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Animal cruelty: why do we look the other way?

24 th March 2024

talking about animals

THIS WEEK’S DISCUSSION [number 6 in the series]

Animal cruelty: why do we look the other way?

Suggested by Gerry Boland, founder of and spokesperson for Animals Behind Closed Doors, advocating for appropriate rights for animals and for a vegan lifestyle (087-6397557)

DISCUSSION POINTS

BEARING WITNESS TO CRUELTY – We see an animal being abused and clearly in pain. Our instinctive response is one of shock, disbelief and disgust. Many of us will intervene to try to stop the abuse, while those of us who cannot, for whatever reason, will nonetheless be deeply affected by the experience.

WE SEE A DOG BEING BEATEN AND KICKED and we are horrified. WE SEE A PIG BEING BEATEN AND KICKED (unlikely, as 99% of pigs are imprisoned in windowless sheds) and we are horrified.

In both scenarios above, we know it is wrong and should be stopped immediately, before the animal suffers any more pain and distress. We might call the guards, or the SPCA. In the case of the pig being abused, we might report the incident to the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM).


EVERY DAY, ON FACTORY FARMS ACROSS THE GLOBE, pigs and chickens suffer at the hands of those whose job it is to care for them. They are routinely shouted at, kicked, beaten, even thrown. (If you are uncomfortable about the authenticity or factuality of this statement, there is a vast amount of undercover video footage available online from pig and chicken farms across the EU and the rest of the world; disturbing visual evidence of deliberate acts of cruelty, both by commission and omission. It makes no sense whatsoever to assume that Irish piggeries and chicken farms are the exception to the rule, as evidenced by the footage in the first and second of these videos.)


WE PREFER NOT TO KNOW – We love our rashers and our sausages and our chicken wings and chicken nuggets. Knowing about the exploitation, abuse and suffering behind that sausage and that chicken nugget could result in us having to give up the eating habit of a lifetime. So, best not to look; indeed, best to look the other way.

FACTORY FARMING IS A HIDDEN INDUSTRY – We may have an inkling that all is not right down on the farm, but because the animals are never seen, we can, and do, turn a blind eye.

A LIFE WORTH LIVING – We have a moral duty to give all farmed animals a life free from exploitation, abuse, suffering and pain. They are, after all, giving up their precious lives to become rashers and sausages, chicken wings and chicken nuggets.


ANIMAL SENTIENCE – All farmed animals are sentient, that is, they experience a wide range of emotions and can feel pain, just like us. We know this, and yet we turn a blind eye. We can do

better.

We must do better.

I am happy to discuss this issue on air, also more than willing to debate with an industry representative.

Gerry Boland


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