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Liberty, Cruelty, and Animals

By Steven Bailey - 7 August 2014 34

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“There’s a poor animal with blood on its head and tears running down its face. Who did that to it? It’s lying in the dust and its wings are broken. Who broke its wings? Who cut off his hands so that it can’t shake the bars?” Edward Bond, Lear.

We live in a cruel world. Whether or not our lives are filled with the social justice and comforts of the First World, the world is nonetheless a very cruel place. Politically, cruelty is not the domain of the left wing or the right wing – both wings were clipped a long time ago. Our wings were clipped by a corporate establishment that broke the social fabric so yearned for by the world after World War II. I do believe that there is another war emerging. Unlike the Cold War, it won’t be between two broken wings – it will be between us and the one percent.  Whoever wins the war will determine the survival of humanity.

I enjoyed a healthy childhood in rural Australia, and for what I lacked from material wealth I gained with the richness that comes with an unrestricted and happy upbringing. Once, as a teenager, I ran away from home. I left on Friday afternoon, hopped on my motorbike, and camped out in an East Gippsland forest. I packed everything I needed including food and fuel; I also stole a rifle from my neighbour. On the Saturday night, I shot a wallaby in the head, attempted to cut out a tenderloin, cooked it on the fire, and thought about what I had just done. It died instantly – I knew that.

I returned on the Sunday afternoon. I was a little offended to learn that my parents did not realise that I had ‘ran away’, but forever comforted that I was always treated as an adult. Self-determination was something that developed in me naturally and not unconsciously. I knew that the world was a cruel place from an early age, and that cruelty is so often necessary for survival. But what I hate is the cruelty that is unnecessary, and I am scared by it.

At the tender age of seven I was handed a rifle to go on my first fox hunt. Etched in my mind is the image a poor cub dragging its head along the freshly ploughed earth with half of its snout blown off. I remember when it was my turn to cut the throat of a sheep but the knife was too blunt and I was too weak to make the kill quick – it died eventually. When an animal dies, you see its eyes, and its eyes see you. I didn’t want to do it, but I was a child and I was made to do it.

The were no tears in my eyes. Rather, I chose to keep the tears behind my eyes, perhaps so that one day I could make the world a better place with my vision clear and not blurred with hate or sadness.

If our wounds don’t kill us, our scars can thicken the skin.

I know many kind farmers – in fact the most influential and extraordinary person of my life was the farmer and sculptor, Rix Wright. But Canberra needs to know that animal cruelty is endemic in Australia. Children learn to bludgeon animals for fun; the rapid corporatisation of rural Australia has seen the torture and killing of our animals with the mechanical efficiency of Nazi concentration camps. It is for the progressive side of politics to end this madness.  

I had an enlightening conversation with Animal Liberation Spokesperson Carolyn Drew yesterday. There was certainly more that united us than divided us. We agreed that a time must come when humans afford to the lives of our fellow animals the dignity inherent in all life.

Drew believes that through economic pressure we can make the world a better place for animals, and I agree – but I would like to go a step further. We must fight for the dignity of animals through the power of legislative authority, and that will only occur when the Progressive side of politics earns that authority. We need new politicians!

Today’s politicians can no longer write their own speeches or books; it is abundantly clear that they definitely can’t read them either. An example of this was Bill Shorten asking Keating to assist in the composition of his reply to the budget – the words were far wiser than the speaker.

Progressive politics must break through the barrier of accepting the established paradigm within which our regressive opponents are trapped – trapped like animals. There are millions of Progressives in Australia; they just don’t know for whom to vote.  But in 2016 they will. I hope.

Orwell wrote Animal Farm with the conviction ‘to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole’. It is this very idea that I embrace, and, in order to succeed, all Progressives must embrace too. If we are to imagine new political realities we must first stop voting for vapid politicians whose imaginations have been destroyed by their conditioning well before preselection.

Where America failed in its quest for liberty, Australia may still succeed. There are millions of Progressives in Australia, but because democracy is pure illusion without choice, they just don’t know for whom to vote. In 2016, for the ACT and federally, there will be a choice, and they will know for whom to vote.

The Progressive movement in Australia is growing, and I plan to contribute to it with all my brain and brawn. But I say to my Progressive friends – we are fighting a political machine so entrenched in the established order, that to break it will require a political literacy that we don’t yet have. We need to be cunning; we need to be kind; and we need to be cruel. Know for whom you vote.

Steven Bailey is the First Officer and Election Team Leader of The Australian Sex Party – Canberra. Through the arts, education and politics, Steven believes we can make stronger communities and a better world.

What’s Your opinion?


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34 Responses to
Liberty, Cruelty, and Animals
1
Captain RAAF 8:43 am
07 Aug 14
#

You lost me right here…”Children learn to bludgeon animals for fun…”

What children? Mine certainly haven’t been taught this, I know I wasn’t so I’d like to know where are the children that are getting taught to bludgeon animals for fun?

I’ve shot a lot of ducks, roo’s, foxes, rabbits and so on but even I know it’s not right to do it just for sh/ts and giggles. I think you’re hugging the wrong tree!

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2
Milo11 12:49 pm
07 Aug 14
#

…”Children learn to bludgeon animals for fun…” I cannot express how much I disagree with this comment, I started going hunting with my farther at about 5 years old, the first rule I was taught was it is better to not take a shot and go home empty handed than take the shot and risk an unclean kill. My daughter, now 4, has begun fishing with me and soon will be hunting with me and she will be taught the same respect for the animals we will hunt as I was taught by my farther. I have never met a parent that has taught nor allowed their child bludgeon, torture or abuse any animal under any circumstance. This article has not provided any light on whom I will vote for in 2016 but it has made the list of possibilities one shorter….

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3
HenryBG 5:08 pm
07 Aug 14
#

The only way I can imagine a talk with an person from “Animal Liberation” could be enlightening is if that person were to reveal the source of their nutty beliefs as being the voices coming from their teeth.

There is no such thing as ” the dignity inherent in all life”. This is pseudo-religious delusional mumbo-jumbo. “Life” is a chemical reaction.

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4
shauno 8:12 pm
07 Aug 14
#

Most ridiculous story ive seen on here for a while.

I use to go hunting with my father and I still do occasionally now always make use of the meat. What the hell is wrong with that its great getting out there and I know parents who have children that go hunting as well and they grow up with a great respect for wild life. Who are these progressives that are going to tell me i cant do that. Would you like me to think up a few things that I will decide you cant do? Or would that be impinging upon your individual liberty?

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5
justin heywood 8:14 pm
07 Aug 14
#

There are millions of Progressives in Australia, but because democracy is pure illusion without choice, they just don’t know for whom to vote

I thought ‘Progressives’ voted for the Greens? And if you’re really progressive, you could join the Socialist Alternative.

In previous posts Steven, you’ve spoken about wanting to move the political debate beyond the old left/right paradigm. To me, that would require some tolerance of alternative views, some objectiveness and an understanding that there is good and bad people and ideas across the political spectrum; and that the most productive way forward would be consensus based.

But no, using hyperbole that would embarrass a dreamy adolescent, you continually rail against THE MAN, the mythical ‘one percent’ who you apparently believe has ‘trapped like animals’ us hapless voters. Sounds pretty much like the old us/them paradigm to me.

We need to be cunning; we need to be kind; and we need to be cruel. Know for whom you vote.

What does that even mean? Who is we? What are you talking about?

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6
Steven Bailey 1:59 am
08 Aug 14
#

Captain RAAF said :

You lost me right here…”Children learn to bludgeon animals for fun…”

What children? Mine certainly haven’t been taught this, I know I wasn’t so I’d like to know where are the children that are getting taught to bludgeon animals for fun?

I’ve shot a lot of ducks, roo’s, foxes, rabbits and so on but even I know it’s not right to do it just for sh/ts and giggles. I think you’re hugging the wrong tree!

Mate, if you are a humane hunter, I’m obviously not referring to you in this article. I shoot rabbits for my dog Bruce too. I can’t do that all of the time but I think it’s healthier than buying some reconstituted meat by-product from Coles that was caged all of its life. It would be a gross misunderstanding to reduce my political discourse to tree hugging.

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7
Steven Bailey 2:26 am
08 Aug 14
#

Milo11 said :

…”Children learn to bludgeon animals for fun…” I cannot express how much I disagree with this comment, I started going hunting with my farther at about 5 years old, the first rule I was taught was it is better to not take a shot and go home empty handed than take the shot and risk an unclean kill. My daughter, now 4, has begun fishing with me and soon will be hunting with me and she will be taught the same respect for the animals we will hunt as I was taught by my farther. I have never met a parent that has taught nor allowed their child bludgeon, torture or abuse any animal under any circumstance. This article has not provided any light on whom I will vote for in 2016 but it has made the list of possibilities one shorter….

I am glad that you have respect for animals. You have no need to defend yourself as I’m not attacking you. I grew up in regional South Australia, the Southern Tablelands, and the East Gippsland, and as a boy and adolescent I experienced a lot of animal cruelty. I understand a culture of animal cruelty that exists throughout Australia. I’m naturally suspicious when people defend themselves unnecessarily.

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8
bigfeet 7:28 am
08 Aug 14
#

So Stephen, two people have asked what the hell you mean by ”Children learn to bludgeon animals for fun” and you haven’t answered.

So I will ask again.

What the hell are you talking about with that statement?

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9
Steven Bailey 1:07 pm
08 Aug 14
#

bigfeet said :

So Stephen, two people have asked what the hell you mean by ”Children learn to bludgeon animals for fun” and you haven’t answered.

So I will ask again.

What the hell are you talking about with that statement?

It means what is says. Sit on the school buses of Bombala, Delegate, Cooma, Bendoc, Ando, Bibbenluke, and you will understand. Listen to the conversations at recess and lunch in these schools. If you have lived in these communities you would understand. Watch the great Australian film ‘Wake in Fright’. It depicts a reality, not a fantasy.

What does one do with a joey whose mother has just been shot? Waste another bullet on it or smash its head on the bulbar?

The words mean what they mean. ‘Children learn to bludgeon animals for fun’. I can break down the syllables for you if you like.

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10
HenryBG 2:09 pm
08 Aug 14
#

Steven Bailey said :

What does one do with a joey whose mother has just been shot? Waste another bullet on it or smash its head on the bulbar?

The words mean what they mean. ‘Children learn to bludgeon animals for fun’. I can break down the syllables for you if you like.

I am consumed with the mystery revealed by a train of thought that leaps so seamlessly from the scenario where you have to put an injured animal out of its misery to one where you seek fun and entertainment in the form of bludgeoning animals.

Moving on to a completely unrelated question, as Steven has provided an extensive narrative covering the animal world’s influence in his life – perhaps he can provide another covering the vegetable world of his experience?

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11
El_Mariachi 2:24 pm
08 Aug 14
#

Your campaign pitch is seriously that you will bring the cruelty to ACT Politics?
To whom or what do you intend to be cruel exactly?

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12
bigfeet 3:03 pm
08 Aug 14
#

Steven Bailey said :

What does one do with a joey whose mother has just been shot? Waste another bullet on it or smash its head on the bulbar?

The words mean what they mean. ‘Children learn to bludgeon animals for fun’. I can break down the syllables for you if you like.

Humanely killing pouch young is a necessity, and a blow to the head, if done correctly, is certainly a humane way to do it. I’ve done it on several occasions and have seen it done on many others, but I can honestly say I have never seen it done for ‘fun’.

You say “the words mean what they mean”. They certainly do, but that doesn’t mean that the words are truthful, accurate or even actually make sense.

Who is teaching these children to do this for ‘fun’? Where are they doing it? Do they have animal bludgeoning parties?

There is a big difference between killing an animal, and animal cruelty.

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13
Pragmatix 5:20 pm
08 Aug 14
#

Steven, a word of advice. I know that you want to be a different type of politician. You give detailed responses and you take the time to respectfully argue with idiots but there is a point at which you can become too articulate for your own good. If you want to win, you need to learn to choose your battles. As the saying goes, don’t argue with fools, because you might be mistaken as one. And the truth is Steven, that everyone who knows you knows this: that you are anything but a fool and that you are a talent. The test now is whether you can remain strong while building a team around you, it’s a very difficult thing to do. Especially over a long period of time.

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14
Steven Bailey 5:47 pm
08 Aug 14
#

El_Mariachi said :

Your campaign pitch is seriously that you will bring the cruelty to ACT Politics?
To whom or what do you intend to be cruel exactly?

No, that will not be my pitch. But I will lead a team that will be as exacting as my opponents.

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15
Steven Bailey 5:58 pm
08 Aug 14
#

Humanely killing pouch young is a necessity, and a blow to the head, if done correctly, is certainly a humane way to do it. I’ve done it on several occasions and have seen it done on many others, but I can honestly say I have never seen it done for ‘fun’.

Fine, but there are many things that I haven’t seen that I still know exist. You may not have seen this, but I have, and animal cruelty is real and alive in Australia. Do you understand this point? Or do you think that because you have never seen animal cruelty that it doesn’t exist?

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