I don’t usually have a lot of time for Rowan Pelling but this is pretty much on the money.
Cue widespread outrage, with one parent branding Charman “a murderer”, and chat-show host Paul O’Grady offering Marcus refuge on his smallholding. The doughty Charman refused to be intimidated: she scrupulously observed the democratic process and last weekend Marcus went to the great pasture in the sky.
OK. Here’s the thing. The slaughter was voted for overwhelmingly by the children. It was only a couple of precious parents who didn’t want the sheep to end up on the plate and got all uppity. As always, the silent majority has to bite its collective tongue while a vocal minority kicks up an almighty stink over nothing, the while being treated by a bone idle media as though they have just descended from Mount Sinai with tablets bearing the word of God, still gently smouldering where the fires of his righteousness etched their truth.
Not being one to claim a monopoly on virtue, and being a thorough sort of chap, I thought I’d test the arguments for and against offing Marcus with my email contacts.
A mere ten minutes elapsed before the following intemperate philippic, from Tango Victor (token vegetarian -need I say more?) barged its way rudely into my inbox….
As usual the ‘silent majority’ are hypocritical arseholes. This ‘kids understanding what they are doing ‘ argument is pathetic. Unless they are accompanying the lamb to the slaughterhouse and witnessing it having its brains turned to soup, then watching it skinned and processed, they are learning nothing about the reality of the food on their plate.
They are learning nothing more than when they ask their mummy for lamb chops for dinner. Anyone who thinks they could make the same decision after having seen the process for themselves either has no children or has worryingly bloodthirsty ones.
Rot. They know that what they eat on their plate was in fact a living animal, which has to be better than not knowing, although this is clearly the position that some parents would prefer. The fact that they are not educated in the way that extremists demand does not invalidate the process. Quite why Tango sees fit to flay those who want their children to approach the issue with at least some sense of reality, and not those who would rather their kids lived out their childhood in some idyllic fairyland, is anyone’s guess.
They’re learning a damn site more than they would by thinking that sheep are pretty fluffy things that live in the fields in order to improve the view, but that lamb chops are a tasty foodstuff delivered to a supermarket near you by kind Mr Asda, which appears to be the path advocated by the bunny huggers.
Pelling’s deluded claim that this was an educational process hijacked by ‘liberals’ etc merely illustrates her refusal to accept that, as an educational process, it was completely redundant without the children accompanying the lamb to the slaughterhouse and really seeing where their food comes from.
Put very simply, this is an animal welfare issue.
Pain has a tangible effect on humans and other sentient beings such as, in this instance, sheep. Fear, also has distinct and unpleasant effects which we can feel and understand. Thus we, as humans, can empathise and understand entirely the suffering caused to animals during their slaughter.
The fact then that we, in the West, do not need to eat meat to live healthily, makes our choice to support such a process, which involves pain and sufferring that is again completely tangible to us, inhumane, and to a large degree immoral.
“In the philosophy of animal rights, sentience implies the ability to experience pleasure and pain”
The what? The philosophy?
In other words, the animal rights movement has taken a word closely associated with the idea of consciousness, and bastardised it, in order to anthropomorphise animals.
Fancy that. I’m shocked.
I can’t avoid the conclusion that Tango is trying to shatter outmoded stereotypes by proving that vegetarians do in fact have sufficient energy to type aggressively.
I baa therefore I are.
(Sheep are shit at English. Ask one)