VEGA's response to The Independent article concerning cruelty in dog breeding
5th August 2003
It’s not only the overbred and overfed British bulldog that is “the barely-living embodiment of man’s arrogance towards the animal kingdom” (article, 4 August): it’s also the British bull that with alien genetic importations, artificial inseminations, and embryo transfers and other offences to his progeny begets a bestiary of sad, deprived calves and dams and emasculated steers manipulated for meatiness and milkiness and riven with production diseases (lameness, mastitis, and reproductive disorders, to mention a few) and disadvantaged into low levels of livability. The archetypally herbivorous cow was transformed disastrously into a “carnibal”.
These arrogant tricks are played likewise on animals such as pigs and sheep. Poultry too are distorted into distressed “pedigrees” forced into intensive systems as fast-growing oven-readies for their meat or as egg-laying machines. Ill-judged attempts at improving their welfare by resort to free-range systems pitches them into barren and inimical environments and deny them their natural requirements and instincts for trees, shade, hides and protection from disease and infestation, and exposes them to the stereotypic pecking and cannibalistic attentions of each other. Many of the broilers would not last the pace were they not slaughtered after only 6 weeks of production.
Farm animals are denied many of the better ministrations of vets before they are due for slaughter by means which owners would be horrified to put their pets “to sleep”. Critics of the sentimentality and hypocrisy of the “lovers” of dogs and cats should also examine and withdraw their complicity in the perversions inflicted on the greater populations avoidably travestied and sacrificed in the greed for cheap and convenient food.
Hon. Research Adviser,