Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thought for the Day - Animal Cruelty

Why is it, that when the subject of fox hunting comes up, as it has done here it is framed around the idea of a "society that disagrees with cruelty to animals", yet you rarely hear any of the same people vigorously call for the banning of Halal and/or Shechita which have been equally condemned for their cruelty?

There is a cliche that the fox-hunting issue is really about class, or more correctly the perception of class about the people that do it. However, it's always argued that it's about cruelty. As such I get increasingly confused at the silence about slitting an animal's throat and letting it bleed to death slowly over a period of about two minutes.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not calling for Halal or Shechita to be banned, far from it. Rather I'm wondering upon why the Labour Party, if it cares about animal cruelty so much, why it has never had the balls to stand by its alleged convictions and outlaw the practice and import of such products?

I've no doubt that some might make the argument that the practices are not in fact cruel. There are arguments along those lines. However if you go down that route you have the problem that there are similar arguments about hunting pack dogs doing what nature has dictated hunting pack dogs will do. At which point what you're really doing is criminalising nature - which is of course utterly absurd.

I mean, I know the Labour Party would never ban halal or shechita. Things like religious tolerance and cultural relativism would get in the way for them*. The thing is, doesn't that just kind of make their allegedly moral positioning on animal cruelty stand on rather weak foundations?

Is it just me or do they stand there proudly saying: "We believe in a society that disagrees with cruelty to animals, unless the people carrying it out are a particular ethnic group in which case we get all confused about stepping on our other principles of non-discrimination."

It's all so very confusing!

* Note: I would not ban either practices, nor would I ban people following hunting pack dogs doing what nature intended them to do. This probably makes me a bastard, but hey, what can you do?

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