Episode 76 Eye on INVSOC
Milford Sound Monorails scaring poor Hunters away with their loud swooshing, Pea Farmers and Pigeons "…just shut your eyes and go for it", Killer Whales: Fighting For [their] Rights (to party?), Veganism in the Otago Daily Times, Veganism, The Invercargill Vegan Society in the Invercargill Eye newspaper.
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Hello and welcome to another top quality episode of Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals, Episode 76, Eye on INVSOC.
Lets get started with our usual entree of local news stories, local if you live in Invercargill, New Zealand.
On building a monorail through a national park, to make tourism easier, involving the cutting down of native trees:
""People are incredibly satisfied with the whole trip to Milford Sound. It's the most beautiful road you can imagine ... the nasty parts are being stuck in a metal can, a bus ... a monorail is another metal can.""
"Lodge customers and visitors to the valley came for peace and quiet away from stress, she said.
"The peace is what strikes everybody when they come ... it's not just about us. All the hunters who go through, every single one says [that they would] never go up the valley again if the monorail was there."
The lodge would certainly put in a submission against the monorail, she said.
"We need to speak out and let people know about it. It's not for me to persuade the whole world I'm right. I have an opinion ... but it's for people to be aware of this land."
So, the hunters who go out with their bang bang guns and everything, they are worried about the gentle swish of a quiet monorail going past and making noise? These people who fire off guns all over the bush, they are worried about disturbing the peace as they run about, killing other animals for fun, with their firearms? Intent to Kill, premeditated murder, bang bang bang bang bang, these people are worried about the monorail making a bit of noise?
We just need to build Monorails all over the place to stop animal killing! Wheres Lyle Lanely when you need him?
Now, after those other poor animal hunters were upset by the "gentle as a cloud" Monorail noise through the bush, the soft swooshing which would put them off firing their guns all over the place, shooting bits of lead and steel throughout every moving animal they could find, I would NEVER mock another hunting party….such as this one, where a Pea Farmer found his crop being devastated by wild pigeons…..I mean, theres no reasonable precautions that could be taken in such circumstances….its not like he could be like the fruit orchards, which have birdproof netting over the fruit……simple, one off purchase nets over the rows of Peas……no, the ONLY reasonable choice is to go to your local pub and round up a bunch of yahoos to shoot their guns off at the birds, yup!
"A mob of hungry pigeons have eaten their way through 8 tonnes of a farmer's pea crop reducing his harvest yield in Central Southland.
Arable farmer Robert Clarke ripens peas at Drummond to sell as seed. He harvested 28 tonnes on Monday, but it could have been 36 tonnes, because a "mob" of pigeons ate 8 tonnes, he said.
Now the peas were harvested, the pigeons had started eating the green leaves of his young swedes, he said.
"I had a bird scarer, but after a couple of days they got used to it."
Farmer Geoff Miller leased the 10 hectares of pea paddock to Mr Clarke.
Ten years ago there was a flock of 100 pigeons, now it was a flock of 1000, Mr Miller said.
The pigeons were also eating his neighbours' grain.
"It's a widespread problem," he said. "The sky is black with them."
Mr Clarke said Environment Southland told him to poison the pigeons and they could source him a product at a cost.
Environment Southland senior biosecurity officer Dave Burgess said the product was a narcotic, not a poison. "It puts them into a coma. It stupifies them and they fall asleep."
This narcotic protected other birdlife because the farmer goes into the sleeping flock and wrings the pigeons necks, he said.
The weekend before the harvest, Mr Clarke allowed a posse to shoot the pigeons.
Electrician Paddy Tallum heard about the hunt at the Northern Tavern, in Invercargill.
He was part of a 15-strong posse that shot 70 pigeons the Sunday before harvest. He said he used a water tank for cover, while another hunter sat in the middle of the pea paddock in a swivel chair.
"It was really windy, so the pigeons could manoeuvre easily," he said. "So you just shut your eyes and go for it."
I'll step in, right, so a bunch of people with guns, recruited at a pub, a bar, a tavern where my father used to go each Thursday night, The Northern, they rustle up a bunch of people to go out with their little guns and play hide and seek behind water tanks, or sitting in a chair that can swing round every direction, so the brave hunter shooting little birds doesn't have to actually turn their bodies that much, and because it was windy, the goal was just to close your eyes and fire away, perhaps while hiding behind the all important water tank, living away from the town water supply, blindly firing away behind the water tank is probably a really smart idea…..or spinning around in your chair, shooting every which way with your eyes tightly closed….
Spinning round and round in your chair, firing at where the birds could be, with your eyes closed, while all your fellow friends from the pub are doing the same? Sounds like the gene selection pool is win-nowing down, as you help out our friend the reaper with the pea field mowing….rowing straight down the river Styx, the river in hell
"...All the unlucky birds were breasted and were barbecued for lunch.
Each pigeon came with ITS own side dish, he said.
"There was about half a cup of peas in each."
Heres a fun story, PETA campaigned to end the property status of Killer Whales (great name by the way, "ah yes, we would like to help Killer Whales….", and in a country where the government kills murderers too! "we want to help Killer Whales…give them rights…"), I saw a couple of interesting comments on a 3 News article covering PETA's appeal being turned down, that Orca would remain items of property in sea parks.
07 FEB 2012 7:11P.M.
Oh PETA, you are yet another radical organisation that does your cause more harm than good. You might well have a point, but you lose your support by the ways you go about things."
Actually, as far as PETA things go, this was pretty non controversial, nobody was screaming and shouting, no fake blood or nudity, nothing sex related, they just wanted Killer Whales to be treated with love and respect, for these Killer Whales to be given rights. The old line "you might have a point …….but you do your cause more harm than good" is something I've seen many a time from Farmers, people who are utterly uninterested in Veganism might say something similar to my comments online, basically, any polite asking for Veganism is an all out attack, and that we should just sit quietly, never say a peep, never wear a T shirt with the word Vegan on it, nothing to draw attention, and maybe people will "just decide" to go Vegan around us!
Its something thats said when our points cant be countered, "you do your cause more harm than good", really, how so? In what way? To many of the farmers I've spoke with online, even just the idea of mentioning Veganism is "an attack on farming", as though we were storming the building with flaming torches and pitchforks, baying for farmers blood!
I liked this other comment too, presumably this is a New Zealander for some reason bringing up that SOCIALIST Obama and the American Constitution….
"GoFigure the real motives
07 FEB 2012 6:52P.M.
Mammals to-day, Fish to-morrow, Beef and Chicken the next day and Broccoli and Cauliflower the next. Obama and NDAA has destroyed the constitution for Humans why would animals be any different. Lol"
Heres my reply which was published on the page, which went unanswered by Mr or Ms "GoFigure The Real Motives"
"A question for the other commenters, "GoFigure the real motives", well, what *is* your imagined conspiracy behind this story? That once other animals are recognized as their own independent sentient beings, somehow its all over for humanity? :-)
I'm Vegan, I support not harming or killing other animals. I would not have proposed such a law change, as the American professor of Law Gary Francione would mention, the case is best presented person to person, talking with other people about how we see other animals, not in going for large law changes.
You mentioned "mammals today", and then latter "beef", meaning the killed flesh of a cow (female) or bull (male). They too are mammals, as are we! We are of course all animals after all :-)
We are INVSOC, and We Are Weaned are good examples of this :-)
INVERCARGILL VEGAN SOCIETY
"all animals are equal"
And finally, one last story for this episode, newspaper coverage of Veganism.
As I speak, I'm holding in my hands a newspaper, an actual newspaper, one of those things we'll be telling our children about, and right there on the front cover is mention of an inside story about…VEGANISM!
Red letters on a yellow background with a photo of corn chips and two Vegans serving food, "Vegans, eating without the animals"
Its amazing, I'll cherish this thing forever, a real, actual mainstream newspaper, where people had to pay for these things to be delivered to their mailboxes by a kid on a bike, oh, mailboxes? Well, people used to walk about and stuff pamphlets and this thing called junkmail in letterboxes, everyone had a letterbox outside their house, its kinda like the Spam folder in your Gmail account, so these newspaper things were delivered to your mailbox, and you had to wake up early in the morning, shuffle out of bed, grab your slippers and walk outside to the mailbox at the end of your drive, then you'd go back inside, and unfold this HUUUGE paper thing on your table, eating breakfast while you turned the colossal pages! No son, we didn't just reach over to the nightstand for our iPad 10, and conveniently read the free news sent over the internet, we had to walk out and get this dead tree thing from the mailbox…..
The Otago Daily Times covered Veganism, and on the front page there was mention too, the story focuses on a Vegan family who sell Vegan food at a local farmers market, they call their business "The Joyful Vegan". It sounds really impressive, I've had friends who've eaten there before, it sounds like something the Invercargill Vegan Society have to rip off, and sell vegan food for cost at our local Farmers Market, an opportunity to promote Veganism. Maybe we could even try and undercut the prices of all the other food stalls, sure, we'd lose money on every sale, but we'd make it up in volume, genius!
I wrote another of my typical whiny comments on a recent Southland Times newspaper article online, about an A&P show, where farmers have all kinds of little events showing off the prettiest pony, and children drag small "farm" animals around a stage, ice cream and hot chips are sold, sort of like a carnival, but, you know, without the cool rides and with more bales of hay.
Heres the artful depiction in the newspaper:
"Thankfully, the merry-go-round horses were well behaved at the Winton A&P show on Saturday. The real animals were more of a problem in the sweltering heat.
"This is a disaster," a teenage girl declared as melted icecream ran across her cone-clenched fingers.
Meanwhile, a little girl struggled to handle her stubborn friesian calf.
As they jostled, the adult yearling heifer show stalled, with a stroppy galloway needing to be taken to the naughty corner.
"There's always the Taieri show," the disappointed owner said.
The heifer's tantrum turned the caged beef, in dull-grey steel lashed with brightly coloured ribbon, into a monotone moan, the beastly choir bellowing hot air skyward in a living, breathing, pipe organ.
Horses pranced with braided manes in the heat of the racecourse, though the miniature horses wore their manes down.
The traction engines, both big and small, smoked away.
Smiling children slid down inflated sinking ships. Large serves of caffeine were sold from car boots. Red sauce zigzagged hot chips.
When the shearer's kneecaps released the last shorn lamb, the crowd began to clap.
And the sun beat relentlessly down."
That sounds like a description of the seventh layer of hell to me, burning hot sun, melting non vegan icecreams, coffee and hot chips with tomato sauce being a highlight, animals upset by the weather, quote "this is a disaster", "a little girl struggled to handle her STUBBORN friesian calf…", another "stroppy" (angry, protesting, ill tempered) animal…..a described animal "tantrum"…..a "beastly choir"….smoking old traction engines, basically crazy old tractors…… no doubt hairy backed men holding sheep between their knees while they violently cut their hair, their wool off as quickly as possible, before letting them get back up off the ground and thrown away for the next barbershop victim….
It sounds like hell!
I wrote a short, polite comment saying it sounded awful for the other animals who were forced into somewhat "performing", and who were described as spoilsports for not wanting to leap at the chance to participate, "stroppy", "stubborn", "taken to the naughty corner", "tantrum", "a monotone moan", "caged beef", I had a short comment basically saying "why do we do this to other animals? Go Vegan!", and with the Invercargill Vegan Societies contact details.
I was emailed back on our firstname.lastname@example.org address from a local Southland Times reporter, basically wanting to do a story about Veganism, about people who disagree with all these "Southland Summertime events" that involve animals, rodeos, judging competitions for "farm" animals etc. I would just read the email I got from Frances the reporter, but it had a rather scary and totally original giant warning at the bottom, about how the contents of the email were copyright and not to be shared or even discussed on your podcast, for fear of being sued by a giant Australian owned media conglomerate.
Of course I immediately accepted the story offer, and asked among local INVSOC members who would like to be present for the interview, the more Vegans the merrier.
In the end, it was just my friend Natalie and myself, we spoke with Frances the reporter for about an hour, and then before she left, we posed for a photo with our Chicken Friends. The photo of Natalie and myself kneeling down in my backyard garden with Hen Friends all around is quite nice, Natalie is holding gentle bantam Black Chick, and I decided to try holding a much larger Rescued Hen, if she would put up with it. One of the larger two Rescued Hens was obliging, the largest Hen who I nicknamed "Geiger" after she came here broody, clucking away softly to herself, clucking loudly the closer you got to her before she would freak out, clucking very loudly, very quickly and running away from danger! I like the idea that she was monitoring background radiation levels or something, and to be so big, she's HUGE compared to Yellow Hen and Black Chick, bantam Chickens, so surely some kind of radiation was involved?
Heres the full text of the article, its not quite what I would say if I were writing the story, but here goes :
""would you shave a cat and throw IT down a hole", the title of my autobiography, but not something I actually said, it was in relation to "throwing sheep on wooden shearing shed floors while we cut their wool off as quickly as possible", I asked rhetorically "how would we feel if someone were to throw a Labrador down and do this to them, they are the same size, they are both made of bones and muscle", I didn't mention cats or holes, and I certainly didn't call this fictional cat an "it" :-)
I heard a preview of the article and asked for "it" to be changed to "them", but perhaps an editor helpfully "corrected" my Animal Rights aware correction after Frances made like Michael Jackson and make that change :-)
There is more than a little of the article which is not QUITE what I said, the reporter was taking down notes on a pad of paper in shorthand, so its not exact, I was wondering how words like "speciesism" were being turned into magic reporters symbols as we spoke, but on the whole, I'm glad the Invercargill Vegan Society got a story in the local community newspaper!
Frances was even willing to be interviewed for Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals after interviewing us about Veganism!
And now with my trademark interview opening "and joining me today…."
Thank you very much to Frances for interviewing Natalie and myself on behalf of the Invercargill Vegan Society. Thank you to Frances for allowing one of the interviewee's to become the interrogator, I mean uhhh, interviewer!
I also managed to interview Natalie, another vegan living in Invercargill. I asked Natalie how she felt we went talking with reporter Frances about Veganism, if we kept our main theme simple to understand, and if we were good representatives to Veganism.
Thank you very much to Natalie for her time, both for coming over and being interviewed by Frances, and also for MY interview with her for us to listen to now.
Heres to many more comments on local newspapers online stories, who knows, maybe the nail that sticks up for the animals gets hammered back down, or maybe, just maybe, the squeaky Vegan wheel gets the synthetic lubricant, you never know, but make sure to keep an Invercargill Eye on INVSOC!
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 www.coexisting.co.nz
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Thank you for listening.
Monorail would ruin killing animals for fun in NZ bush
Birds eating peas…shooters killing them all, eating their bodies
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory "no way of knowing which direction we are going…."clip
River Styx in hell
Bird poop problem in Dunedin
PETA on slavery status of Orca
A&P show, animals in rodeos etc
Otago Daily Times Veganism