LEAST others deserve. Each and every day we make an impact, we are helping others the more we promote Veganism.
Other animals should instead be seen as our Friends. And friends are worth a lot.
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, 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.
"Free Range Eggs", Chickens
Marcus Lush, FRENZ interview
SPCA not impressed video
New Henhouses … twenty years needed?
Tom Regan "The Late Late show" appearance, thanks to Vegan Ireland
part one of four
"petcommunicator", who helps on an NZ "free range" farm
comment 65 http://www.trademe.co.nz/Community/MessageBoard/Messages.aspx?id=438219&p=2&topic=19