When I made the decision to start living an organic and cruelty free life, it was a no-brainer that I would become vegetarian and start using cruelty free only products.
I have always been an animal advocate. Whenever I donate to a charity it’s always to an animal charity like: Animals Australia, Animal Welfare League Australia or RSPCA. But I continued to eat meat and was ignorant of what products were cruelty free, because I figured giving money to charity (and saving a shelter cat) was enough to negate me turning a blind eye.
I am sorry that I was ignorant for so long because what I have found out along my journey makes me feel sick. I physically can not watch the videos that PETA bombards us with on Twitter because I feel like I helped contribute to the mistreatment of animals for so long.
I want to share with you a few stories from Australia that you may not have heard about to do my part by giving a voice to the voiceless.
The greyhound racing industry has recently come under fire in Australia due to some extreme cases of mistreatment to not just the greyhounds but illegal practises of live baiting. A current affairs show broke the news in July 2016 that undercover Animals Australia and Animal Liberation Queensland representatives had witnessed and filmed animals such as rabbits, possums and piglets being tied to lures, flung around the racetrack at breakneck speeds and then being mauled to death. Some animals who survived being mauled were then used again. And again!! Apparently this has been going on for many years in the greyhound industry but lack of video evidence tied the local governments hands. Until this story broke.
A lot of arrests were made and the greyhound industry was on the brink of collapse. The NSW government declared that they would be banning greyhound racing and several other states were set to do the same.
Sadly, the premier of NSW Mike Baird, made the backflip of all backflips a couple of months later and declared that they had scrapped the bill to ban greyhound racing stating that the majority of the community wanted the racing to continue… do I smell a whiff of bullshit?!?!
So the awareness and anger after the story aired fizzled out and the few arrests that were made ended in suspended sentences or measly fines.
If you want to get the fire started again please add your name to this petition asking for the end of live baiting. Or better yet don’t give your money to an industry that condones the mistreatment of animals for sport!
Statistics of Animal Cruelty Cases in Australia:
The statistics of animal abusers getting away with their crimes are sad and only getting worse. See the table below I found on the RSPCA website.
Those numbers are just terrible. In 2016 there were an array of grisly stories of animal abuse where the accused got little more than a slap on the wrist.
Here are some of the horrible stories and their outcome:
A man was ordered to undergo an anger-management course and sentenced to 30 months’ probation for violently abusing his kelpie puppy, Nera. In a number of sickening incidents captured on film by a neighbour, the man subjected Nera to immense pain and fear – in one instance, holding her down on a table and choking her.
Other videos showed the man smothering Nera and muffling her cries with a towel, as well as throwing her against a child’s swing set and slamming her against a glass table as she screamed in pain.
After the neighbour alerted the RSPCA, Nera was removed from the man’s property and found to have a broken hip. She underwent surgery and physio before being prepared for a new home.
This man was banned from owning an animal for just three years.
Two boys, both 17, repeatedly ran the wheel of their car over a live possum – laughing as they filmed the incident to post on Snapchat. An RSPCA official described the case as “perhaps the worst case of premeditated animal cruelty we have seen in Queensland” – yet the men were given just 12 months’ probation, with no conviction recorded.
The possum endured unimaginable pain, and after being slowly, repeatedly crushed, he managed to crawl away, eyes bulging and fighting for his life with his spine severely fractured and entrails exposed. The animal later died.
The original charge for this crime was “serious animal cruelty”, which carries a maximum prison sentence of seven years. The men later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of “animal cruelty”, which carries a maximum three-year sentence.
A man, 21, cut a cat’s head off as part of a dispute over money.
After decapitating the cat – named Moo – the man used the animal’s blood to write a threatening message on the garage door of the home. He then reportedly left the cat’s head at the front door.
A burnt-out car was also found in the driveway, and the man enlisted the help of friends to attempt to extort money from someone linked to the property.
He was due to face trial in March, but after pleading guilty to all the charges – arson, extortion, and the unlawful killing of an animal – he was sentenced to just three years’ imprisonment. Having already served 10 months in pre-sentence custody, the man was then released on parole and did not have to spend any further time in jail.
As PETA suggest on their website; In addition to pushing for harsher penalties, we must also introduce early intervention plans and make humane education a priority in our schools. How can we help??
Write to your local MP and express your concerns. Urge him or her to examine the way animal abusers are currently dealt with and remind your MP of the links between cruelty to animals and violence towards humans.
Live Animal Exporting in Australia:
Every year millions of Australian animals are exported live for slaughter.
The journey itself is a death sentence for many. Thousands of animals die of illness, injury, starvation, and heat stress on board ships that can turn into ‘floating ovens’.
Cattle, sheep and goats are sent throughout the Middle East and South East Asia — to countries with no laws to protect them from cruelty. The animals that do disembark into countries where they are transported, handled and then slaughtered in appalling ways. Most animals slaughtered overseas have their throats cut while they are fully conscious, leading to an incredibly painful and prolonged death.
In 2011 after a current affairs show aired footage showing horrific cruelty to animals on the ships and at the end of the journey there was a unprecidented public outcry that made the export of animals harder and more expensive. So that meant that fewer animals are being harmed. But not enough. In October 2012, live exporters lost control of a shipload of 21,000 sheep in Pakistan, when local authorities ordered they be slaughtered on mass. In one of the live export industry’s worst live export disasters to date, animals were dragged, beaten, their throats were sawn at with blunt knives before they were tossed into mass graves — some still alive hours later.
What this tragic incident made abundantly clear is that no amount of regulations will ever guarantee animals’ welfare in this industry. Even government officials have admitted that they can not guarantee such an incident will not occur again.
There is already a shift away from live export in Australia based on the above facts becoming better known. But we can all lend our voice to the movement by signing the petition here.
I have researched and made myself aware of some of the most horrible treatment of animals and will continue to help stop animal cruelty where I can. Every little bit helps!!
But I do not want stories like this to bring such negativity to my blog again so this will be the only post I make about animal cruelty. It is such a depressing story but I felt I needed to say something in support of ending animal cruelty.