Found by Tracey Lofthouse

Don’t feed lies to kids:  It’s great to see the next generation showing concern and empathy for animals as Darcy Flanagan did (Letters, August 3). Sadly, though, she has already been fed the fallacy that we need to kill animals “because we need to eat”. Of course we need to eat but we don’t need those foods derived from killing millions of our fellow sentient beings every day (not counting fish). We can thrive and lead healthier lives while avoiding meat, dairy and eggs. We should stop feeding lies to our kids.  –  Mike O’Shaughnessy, Spence
From: au/comment/ct-letters/trams- cost-me-more-20150805-gisedr. html#ixzz3j8frohie

DAIRY BASKED ON ABUSE:  It’s disturbing to see that our kids are being subjected to the brainwashing of Dairy Australia, an industry body who’s stated aim is to “achieve a profitable, sustainable dairy industry” (“Dairy and ‘zen’ combined as colourful cow wanders in school”, (Sunday Canberra Times, August 23).

The dairy industry is based on the abuse, exploitation and killing of animals. Cows, like all female mammals, produce milk for one reason only – to feed their newborn calf.

The cow is artificially inseminated on an apparatus known in the industry as the “rape rack”. After nine months’ gestation the calf is born only to be taken away from his or her mum within 24 hours of birth – to the lingering distress of both mother and calf.

If male, the calf may be killed immediately or some time later for veal or beef. Some females suffer the same fate while others are fed on milk replacer to later join the milking herd. Mum can now be milked and is almost immediately inseminated again – giving birth every 12 months. After a few years of this vicious cycle she is exhausted so is sent off to become hamburger meat. Are our kids going to be taught these facts? Not likely.

Finally, the article states, “National guidelines recommend 3.5 servings of dairy daily for 12- to 18-year-olds, and 2.5 serves for adults”. No they do not. The guidelines recommend dairy “and/or alternatives” and there are many plant-based alternative sources of calcium and the other nutrients found in cow’s milk – without the saturated fat and cholesterol and without the cruel abuse and killing of cows and calves.  – Mike O’Shaughnessy, Spence

FLIPSIDE OF ATTACK:  “Beaches along a 600,000km stretch of the entire Pacific Ocean remain closed while police investigate human attacks that claimed the lives of thousands of whales and dolphins.”
You didn’t read about that? No, I didn’t either.  –  Greg Battye, Bruce

Think outside the herd:  Andrew Hunter (”Love of meat comes at a cost”, Times 2, July 1, p4) gets it partly right: the production of meat comes at awful costs to the animals used and also inflicts a high price on our health and our environment. But he is wrong in two respects – there is no such thing as humanely killed animals, and his focus on meat production ignores the suffering and deaths of egg and milk production. The vast majority of ”free-range” pigs and chickens end up side-by-side with their ”factory-farmed” brothers and sisters in the abattoir. They are killed in exactly the same violent way. And even if those animals were killed in the most gentle and considerate manner, we would still be taking their most precious possession, their lives.

No matter what label is on the cartons of those unnecessary eggs, all layers will be killed at about 18 months of age when their productivity dips. In order for a cow to lactate she has to have given birth. She is forced to do so every year until worn out after three to five cycles. The only way to get her milk is for the calf to be taken from her in the first few days of life. Males and some females become veal while other females are fed artificially then added to the milking herd.

We don’t need any of these animal foods and simply can’t justify using these sentient animals as machines. All animal farming is a ”spectacle of unexplained horrors”.  –  Mike O’Shaughnessy

Letter:  Michael Evans (”No sacred cows: let me eat whale for dinner”, July 13), while pretending he wants to try a whale burger, actually shows why we should all stop eating animal products.

He admits to being ”appalled at footage of how we slaughter cows, pigs and chickens for human consumption”. He points out the inconsistency of being squeamish about eating some animals while slaughtering others.

He also says that the breeding, growing and slaughter of animals is ”arguably a questionable use of limited resources”. He says the ”only truly logical argument appears to be not to eat or even domesticate any animal”.

He’s right. He asks how realistic that may be but for me and millions of others it’s our daily routine. Moreover, our choice of a plant-based diet now has the blessing of the National Health and Medical Research Council along with health bodies in other countries as a perfectly viable, healthy option.

Evans can join us and as the number of vegans increases, the numbers of animals bred and slaughtered will decrease. – Mike O’Shaughnessy, Spence

RSPCA STRAYS OFF COURSE:  Sadly, it’s an indication of how far the RSPCA has strayed from its mission, ”To prevent cruelty to animals by actively promoting their care and protection” when it can run a Christmas promotion featuring the sliced, seared body of a turkey. It has become the Royal Society for the Promotion of Cooked Animals. – Mike O’Shaughnessy

Parkwood prison:  The conversion of the Parkwood site (”Battery egg farm will go cage-free”, July 5, p4) will mean nothing in terms of improved animal welfare. Pace could well build a new barn facility which will imprison even more hens than were ever in the cages and they are likely to be crammed inside just as tightly – 15 birds a square metre is standard and even the RSPCA allows nine a square metre. Eggs are totally unnecessary in our diet and all egg production is inhumane.

I’m certainly not happy that my rates are going to the construction of a new Parkwood prison. – Mike O’Shaughnessy, Spence

Egg farm attack:  The question ”whether the ends justify the means” (”Egg attack wrong”, Editorial, March 15, p16) can only elicit a subjective answer. Breaking property is against the law, but the law is not always right. The law, in this case, condones and protects the right of the egg producer to commit torture on animals that feel pain and misery just as we do. And that is wrong. Parkwood Egg Farm has a history of continuing to torture animals, regardless of public opinion or those concerned with animal welfare. Contrary to the claim that governments are receptive to voter opinion, governments are only receptive to industry opinion.

While governments and the law refuse to recognise and act on this torture in our neighbourhood, people like the ”Blackbird” will continue to take direct action such as this.

If the system refuses to listen to what is being said, what else can the system expect but for those voices to grow louder and more insistent and, if still not given the genuine reception they deserve, to then strike at the heart of what is causing the suffering for themselves.

It might not necessarily be the ”right” thing to do (according to social norms) but it may be the only thing left that can be done if the system won’t bend even a little on issues such as these.  –  Carolyn Drew, Deakin

Pace’s egg farm:  You have to wonder why Katy Gallagher defends the value of the Pace egg factory to the ACT. Pace employs about 14 people, pays a pittance ($486 pa) for its lease on 41 hectares, creates a stink, looks awful and is ethically repugnant. Some industry!  – Mike O’Shaughnessy, Spence

TURKEY CRUELTY:  Once again we endured the United States presidential pardoning of a turkey that would otherwise be used for a Thanksgiving table. This stunt simply involves the implicit validation of the annual US slaughter of 46 million turkeys. Similarly, millions of turkeys in Australia will be killed as a result of the traditional Christmas celebrations.

Turkeys suffer a range of health problems and are so large their legs are crippled and therefore they are prone to heart failure. Christmas and Thanksgiving celebrations involve inherent cruelty with no consideration of the animals being used for these rituals.  –  Lara Drew, Deakin

MULESING IS CRUEL:  Gary J. Wilson (Letters, November 4) is simply wrong. Mulesing is the cutting away of skin from around the sheep’s anus and genitals which results in an open, bloody wound and causes the sheep pain and distress for many days.

A simple search of the web will provide photos and videos of the operation with ample evidence of bleeding, and the Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals (Sheep) makes it clear that mulesing is both bloody and painful.

Mulesing is one of the most offensive ways we cause pain and stress to these sentient animals whom we exploit for food and fibre even though there are plenty of plant-based alternatives.  – Mike O’Shaughnessy, Spence

PRAISE FOR SWAN RESCUE:  Well done to Stephen Trowell and all those who assisted the swan caught up in fishing hooks and line (Letters, October 13).

But there’s a glaring contradiction in his call for care.

The anglers who take fishing hooks, lures and line to the lake do so with the express intention of harming and killing our aquatic wildlife.

It would be great if they stopped inflicting pain and death for fun rather than just tidying up afterwards. – Mike O’Shaughnessy, Spence