After yesterday’s Australia-wide attacks by the vegan vigilantes, there has been a fair amount of outrage by ordinary Australians. They are upset that this handful of militants sought to shut down parts of the country, shut down legitimate businesses, and wasted so much valuable time of our police forces.
Most folks were rightly angered by the deplorable actions of these activists, and even various vegans have sought to distance themselves from these radicals. The fallout continues, and I and others certainly hope these protestors face the full force of the law. Time will tell.
But at least three more issues arise that need to be addressed. One is the obvious set of blatant double standards we find with these activists. The vegans scream about animal rights, and how we must defend their right to life. OK, it is possible some sort of case might be made for this.
But if so, a bit of consistency would be nice. If these folks are so concerned about animal welfare, why in the world do most not seem to give a rip about human welfare? They want to shut down animal slaughterhouses (abattoirs) but seem perfectly happy with allowing baby slaughterhouses to go unchecked.
Simply reading their signs is telling. One protestor had a sign that read: “Defend every animal”. OK, if that is so important, then when will we see them also carrying signs that say, “Defend every baby”? Why does the former take so much priority while the latter is just a non-issue for most of these folks?
It is good to be concerned about life, and good to want to see suffering minimised. But when all the energies of these folks are directed at animals, while human babies are completely overlooked, then I tend to have my suspicions. If these folks were just as concerned about the baby abattoirs, then I might pay some attention to them.
Another vegan protestor proudly held up a sign with these words: “‘Humane’ murder is a lie.” She was of course referring to abattoirs, and the belief that no animal can be humanely killed. I will deal with that false claim in a moment. But let me offer the claim of another woman about another practice – this one concerning baby killing.
Many folks might recall one particular discussion on abortion that took place during a US congressional hearing in September of 2015. It involved an investigation into Planned Parenthood, and one witness was Ms. Priscilla Smith from Yale Law School’s Program for the Study of Reproductive Justice.
The discussion centred on the gruesome Dilation and Evacuation abortion method in which the unborn baby is dismembered and pulled apart. Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte asked Ms. Smith: “Do you believe this is a humane way to die?” This is how one report at the time ran with her reply:
At first, Smith attempted to distinguish between abortions on viable and non-viable babies, but Goodlatte reminded her that Justice Kennedy had written of a baby whose arm was pulled off in an attempted D&E abortion, but was later born alive and lived.
Smith still reverted back to discussing only “pre-viable” babies. [Incidentally, the majority of D&E abortions are indeed performed on pre-viable babies, as they are performed all throughout the second trimester, yet viability does not change the horror of ripping apart a living human baby.]
In a chillingly horrifying statement, Smith finally answered:
“Yes, a D&E procedure is a very humane procedure…”
It seems the contrast could not be greater. Usually these folks are one and the same – not always but mostly, I suspect. The very same folks (vegans) who insist that all animals have the right to life will also likely insist that all human babies have no such right to life.
And those who defend baby killing try to convince us it is not only OK, but humane as well, as we allow babies to go into the slaughter houses, never to come out again. Yet at the same time the vegans are trying to tell us it is never OK to kill any animal, and it is all inhumane anyway.
And this leads to a second issue. The truth is, overwhelmingly farmers and others involved in livestock take great care with their animals, and that includes how they are put down. Most of those who produce livestock for our consumption treat animals humanely, and the killing process is carefully regulated.
As the RSPCA says about all this:
The Australian meat industry has developed its own National animal welfare standards for livestock processing establishments. By incorporating these standards into their quality assurance program (and standard operating procedures), abattoirs are able to demonstrate (to the state meat authority) that they meet regulatory requirements as well as better practice in terms of animal care and welfare.
The industry standards cover six important areas that influence animal welfare at processing. These are:
-Standard operating procedures to prevent risks to animal welfare.
-Design and maintenance of facilities and equipment to ensure minimal interference or stress to livestock.
-All staff required to handle livestock are competent.
-Livestock that are weak, ill or injured are identified and promptly treated.
-Livestock are managed to minimise stress and injuries.
-Restraint, stunning and slaughter procedures are carried out humanely and effectively.
One can ask however if this is the case with Islamic abattoirs. That is the real worry here. I have long written about how there is a major problem with halal slaughter methods. Of interest, just recently the RSPCA in the UK has called for a ban on non-stun slaughter of animals:
The animal charity has teamed up with the British Veterinary Association (BVA) to campaign for a change in the law, which currently allows slaughter without pre-stunning for religious purposes. All kosher slaughter for Jews and some halal slaughter for Muslims involves cutting the animal’s throat while they are conscious and able to feel pain. The RSPCA and the BVA are demanding the Government outlaws the practice due to animal welfare fears.
And they are urging for other steps to be taken including labelling meat with the slaughter method so customers are clear about what they are buying. RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood said: “We’re opposed to non-stun slaughter and we’re calling for an end to the practice as it seriously compromises animal welfare. Our concern does not relate to the expression of religious belief but the welfare of animals. Until there is a change in the law to end non-stun slaughter, there are several measures the UK Government could introduce to reduce the suffering involved in this practice.”
It should be pointed out that while there are some similarities between Islam and Judaism in this regard, there are also some real differences. See this article for more on this matter: billmuehlenberg.com/2019/01/21/no-halal-and-kosher-are-not-the-same/
But my point is this: why do the radical vegans seem intent on targeting ordinary Australian farmers, while ignoring the Islamic slaughter houses? They might get a bit more sympathy from Australians if they focused on the real offenders here.
I mentioned yesterday the sad fate of one family business forced to shut down because of these bullying thugs. Let me provide a few more details on that:
The owners of a family-friendly farm cafe forced to close on Sunday say they have been personally threatened in a campaign of harassment by animal activists against their business. John and Penny Gommans, both 61 announced via Facebook on Sunday they were closing their Gippy Goat Cafe in the small Victorian town of Yarragon, about 110km south-east of Melbourne.
Besides operating as a full cafe, the venue manufactures a range of goats milk products and families are free to feed the on-site goats and watch them being milked. But Sunday is set to be the eatery’s last day of operation. John Gommans said it followed a sustained campaign of threats and harassment by activists – including the theft of three goats and lamb last December.
And last month one of the activists responsible for that incident was fined just $1 for each of the thefts and $250 in compensation. But Gommans said activists had also threatened the couple personally. “They’ve threatened to come and do us harm.”
My third point concerns Christians and vegetarianism. I am sure that there were at least some folks who claim to be Christians who were involved in yesterday’s protests, or were at least sympathetic to them. So how should believers think about the claims of the vegans that “meat is murder” and the like?
I have already written on this, so there is no need to discuss it anew. Let me simply offer a few quotes from that earlier piece. I began with these words:
My thesis is pretty simple: if Christians prefer not to eat meat for health reasons, dietary reasons, perhaps cultural reasons, or even moral reasons, that’s fine. No one is forcing them to eat meat. However, if they claim that vegetarianism is essential to being a Christian, then I have to say, sorry, but you are quite wrong.
I then spent some time looking at what is found on this matter in both the old and new testaments. Then I said this:
In conclusion, the biblical data, especially as found in the New Testament, offers us no basis for insisting on vegetarianism. The closest we can get to this are the general admonitions to look after our physical bodies, since they are the temples of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. In that sense, of course, we want to show some care in what we eat and how we eat.
Thus polishing off a dozen doughnuts a day, or going through can after can of sugary soft drinks would not be too wise for the believer. So in that regard we must watch what we eat. And some may think a lowered red meat diet is helpful in all this. As I say, health reasons may be a legitimate reason to become a vegetarian, but making a blanket ban on meat eating just cannot be done from the NT data.
Whenever we take some issue and turn it into an absolute when Scripture does not do so is to veer into error, if not heresy. By all means, eat, or don’t eat, what you find right for you. But do not lay a new and extra-biblical legalism on others if they happen to eat differently than you do.
Much more could be said about yesterday’s radical actions. To sum up, if these activists showed similar concern for baby slaughter, I might be a bit more sympathetic. And if they focused on some of the worse forms of animal cruelty, as in Islamic abattoirs, that would be helpful.
And if Christians want to ease up on meat-eating – fine. But forcing others to submit to your personal preferences is neither helpful nor Christian. Nor is it biblical.
On a lighter note, this 3-minute video on “If Meat Eaters Acted Like Vegans” is worth a watch and good for a laugh: www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0O_VYcsIk8&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1hq48epYb6qX8qe2OdIWym4e6QJEaOe2x_2lf7CxI1XnEkrwaOLcXx73Y
And my slightly different version of yesterday’s article is doing very well on The Australian Spectator website: www.spectator.com.au/2019/04/the-cult-of-the-vegan-vigilantes/
This just in: kill the babies but save the lettuce! “An Australian grazier who runs a charity taking hay to drought-stricken farmers has revealed he has been inundated with phone calls from furious vegan protesters. Brendan Farrell, founder of the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners group, said one woman even told him that lettuce has a heartbeat.”