Chal­lenge to a public de­bate on live ex­port trade

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

MS GIB­SON ( TB, 29/ 6/ 15), you say you can­not tol­er­ate cru­elty to an­i­mals.

All the politi­cians say that, ev­ery time the hor­ror of the live ex­port trade hits the air­waves, but most of them dry their tears and con­tinue with busi­ness as usual.

So it begs the ques­tion, what prac­ti­cal form does your “in­tol­er­ance” take?

Live ex­porters are in it for the money, not to “bet­ter our neigh­bour’s stan­dards.”

Grudg­ing im­prove­ments have only come about in re­sponse to reg­u­lar ex­po­sure of atroc­i­ties.

“Ed­u­ca­tion” would stop the mo­ment the price wasn’t right.

Don’t jump to con­clu­sions. What makes you think I’m a ve­gan or that I will not al­low meat in my kitchen?

Do you think a per­son must be ded­i­cated to “eat­ing leafy greens” if he op­poses the trans­port of live­stock to coun­tries where laws against cru­elty to an­i­mals don’t ex­ist?

And please try not to con­fuse the ex­er­cise of free speech with a lust for dic­ta­tor­ship.

Voic­ing an opin­ion is nei­ther an at­tempt to “im­pose mo­rals” on any­one else nor a de­cree that for­eign coun­tries must con­form to our ways.

As to how “the live ex­port trade is im­moral” be­comes “any­one con­tribu- ting to the live ex­port trade is im­moral”, that must have been done with mir­rors, not lan­guage.

That the trade is im­moral fol­lows from an ac­cep­tance that it is im­moral wil­fully and un­nec­es­sar­ily to bring harm or suf­fer­ing to in­no­cent be­ings.

We can all do with less meat and less cru­elty in get­ting it.

You tell us that “mo­rals are for ev­ery­one to choose”. You can’t mean it. Fe­male gen­i­tal mu­ti­la­tion? Hon­our killings? Am I al­lowed to voice my dis­gust, with­out be­ing told that I’m forc­ing my mo­rals down oth­ers’ throats?

In your opin­ion “a quick kill makes the meat taste good”. Many Chi­nese peo­ple say that tor­tur­ing an­i­mals be­fore killing them makes the meat taste bet­ter. Per­haps you should set them straight.

Af­ter all, China is the next boom des­ti­na­tion for the un­for­tu­nate vic­tims of the live ex­port trade.

The TB has given us more than our fair share of print space: let’s now or­gan­ise a public de­bate. Maybe Ewen Jones would join you in a de­fence of the present pol­icy on live an­i­mal ex­ports?

He and I go back a long way on this is­sue. MIKE DOWNES,

North Ward.

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