Monday, December 7, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake...and Rat Too.

I just saw something that I think is absolutely ridiculous.

There's a reality show on British TV filmed in Australia. It's called I'm a Celebrity....Get Me Out of Here. I've personally never seen it before.

Two of the stars of the show have been charged by the New South Wales police for animal cruelty. What did they do? Did they grab a joey from a kangaroo's pouch and play soccer with it? Did they torture a koala or snake? Did they abuse a dog or cat? Did they stick a calf in a cage where he couldn't move? Did they kill an endangered species?

No. They ate a rat. They killed it, cooked it, and ate it. Apparently, the RSPCA doesn't approve of such practices. It's all about the TV cameras. The RSPCA chief officer David O'Shannessy says, The concern is this was done purely for the cameras.

On this Sky News video, they talk about how it's fine to kill an eat an animal if you're desperate
and hungry in the bush.

I would LOVE to live in a world where people ate animals only when they were desperately hungry. I wish everyone was primarily vegetarian, and we ate animals only in life and death situations.

To me, it's so crazy to cry foul over the televised death of a rat. And it's nothing against rats. I've heard they can be very cute and intelligent. It's crazy because we have grocery stores and restaurants full of dead animals who will be eaten for frivolous reasons.

Millions of Americans ate turkey a few weeks ago. Was it because their body was starving for protein? Was it because they couldn't find any alternate sources of nutrients? No. It's all about tradition, and the fact that turkey tastes good to some people.

This vegetarian website describes what some farm turkeys endure in America. They say:

Like chickens, the 300 million turkeys raised and killed for their flesh every year in the United States have no federal legal protection. Thousands of turkeys are crammed into filthy sheds after their beaks and toes are burned off with a hot blade. Many suffer heart failure or debilitating leg pain, often becoming crippled under the weight of their genetically manipulated and drugged bodies. When the time comes for slaughter, they are thrown into transport trucks, and when they arrive at the slaughterhouse, their throats are cut and their feathers burned off—often while they are still fully conscious.

I don't know. If I had the choice between being a Thanksgiving turkey or a free rat captured and killed on TV, I think I would pick the rat.

I'm looking at the New South Wales RSPCA website right now. I'm much do they do for farm animals? From what I can see, it looks like they mostly help pets. They rescue abused dogs and cats.

Oh! Wait. They ARE helping farm pigs. That's good. That makes me feel somewhat better. They're also pushing for cage free eggs.


Still. I don't think the British celebrities should be arrested for animal cruelty. I might think their career should tank for going on a reality TV show, but that's a whole different story.

I think televising the death of a rat is a positive thing. Too often people eat meat without thinking or acknowledging that it came from a live animal. It did not come from a thoughtless blob of cells. It came from an animal that's fairly intelligent, has emotions, and feels pain. I love how people watch a movie with a dying dog. They sniffle and wipe their eyes. Then they call up and order a sausage pizza. Hello? Do pigs not matter?

Maybe seeing a rat cooked and eaten on TV will remind people where their meat comes from.

I personally find it much more offensive when a cooking show uses meat, and they act like it's simply another ingredient you find in the refrigerator. If anything, I think THAT should be against the law. I think it would be great if the shows were required to show:

a) the tested intelligence of the dead animal
b) the enclosure in which it spent most of it's life
c) the slaughter of the animal

Many people cried foul when Sarah Palin did this interview. She chatted away while a Thanksgiving turkey was killed in the background. For those who complained about it....I wonder how many of them ate turkey for Thanksgiving?

I say if people are that squeamish about animals being killed...if the thought of animals being hurt brings tears to their eyes....then they should become vegetarian....OR make sure the animal products they eat/use come from more ethical sources.