that so much outrage is expressed by the general public about animal cruelty; that politicians large and small jump up and down and call for action to be taken; that immediate halts are called to prevent further abuse from those abattoirs where it is known to happen. Why am I so outraged? It’s not because I don’t care about animal cruelty and cruel and inhumane ways of dealing with living creatures – it’s precisely because I DO CARE about these things.
Why does the plight of animals attract this expression of outrage and subsequent action, when the plight of refugees seeking asylum in Australia fails to evoke the same response?
Reading the letters to the editor in the Herald this morning, the hypocrisy and irony were glaringly obvious. Why is locking up people for indeterminate periods, sometimes years, without recourse to the Australian judicial system any better than the cruelty perpetrated on animals going to slaughter? Try reading the relevant parts of those letters, substituting “refugees” for “cows” etc – it should make you think.
Why is it not cruel to keep children in captivity for long periods of time? Why did the government promise that this would not be the case, when there was apparently little intention to ease the situation? Does no one care?
Why is it cruel to let an animal watch its fellow creatures being slaughtered when it is apparently acceptable to allow people in detention watch their fellow detainees self harm and commit suicide? Why is that not cruel? Do the cries for help from human beings mean less than the anguished noises of other suffering animals?
Why, when the medical profession is calling Australia’s current detention practices a breeding ground for mental illness, are those practices allowed to continue? Are politicians more knowledgable about mental health issues? Don’t make me laugh.
Why are there calls for animal processing to be carried out on Australian shores when it is acceptable to ship refugees off to Malaysia, a country which is not a signatory to the UN convention on the treatment of refugees and a country which has an appalling human rights record? Why is that acceptable?
Perhaps it is felt that refugees had a choice while the cows did not – after all, if they didn’t try to come to Australia by boat, they wouldn’t be locked up. The reality is the choices they have are no choice at all – remain in their home countries and face inhumane treatment, persecution and perhaps death – or remain in terrible conditions in one of the many refugee camps around the world. If it’s such a good option, why do they embark with their families on unseaworthy boats with an unknown chance of reaching the Australian coast alive. Only the desperate would undertake such a voyage.
Think about it.