“My promise to the animals is this: You have all of me. The lioness in the circus—I see you. The pig in the sow stall—I see you. The mouse in the medical experimentation facility—I see you. The fish crushed at the bottom of a trawler net—I see you. I know your suffering, and I will never be silent. I will push forward no matter what life throws my way because the cruelties inflicted on you must end, and I’ll do all I can to see that happen. You have all of me.”
The stirring words of outspoken vegan activist Emma Hurst, representative of the Animal Justice Party (AJP), at her swearing in to Australia’s New South Wales State Parliament. She is now the third vegan activist elected to state office.
My last post “Isn’t it Time to Stop the Killing in the Name of Conservation“, cast the spotlight on the horrific scale of Australia’s ongoing slaughter of wild and feral animals. Still more blood is shed to ‘protect’ farmers’ and ranchers’ interests – without mentioning the unhappy fate of the farmed animals themselves. So it’s good to know Arian Wallach and the Centre for Compassionate Conservation are not alone in their campaign for kinder ways. Here is an introduction to the Animal Justice Party –
Last month vegan activists stopped the traffic in central Melbourne, while others demonstrated outside abattoirs. The Prime Minister Scott Morrison no less, said their activism was “un-Australian”, and bad-mouthed them as “green-collar criminals”. 40 of them were arrested. He declared his determination not to let them “pull the rug from under our Aussie farmers,” at present an industry worth $30 billion.
May 18th’s pivotal election
“Australians will return to the polls this Saturday in what’s becoming a pivotal election for animals and the environment. The big question: Will Australia’s next prime minister be friend or foe to the nation’s animal agriculture industry?”
Veganism in Australia
- The country has more than 2 million vegans
- Veganism is especially popular among younger voters
- 44 percent of young people (aged 18–24) think that veganism is “cooler than smoking.” (Certainly much healthier!)
- The plant-based food industry there is forecasted to grow 58% by 2020
Why things have to change
- 1.8 billion animals have been killed for food in Australia so far this year and counting
- 70% of the $30 billion Australian agriculture is ‘worth’ comes from slaughtered animals
- 30% comes from milk, wool and eggs (which of course all also mean animal slaughter)
- Last year the country exported 2.85 million living animals which suffered cruelly over long journeys in cramped shipping containers
- 2,400 sheep died of heat stress en route from Perth to the Middle East
- Australia’s animal agriculture accounts for 11% of national emissions of GHGs
- Over 20 year timescale that actually means 50% because methane has a stronger climate forcing effect
- “Nearly 85 percent of the population that lives along the coast will be impacted by rising seas, storm surges, flooding, heatwaves, and damage to public infrastructure”
And climate change is already a big problem
- Last year Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology issued four Special Climate Statements relating to “extreme” and “abnormal” heat, and reported broken climate records
- With temperatures around 40°C in December last year, firefighters struggled to contain the 115 bush fires raging across Queensland
- Piles of dead fox bats, whose brains literally fried in the heat, covered Sydney
- For the last two years the country’s rainfall has been 11% below average
- With the severe shortage of grazing on the parched land for their cattle, farmers in Western Australia have been struggling to find the money for the cost of feed, at $10,000 dollars per truckload
- Farmers have also had to drive round with tankers of water to keep their thirsty cattle alive
In spite of all this, “as far as Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Parliament’s pro-farming majority are concerned, animals are no more than the means to a very profitable end for this Parliament.” (This attitude is what we are all up against.)
The Animal Justice Party, which doesn’t “prioritize a cattle and BBQ culture ahead of a livable climate,” but does, like Emma Hurst, prioritise animal rights, certainly has its work cut out.
If you live in Australia please vote this Saturday for the AJP.
“My promise to the animals is this: You have all of me.”
For the sake of the animals, please share this post widely. Thank you.
Sign Animals Australia’s petition against live exports here and take more actions for the animals here