Friday, February 29, 2008

When is it deemed animal cruelty?

Of course I'm glad about this story. The BCSPCA (British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty towards Animals) raided two places in Surrey that were keeping roosters for the sole purpose of cockfighting. On one location they found several cock pits that is proof that this illegal and inhumane activity was actually happening. The birds were tethered to confine their movement and many had injuries incurred from fights.

Unfortunately all of the birds had to be killed after their rescue because of an outdated animal cruelty law that does not permit the birds to be kept alive. The BCSPCA was quite upset at having to euthanize the birds. The animal cruelty laws seriously need to be updated.

Now what is really bothering me is that through all this media coverage not once does anyone mention the appalling conditions that egg laying hens live through when living in battery cages that are so small they can't even fully stand up or spread their wings. This is their whole life. Suffering is suffering is it not? So why do battery cages still exist?


Wandering Coyote said...

I can't believe cock-fighting still goes on, but so does horse racing and greyhound racing...

I am doing my damnedest to cut down on my meat intake...I'm buying more bison now, less chicken over-all, more fish...Other than milk, I'm cutting down on dairy, too.

Vegan Run Amok said...

I don't understand either how people can see that the one thing is cruel but not the other. Well, actually I suppose they see using animals for sport as gratuitous but using them as meat and egg factories as necessary and this allows them to overlook or accept as a necessary evil some pretty horrible stuff. Baby steps, I guess.

Anonymous said...

There is a general indifference and malaise when it comes to animals we use for our convenience entertainment and food. Recently a truck full of pigs going to slaughter overturned and 50 were killed and several escaped into the excrutiatingly cold weather. The CBC announcer, Mike Finnerty, on the morning show in Montreal made several jokes about the pigs saving their bacon...etc...can't remember the others because I was so livid. What's worse is that any comments from concerned people are usually ignored or considered to be over the top...I was at a book club meeting last week with a group of apparently intelligent well informed people and I couldn't help making a comment about the picture on the carton of milk on the table that showed cows lounging in the fields, happily chewing their cuds. I made a remark about the irony and dishonesty of the picture. One woman questioned me and was shocked to hear the reality...but then told me she could never give up milk.
Need I say more?

minouette said...

The reporters have to stick to one story at a time, otherwise it digresses into a babel of issues; they can't be expected to jump from cockfighting to battery hens, and the SPCA can't do that at a press conference about the bustup of this operation, they have to stay on topic. I know that seems obvious but too often people on various sides of the issues leap to the conclusion that because a particular atrocity (of equal, or possibly worse significance in their mind) isn't being covered at that particular moment, that somehow "no one" cares about it and that we're all "hypocrites". Not so.

There's always the "what about" factor. "Oh yeah cockfighting, but what about battery hens. Oh yeah battery hens, but what about veal? Oh yeah veal, but what about foie gras? Isn't that even MORE cruel? How come NO ONE is talking about THAT? Oh yeah foie gras, but what about Darfur? Oh yeah Darfur, but what about Tibet?"

It can't all be talked about at the same time.

I feel sick about this but hopefully this story will give people more pause for thought about what we do to birds for our own pleasure. People make the connections not always in a linear way. This story, tragic as it is, brings the ugliness to the surface and is already raising awareness about the lousy animal cruelty legislation we have in Canada (thanks to the animal-using industries and sportsmens groups who have stood in the way of any meaningful improvements to cruelty legislation).

Vegan run amok you're right. Baby steps, but they are happening.