Not another #BadgerCull

I am massively disappointed to have just learnt that yet again the powers that be have sanctioned a completely ineffective badger cull. I had hoped we had seen the last of this ‘great plan’ as I am pretty certain the last one was described as an “abysmal failure” by anyone with half a brain cell. But I was wrong, it would appear the powers that be haven’t learnt their lesson and are going to yet again ‘cull’.

I have been considering a post on the badger cull for a few days now. I was watching the ‘Young Farmers’ programme on Channel 4 and this week it touched on bovine TB. You couldn’t help but feel the despair of these farmers as they struggled with infected cattle. One farmer had been shut down for over a year, unable to buy or sell cows. Another was facing financial ruin, his mates and other farmers rallied round to help but still he was struggling. One told the story of a friend who had been pushed to the edge as he had had to shoot all of the cows he owned, watching the calves kicking in the bellies of their slaughtered mother. Watching the programme I was getting crosser and crosser and a number of times I couldn’t help but exclaim “we should be doing more”.

However killing badgers is not the answer.

I can’t help but a badge cull is seen as an easy out. The government can loudly proclaim ‘look at us doing our bit to help the poor farmers (give it time and I’m sure they will be visiting them for the obligatory ‘we care’ photo shoot) whilst actually being completely ineffective and failing to achieve anything – although that shouldn’t be a surprise I am starting to think that completely ineffective and out of touch should be the definition of government in the dictionary.

So what would I do?

You know what I’m not 100% sure. I don’t have all the answers but how about

  1. We start paying farmers a fair price for their produce. Farming is a high risk business, they are reliant on so many variable which they cannot control, let’s make sure they can afford to have a small nest egg to be built up so they have something to fall back on when they face hard times, a failed harvest, a TB farm closure…… I believe the pile it high, sell it cheap culture that we are breeding is extremely detrimental. Everyone is up in arms about obesity epidemic but the powers that be don’t seem to understand that it is in no small part tied to the crap that people put in their mouths. “Madam would you like this naturally raised, organic high welfare chicken breast for £5 or can I instead tempt you with this low welfare, stuffed full of growth hormone, water and god knows what ‘chicken breast’ 10 for 30p?” And you know full well the cuts are being made on the price paid to the farmers. When we have farmers pouring gallons of milk down the drain because they can’t sell it you know something is wrong.
  2. We financially support the famers when times are hard. As a nation we support people when they are too ill to work, we support people when they are searching for jobs and we support bankers who need to have their big bonuses because we all know they just simply couldn’t survive if they could not afford their month on their private yacht, eating caviar and coiffing Dom Perignon. Yet the hard working farmer… if times are hard they should be able to turn to the government for support.
  3. We work harder on finding a solution to bovine TB which actually works. From what I have read there is a vaccine, however we can’t use as once vaccinated, if a cow had a ‘test’ it will provide a positive result and then ‘we’ don’t know if the cow has TB or has been vaccinated. Surely with greater minds then mine working on this there is a way to get round this problem while the scientists work out a way to differentiate between a ‘positive result’ and a vaccinated cow. I can’t help but believe that with a little planning, maybe some short term inconvenience using a system of quarantine, country wide (and for the country I am including Scotland and Wales) vaccination and a little financial backing a workable solution is not 10 years away and does not have to involve the mass slaughter of hundreds of innocent creatures (not only the badgers but the thousands of cattle that have to be killed).

As I said, I don’t have all the answers. But I couldn’t stay quiet any longer. The situation the farmers find themselves in and the cull is wrong.

Growing up I naively believed that the government listened to and represented its people. So I am adding my voice to the hundreds of others calling for an end to the cull. I am adding my voice to the hundreds of others calling for better support for our farmers.

I am very aware that I don’t have the power to change anything. However I am hoping that by speaking out, someone who does is somewhere listening and will feel empowered to act.

If you would like to make a stand for badgers then visit http://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/badgers/takeaction to send an email to the new Environment Secretary, Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP

I want to….

I want to share this video with you…..

I want to share this video and say something amazing, insightful, wonderful……

I want to share this video with you and have my words persuade you to feel how I do about these magnificent creatures (and all animals in general, even snakes and spiders which I do not like but would not harm.)…..

I want to share this video with you and have you so moved that you take a stand for animal rights everywhere……

I want you to share this video with you and have you seem the love that these animals have for each other and realise how wrong it is to kill for ‘sport’…….

I want to share this video with you and have you feel compassion……

 

We do not have a right to take from this world, all that we want.

We are here to protect and look after those less fortunate than ourselves, those that need our help.

 

If  ‘dumb animals’ can figure this out why the bloody hell can’t we?!

Do we protest enough?

Borrowed from The Quote Factory .com
Borrowed from The Quote Factory .com

Today I was taken in by what, in hindsight, I am hoping was a practical joke. I can’t be sure yet as the radio station sharing the new story has not admitted whether or not this is a genuine story and as the pretense was a stupid idea from the counsel…well need I say more?

One woman, who may or may not have been in on the joke, rang up the station in anger and claimed that she was so annoyed with this idea that she was going to protest by chaining herself to the railings of a local bakery. (See why I’m not sure if she was in on the joke or not?!) Anyway during her slightly out-there rant she said “people in this country do not protest enough” and I have to say that struck a chord with me. As a country, hell as individuals, do we stand up for our rights and protest or do we just bend over and take it?

I have a friend who is a teacher and last week she went out on strike. She spent the morning protesting and then the afternoon at a rally. I have never been in the position where striking was an option, but I don’t know if I would have the balls to strike even if I was in that position. I don’t know if it’s because I hear strike and think back to the minor strikes. The images of men from both sides, civilian and police, covered and blood and being carried away….. a rant for another time!

I am aware of current strikes within the emergency services and I must say I have hear very little support for those people who have gone out on strike. People seemed more concerned as to how this is inconvenience will affect their day to day lives. They seem to forget that a strike indicates people standing up to the big guns and saying “this is not good enough, listen to us”.

I’m not going to get political, but I do worry that taking away some of the powers of the union has left us weaker as a society and the fact that there was a slow news day where world wide protests against governments were not reported by the press leaves me cold. I worry about where out future is going as a country….. I worry about what the world is going to be like for the next generations.

There is famous quote which says “The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing” are we as a society guilty of doing nothing? Should we stand up and be accountable?

I’m afraid I don’t have a wise bombshell to end with. I don’t even know how to sum up…..

I’d love to know what you think!!

Hunted #WinterOlympics

Last night I watched the Channel 4 documentary Hunted. I only switched onto this channel by accident and so only caught the tail end however in those 30 minutes I saw some of the most shocking reporting I have seen in a long time. I am certain most of you will be aware of Putin and the discussions around the Winter Olympics but I have to ask you are you actually listening to what is being sad or, as I was, are you flicking past the stories too busy in your daily life wondering why someone else doesn’t do anything? Well today I am doing something. Although this isn’t much I am staking my rainbow coloured flag in the ground and telling anyone who will listen “What is going on in Russia at present is beyond comprehension and as human-beings we have to be done!!”

There are a few stories that I would like to share with you. If you would prefer here would be the place to stop reading.

Currently in Russia at the moment there are vigilante groups who are ‘hunting’ gay men for sport. Now I detest any type of hunting, I think to cause something pain and misery to get your rocks off is wrong, but hunting another human being because of their lifestyle? These ‘hunting’ groups track down gay men and ‘shame’ them on the internet. Using social media and various other means they identify their pray and then trick their prey into meeting one of them. Of so the prey thinks until they turn up and find not one person, but an entire group of men and woman calling for their blood.

In the film last night the crew who had been given access to follow one of these vigilante groups. Once the victim was brought back to the flat he was beaten and then forced to dance while they filmed him and laughed at him. This man was lucky. The crew filming for Channel 4 were initially locked out of the room when the victim arrived but they forced their way back in and continued to film. This action undoubtedly protected this man. This time the leader of the group kept reminding her team to “be gentle” and when one member asked if they were going to pour urine over the victim her response was “not this time”. These ‘shaming’ videos are posted online and openly shared. Nothing is done to bring the perpetrators to justice. Meanwhile the victim looses their home, their job and becomes a public target all because they are gay.

As I said the man in the above situation was lucky (this time). It would appear he got off extremely lightly. He was able to walk away. Other videos show people lifeless after the ‘hunting’. One young man was left blind after being attacked by a different vigilante group. One video showed a man covered in blood being forced to rape himself with a bottle.

It gets worse. It would appear that the members of these group operate free from fear of persecution. The police at best look the other way, at worse encourage these actions. New laws in Russia means that anyone who says anything even remotely neutral about a homosexual life style can be prosecuted. This means that people are left unable to protest, unable to say or do anything. The documentary followed a story of a man who was attacked in the street for carrying a rainbow flag, a vigilante attacked him, there is photographic proof. Yet, the defendants legal team have tied the case (one of only a handful to actually make it into a court of law) up in tape meaning it has dragged on for almost two years knowing once the case passes a two year mark it will be dropped.

The misguided idea that gay people are also pedophiles is now commonly held by a lot of Russian society. I don’t think I need say anything more on that!

It also featured a lesbian couple who between them had children from previous marriages. If anyone reports these two woman to the government they will loose their children as new laws look to make it even easier to remove children from homosexual households.

There was a small glimmer of hope with the mention of a few people who are fighting. However, any attempts made to protest are quickly stopped. The documentary followed a teacher who attends rallies and works hard to fight for gay rights within Russia. She is now a marked woman. Anti-gay hunting groups are after her job as they claiming she is mentally ill and so should not be allowed around children.

Before watching this programme I was very much of the opinion that we should be boycotting the Olympics. However, if we did do this it would only be used as another stick with which to beat homosexuals within Russia. Apparently, with the spot light of the world on the country things aren’t ‘that bad’. I fear for the state of things when the spotlight of the media is focused elsewhere.

A slow news day

No I have made no secret of the fact I worry about things, probably more than I should. However I don’t know if this is another over-reaction or a sign of things to come…

Last night I decided to give myself a night off, since moving home my friends have been amazing and I have so far only had one night when I had nothing planned – when I was in bed at 7, and having a panic attack that my life was over. But as usual the worrying and panicking was for nothing as it turned out my life hasn’t reverted to me sitting sad and alone anyway…

So last night Mum, dad, Mity and I were sat around the TV playing the usual game of flick through all the channels to find something to watch, then complain that there are now so many channels but still nothing decent to watch. Well Mity was squeaking his moose, but the rest of us were flicking and complaining. It reached 9pm and we decided that we would watch the news for half an hour and then call it an early night.

As we watched the news I passed the comment that it must be a very slow news day as we went across live to the “breaking news” of the Toronto major admitting he had used cocaine. Now while I am not underplaying the seriousness of this, to go live to a press report without filling in the key information about who, what, where, why and when left a lot of questions unasked and so we were left a bit puzzled watching what appeared to be a bit of a nothing.

I went to bed and made the mistake of reaching out for OH, which I have done involuntarily a couple of times recently and it hurts. Wanted to stop this pain I reached for my phone and having failed to see anything to amuse me on Facebook I took to twitter. On twitter I learnt that that evening there had been worldwide protests with demonstrations taking place at that very moment in Ireland, the UK and America as well as else where in the world. I turned back on the news assuming this would make the 10pm news – I was reading about police clashes, fires and fireworks outside Buckingham Palace, Russell Brand, globally organised protests… and there was nothing.

I can’t help but asking why wasn’t this story featured? People are blaming the government… can this be true?

I know that sometimes large protest events aren’t made too much to not “pour fuel on the fire” but surely something of this magnitude should have been reported?

I don’t know about you but I find this total media black out slightly worrying.