All posts filed under: animals in society

About vegan turkey and voiceless animals. Geertrui Cazaux (IARC 2019)

A couple of weeks ago, I was at the 9th International Animal Rights Conference in Luxembourg. This conference is held every year at the beginning of September. I attended for the first time in 2018, and then gave a presentation about ableism and ageism in the movement. This year I gave a presentation about Representation of other animals. About vegan turkey and voiceless animals.

About criminal animals. E.P. Evans (1906) The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals

I have been adding some books that have been inspirational to me to an album on my facebook account, and I will be adding them here as well. Some are books that I have read a long time ago, some are more recent works. I also want to note that it’s not because a book is featured here, that I agree with everything that is written in it . Or that I find all books equally good! This is an oldy (1906). Historian E.P Evans gives a detailled account of cases throughout history where animals who had ‘murdered’ or attacked humans, or animal ‘pests’ or infestations, were prosecuted (sometimes even with an appointed lawyer), and when found guilty, executed or excommunicated. I used this book in my doctoral research and wrote a chapter about ‘criminal animals’ in my PhD (2002, Anthopocentrism and Speciesism in Contemporary Criminology). Many people dismiss the prosecution and execution of animals as a bizarre and outdated practice from medieval times. But it is still practiced today, although not formally recognised as such. Other …

Bombed, shot, shell shocked and killed. Animals in War Memorial, London

On our last city trip to London last Summer, we visited the Animals in War Memorial. It is located on the upper East side of Hyde Park at the Brook Gate.  On our previous visit to London (for the Intersectionality conference at VegfestUK, Nov 2016) we barely got a glimpse of the monument as we passed by with a cab on busy Park Lane, but a large truck in the lane next to us was unfortunately blocking our view on the Memorial. The memorial was designed by English sculptor David Backhouse to commemorate “all the animals that served, suffered and died alongside the British, Commonwealth and Allied forces in the wars and conflicts of the 20th century” (quote from Animals in War Memorial). It was unveiled in November 2004*. I have very mixed feelings about memorials and monuments dedicated to animals who have ‘served’ for law enforcement, as soldiers, as bomb sniffers or protection guards. One the one hand, it is heartwarming to see so many people care about the animal victims of war, and commemorate them …

About ‘whole’ chickens and ‘humane’ milk

Two interesting stories about animals in advertising, but coming from a whole different background. First, the poster from GoVeganworld.com, a British  vegan organisation. It states that humane milk is a myth, and asks you not to buy it.  It shows a cow behind barb wire. Underneath the eyecatching quotes, the text reads: I went vegan the day I visited a dairy. The mothers, still bloody from birth, searched and called frantically for their babies. Their daughters, fresh from their mothers’ wombs but separated from them, trembled and cried piteously, drinking milk from rubber teats on the wall instead of their mothers’ nurturing bodies. All because humans take their milk. Their sons are slaughtered for their flesh and they themselves are slaughtered at 6 years. their natural lifespan is 25 years. I could no longer particpate in that. can you? The dairy industry complained that this poster painted an inaccurate and misleading picture of dairy farming. However,  the Advertising Standards Authority has backed the accuracy of the vegan message, and finds that this ad – that lets …

Why I don’t buy a goat for Africa

A couple of weeks ago I saw this message in my Facebook Feed. It is from the Belgian NGO Dierenartsen zonder Grenzen (DZG = Veterinarians without Borders). The post calls to buy a goat. At that point, the counter stood at 127 purchased goats (meanwhile more than 300). On the website koopeengeit.be (buy a goat) I find out that the collected funds are meant for the purchase of goats in Africa. “Buy a goat for 50 euro, a small herd for 200 euro or a larger herd for 500 euro and give African families a future.” On the FB page, I read that the organisation DZG “combats hunger and poverty in remote African areas, by improving husbandry“. The goats ‘give milk and manure‘ and are being eaten, because the population ‘eats a lot of goat meat’. The goats are ‘an asset that becomes profitable over time and are easily transferred into money‘ and ‘that can be a first step to cattle farming‘. For underpriviliged African families, they can be ‘a means to step out of poverty‘, it says on …

The animals do not want our medals and statues

November 11, Armistice Day and we remember the many casualties of war. Animals have also been deployed in war times and millions of dogs, horses , donkeys, camels, elephants, pigeons and other animals have lost their lives and are commemerated. Using animals in war times is not a thing of a distant past. Recently is was reported that ISIS has used hundreds of dogs to detonate bombs. The United States use dolfins to detect mines and even rats are put to service to detect explosives. Dogs and horses are routinely used by police forces in search operations and law enforcement.

Animal activism with photos. An evening with Jo-Anne McArthur.

On Saturday October 17th, Belgian vegan organisation BE Vegan organised and evening with Canadian photographer Jo-Anne McArthur. In the vegan or animal rights community, Jo-Anne McArthur is well known for her work on the project We Animals, which resulted in a book with the same title. We Animals is a series of portraits of animals in the human environment: animals used for food production, clothing, experiments and companionship. We Animals is not just meant to be a series of portraits, there’s also a moral message. Taken from the We Animals website: We Animals aims to break down the barriers that humans have built which allow us to treat non-human animals as objects and not as beings with moral significance. The objective is to photograph our interactions with animals in such a way that the viewer finds new significance in these ordinary, often unnoticed situations of use, abuse and sharing of spaces. The photos are meant to make us question what is normal, and show it from the perspective of the animal. Some of her photos were also featured in the exhibit ‘Het …

More than numbers

Thousands of eartags on a pile in a slaughterhouse. Of thousands of slaughtered animals. The photo tells more than words can ever express. Individual animals, each with their own feelings and desires, but stripped of their personality. Anonymous. reduced to a number in the system. Objects. Just in Belgium, 300 million animals are killed every year. 300 million times suffering, fear, pain. 300 million times a sentient subject’s life is abruptly and violently ended. Each day a pile of tags in every slaughterhouse in Belgium. In every slaughterhouse in Europe. Over the world. Day after day after day after day. The sadness over such incredible amount of suffering could be paralysing. But the thought that change is possible is somewhat consoling and encouraging. The awareness that change is happening. You too can stop this madness. Don’t participate. Go Vegan. The photo is from a photographer using the pseudonym “K49814” and part of a photo exhibit in Berlin “Atmen ohne Pause” (breathing without pause), with several other photos taken in slaughterhouses. Ausstellung über slachttiere, Ding der Unmöglichkeit, Süddeutsche Zeitung. Killing statistics Belgium. Deze …

Among the hunters at the huntingexpo

Last weekend, there was a Hunting fair in Flanders Expo in Ghent (24-26 april, 2015). On the website of huntingexpo.be, it was announced as “the fair for hunters, with a passion for wild game and fowl, hunting and nature” (de beurs voor jagers, met een passie voor wild, jacht en natuur). No, I did not attend. But I was in Flanders Expo, for the REVA beurs, which was taking place at the same time in one of the other halls. On the parking and the surroundings of Flanders Expo, you could detect the hunters from a mile away! Tweed coats. Round cheeks and red faces from outdoor life. And I spotted a lot of 4×4’s and other big cars with dirt traces on the parking lot (often occupying two parking spaces, not nice!). And yet, I would find it interesting to attend this hunting fair. 

Armistice Day, but not for the animals

Armistice Day (or Remembrance Day) and we remember the millions of victims of the Great War and other wars. On some occasions, due attention is given to the millions of animals employed during wartimes and who were killed by bullets, shells, gas attacks or who died of deprivation or starvation. Horses and dogs were used for transport, cats to control the abundance of mice and rats in the trenches and pigeons used as messengers. Animals were also used as experimental subjects for munition, gas masks or bullet proof clothing. Animals as cannon fodder. Probably the most forgotten victims are the millions of wild animals who were exterminated as pests (the rats in the trenches) or the animals whose habitat was totally destroyed by the violence of war (at least those who survived the bombings). How it must have confused and bewildered the migratory birds flying over the thundering frontline. And as many soldiers returned home shell shocked or with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) I suspect millions of animals were similarly traumatised by the violence of war. And then also the …