Songs take a hit

October 2019

Perhaps fellow Australians might agree we need to look at our national songs in a new light.
With our statistics on anxiety and depression, the swagman is no longer jolly. The billabong is drought-affected and dry. Jumbucks are cruelly shoved in live export ships braving the seas that our land is girt by.
Retrenchments mean the troopers are reduced from three to two, one of whom delights in running across our golden soil to stone a wombat which in our country, after all, are nature’s gift.
If television offerings are anything to go by, it’s hip-hop Matilda, you’ll come a dirty dancing with me after we’ve married off the swaggie, regardless of in-law disapproval.
Time to lift our game, methinks .
Pamela Tyler

Sun never shines for factory farmed animals

October 2019

The sun is shining, flowers are blooming and everyone is out enjoying this glorious spring day. Well, not quite everyone. Inside our grim and gloomy factory farms, millions of chickens and pigs are not enjoying this day one little bit.

Deprived of sunshine, fresh air, space to move and all semblance of a natural life, they never “enjoy” any day of their tragic, short lives.

Given the vast array of healthy and delicious vegan foods readily available these days, how can we possibly justify inflicting this suffering on so many totally innocent, life loving beings? 

Jenny Moxham

Culling will fail

August 2019

I write in response to the letter titled “Culling” from Philip Miller.

For someone who puts forward his opinions on wildlife Mr Miller appears to have very little knowledge or understanding of animal behaviour or welfare.

Research and disastrous results have already proved that culling does not solve the problem. When one lot of animals is removed another lot of the same species breed to replace it, increasing the original numbers.

The relocation of the koalas from Kangaroo Island, even to the South-East of SA, resulted in disaster.

Sending them to Queensland would end in almost certain death.

Kangaroos live in family groups so relocation splits up the families and their whole lifestyle is destroyed and for what? More kangaroos bred.

There are even worse things than being dead, and relocation by live export overseas is one of them, resulting in suffering, injuries from attack from resident animals, failure to adapt to the climatic conditions and agonising death.

The idea of capturing corellas and exporting them overseas is incredibly cruel, and it would certainly not stop smugglers, as it is almost certain that these corellas would die or else be kept in cages, which is unthinkable.

Factual answers and solutions were put forward by many concerned residents at the Mt Barker discussion on the corella situation.

I spend most of my time researching and assisting with animal issues for all animals and I base my information on this.

I consider that if writers want to maintain their credibility they should do the same.

Christine Pierson 

Pest animals

August 2019

Pressure is put on State government to allow a cull of certain animal species,”Call for a cull” by branding some as pests.

Culls do not work as other animals move in to fil the void.

Minister for the Environment, David Speirs should be concerned about the backlash from the public and the political ramifications of culling koalas, kangaroos, corellas and fur seals.

Everyone of these species has been displaced by urban sprawl and loss of their natural environment and food supply.

A UniSA report confirmed that “…numbers of corellas had grown as land was cleared for farming and housing.”

Any animal or bird that appears to be in the “wrong” place, in the “wrong” numbers, is always there because of human actions. Odd clusters of wildlife are nature’s call for help.

As we humans alter and destroy habitat, wildlife moves on.

Yet there remains only so many islands of habitat left, that when wildlife cluster in numbers into the last bastions of suitable habitat they become a local extinction risk.

We must learn to live and let live.

Diane Cornelius

Sad story

August 2019

I felt very sad reading the story titled ”Good behaviour bond for woman’s animal mistreatment charges.”

People who love animals often take in more than they can adequately handle, because they try to save them from bad situations.

Then, when unforeseen misfortune befalls them, they cannot cope.

In situations like these, people should be able to call on the RSPCA and the Animal Welfare League (AWL) – who are both government funded as well as receiving public donations, to assist them – without fear of having their animals seized.

Instead these people battle on until circumstances occur like the one in this article. Instead of being helped, these people are dragged through the courts,

G.Hannah

Animal care

August 2019

I have concern for the Strathalbyn woman who was convicted of mistreating animals after taking in more animals  than she could properly look after.

If only the RSPCA would take more interest in the thin young beef cattle throughout the Hills and help well-meaning people care for their animals.

People like this Strathalbyn woman need practical help.

Alice Shore

Caring farmers

July 2019
In response to Darren Hill, who applauds the proposed NSW legislation against people who expose the hellholes of intensive animal production (“ Militant activists"), I suggest Mr Hill has lost the true meaning of what a farmer is.
Real farmers work the land and raise animals in natural conditions. Real farms – free-range farms – have not been targeted. The proposed legislation is nothing more than a means to keep animal abuse hidden behind closed doors by people who call themselves farmers but are just intensive animal producers.
Without what Mr Hill labels militant activists, the suffering behind these closed doors would never be known.
No one would know what a battery hen is, or a farrowing crate or that meat chickens can and often do die from thirst and/or starvation because their bodies have been so badly manipulated that their legs collapse from the weight of their body and they cannot reach food or water.
The abject and unrelenting misery of these animals is not what real farming is about.
W. Parsons

Follow the golden rule on kindness

April 2019

April 5 is International Golden Rule Day.

Imagine living in a world where everyone adhered to the Golden Rule.

This would be a world where everyone treated others the way they would like to be treated if they were them.

Now when I say “others”, I’m not simply referring to human beings, I’m referring to all sentient beings because all sentient beings desire happiness and none want to be subjected to pain and suffering.

Tragically, billions of our most gentle and inoffensive creatures – those reared for their flesh, milk and eggs – are treated, by us, in the most horrific manner.

We severely confine them in cages and pens, we agonisingly mutilate them and we steal their newborn babies. Ultimately we subject every single one of them to a terrifying and excruciatingly painful death.

International Golden Rule Day, on April 5, was founded to encourage kindness to everyone.

Shouldn’t “everyone” logically include all sentient beings? 

Jenny Moxham

Serious pet business 

March 2019

I share the concerns shown in the letter “Pet responsibility” (Sunday Mail, 24/3/19) regarding Lainie Anderson’s article “My pet peeves but hutch is where the heart is” (Sunday Mail, 17/3/19). 
W. Parsons is correct, this issue is too close to the terrible truth to be amusing as it happens all too often, and not just with guinea pigs but with all animal species. My concerns resulted in establishing that Ms Anderson said she is not going to give the guinea pigs away and still has them. 
One important point is that they were both the same sex so thank goodness they didn’t breed. Guinea pigs get along OK but male rats and rabbits fight and need to be desexed. 
When I was teaching at Yunta Special Rural School, the irresponsible actions of the Education Department resulted in sending up a pregnant guinea pig for science, to see babies born, which was a disaster. I took on the job of looking after this poor little animal and it ended with years of worry and work. 
This article would have been much more constructive if it had been treated in a serious context. 
Christine Pierson

International Women's Day, stop violence to all females

March 2019
The focus of this years International Women's Day, on March 8th, was ending violence to women. But if violence to human females is wrong, shouldn't violence to all females be deemed wrong? Logically, how can it be wrong to abuse human females but right to abuse non-human females?

The females I'm referring to are the sows, hens, cows and other female animals who are condemned to lives of suffering and violent deaths simply because of their reproductive capabilities. Breeding sows quite literally go insane in their body hugging metal and concrete pens and battery hens endure not only the intolerable confinement of their small, wire cages but also the feather pecking of their half-crazed "cell" mates.

Each year  "dairy" cows are forced to endure the agony of giving birth, only to have their precious babies torn from their side and killed. As soon as their milk supply wanes they, too, are callously slaughtered.Whenever we buy animal products we are saying, in effect, "I support the abuse of females. Please use my money to continue abusing them".

As a vegan of forty years I can assure you that no abuse of females -or males -is necessary in order to enjoy a healthy and happy life.

Jenny Moxham

Animal rights

March 2019

As an animal activist, I read last week's article on Aussie Farms with interest.

The days of abusing animals away from the public eye are coming to a close.

Cruel practices must be recognised by the public and kinder methods of animal husbandry adopted.

Alice Shore

Animal laws 

February 2019

The ACT is Australia’s first territory/state to consider legislation for including animals’ sentience – their ability to experience mental states and feelings – to become part of animal protection law. 

This is positive, radical news for animal lovers, who have long advocated, argued and campaigned for what is scientifically proven about animal psychology. 

That animals are capable of feeling and expressing good and negative emotions and that they suffer just as humans do and just as intensely is indisputable . 

This brings the way people use animals in farming, entertainment , experimentation and work into a brilliant new light. 

The ACT legislation is open for community response and will be debated later this year in their Legislative Assembly. 

I will be following the trailblazing development and would hope South Australia will also introduce this kind of legislation for animals. 

Simone Hunter

How can it be?

August 2018

Ed Vaughan's letter stated the ‘wages of sin is death’.

How can that be when people of all ages die accidentally and due to grave illnesses?

Actually... growing scientific evidence proves that vegans are healthier without the cholesterol that builds up in our arteries from eating unhealthy animal products. Vegans also suffer less from dementia for this reason.

Ed Vaughan obviously wants to be forgiven for eating sentient animals by stating that God gave us ‘dominion’ over them.

Genesis was originally written in Hebrew so every translation involves interpretation, which shows having the right to exploit or despoil is wrong.

We are charged to protect, support, love and treat animals with dignity and respect each according to its kind.

Diane Cornelius

Suffering animals

August 2018

Were being called on to help the “poor” drought-stricken farmers.

But what about the poor sheep and cattle who are physically suffering through lack of food?

What have they ever done to us to deserve this pain?

Drought is “part and parcel” of Australia.

Clearly this hot, dry land is not a good place to raise vast numbers of sheep and cattle.

Despite this, farmers continue to fill the land with livestock and when drought comes our government rushes to keep them afloat with multi-million dollar handouts.

It’s time to phase out industries that are not sustainable – and the livestock industry is one of them.

Jenny Moxham

Meaty issue

July 2018

Ed Vaughan believes we should kill animals for food because, "while Peter was in a trance “God” told him to kill and eat." 

Does Ed also believe we should enslave humans, murder, rape and pillage because “God” ordered these cruel acts? Just about every other page in the Old Testament has God ordering the death of somebody.

Clearly the Bible is the word of man, not the word of a just and loving God? Consequently we should not base our actions on what we read in this archaic book but on what is just and fair.

Is it fair to subject inoffensive animals to the pain and terror of slaughter just because we enjoy the taste of their flesh?

Is it fair to truck millions of newborn calves to the slaughterhouse in their first week of life just because we enjoy the taste of their milk?

As an anti abortionist, Ed, why do you condone this cruelty to babies? And is it fair

to condemn hens to lives of intolerable suffering inside uncomfortable wire cages just because we enjoy the taste of their eggs?

If you were in their place, Ed, how would you like to be treated? 

Jenny Moxham

Speciesism

July 2018

Why should a human life be deemed worthy of saving, but a non-human life be deemed worthless?

Last week as people around the world – including me – rejoiced following the rescue of the Thai children trapped in the cave, I reflected on this question.

I couldn’t help thinking about the millions of other youngsters who are currently trapped – trapped inside our grim and gloomy factory farms.

These frightened youngsters never escape from their “caves” alive, yet they don’t want to die terrifyingly and painfully any more than human children do.

“Broiler chickens” still have their baby blue eyes when sent to their hideous and cruel death and pigs are just six months old when sent to slaughter.

Where is our compassion for these innocent, vulnerable youngsters?

If we have sympathy for humans, but none for non-humans – who feel pain in exactly the same way – aren’t we guilty of speciesism?

And isn’t speciesism – discrimination against another solely on account of its species – just as indefensible as racism, or sexism?

Jenny Moxham

Ludicrous claim

July 2018

Dairy Farmers, the Camerons, continue to make the same ludicrous claim that PETA’s shearing video was fake, despite the fact that the Australian shearers in question admitted their guilt in court. 

They say dairy farmers don’t “mercilessly kill millions of calves”. Fact: Each year in Australia 450,000 newborn dairy calves are trucked to the slaughterhouse in their first week of life.

The Camerons say, they “abhor” cruelty to animals. But can they deny that they force their cows to endure the physical pain of giving birth each year, the emotional pain of having their babies continually stolen from them, and the terror and pain of being sent to the slaughterhouse as soon as their milk supply wanes?

John and Jenny, if your Oxford Dictionary defines milk as opaque white fluid secreted by female mammals for feeding “young”

I suggest you get a new dictionary. I just looked at an ancient copy that I have and it clearly said milk was produced by mammals for “their young”. 

Jenny Moxham

Remember we’re all God’s creatures

June 2018

Re: “Jesus apparently loved his fish.” There’s one suggestion in the Bible I wholeheartedly agree with: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Although this directive was intended for humans, if we all treated all beings the way we would like to be treated if we were them, what a wonderful world it would be.

Jenny Moxham

Power of language

June 2018

Scott Kovacevic’s editorial referring to the frequent absurdity of human language.

Of course it would be fascinating to understand “dog talk”, although even more important would be the obvious interpretation of farmed animal’s voices and cries, who are imprisoned in filthy factory farms, on stinking export vessels and are forced to go to slaughter in their billions.

We would surely all be vegan.

Diane Cornelius

The genesis of misperception

June 2018

In his letter, “The genesis of misperception,” ‘SD’ wrote of Eric Bahrt: “Your value of compassion for other beings is sacred enough.” I agree, and include Jenny Moxham’s letters, which reject all animal cruelty.

All the biblical talk has nothing to do with the way animals are treated in industrial factory farming and how Thailand’s elephants lead lives of deprivation, are mercilessly beaten and have their spirits broken. Many of the world’s wild animals are nearing extinction and we should be respecting and allowing them to live their lives as naturally as they can. Australia is not blameless for the slaughter of our iconic kangaroos.

Diane Cornelius

No chance for animals to grow old

June 2018

Imagine never growing old. An appealing thought? Well, there’s one group of individuals who never grow old.

These individuals never grow old because their lives are cruelly snuffed out. I’m referring, of course to farmed animals. The youngest victims – hatched by the egg industry – are the millions of “useless” male chicks who are dropped live into mincing machines on day one of their lives.

The next youngest are bobby calves who are barley one week old when trucked to the slaughterhouse.

Broiler chickens, at just six weeks of age, still have their baby blue eyes when they meet their gruesome death and pigs and lambs are six month old when killed. Beef cattle are slaughtered at around three years of age and spent dairy cows are killed at about five years of age.  

Jenny Moxham

Animals should share our peace

May  2018

I notice that May 16 was International Day of Living Together in Peace. Now, obviously, this “day” was established with human beings alone in mind. But is there any logical reason why we shouldn’t include everybody in this?

By “everybody”, I mean every living, feeling being. Is there any valid reason why humans deserve to live in peace but non-humans don’t?

Why is it considered okay for us to deprive them not only of all semblance of a natural life but also fresh air, sunshine and space to exercise?

Why is it okay for us to agonisingly mutilate them and needlessly subject them to a terrifying and violent death? Isn’t it time we humans started living in peace with all sentient beings?

Jenny Moxham

Animal farming

March 2018

Miles Kemp's article "Horses, possum and donkey meat would be on the menu under legal changes in SA, " sent shivers down my spine. The article goes on to also suggest allowing buffalo, camel, deer, goat, pig, hare, and wallaby, as well as our iconic kangaroo.

Cruel, intensive industrial animal agriculture of gentle cows, lambs, pigs, chickens, ducks, turkeys and fish, and their secretions, milk and eggs, for our temporary taste bud satisfaction, is already completely unsustainable and environmentally polluting.

We must adopt non-violent, non polluting, lighter footprint lifestyles and create compassionate and gentle populations. The survival of our species and even planet, is dependent on the empathy and responsibility that veganism embodies. 

Diane Cornelius

Switching to the animals’ point of view.

March 2018

Tony Ash wonders if farmed animals would prefer to “savour” life in order to be eaten – or prefer to never exist at all. Firstly, to savour something means to enjoy it, and I doubt whether any farmed animals would ever “enjoy” their lives. 

Endure, would be a more appropriate word. This is because the majority are imprisoned in grim, stinking, sunless, cramped factory farms. They have no semblance of a natural life and, in addition to this, they are agonisingly mutilated. Laying hens may be in chronic pain as a result of de-beaking while “broiler” chickens are deliberately bred in a manner known to cause suffering. Animals reared outdoors suffer too.

Dairy cows are compelled to give birth each year and each year they have their beloved newborn babies torn from their side. Calves are agonisingly castrated and dehorned. Sheep and cattle suffer in droughts and severe heat and many sheep freeze to death after being shorn. 

This is only a fraction of the pain farmed animals are forced to endure. And, of course, they all meet a terrifying and brutal slaughter. Does Tony seriously think any sensitive, intelligent animal would prefer this life over no life? I know I wouldn’t.

Jenny Moxham

Training people

Feb 2018

I understand that the RSPCA is going to start focussing on training people in proper care for their dogs, cats and other domestic pets?  However, I question their advertising themselves “for all creatures great and small”? 

What are they doing about the transport of sheep, cattle, goats and chickens in searing heat, as I witnessed today in Birdwood. At 2pm, two sheep transporters drove through Birdwood with obviously distressed animals on board. It was 40 degrees! The number plates were so dirty, you couldn’t read the numbers. Imagine how hot the steel plate floors in these trucks get, not to mention the dog boxes underneath. When is something going to be done to put a temperature limit on farm animal transport?

Meanwhile, all over the hills, one sees sheep, cows and horses in paddocks with no shade or shelter, enduring 40 degree heat or freezing wind and rain, depending on the season. When is something going to be done about that? I commend PETA and other concerned groups, for continuing to point out the cruelty and lack of care being shown to certain groups of animals which appear to have little or no legal protection.

Alex Hodges