Sunday, February 20

End of an era

Whenever I am near a farm or in the country I experience a calm that comes over me like a gentle breeze. The sounds of country life instantly tells me to slow down and relax. It is hard to put my finger on it but I think it has something to do with the changing seasons; the hum of activity that sets its own pace and laughs at you if you foolishly try to impose your own will. From my childhood memories comes the idea there was a certain patience needed to taste the sweetness of fresh mulberries picked just as the fruit ripens. One felt secure in the daily routine of a baker bringing his freshly baked bread or a milkman filling your milk jug from milk from a farm up the road. There was a certain thrill of picking out only the edible wild mushrooms for our family breakfast.

I remain interested in farming and have watched the growth in ‘Land Care’ as farming properties join together to create interlocking corridors of preserved natural bush covenanted to nature. These large tracts of covenanted land set aside as a ‘trust for nature’ ensures the indigenous species can continue to flourish. These areas cover up to 15% or more of each property and not only preserve the environment in perpetuity but also provide superior farm yields.

Most Farmers who are involved with animals reared for the ultimate purposes of human consumption are at considerable pains to ensure their animal’s environment and relative freedom ensures enjoyment up to the time of any slaughtering. When that time arrives it needs to be carried out in a swift and humane to avoid suffering or stress on the animals concerned. There is no reason to sustain suffering of animals today. Factory farming (which , for the most part is not widespread in Australia) where animals are housed in restricted space and force fed a unnatural high growth diet tell us something very negative about society verging on moral bankruptcy. Fortunately in many countries distributors are starting to label their product as free range and turning the tide for that preference amongst consumers.

It all boils down to the point any prolonged suffering of animals is unacceptable today regardless of past tradition or culture or anything else. Either we take some responsibility for what we eat and how it is produced or we turn a blind eye to it or argue against it on the basis of animal’s existence is not of any consequence when it comes to human existence. Such as argument to my mind is morally indefensible. It also follows that those involved in any form of farming in the wild owe a responsibility not to engage in practices that result in slow agonizing death to animals.

Anyone witnessing the cruelty of commercial whaling would be horrified at the spectacle of the slow and agonising death of a harpooned whale. At least now in the Soutern Ocean ther whales have gained some respite ........'It’s official – the Japanese whaling fleet has called it quits in the Southern Ocean, at least for this season. And if they return next season, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society state they will be ready to resume their efforts to obstruct and disable illegal Japanese whaling operations. ' To read more click here

The federal government has refused to be drawn on the tenor of a meeting between the Japanese foreign minister and Australia's ambassador in Tokyo following a premature end to the whaling season.
Japan announced on Friday it was bringing home its harpoon ships a month early for safety reasons following a series of clashes with anti-whaling activists
. more here