Loving badgers, hating cows

It’s no longer news that the Conservative-led coalition sanctions the mass murder of badgers in Gloucestershire and Somerset, which at best will bring about a measly estimated 16% reduction in bovine tuberculosis for a temporary period. The farmers say they can’t innoculate the cattle because the antibodies make the milk unsellable. Innoculating badgers, says the government, is expensive and difficult. Culling is expensive, difficult, dangerous, and doesn’t work, but somehow it’s top of the list. Conservatives usually try to argue it’s in the badgers’ best interests. I suppose if plague came back to London, they’d be supporting policy to lock the infected people in their homes.

I don’t get most of the badger-defending public. Because it seems so clear to me that dairy farming causes immeasurably more suffering than badger-culling, I get confused by the outrage in defence of badgers while the industrial exploitation, slaughter and more than occasion torture of the dairy industry goes unchallenged. I think that’s what’s known as speciesism.

So, some reasons to sign the Stop the Cull petition which already has 100,000 signatures, and this petition initiated by Brian May.

Caroline Allen, senior (and local) Green Party member, vet, who reports evidence against a cull from the Randomised Badger-Culling Trial. Barkingside21 also pokes holes in the government’s flimsy evidence base. The Guardian is against it, but has a story containing some recipes for the dead badger meat, if it should go ahead. Meat is expensive, they say – they’ll be body-snatching from hospitals any day now. The Daily Mail is showing very cute pictures of badgers at the moment. Brian May. The Human Society. Animal Aid. The RSPCA. All against the badger slaughter.

Another way to solve this: admit that it is wrong for humans to drink what comes out of the mammary glands of a mother from another species and stop buying it. Meanwhile, join the consumer boycott of farmers who allow the cull on their land.

I salute the human shields and the destruction of the killing machine. It’s a straightforward one-sided war and if politics fail and the cull begins, it needs to be sabotaged. Only somebody who trades in animal lives could think otherwise – we used to do that with human lives but we grew out of it.

I have a dream that the animal defenders and the left get together and work on a financial safety net to persuade farmers, who aren’t so different after all from Afghan poppy farmers, to stop feeding this country’s lousy, barbaric dairy habit.