9 months ago

As a young adult in the late 1980's I used to see campaign stalls for Compassion in World Farming. I felt sympathy for the cause, but I never stopped to find out more, because I could not bear to see the photographs displayed. I spared my feelings, and walked past. Very soon afterward, I found myself a guest on a farm in Iceland, working with sheep, and with indoor pigs. It was an awful concentration camp for pigs, and brought me face to face with the things I had tried not to see. I hated the cruelty, but felt unable to speak up. For decades now, I have avoided farmed meat. (Just occasionally I eat wild game, which I know has never been on a lorry, above all never been to the slaughterhouse.) This week I have been greatly distressed by hearing of a consignment of thousands of cows sent out on the deep ocean, on an unthinkable journey from New Zealand to China. I have tried to imagine their circumstances and experience, to imagine how it was to be in a terrifying mid-ocean storm, to be tossed about in their huge throbbing metal container, and to endure the horror of the capsize, the sinking, the terrible mass drowning. It is impossible to comprehend. No grazing animal should ever have to go to sea. I am ashamed that it has taken till now for me to do something to support your cause. Privately abstaining from factory-farmed meat is not enough. What is a person's life worth, if they do not do something to make the world better? I see that Peter Roberts and his supporters have done so, and I commend his bravery and his work.