Warning: heavy post

You would have to be living under a rock to not be aware of the furore surrounding the export of live cattle since the Four Corners program aired in late May (http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2011/s3228880.htm). I didn’t watch it, and it turns out, I didn’t need to as it has been repeated and talked about so much since.

It is abhorrent that this is going on and we are right as Australians to stand up and be counted as saying we want it stopped. People power saw the Government take action (which, not surprisingly, has upset a whole other set of Australians). I am proud to live in a democracy where we as citizens actually can be heard and listened to.

But.

As disgusting as what is being done to the cattle is, it is by no means an isolated case. Innocent dolphins are being slaughtered to the tune of 23 000 a year in Japan alone (http://nicolemclachlan.wordpress.com/the-taiji-dolphin-slaughter/). Over 70 million animals are killed each year in the USA in cosmetics laboratories (http://www.animalcruelty.com/acfastfacts.html). If you are feeling brave, just do a quick surf on the net and you will be astounded at the level to which we are harming all kinds of animals.

But.

As disgusting as what is being done to animals is, we are doing far worse things to fellow humans and a fair chunk of them are children. Every 26 seconds a child is sold into the sex slave industry, often by their parent or guardian (http://www.destinyrescue.org/aus/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=24&Itemid=38). Human trafficking is increasing, not decreasing in our ‘enlightened’ modern times (http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/about/slavery/). Do I need to go on? Frankly, I don’t think I have the stomach to list any more atrocities.

Why are we not incensed by these issues of human cruelty? Why do we rise up when we see the cattle torture on TV, yet chat and sip our coffee when the World Vision ads are on and happily go back to watching our favourite TV show after seeing starving children on our screen?

Why?

Do we feel helpless in the face of the overwhelming number of people in need? Surely, we felt helpless when watching the Four Corners program, yet there was enough of a groundswell to make ourselves heard. Why do we collectively do nothing about the abuse of innocent children and the flagrant disregard for their lives?

I am angry, sad and frustrated. What do we need to see as a society to galvanise us into action? There is no cheery ending to this post, no happy upside to the issues raised. We need to realise that we can make a difference…after all, haven’t we just proved that with the live export issue?

4 thoughts on “Warning: heavy post

  1. I’m coming to this post from the future…April 17, 2014, to be exact, referred from your ‘Guilty’ post.

    I think there are two reasons why we tend to react more to animal cruelty rather than to cruelty to humans –

    First, it’s easier to take effective action, and see results. You can take in a stray or abused dog, but it’s very hard to get through the legal and financial barriers to save a child from slavery in the Third World.

    Second, we tend to see the opposition of cruelty to humans as being the province of the government. It makes sense, because national and international laws make it hard for an individual from one country to become directly involved in the what’s going on in another country…or even in their own homeland.

    There’s another factor – human trafficking, for example, is big business, and effective action may involve solutions than are more prejudicial than we’re comfortable with. It would be nice if they would free their slaves and pick up a Bible, but generally that action has to be encouraged through more active means.

    We need to do what we can, and we must stay focused – not to the point of depressive apathy, but to the point where we realize that engagement at the ballot box, and with the contributions we make from our pocket, are not a right, but a responsibility.

    Like

    • Yes, so true – immediate gratification of our ‘good deed’ is a big reason.

      Also, I think it’s easier to deal with something ie an animal that we see as completely innocent and undeserving of their suffering. We may agree in our heads that the victims of human trafficking have done nothing to deserve their plight but most people have a niggling voice in the back of their minds that says ‘they were in a place they shouldn’t have been’, ‘they were on drugs’, ‘they were drunk’ which makes it easier, of course, to dismiss the issue when the ‘victim’ is partly to blame.

      And I totally agree that money is the root of the issue – there is simply too much money to be made in evil practises to eradicate them.

      Staying focus is the key, and for me, it’s remembering the one and not being overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of the problems. You are right, the more we realise it’s our responsibility to act, not an option to be taken up when we ‘feel’ like it, the more change will happen and differences will start to make a real dent in all these things we face as a human race.

      Like

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