United we stand, divided we fall
Such famous words spoken by so many can be used to describe many things in life. In fact pretty much everything and every movement. It relates so much to animal advocacy and the animal world.
As Adelaide Entertainment Centre holds yet another of it's grotesque "entertainment" events, the Professional Bull Riding, we think long and hard about all things "animal".
It hits home to us here at the farm as we have cows that live peacefully and happily amongst us, living their life free from fear, torment or death. Three were bulls before castration and just 70-80km's away their fellow kind are about to be abused all in the name of "entertainment". They will be thrashed and aggravated to the point of possible bad injury or, as in this exact event last year, death. Our cattle came mainly from the dairy industry, unwanted "excess", born male and destined for the slaughterhouse at a week old. They are just a few of the lucky ones, saved and hand raised before being allowed to naturally roam paddocks and enjoy simply being. We all know that millions are not so lucky.
We had a discussion with someone the other day regarding animals, farmers and the worth of these beings. We were told that they were "commodities", that the farming industry, apparently the salt of Australia's earth, truly loved these animals, referred to as commodities only moments earlier. When one calls such an industry the "salt of the earth" they would do well to remember the bitter, sour taste of salt and sting and pain it creates. Of course, we debated such comments. They are not commodities but rather living, feeling, thinking, intelligent beings that just want to live. We offered that no-one wants to die. To this comment we were asked "how do you know? Can you talk to the animals?" This is the absurd and ridiculous statements all of us who advocate for animals hear on a regular occurrence. Of course we can't physically "speak" to animals but does that mean we adopt a first assumption that they, in fact, DO want to die? Sometimes it is necessary to point out the obvious in blunt ways. You start a family, bring a child into the world and they can't speak until possibly a year of age. Do you assume they want to die and carry out your assumptions? No, of course not but this is the ridiculousness that is out there.
We advocate for animals daily. Others do the same thing. Everyone has their own way and preferred method to speak for the voiceless. It is essential that as many voices be heard and actions be seen. We see it often, referring back to the Entertainment Centre, protests to highlight the cause, to try to wake people from convenient slumber. To say that groups, activists, advocates, rescues and sanctuaries are important is such an understatement.
Running a rescue that helps so many of the animals that we scream for sees long days and prevents us from getting to a lot of marches, protests or information sessions. We do keep on top of proceedings though and have the ability to look from the outside in a neutral stance. While each and every participant needs congratulating and recognising we also see things that can derail movements in a heartbeat. In-fighting, arguments, dislikes and even hate.....and that's not even coming from the animal abusers!
We are all in this for the same reason and we all have the exact same goal at hand. In that, there is one thing that matters in all that we do....the animals. It is they that are the reason, it is they that need our help, it is they that depend on us, it is they that need our strength. Strength comes from unity. We need to put all our differences aside as a movement and remember we are not doing any of this for ourselves but purely for those most important, the animals. A fractured business quickly goes bust or does not ever reach it's full potential. Our animal movement, our work has to be done as one, working together, no disunity, no in house debate. Imagine how strong this movement could be if everyone worked as one, if everyone checked egos at the door, if everyone truly and passionately acted for the animals that are abused, tortured or killed every day by those who just don't get it. It's not about us, we are insignificant in respect of importance because singularly we achieve very little, as a whole we change the world.
United we stand. Divided we fall. Let's not risk anything but success when it comes to stopping the genocide of animals.
Darren, Hayley & all the Furever Farm team.