Recently I saw a TV program that showed how sheep farming has reached a new high.
There, the sheep are going through a new genetic screening procedure which ensures that the best females and males are able to virtually replicate themselves through their off-spring.
Whereas during a normal year, a sheep will give around 1 or 2 lambs, with this screening procedure, the farmers are getting 80 to 100 lambs in one season, from a range of selected females.
But what really upset me was the way in which they are treating the animals….the sheep are first drugged so that they cannot move, but are fully awake, and spread-eagled on their backs on a mobile trolley that has belts which tie down all four legs.
After this, the vet moves in, making incisions to the sheep’s abdomen (don’t forget, the animal is fully awake during this…), feels around inside for the uterus where the eggs are stored, inserts a tube that will flush out those eggs into a collecting tray. That done, the cut is sewn up, by which time, a matter of minutes, the sheep is already beginning to struggle as the drug loses effect.
And when the reporter questions the vet and farmers about whether they realise that some people may object to what is happening on these farms, everyone seems to ignore any of the suggestions.
The vet replies “..this is progress….you either accept this or be faced with less food…what would you prefer…?” The farmer replies in a similar vein saying that there will always be some people voicing their objections to anything….if farmers listened to those objectors, nothing would ever leave a farm…no animals would be killed, no animals would be injected with antibiotics to kill diseases….no nothing…farmers have a living to make…they have families just like everyone else, so they have a right to able able to feed those families, he says.
Cut a long story short….I was very distressed at seeing those animals treated as if they were just non-living entities…their bodies were mutilated whilst still conscious, without any thought to the pain they were obviously suffering from, but couldn’t do anything about as they were drugged.
It’s almost as if we think animals are not able to talk about their pain, so they must be fine.
What we should realise is that animals cannot indeed talk….they do not have a voice with which to tell us about their condition…but we have to be their voices…we are at the top of the very pinnacle of life…and for us to ignore the plight of lesser living beings, is a crying shame….a crying shame.
I’m not a vegetarian…I don’t believe that eating meat is wrong or right..it is a food that is there to be made use of when required, but seeing the way in which that meat could be obtained, is enough to make me think again when I have my next roast lamb dinner.