Promoting understanding
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Horror and hope

Posted in: Di's diary1 Comment

Thousands of thoughts and emotions have raced through my head these past few days – horror, disgust, helplessness, grief, revulsion, anger, just to name a few. But overall I have had a deeply disturbing feeling of disbelief that I belong to the same race (the human race) to not only these torturers but the officials and politicians who have the power to stop this atrocity yet turn a blind eye and cold heart. I cannot fathom how anyone could commit such brutality or witness it and not be outraged. Yet human history is filled with such unspeakable acts and it seems that there will always be those who not only condone cruelty but enjoy inflicting it.

However I have been equally amazed by the number of people who share my grief and my disbelief and who are fighting tooth and nail to stop this abhorrent practice and change the mentality that economic factors can overrule what is inherently wrong. People from all walks of life have come together in a rare show of unity – grandparents and schoolchildren, animal lovers and non animal lovers, vegans and meat eaters, even farmers and animal activists.

Some have been physically sick by the images they saw on 4 Corners last Monday night, some watched through clenched fingers, others closed their eyes. Since that time we have choked on the pathetic excuses and spin that has emerged and we grieve over the fact that 3 more boat loads of cattle leave Australia tomorrow destined for Indonesia and we are powerless to stop them. Trying to justify this trade by saying that unless we supply animals to Indonesia, we have no way of improving their animal welfare practices is a bit like saying unless we provide victims to murderers, we will have no way to perfect our rehabilitation techniques.

I am also grateful for the power of the internet for bringing us all together, for immobilising an army of people in just a few days, for allowing an outlet for our rage and a medium for us to comfort each other. To give you an idea of the sheer numbers of people involved both Animals Australia and the RSPCA’s websites crashed yesterday and they have had trouble today with as many as 2000 hits a minute. ‘Get-up’ has had the fastest growing online petition in their history with 150 000 signing in just two days. Demonstrations in major cities are also planned for the near future.

In closing and I must for now as I have had very little sleep the past few days, I implore you to not lose your anger. Someone once said “maintain the rage” and I think that is incredibly apt now. Please do not let this settle, do not let it go. I for one will never be able to forget what I saw. Like Margaret stated in one of the comments on the last blog post, perhaps the one that haunts me the most, is the poor steer forced to stand in line and watch five of its mates brutally tortured, slaughtered and hacked apart. One by one they went until he was left, terrified and physically shaking and then he too was dragged to his death. We must keep fighting this, not only for the beautiful majestic Brahman cattle on those ships and in Indonesia but for all animals. This campaign has started something that is much larger than what we realise and I thank Lyn White from Animals Australia for having the courage to film the unspeakable horror and bringing it to our attention. I think she deserves Australian of the Year or Decade.

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  1. rebecca said on 10/06/2011 at 3:50 am

    Great post Di. I’m sharing on my wall. You’re exactly right about this issue uniting everyone from all sides of the spectrum. I’ve never seen such 100% support for any issue (besides the exporters themselves but they don’t count).

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