Fluoride Action Network

New Zealand treats animals inhumanely – but it could become a world leader in their rights

Source: The Guardian | By Philip McKibbin
Posted on May 3rd, 2021
Location: New Zealand
Industry type: Pesticides

Our country has already set examples on issues like women’s suffrage and anti-nuclear policy. It can do the same again

NZEALAND-EARNINGS-FOOD-DAIRY-FONTERRAA photo taken on May 31, 2018 shows cows being moved to a new paddock on a dairy farm near Cambridge. - New Zealand’s Fonterra, the world’s largest dairy cooperative, posted its first-ever annual loss on September 13, 2018, admitting it had let farmers down with over-optimistic financial forecasts. (Photo by William WEST / AFP)WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images
New Zealand is too reliant on animal agriculture, an industry which is exploitative and can have devastating consequences for the environment, argues Philip McKibbin, Photograph: William West/AFP/Getty Images


… Our broken economic model is the biggest impediment to change. As a nation, we have become reliant on animal agriculture – but there is no getting around the fact that animal farming is exploitative. It is also detrimental to the natural environment: it is a leading cause of pollution to our land and waterways, and the largest contributor to our greenhouse gas emissions. Diversifying the country’s economy may seem costly, but animal farming already costs far too much, in animal suffering and environmental devastation.

The conservation movement, too, is complicit in animal abuse. In recent years, it has been usurpehttps://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2021/may/04/new-zealand-treats-animals-inhumanely-but-it-could-become-a-world-leader-in-their-welfaretd by “Predator Free 2050”, a programme which aims to eradicate possums, stoats, and rats by the middle of this century. Advocates for the programme insist that they care about animals – namely, our native species – but they also actively demonise introduced species, and this results in the use of methods that cause intense suffering. (It has, for example, led New Zealand to become the world’s biggest user of sodium fluoroacetate, or 1080 poison. 1080 inflicts so much pain on its victims the SPCA wants it banned.)

There are reasons why New Zealanders are willing to vilify other animals: it shifts the blame for environmental destruction from us to them, and it excuses us from committing to more challenging actions, like changing what we consume, divesting from animal agriculture, reinvigorating traditional M?ori gardening practices, returning land to native forests, and creating wildlife sanctuaries using non-violent methods (like trap-and-release)…

Philip McKibbin is a writer from Aotearoa New Zealand of P?keh? (New Zealand European) and M?ori (Ng?i Tahu) descent

*Original article online at https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2021/may/04/new-zealand-treats-animals-inhumanely-but-it-could-become-a-world-leader-in-their-welfare