Wednesday, 16 September 2009

The Snip


Went for a haircut yesterday. I had somewhat long hair and it took the barber about 10 minutes to sculpt it into a normal short style. The chap before me had what can only be described as a No. 1 back and sides and a No.2 top, yet it took an amazing 20 minutes to achieve this level of simplicity.

The barber must have spent 10 minutes clacking his scissors against his comb, in the manner all barbers do, while appearing to chop off stray hairs which, given the close crop the customer had experienced just a minute before from the clippers, could only have been a figment of his imagination. I somehow suspect he simply wanted a chat, an activity I avoid by the simple expedient of assuming a scowl, which generally tends to deflect any barber (except the terminally chatty) from inane conversation.

Marcus, a lamb that was kept by a school in England in order to teach children about all aspects of farming, has been sent to slaughter, igniting a row between the school and various well meaning, but irrational, animal welfare campaigners and charities.

The decision to send the lamb to slaughter was supported by the school council (comprised of pupils), staff, the governing body and the majority of parents. The school now plans to use the proceeds to buy some pigs to use them to make sausages.

The animal protection charity, Peta, said it had contacted the school asking for the slaughter programme to be shut down saying: "We urge you once again to spare Marcus' life - teaching the children how animals feel love, joy, fear and pain, just like us. We also ask that you shut this programme down. The children have got to know and love Marcus and it is now the perfect chance to introduce humanity, compassion, respect and understanding to the school instead of betrayal."

Peta obviously know nothing about the food chain or how meat for the table is produced and that it involves the killing of animals. The pupils are learning just that, and that if you want to eat meat then there are some decisions that have to be made. It’s called the real world, rather than the fluffy and anthropomorphic Beatrix Potter world that people in Peta inhabit, complete with talking bunnies, hedgehogs with opposable thumbs and pigs that have taken an evolutionary leap that defies comprehension and could only be called a leap of faith.

I’m not at all surprised that the kids themselves agreed that the lamb should go to slaughter. Given the choice, I’m certain kids would want to reintroduce indiscriminate torture into the national sentencing policy, along with mandatory hanging for any teacher who gives them anything but a top grade.

There are literally thousands, if not millions, of kids who cannot make the connection between meat in the supermarket and animals that run around our fields. I’m equally certain there are adults who are similarly disabused of such knowledge and think that lamb is derived form the lamb tree.



13 comments:

  1. Ah, but the argument was that the lamb was treated like a pet before being slaughtered. Real farmers don't treat their produce like pets... it'd take them forever to name a whole flock wouldn't it? And just think of the mess on the carpet...
    Sx

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  2. And there was me thinking that lamb grew in shrink wrapping factories. I am learning something new every day.

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  3. I used to take our dogs to 'retriever-training'. Our trainer was a hunter who sometimes brought dead ducks he had shot for the dogs to retrieve. I was the only woman in the training who dared to take them from the dog. All the other women were horrified. And I was the only one there who doesn't eat meat. Just to prove your point that people prefer to think of meat as something that comes from a shop and not from an animal.

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  4. I'm not (I'm surprised to discover) a bleeding-heart animal welfare nut, but I also agree with the pet argument. If you are going to slaughter and eat an animal, don't treat it like a pet, treat it like livestock, slaughter it in the most humane way possible and then eat as much of it as you possibly can. If you are going to love and care for an animal as part of the family, by all means give it a name, spend a fortune on vet's bills, and when it croaks give it a decent burial among the roses. I've recently helped my husband skin, eviscerate and butcher two rather large wild boar. It's a shocking sight, I admit, but they lived a happy life and died of a single shot to the heart, and I'd rather that than the horrors of the commercial abattoir.

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  5. Scarlet: Surely a pet received better treatment than livestock and ipso-facto will have led a nice life? I can't see the logical point of the argument.

    Kabbalah: Oh dear.

    Carolina: Precisely.

    Louise: See above re Scarlett. Are you not making the mistake of attributing highly evolved human emotions to animals, such as betrayal, or even knowledge as to what takes place at abattoirs? "Shh, don't mention the word a-b-a-t-t-o-i-r as the sheep will understand."

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  6. I notice yesterday's post contained pictures of sheep. Are you a secret member of PETA and did you raid the school and steal the lamb?

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  7. Dave: If you listen carefully you can hear the rustling.

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  8. Don't you just hate inane hairdresser chit-chat; a proper "barber" should be aware of these masculine conventions surely?

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  9. I have been a veggie for twenty years but I do not have a problem with anyone eating meet if they could rear it and kill it. This is the way it should be. It's farming I have issues with. So I guess I agree with your point.
    Congratulations on getting your ears lowered.

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  10. Totally agree about the barber stuff...women are much worse (as you may have realized)..can't even take a hint!

    Anything concerning PETA makes me want to throw up...so that's all I'll say about that topic!

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  11. Fair doos, I mean what's really wrong with cannabalism anyhow? [Other than I may have spelt it wrong?]
    Sx

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  12. See, that is something else I don't understand: Louise said that the animal should be slaughtered in the most humane way possible. Do we slaughter humans and if so, is that humane?

    Don't get me started on the 'humane'-subject
    ;-)

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  13. Hi -- Carolina, by humane, I guess I just mean with as little fear and with as little pain as possible. Chairman, when I make the differentiation between pets and livestock I am speaking from a human point of view. I want my children to love animals and treat them right, but also to understand where the meat we eat comes from. The two need to be kept separate in their minds. So, giving a fluffy lamb to a bunch of schoolkids to make a pet of and then to slaughter it is sending mixed messages, and perhaps causing unnecessary heartache to some of the kids. God forbid I ascribe human emotions to animals. Wild boar for supper tonight...

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