slutwalk

May 28, 2011

today was slutwalk day in melbourne. to be honest, i didn’t think that there was anything that anybody would have a problem with. we were rallying together to say that there is no excuse for rape or sexual assault, it can happen to anyone of any age, gender or orientation (and it does not matter what the fuck you are wearing). there is nothing that anybody does to provoke a rape, and we want to remove the culture of guilt or blame around it. being ‘too drunk’, or ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time’ do not justify being attacked.

but when we got to parliament house, there was a young man by himself with a sign to protest our protest. it was shocking. i wish i could read what the sign said but the police were dragging him off by the time we got there. how could anybody in the world be sick enough to protest an anti-rape protest?

i’ve since read the comments on the slutwalk facebook page, about moral degeneration, and attention grabbing whores. it’s an attitude that condemns women for enjoying sex, for having multiple partners, for how they choose to dress, and it’s all about creating shame to strengthen the hegemonic control of female behaviour in society.

i doubt that i will recover from the shock of seeing the lone anti-slutwalk protestor and his even more cowardly facebook allies. i am used to dealing with people with sick opinions on animals, and how they are treated, and it’s the exact same attitude. it’s the exercising of power over other creatures, human or non-human, and the peverted pleasure associated with wielding that power. and trying to do anything to retain that power- threatening behaviour, physical, verbal or sexual abuse, resorting to arguments about being the ‘stronger sex’ or the ‘smarter species’.

violence against women is institutionalised in our society in just the same as violence against animals, and it has to stop.

lastly, i would like to add that we are lucky to live in a country where we have the privilege of protesting sexual assault. and we should do everything we can to take advantage of that, because there are women elsewhere that do not a voice to speak up against sexual violence, and we owe it to them as much as anyone. saying that we don’t have the right to protest because the problem is not as bad here as it is in the congo (where rape has been deemed a weapon of war), is just more of the same old grasping for control. let’s be honest, the anti-slutwalk facebook stalkers probably don’t give a shit about women getting raped in any country, because it’s good to give us that little dose of fear and shame to keep us in our place.

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another leap backwards

April 4, 2011

it’s the same old shit in victoria, no matter which party is in charge.

one horse was so badly injured it had to be ‘destroyed’ after a fall today on the opening of the jumps racing season. two more horses fell, without needing to be ‘destroyed’. said the jumps racing association president, rodeny rae, “for as long as jumps racing has been around there have been fatalities“. no shit. maybe that means it’s not so good. currently the future of jumps racing is due to be examined at the end of the next season. hopefully we can stop it before then.

at the time of writing, a herald sun reader’s poll (if any such poll if ever worth believing) showed 65.89% of victorians opposed the ‘sport’. the coalition against jumps racing will be holding a protest in the cbd tomorrow at 12pm in the bourke st mall.

read the article here: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/superracing/horse-destroyed-after-injury-sustained-in-second-race-of-jumps-season/story-fn67siys-1226033378703

coming back to bite you

April 4, 2011

you may or may not remember some time ago i posted a link to a petition regarding a certain robert brown from the shooters and fishers party and his plan to allow the hunting of native animals in nsw national parks. well now, hunter and shooter mp robyn parker is the state’s environment minister. parker replaces climate change spokesperson catherine cusack who was a major opponent of the minor party’s hunting in national parks scheme.

the new liberal premier barry o’farrell is also ditching the department of environment, climate change and water, instead ‘elevating’ its status to be encompassed by the department of premier and cabinet. it’s reported that matters relating to marine parks and the clearing of land will fall to the department of primary industry. a source has informed me that we can expect something similar in victoria, with the department of sustainability and environment being taken over by the dpi.

the nsw opposition leader john robertson has accused o’farrell of ‘pandering’ to the whims of the shooters and fishers party, as the liberal government are likely to need the support of two shooting and fishing mps in order to pass legislation. robertson says that, “catherine cusack was the only thing standing between the shooters party and their plans to introduce hunting in national parks and now the premier has shown her the door” and, “300 (national parks) are at risk”.

i cannot help but wonder what is at play here. obviously, o’farrell needs the support of the shooters and fishers party to pass new legislation. but on a broader scale, could this be the reaction of conservative parties who want to be seen as taking a strong opposition to greens style policies? maybe the hype around climate change and the environment is doing just as much harm as good, as it radically divides our political leaders, and brings us no closer to a resolution which certifies australia’s environmental future. i believe the dumping of environmental departments trivialises the issue and sends it straight to the liberal party back page.

and here is the worst part of all. the list of animals that shooters would be legally permitted to maim and kill in national parks:

australian shelduck (or mountain duck)
– australian wood duck (or maned duck)
– black duck (or pacific black duck)
– blue-winged shoveler
– chestnut teal
– grass duck
– grey teal
– hardhead duck
– pink-eared duck
– water whistling duck
– brown quail
– stubble quail
– australian white ibis
– black swan
– common bronzewing pigeon
– galah
– little corella
– purple swamphen
– straw-necked ibis
– sulphur crested cockatoo
– topknot pigeon
– eastern grey kangaroo
– red kangaroo
– western grey kangaroo

so pretty much just all of our national icons. having seen first hand the damage to victoria’s wetlands and native water bird population by dse sanctioned duck shooting, i can only imagine the devastating consequences of this law. there is not only the impact it would have on breeding populations and species numbers, on wounding and orphaning animals, not to mention the littering and destruction to environment by the shooters themselves, but also the impact of setting a terrifying precedent in australia’s history.

read the full article here: http://www.theage.com.au/environment/conservation/ofarrell-pandering-to-shooters-robertson-20110404-1cvzn.html

please feel free to send a message to o’farrell asking him to officially rule out every single part of brown’s proposition. at the time of writing the only contact details published for o’farrell are this feedback form: http://www.barryofarrell.com.au/visitor-information/contact-us.html or this email (pertaining to his electorate, but we can bend the rules), kuringgai@parliament.nsw.gov.au.

those who cannot speak for themselves

March 31, 2011

a french couple have been charged with ”neglect or food deprivation” over the death of their 11 month old breast fed daughter. the couple are facing a possible 30 years in gaol for their treatment of the infant, who weighed “just 5.7 kilograms” instead of the usual eight. her death was the result of a pneumonia-related illness, of which it is alleged she was made susceptible to by malnutrition and vitamin deficiency.

i would like to express my own sympathy regarding what has happened, as such a death is always a tragedy, but in doing so i would like to ask if the child’s passing and her diet are related, that instead of hurriedly condemning the vegan lifestyle, people understand that malnutrition, neglect and illness are universal. unfortunately children brought up in all different kinds of situations can wind up facing this sad fate, and the thing that i feel we really need to be angry about is how poor treatment can slip through the cracks, and go unnoticed until something as awful as this incident occurs.

see the full article for more details.

duck shooting: how to get away with it

March 30, 2011

warning: the following contains disturbing images.

duck shooting: how to get away with it.

an idiot’s guide.

 

pink eared duck

how to enjoy your kill:

well, obviously, you are only out there because you are a sustainable, ethical hunter who is harvesting your meat in a sustainable, ethical manner, right? the best way to demonstrate this is to remove a small sliver of the animal’s breast, and discard the rest.

the best way to dispose of the bodies is in an open, mass grave situation. if you are a little put off by the maggots and flies setting in, why not partially bury the bodies along with your bottles, spent shells and un-cut six pack holders?

boy, will that send a message to those greenies and prove that you’re all just conservationists enjoying the wetlands!

 

convenient storage option

how to avoid those pesky bag limits:

let’s face it, a bag limit of 10 measly birds is hardly going to settle that craving in the pit of your stomach, so you might want to think about some ways around it.

you could simply leave the ducks you don’t want (like the pitifully small, or the low-point scoring teal) floating on the surface- but it might attract adverse attention from greenies who will be intent to hand them to you. a more ingenious solution is to bag up the bodies you have no interest in (the bags pictured held 45 birds altogether, that’s 15 birds per bag. talk about value!). you can then simply send the bags off into the reeds where the ducks will rot away and none will be the wiser.

musk duck

what happens if you’ve shot a protected species?

in the event that you’ve brought down a protected species, and managed to notice it (kudos to you!), you’d want to dispose of the body in the best way possible. you don’t want to draw any more adverse attention to yourself.

you could always toss the offending item into the reeds, or bury it in mud, but have you considered the virtues of the humble hollow log?

as you know, the wetlands are dotted not just with dead birds, but also dead trees, which have hollows that are just perfect for concealing that musk duck, plumed whistling duck… or even the occasional swan!

remember to get out there and enjoy it!

shooting ducks is all about being at one with nature, so grab some tinnies, jump in your biggest, loudest, fuel guzzling four wheel drive and get ready to pump some pellets into pretty much everything (and that really does mean everything- point taken, greenies?)

a letter to mr. baillieu

March 24, 2011

Dear Mr. Baillieu,

I am writing to ask that you, for one moment, put aside your political allegiances and fears of the potential ramifications, and seriously consider a ban on recreational duck shooting. Setting all else aside, there are native animals being killed every day, many dying slow and painful deaths as they are left uncollected on our wetlands.

I think that our native birds and wetlands are something that we should cherish, and aim to preserve for future generations.

Not only have I witnessed the direct atrocities that are carried out against these creatures, which the RSPCA agree constitute animal abuse, I’ve also seen the impact that shooting causes on the environment. I’ve seen black swan nests with eggs that have been abandoned due to the stress of hearing the gunshots, found live rounds as well as hundreds of spent shells in locations where shooters have left, and seen the orphaned, wounded and direly distressed water birds.

Further to this, I don’t think that is appropriate for children to be exposed to the cruel nature of duck shooting, nor can I condone them operating firearms in this manner under any level of supervision.

As a former resident of Gippsland, and now a member of your electorate, I think that you should be sending a message that the future of Victoria, and this country, is heading a direction where we act as responsible custodians of the land. We are lucky to have such beautiful natural resources, and it is critical that we do all that we can to protect them. A shooting ban has worked in other states, and will work here.

Thank you for your kind attention,

Katie
send your thoughts on to the Premier: ted.baillieu@parliament.vic.gov.au

hitting the polls

March 23, 2011

if anyone has a spare second, i highly recommend voting in this weekly times poll that duck shooting should be banned:

http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/opinion/index.html

thank you so much!

gems of masochism: the 2011 duck hunt season opening weekend

March 21, 2011

the opening of the 2011 duck hunting season in victoria took us to the small north-western town of donald (not a single pun will here be written). without casting too harsh a light on the entire population, this was a town where shop windows were decorated with pictures of soon to be ex-ducks, where cwa-type women were selling field and game badges outside the iga like they were pedalling a charity, and the sole entertainment for children seemed to be fishing for carp off bridges and throwing them onto the road to await asphyxiation or mutilation by passing car.

high rainfall in the area had seen native waterbirds flock to newly enlarged bodies of water such as lake buloke and there were countess families with ducklings who were about to become orphans, if not ‘game’ themselves. for them, we waded in neck deep before sunrise, despite a heavy presence of department of sustainability and environment officers itching to issue us with fines for entering the water before 10 am.

in particular this year’s opening showcased the sick pleasure taken in the suffering of these animals. a wildlife victoria member witnessed a shooter with an entire bag of wounded and struggling birds, who refused to kill them, and had to be escorted off the water by dse. my boyfriend and i were standing in front of two shooters, and had been there for at least 20 minutes before one of them started to pack up, pulling up a still flapping duck from behind him. we yelled at him to break its neck. he ripped the head off the still live bird and threw it at luke. its eyes were still open. another rescuer and i saw two openly twisted hunters bring down a bird, and proceed to circle it with their boat as they fired all around it, further inflicting terror and pain. this unequivocal torture went on for as long as ten minutes. let me just stress, that contrary to the claims of the social media savvy shooters, ethical hunting does not exist and these people are brought to the wetlands because they take delight in acting out against the small, innocent and defenseless.

on the sunday, a smaller group of us travelled to the mcdonalds wetland in kerang. we arrived shortly after 10 am to search the reeds for injured birds and the corpses of those left behind as they were too small, fell too far into the reeds to bother pursuing, or belonged to a more common, lower point scoring species. whilst we were able to bring in one blackhead duck for treatment, we found the bodies of 21 birds, including a coot which had been shot- a bird that bears absolutely no resemblance to a duck (it was one of two recovered), a slightly older duckling who had again been shot- despite protestations that no young birds were being fired upon, and one of three protected plumed whistling ducks. this one had a broken neck, so had obviously been dumped by a hunter who it would seem, like many of their kind, was completely unfamiliar with the species list.

on both days we saw the number of ducklings effected by the massacre. heartbreakingly, groups of orphaned babies of various ages banded together, relentlessly trawling the decoy ducks laid out by hunters in search of their murdered parents. rescuers brought in several young ducklings who had died of stress and shock, but the number of dead will quickly rise as these infants are now left alone to starve to death.

and then of course, although secondary and minor to the horror that was brought upon the birds, there was the offenses against rescuers. most notably, of course, the shooting of julia. the perpetrator, allegedly a 14 year old boy, fired low on the water and embedded pellets in her face and hands, thankfully just missing her eyes and temple. another female rescuer was pushed by a hunter who also took some kind of sick, sexual pleasure in a rubbing a dead duck along her body. i witnessed the two older hunters who tormented the injured bird first speed up alongside a female kayaker and spray her with water, and then attempt to ram her. she was also threatened with death by a hunter on a separate occasion.

no matter how they try to justify it by saying we shouldn’t have been there, they haven’t got a leg to stand on. there are many places people should not be, but it does not wipe the slate clean for you to shoot them. furthermore, the law that punishes us for entering the water before 10 am serves no purpose other than to ensure that field and game can have the smoothest opening weekend possible. if it was an issue of our safety, it would apply to any other day of the three month hunting season. if we were to only go in after 10 o’clock, it would simply be too late for many of the birds that we are able to save, and we can also prevent further deaths by averting ducks from locations with hunters waiting.

it was also clarified for me just how much the dse were there to act as the personal bodyguards of the hunters. shooters would simply call them over to fine us and remove us from the water. a blind eye was turned to those hunters who were firing on protected species, firing from moving boats, leaving smaller or more common birds either dead or dying so as not to fill up their bag limit, holding their weapons incorrectly when traveling between locations, and not to mention the volume of rubbish and shells thoughtlessly left behind.

as it stands, what took place this weekend highlights the absolute barbarity and primitive mentality of the shooters. adult guardians were spitting the most venomous streams of ignorant sexist, homophobic and personal insults, and encouraging the children with them to do so. in julia’s situation, the 14 year old is alleged to have been taunting her right up until he shot her. despite what their obviously overworked publicist says, these shooters aren’t the kind of people who only kill what they intend to eat, they are not respectful or ethical in their choices and we see constantly in their behaviour towards native wildlife, and rescuers, that they have obvious issues with anger and violence and yet for some reason are enabled by law to indoctrinate children as young as 12 to their sickening way of behaving.

if the rest of the public could see what really goes on during duck season, and how the hunters really conduct themselves, there wouldn’t be any indecisiveness. duck hunting would be banned in this state as it is in others.

what needs to happen, is an end needs to be called to this archaic blood sport, which passes on traits of animal cruelty, brutality, insensitivity to suffering, masochism and misogyny from generation to generation. any claims the hunters lay to legitimacy are intrinsically false, and fed down to them from the top of the organisation who profit from their membership. duck hunting in victoria is not sustainable, it is not environmentally friendly and in no way is it anything close to ethical.

saying ‘fuck off’ to the world again

November 15, 2009

long hiatus. there have been a lot of things worth writing about, but there hasn’t been much time to do it. this one is short and sweet.

seenĀ  lilydale chicken’s new advertising campaign? ‘lilydale, it’ll have you saying grace again‘. fucking awesome, cos if i can think of two things that have never hurt anybody, it’s eating meat, and religion.

treating living, breathing creatures as machines

September 23, 2009

abc’s new show, river cottage spring, has turned out to be a really enlightening experience!

apparently to live well, and feel connected to the land, everyone should eat some meat. host hugh fearnley-whittingstall (is this name for real?) aims to save your life and dollars by teaching you to grow your own vegetables, meat and eggs. growing your own vegetables is a good idea, and it takes the money and power out of the supermarket chains and puts it back into the community. but farming your own meat and eggs? it doesn’t challenge anything except maybe the limits of human stupidity and cruelty in the willingness to repeat a needless tradition.

disagree? well, you can witness fearnley-whittingstall’s stupidity and cruelty first hand in his series.

some nice moments include:

  • (of a group of piglets he brings to the smallholding) “try not to lose sight of the reason they’re here. i see no reason why you can’t enjoy them, enjoy their antics, and then knowing that you’ve looked after them well and they’ve lived a good life, take them to slaughter, and enjoy them again… as meat“. (i can think of a few reasons).
  • when he ‘fixes’ a vegetarian of 15 years by forcing her to eat meat, which she cannot even bring herself to look at. a shining example of the boundless compassion of some meat eaters.
  • when he criticises battery farmed chicken being called “a vital, affordable source of healthy protein“. he argues that only free range chicken meat fulfills this criteria. ever heard of beans?
  • and his argument against battery farming is not the welfare of the animals, but the quality of the meat of they produce for him.

fearnley-whittingstall puts on the airs of a food revolutionary, but he is as pathetic and misinformed as every other organisation that pushes the ‘benefits’ of a diet based around the rotten flesh, eggs and milk of other animals. he treats animals as commodities, nothing more, just something to be mildly amused by until you take a knife to its throat.

one can only dream that he will rethink his approach. but for someone who can look into the eyes of an animal and see only a source of protein, there isn’t much hope.