Saturday, June 25, 2011

Episode 58 Backbenchers, INVSOC and Mayor Tim Shadbolt

Episode 58 Backbenchers, INVSOC and Mayor Tim Shadbolt

Shoutouts to Virginia, Mayor Tim Shadbolt does the Invercargill Vegan Society a major favour, Backbenchers show about "silly little chickens", INVSOC posters, cards, badges, "all animals are equal" for a motto (and dealing with wise guys) and Atlas Shrugged!  

Listen now by downloading directly from here or, better yet, subscribe in iTunes to get each episode automagically!

Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals iTunes link

Hello and welcome to another great episode of Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals, the premier show of the Invercargill Vegan Society.

And for once, lets do the main story first, so anyone who usually gives up listening can hear it right away.

I was contacted last week by another Vegan living in Invercargill!  Hi Nicole!  Hope to meet you sometime!

And speaking of Premiers, I managed to have a meeting with the mayor of my city, Mayor Tim Shadbolt, a colourful character if ever there was one.  He has a long, storied history, of being in every protest imaginable, of working in the concrete industry, of towing a concrete mixer behind the mayoral car for a few victory laps on winning an election, appearing on Dancing with the Stars, the NZ version, where everyone one had to do the Haka or the Macarena, and well, being the most out there mayor in all of … possibly the world!

I've recently posted a whole bunch of Invercargill Vegan Society propaganda…I mean, items… out to listeners around the world, if you'd like an INVSOC badge and coin, valued at about 50 American cents to the INVSOC dollar, please get in touch, .

Todays intro bumper was by Lucas Hayes, a young Vegan guy living in Virginia, home of many FBI divisions, aka the Thoughtpolice in INVSOC-speak, oh, and Chris Brown!

Thoughtpolice, go go music, most of a family doing drugs, mummas being beat down and hanging people from a rope?  Sounds like SOME PEOPLE, including Chris and Lucas, need to get the blink outta Virginia!, perhaps STRAIGHT OUTTA VIRGINIA if you catch my drift.

Lucas is half of the Our Vegan Pregnancy blog, which you can find at .  Lucas appeared on this show, Episode 46 about the Oprah show, "Oprah goes Vegan,  Veg*n, Veganish…", he left a comment and was kind enough to mention his "old mate Tim" living here in Invercargill, New Zealand, if I'd keep an eye out for him, possibly spotting him on Esk Street, that Lucas wanted to hear back from his friend Tim!

Well Lucas, I finally tracked down your old friend, "Tim", he was hanging around the Invercargill City Council building, I had to email his personal assistant, make an appointment, wait in the lobby, no doubt being secretly x rayed, then TRIPLE x rayed when they heard I was an Animal Rights activist who wanted to meet the mayor…buzzed through, I walked up a flight of stairs to meet an aide… who took me to his waiting room, when in walked in "Lucas' old friend Tim" himself :-)

And what do you know, he had a message for Lucas!

I had to think of a Vegan delicacy of Southland, the swede, a sort of big turnip kinda thing…mmm hmm, steamed swede, thats worth the twenty hour flight by itself Lucas!

Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt also had a message which I've added to the INVSOC website, 

You hear that?  Not only was it a little Troy McClure-eque, I got the Mayor to make a Mayoral declaration that the Invercargill Vegan Society is THE Southernmost Vegan organization IN THE WORLD!  Or, he at least read the script I printed off, and stuck to my chest using an INVSOC badge, see, not everyone can afford a teleprompter like Obama's, I figured if I held my phone with both hands, he'd be looking pretty much at me, and so by having the script pinned on my chest, he was looking almost right at the camera :-)  Hope you enjoy imagining the situation :-)

I'm really thankful for Mayor Shadbolts time, for allowing an Animal Rights activist into his office, to pin two bits of paper on his chest, to hold his phone up while the mayor read some crazy script!  Only in Invercargill, you know, that place with the worlds Southernmost Vegan Organisation in the world?  Did you know that?  Its official now, it'll go up on Wikipedia, the citation linking to that video.  And if its on Wikipedia, its true!  Brilliant~!

I've also had some posters made up, I'll keep a few A5 size laminated copies in my advocacy kit, and new business cards for the Invercargill Vegan Society, they've already been a useful way to give people our website address in person, away from the infinitely superior online communication.  I've used the INGSOC inspired INVSOC logo from George Orwell's 1984, and the slogan for the Invercargill Vegan Society is " all animals are equal " , from Animal Farm, perhaps my favourite book.  

Yes, some people will do the "haHA! but some animals are more equal than others!" bit.  Animal Farm is set in England, hence the song "beasts of England", as well as 1984, its INGSOC, English Socialism, England!  Telescreens everywhere, surveillance cameras, one nation under CCTV, sounds like England to me!  But we're in New Zealand mate, home of Lord of the Rings. (ignore that English bloke who wrote the damn things)  

WHEN someone brings up the "some animals are more equal than others" line,  I'll throw back my cloak, revealing my white bath robe, "FOOL OF A TOOK!"
All animals are equal, but if some are "more equal than others", then they are no longer EQUAL!  You shall not pass, you're going to FAIL.

I love 1984 too, but to be honest, each time I listen to the nine and a half hour long audiobook, or watch the two hour long movie, I feel near suicidal, its such a hopeless situation, of gray dust everywhere, no privacy, absolutely no joy in life, meaningless paperwork, of being spied on all the time… you knew there was NO possible happy ending by the first few chapters of the book…

Animal Farm is more light hearted, a much more enjoyable read, and I enjoy the defined characters more.  By using both Orwell's famous books, I hope to use popular culture to promote respect for all, the concepts of doublethink, of thinking of slaughter as both "humane" and an atrocity, when it can only be the latter, of thought terminating cliches like "factory farming", and "humane", of hope lying with the proles, grass roots, nonviolent vegan activism :-)

I'm glad to have all the first lot of badges in the post, they should be arriving in the next week worldwide.  Thank you to all the honorary members of the Invercargill Vegan Society for giving me their personal information, like their address, I'm sure I'll easily recoup the badge costs by selling that info to that Anonymous and Lulsec group making the news, oh, and Lucas's actual old friends, the FBI/thoughtpolice up there in Virginia!  And Google, and Facebook…

If you'd like to have YOUR personal details sold, please email them to me at , I'll send you a couple of trinkets in return!

I'd like to mention a local Invercargill Auction house effectively closing, quote:

"Inner-city livestock sales? You couldn't get away with that nowadays.
Everyone says that. No other New Zealand city has maintained that tradition anything like this long.
But throughout the decades Todds' livestock sales have remained licensed and almost completely problem-free.

Other times, the odd cockerel has been inadvertently released to the wild, and there was some talk of a particularly wriggly pig roaming free in Dee St for a while.
Particularly during the school holidays, the livestock sales have been a real drawcard for children. Bill Todd, the fourth generation of his family to helm the company, has long delighted in that part of his job.
"Children everywhere and parents having to hold their hands back and say, `no, no, that's enough' . . . That'll be missed."

I grew up going to those damn auctions, they were terrible.  A bunch of people, standing up for hours, to hear an older guy barking order, then slapping the paper auction guide before moving onto the next lot.  I always HATED being there… it was terrible.  

The "livestock" section, we never were involved with that, but its hard to forget that part of the rundown old building.  Chickens were kept in shocking wire cages, other animals were kept in dirty wooden pens.  It was all rather dim, there was animal waste everywhere, nothing was anywhere close to clean… imagine the worst "Factory Farm" footage you've ever seen, and then imagine a hundred plus old men bidding on those animals, "…you're coming with me, ha ha!" 

To imagine young children ENJOYING that sight, "oh wow, look at the animals!", it makes me sad, I wish someone had talked to them about Veganism.  I like seeing Chickens myself, I come home each day to my Chicken Friends, and they usually walk out to meet me.  Black Chick will always sit on my leg and eat from my hand.  The thought of seeing any of them in those horrible old wire cages, covered in filth, in all my life going there, the cages and pens always looked the same, they were probably NEVER cleaned….thats not how we should enjoy seeing other animals.  We shouldn't be bidding for their lives, and taking them home to be killed…

New Zealand has a television show called "Backbenchers", where politicians are questioned in a pub setting, the pub being "The Backbencher", an actual pub located opposite The Beehive, New Zealands parliamentary buildings, the main one is shaped like a Beehive, kind of.  Such dignified culture we have!

A backbencher is basically a low ranking politician for whatever political party, naming a pub "The Backbencher" could basically be seen as "we don't do anything, we sit here while others talk, we might as well be drunk, or at the pub over the road"

SAFE were in full effect, with many volunteers dressed up like Chickens amongst the alcohol drinking mob.  Debra Ashton, of SAFE and the radio show Animal Rights and Wrongs was able to address the politicians, note the chant at the end

Double down, double down… as in, the KFC burger made by killing Chickens, Pigs, taking milk from a mother Cow.  How mature, how sober of the pub crowd!

One "Far Right" by NZ standards MP made herself unpopular,

SILLY LITTLE CHICKENS?!?!  My Chicken Friends are clever, they talk to each other, look out for each other, and share food.  They're very nice, and not at all silly.  Now, it should be mentioned, is it good to say "I like Factory Farming!"?  No.  Does much of the country agree with ACTS position, "oh, those greenie animal freaks are always protesting and whining, gas bagging, they should get a job….", yes, certainly.  Does the majority of this country consider Chickens to be equal to Human beings?  CERTAINLY NOT!  But, should politicians be blunt about it?  To get the left votes, no!  "well X, we at Y party care for Animal Welfare, we're against animal cruelty, we want to see animals killed The Right Way…"

The ACT politician got to talk about the subject again, cant have those Chickens ENJOYING life, can we?

Hey Ms Right Winger, perhaps we should have a large government in charge of OUR daily lives, keep us in nice little cages, built for the lowest cost, that way the government would save lots of money on healthcare, right?  Hey, you'll live longer, in that nice little cage, while the government takes care of you, right?

The "Politically Correct Answer" is to say your party is very FOR Animal Welfare, like Sue Kedgley of the Green party

I liked that Kedgley said we fellow creatures, she also mentioned that we are animals too, so thats two points for her, but "what right do we have…"?  Who gave us the right to hurt them in the first place?  To kill these Chickens?  To expand on the answer, the question is framed "battery cage factory farms", OR, "cage free free range farms". And speaking of pure cost, the cheapest, most "economical" option is to buy NO EGGS AT ALL, theres no Vegan option presented.  Lets change that.  

A "Man on the Street" Vox Pops view was sought, a random pubgoer chosen,

<5 always free range>

Spending that little bit more on The Good Eggs vs having paid TV service, having more channels on your television.

Nearly everyone shown was FOR "Free Range", "Cage Free" eggs.  Its the socially acceptable answer.    But statistically, how many New Zealanders buy them?  A very, very low number, as of right now, it would essentially be impossible for large NON VEGAN restaurants to be "Good Eggs Only", as McDonalds has previously stated, the fast-food chain says theres not enough of "The Good Eggs".  

However, I've heard from those involved in lovely Free Range Farms directly, who say there is a quote "glut on the market", and so some of the SHEDS, as in, sheds full of birds, that counts as "Free Range" and " Cage Free" you know, whole SHEDS were being "culled early".  As the Hens age, they lay less eggs, and so they are KILLED, because if they pop out 4 when the farmer expects 5, then they cant be freeloaders you know!  Off with their heads!  

Whole sheds of Hens, being treated as things, being killed because, in the words of the farm worker I spoke with, there were TOO MANY Free Range, Cage Free eggs, presumably they couldn't all be sold, or, more likely, the profit margins were hurt, gotta keep that resource scarce, cant have a commodity you know!

So everyone says they are for "The Socially Acceptable Answer", but they don't vote with their dollar, they buy "Factory Farmed" products, because they are technically cheaper.  

Lets vote for the option thats essentially FREE, not buying Hen Periods in the first place!

The end of this Backbenchers episode also got a little confused, with the MP's competing in a quiz, the prize being "Free Range eggs donated by SAFE", which apparently was not the case, heres a clip

Twelve things that came out a females bottom, or an atlas, a printed book, they still make them?  Its basically Google Maps of New Zealand printed off with a couple staples holding the mess together, great prizes from TVNZ! :-)

Debra from SAFE was thanked for donating these Free Range eggs.  I've heard from Debra, and apparently SAFE did NOT donate eggs, they would NOT buy or directly promote such exploitation, remember, SAFE stands for Save Animals From Exploitation.  I know that my friends at the local SAFE have actively been talking with the Good, Free Range industry to supply local businesses, they actually organize delivery of Free Range bird eggs and flesh… it was described as a good thing, as less suffering is involved compared to "factory farm" products.

In any regard, if SAFE do NOT want to directly buy Free Range products, by changing their campaigns to be Vegan focused, ie, "don't buy bird eggs, its awful, animal cruelty!  Lets be Vegan, adopt a Chicken Friend", then such confusion wouldn't come up, a Vegan would not be thanked for the gift of a dozen Hen Periods in a cardboard box.

I decided to throw my weight around, I sent an email to the ACT party, whose MP said she didn't care for "those silly little chickens", saying I'm from a conservative area of the country, my father supported ACT, but the way they saw other animals would definitely keep me from recommending them as a political party, that they would lose the votes of the mighty Invercargill Vegan Society.  (remember, I joke that I'm the entire Invercargill Vegan Society, we're talking about a whole ONE vote here) .  I included some information about Veganism, while its unlikely that the ACT politicians reading my email, or the automatic computer script that replies to every complaint email, would decide to explore Veganism, its always worth mentioning Animal Rights, always worth promoting respect for animals.  If only to show that we are out here.  

Heres the reply I got.

"Hi Jay

Thank you for your email.

Hilary has sincerely apologised for causing offence with her comments about chickens.

She  was wrong to make such comments.

She intended it  to be part of a light hearted debate, but what she said was inappropriate.

The ACT Party  does not condone cruelty to animals and we respect those who seek to
ensure that all animals are treated humanely.

Kind regards
Margaret Alldred
ACT Party Manager

And now for some more Right Wing fun, I decided I had a spare 52 hours to listen to one single audiobook, so I said to myself, "hmmm, lets look at the list of audiobooks over 50 hours long…which one is most beloved by the Tea Baggers in America…because based on their crayon on cardboard signs, "Osama BinRack is the communist", I'm sure they've read the full thing, right?…hmmm…theres so many interesting, FIFTY HOUR LONG audiobooks to pick from… I guess I'll go with… Atlas Shrugged!"

And you know what?  Its current interpretation as the American Far Rights NEWEST testament aside, its actually rather good!  See, hardworking, inventive men and women are being held back and oppressed by the dim masses, who are jealous of anyones success, so they whine and they complain and they bicker and they make awful laws preventing innovation.  You know when you spend ten years in your steel mill inventing a new alloy?  And it turns out to be lighter, cheaper, much stronger than steel?  Basically perfect in every way?  And then all the bureaucrats refuse to allow its use, because nobodies ever used it before?  And it would disrupt the current economy?  And somehow you struggle through and stay in business despite their sanctions, all the other mills which were run by incompetent fools go bust, and they then start whinging and moaning and bickering that its UNFAIR for you to have a monopoly on your new metal?  That its not completive to allow one firm to invest its money and time and smarts into R&D, so the secret recipes of 12 spices should be taken over by the government, by force?  And so you flee to Colorado, to live with the other titans of industry, with this amazing new metal, powerful engines that practically run on air, surrounded by other billionaires?

Yeah, its not exactly the story of my life either, but its damn good reading!  All 50+ hours of listening while I work.  

Remember when the world was going to change as Obama was elected president?  You know, Hope, Change, all that talk?  All the wars that would stop on day one of President Obamas reign of terror?

Yeah, about that.

Heres a song that belongs on ARZone's great new podcast

Had to cut off the ending, that damn song is EIGHT MINUTES LONG!  Unreal, thank dog we moved away from that crap, to these modern two minute Autotuned masterpieces!

In future episodes I hope to cover the 2011 National Animal Rights Conference here in New Zealand, I'm flying up to Auckland, where I'll finally meet Elizabeth Collins, William Paul, Emmy James and many other vegans!  I'm very excited about that, and future projects for the Invercargill Vegan Society.  I've even thought up a way to get more listed members

Dead people cant vote apparently, but they sure as hell can make up the membership roll!  Another great idea from The Simpsons!  And who knows what other future directions INVSOC might take


Yeah, I didn't get it either.

As I walked up town in gale force winds recently, listening to Atlas Shrugged, I was inspired by the tale of one Far Right womans stand against the evil socialists.  As I could barely stand straight, bearing down the oppression of all the wind could throw at me, a certain tune popped into my mind.  Coincidentally, I was planning to use it for this episode, and it appeared in an episode of The Simpsons I was watching

Grimly walking through the wind, Vegans trying to make the world a better place, it came to me, we're all Rearden men and women!   But instead of decimating the working class with our tax cuts/zero tax for billionaires, corporate hand outs, privatizing the profits, socializing of losses…what if we all moved to our own little part of the world, to set up our own model community?  A garden of pure ideology!  of Information Purification directives, we shall prevail!   We could call it… Invercargill!

  We can do anything we put our minds to, we are made from Rearden metal, or if you like Futurama, Skintanium armor!  Seriously guys, move here!  It'll be great! We have a friendly mayor, willing to read from a script pinned to your chest, to go along with a friendly in joke :-)

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 . co .nz

If you want to contact me, I'd really love to hear from YOU, please send me an email to

I'm also on Facebook and Twitter, Jordan Wyatt, W Y A T T

Thank you for listening.


Nineteen Eighty Four

Animal Farm

Atlas Shrugged

Todds Auction Rooms Invercargill, retiring, "livestock auctions"

The Who
Wont be Fooled Again

Garden of pure ideology, we shall prevail! , information purification directives,
1984 Macintosh ad

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