DAY 348: Going to the Ban Live Export rally

14 Aug

“DID you hear about the bear that killed itself?” sounded like it should be an awesome joke, but asked in the context of the Ban Live Export rally, I should have realised I didn’t want to hear the punchline.

The exporting of livestock to South East Asia and the Middle East has been going on for 30 years now, but it’s taken Lyn White – former police constable and now Communications Director of Animals Australia – and a gruelling Four Corners documentary to bring the appalling conditions to the public’s attention. As opposed to the attention of Meat & Livestock Australia, by whose standards transporting animals by sea and road for three weeks, slashing their tendons, gouging their eyes, breaking their tails and stuffing them into car boots has been a-ok for decades.

Lyn quotes social reformer William Wilberforce in his 1807 campaign to abolish slavery: “We may choose to ignore it, but we can never again say, I did not know.”

Other times, the language here in Sydney’s Martin Place (rallies are being held all across the country today) is over-emotional (yep, if a sheep could talk it possibly would say “don’t abandon me”, but anyway, you digress), when the facts are powerful enough.

On Thursday, August 18, federal politicans will have the chance to vote on legislation that will end this trade. Today I’ll be adding to the masses of protesters emailing Julia Gillard at to request that she allows a ‘conscience vote’. This way MPs can vote in line with their own beliefs and the wishes of their constituents, without fear of reprisal for ‘crossing the floor’.

Here’s the view of an Aussie beef producer.

And here’s a story on Lyn White.

Keeper? Soapboxing over for today, but I’ll keep putting my beliefs into action from now on.

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