Wednesday, June 24th, 2009
A survey being run later this year by the Vegetarian/Vegan Society of Queensland is expected to show that Australians don't have much sympathy for the real Foghorn Leghorns, chickens, which they relegate to meals and snacks in huge numbers.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, almost 120 million chickens met their maker in the first quarter this year. Along for the ride were over 5 million lambs, 2.7 million adult sheep, over 2 million cows (including calves) and 1.1 million pigs.

This is over 6 times Australia's human population - 24 times more over a full year.

Professor Gary Francione, of Rutgers University School of Law in the US, is one of a number of people around the world who believe this kind of sacrifice isn't warranted. Especially given the bounty of crop foods in countries like Australia, and the large demands for land, water and food farm animals have.

Francione holds that 'Animal rights are no more a matter of opinion than any other moral matter. This question is logically and morally indistinguishable from asking whether the morality of slavery is a matter of opinion.'

He contends that a lifestyle free of animal products - veganism - is not only the most humane, but also the most efficient. Veganism means not only excluding animal products from the diet, but also in other areas of life eg not buying leather coats.

Problems like the current swine flu pandemic, 'mad cow' disease, and the earlier alarm over avian flu are unlikely to have arisen without animal farming.

Speaking about the conditions most farm animals in the world endure, Ondine Sherman, Joint Managing Director of Voiceless, the animal protection institute, put it this way in the April Sydney Morning Herald: 'Imagine if tens of thousands of people were permanently confined in closed sheds. No fresh air, only air-conditioning. No sunlight. Each person would have hardly enough room to move. They would defecate and urinate in the same spot in which they slept and ate.

'Doesn't it sound like a recipe for disaster and disease?'

The results of the Society's survey are expected to be available in November this year.

Contact Profile

The Vegetarian/Vegan Society of Queensland

We actively promote the vegetarian way of life as humane, healthy and environmentally sound. To this end, we give away thousands of free information packs, booklets and brochures every year and run stalls at various events, sometimes with food.
Andrew Bartlett
P: 0418 743 789
M: 0418 743 789


Australians still don't accept that animals, like slaves, aren't ours to use.


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