VEGA News Item

The Independent: Misinformation on Welfare and Behaviour For All Animals - 23/02/2005
We assert a bolder initiative involving all animals, humans and non-humans, that entails more lame editorials dumping diverisionary nannying on the government.
To the Editor,

Animal welfarists will not forget hunting (“here are some animal rights issues the Government should address,” editorial 18th February).

Britain and the Government should be proud that, albeit in a blundering way, we have set an example of traditional abuses of non-human animals that can be removed from civilised life. We hope that cultures in Europe and North America can achieve such reforms without the contrived political opposition British animal welfarists have had to face.

You reproach us unfairly for a lack of success in other matters. “Cruelty-free” cosmetics and anti-fur campaigns succeeded without noticeable help from the Government but by dogged intelligence underwriting cogent campaigns that evoked public support and self-discipline sufficient to stimulate the market and sales tactics, such as franchising outlets.

Now the opportunities beckon to seize initiatives and joined-up plough-to-plate farm-to-fork thinking to integrate reforms in production and trends to “healthy” and interesting diets that are “cruelty-free” and nutritionally desirable. A portfolio of such possibilities is being collated and advocated; they would comprehend all the good in Mediterranean, 5-a-day fruit and vegetables and glycemic index (GI) catering. They connote salutary reductions in consumption derived from the odious live/deadstock industry. The market is responding to persuasions such as ours and from the interest of the producers and food industry, bending to imperatives in farming and environmental policies; commentators in the press should take heed. Alternatives to dairy-produce from the nation’s herds of miserable, mastitic, mucky, and lame cows are thrusting into a market in which, commerce is providing the milk of human kindness, releasing thousands of cows and calves from their thrall.

Similarly, specious free-range temptations must not distract from the untoward rise in egg sales over the last 4 years from desistance that could reverse evils you condemn in the poultry-industry and release thousands of hectares for wildlife conservation, orchards, allotments, horticulture, and playing fields in provision of public demand for “healthy” activities. Obesity and greed demand ways of eating thriftily.

Our Green Plan for research into farming, food, health, and land, launched in 1976, is beginning to bear fruit. It relies on the exercise of self-discipline by well-informed and discriminating citizens making their choices (and boycotts) with a minimum of government interference and delay. And we hope for vigorous debate on these issues in the media. Every questionable purchase at the cash-point makes customers accomplices in practices over which they could exercise the will to oust.

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