10 June 2011

Animal rights

It’s all over the news. Look what’s happening with Indonesian abattoirs and the traumas of slaughtering formerly-Australian cattle. The RSPCA and Animals Australia are taking out adverts on television. They are organizing a national day of protest against animal cruelty on 18 June.

121,000 Australians work for the beef industry. The value of live cattle exports in the year 2010 was $678 million. There are 10,000 jobs directly related in Australia to the live cattle export trade. So it’s no small matter that the federal government under Prime Minister Julia Gillard (actually Agriculture Minister, Joe Ludwig) has ordered a suspension of the exporting of live cattle to Indonesia until the government over there can guarantee the humane treatment of the animals before they are slaughtered.

Wait, did I say ‘humane’? That means human, and thus, I’m a little confused. Shall we treat animals like we treat humans? Or better than humans? We don’t sell humans to other countries for a profit, or even at a loss!

The Australian Agricultural Coshares is a conglomerate of the largest beef producers in country. And they are lowering their expectations of beef futures down from $60 million to $50 million as a result of the government interference. Or rather protectionism. Or involvement.

Most Australians had never heard the word abattoirs until the ABC ran an expose 12 days ago.

Right now there are 100,000 Australian live cattle awaiting slaughter.Did the beef industry know about the abuses of the animals in Indonesia? When did they learn about it? Are they responsible for the actions of the people to whom they sell the cattle? What about industrialists in Western Australia who sell mining materials to China. Are we going to require China to ‘live up to our standards’ viz these materials? Or in anything? The farmers, ranchers, and the industry has to have some warning from government or else their futures predictions are false, and their hopes for sales are false. I’m questioning the rights of government and I’m not the only one.

In regards to slaughtering, I think about Jewish people and slaughtering animals. We have rules and the shochet, the ritual slaughterer, who is well trained. Among other features, shechita slaughter severs the jugular vein, carotid artery, esophagus and trachea in a single continuous cutting movement with an non-serrated, sharp knife, which is intended to avoid unnecessary pain to the animal as consciousness is lost quickly due to loss of cerebral blood pressure. Is that humane? Or kind enough RSPCA?

Back in the days of the Bible and the Temple, God required sacrifices, even daily, for various reasons, but the number one reason that I can figure, is to remind the Jewish people each day of our sins, and the desperate condition in which we find ourselves. The cost of repairing our relationship was large, and involved bloody sacrifices.

Some wonder if that will be reinstated if the Temple will ever be rebuilt in Jerusalem. IF it is, and I’m not sure it will be, then sacrifices will probably be reinstated. But the sacrifices will be unnecessary as we now have seen the repair accomplished with the death of The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.

That’s right, the inhumane treatment of Jesus, Y’shua the Messiah, by Roman soldiers which ended in the ultimate crucifixion of the Nazarene, left him dead. And buried. And then on the 3rd day God raised him from the dead. Never again to die. Thanks be to God for his loving gift.

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