Anti Animal Cruelty Campaign

caged-poultrySAFE says ‘Vote for animals by not buying factory-farmed items

By Hans Kriek
Execuytiuve Director, SAFE (Save Animals from Exploitation)

The General Election  is over —  and most of us have done our duty and voted. But now we need to vote again, an d again, for a cruelty-free life for  for animals.

In the lead up to the election, SAFE urged people to consider the animals when casting their vote, as in the end animals rely on politicians to pass legislation that will improve their welfare.

Animals vital for New Zealand

Animals are important to New Zealand. We can afford to buy houses, cars, groceries and lots more as a direct result of the 21 billion dollars animal products contribute to our economy.

You would think that we would all be eternally grateful to these animals, but are we? Judging by the 0.03 percent of this income spent by the Government on animal welfare enforcement, hardly. As a nation, we seem especially callous towards animals incarcerated on factory farms.

In a country like New Zealand, with plenty of space and a mild climate, we choose to confine 85 million meat chickens, three million battery hens and hundreds of thousands of pigs in dark, overcrowded and cruel indoor conditions simply because we want cheap meat and eggs.

Recently an exposé by SAFE of disgusting conditions on factory pig farms and the brutal treatment of the animals on these farms made headlines around New Zealand. Public outrage followed and people demanded action. Two months later, the furore has died down but what has happened to improve the lives of these pigs?

Well, not surprisingly, very little. The Pork industry repeated their old mantra, “this farm is not representative of our industry”, despite the fact that the farm carried their Pigcare accreditation label, supposedly guaranteeing high animal welfare standards.

The Minister for Primary Industries tried to discredit SAFE for not taking evidence to MPI, ignoring the fact that SAFE had provided damning evidence about the farm a year before and nothing had changed. The exposed incompetent farmer falsely claimed the footage shown on television was not taken on his farm.

Everybody ‘ducking for cover’

So everybody was ducking for cover. Nobody stood up to say that this was not good enough, let alone take action to improve the lives of these abused animals.

So what happened to all the people that expressed outrage? Are they boycotting all factory-farmed products? Did they vote for a party that promised to end factory farming?

We now know that we have another three years of a National Government ahead. National has made some positive changes for animals in the past by increasing penalties for animal abuse, phasing out sow stalls and ruling out party pill testing on animals.

On the other hand, they have also allowed cruel colony cages to replace battery cages and seem content with the intensification of our dairy industry, which could mean year round indoor confinement for thousands, if not millions, of dairy cows.

In the end, if we sit back and let politicians decide the fate of factory-farmed animals, the animals will have a long wait ahead of them.

As New Zealanders we have just voted for the politicians, but let’s vote again, and again, and again, and again.

Every time we do our shopping we can vote for or against factory farming. So let’s vote for the animals by not buying any factory-farmed products. Can the animals count on your vote?

Or we could vote in a government that isn’t owned by corporate interests and supports legislation towards its people getting the healthy options, more easily.

I totally agree with boycotting factory-farmed products. Yes non-factory farmed items are usually more expensive than non-factory-farmed products. But it is possible to buy eggs at least more cheaply than at a supermarket. On the Kapiti Coast we are very lucky in that many people now have their own hens and are willing to sell any surplus eggs. I know of three such places in Waikanae. These are the real deal. The hens live in large pens with their own outdoor runs and dry, waterproof roosts to sleep in or get away from the cold in bad weather. They are very happy hens! These cost $3.00 per half dozen. Some charge only $5.00 for a dozen.

But with all things that mean a lot to us, they often require some sacrifice. Maybe you just can’t have bacon and eggs for breakfast every week. How bad is that really? There are all kinds of things you can have with eggs: mushrooms, spinach, tofu etc. etc. We eat too much meat as a nation anyway. So how about having 2 0r 3 meatless meals a week. You won’t even miss it.

Do this and you will know that at least you are doing your best for the animals.

Even better, tell the supermarket manager why you a re no longer buying products that do not get the cruelty-free tick.

And don’t forget it’s not only food products that are cruel to animals. The whole beauty industry is based on animal cruelty. Look up SAFE’S site on which beauty products are cruelty-free and safe for you to buy. Look up PETA’s site while you’re at it too. If it doesn’t turn your stomach reading about just how these products are made and how they are tested, then it may be too late to save your soul. It’s just not good enough to coo over cute kittens and rabbits, but turn your eyes away when buying shampoos and hair colours, not to mention kitchen products that have ruined animals eyes with their disgusting painful methods of testing.

Animals do not have a voice. WE must be that voice. Don’t be a sentimental doozo. Stand up for animal rights now!