Friday, 28 December 2012

Cold heart response to Gulf fires

“I love mankind, he said, "but I find to my amazement that the more I love mankind as a whole, the less I love man in particular.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

It may be unfair to say that animal rights activists love animals as a whole but could not love a single animal however from observation I do believe that animal rights organisations have no love for the people who actually do care for animals. Rather than just talk about animal welfare, those that walk the walk placing time, finance and emotional commitment into the direct care of animals are the farmers of this country; not only domestic animals raised for food for all Australians but also by cohabitation, native wildlife found on farms and especially through active rangeland management of larger cattle & sheep stations.

A measure of the love for another person, ideal or in this case animals can be the response to a single event especially one of some urgency. There is unfolding now an event of much urgency that has a high probability of a dire outcome. In the gulf area of north Queensland there have been fires of an epic scale. In the image below developed from the NAFI website compare the size of the shaded areas of fire events to the 100km scale on the lower left hand corner.

The Townsville Bulletin reported in its 22nd December issue, Hope fades for Gulf Country miracle
CATTLE are dying slow deaths in the Gulf Country after bushfires of unprecedented ferocity reduced more than two million hectares of grazing land to scorched earth.

With no grass left, cattle are surviving on leaves and ash. On Kutchera Station 90 kilometres north-west of Georgetown at least 500 head have died, most of them from starvation. Weak cattle are bogging at the edges of waterholes where they become easy prey for the dingoes and pigs which have been quick to take advantage of this on-going calamity.

Rural Press reporter, Troy Rowling has written a comprehensive report complete with photos, Hard work up in smoke.
Seasonal rain, at least 2-4 inches (50-100mm), is needed to extinguish the last of the fires and begin the healing process.
However, the heavens are yet to respond.
At time of print, the seven day forecast saw no rain, the 28 day forecast saw no rain and the latest Bureau of Meteorology modelling does not indicate when the monsoon will move down.
If there is no seasonal rain, it is predicted the Etheridge Shire will require at least $500,000 every fortnight until there is rain to provide enough fodder to keep cattle on affected properties alive.
Queensland Country Life accompanied State Agriculture Minister John McVeigh as he took to a helicopter to visit affected properties last Thursday.
While in Georgetown he announced the Newman Government would immediately donate $100,000 to the Bendigo Bank Far North Queensland Bushfire Appeal to help affected Gulf Producers, which was also launched at Georgetown on Thursday.

Try putting yourself in the shoes of the owners and managers of stations burnt out in these areas; a fire that has left a bare blackened landscape horizon to horizon; of surviving cattle weak, staving and bogging at waterholes; of the despair of the situation and no short term outlook for rain. Then have a kick in the guts while you are down when yesterday PETA issued a media release of such jaw dropping ignorance and heartlessness that was published very widely including the Courier Mail and The Australian; this from the Townsville Bulletin, Prosecute farmers for cattle deaths: PETA.

Others have said it better than I could such as in this blog post, Ethical treatment of animals = unethical treatment of people

PETA’s response to this urgent circumstance is just so, so wrong. PETA’s action is that devoid of any humanity or love that it leaves in its wake a soul destroying carcass of cold empty despair.  

The human race is better than that, both in our treatment of each other and for animals under our care. To give credit where credit is due individual animal rights activists are raising awareness of the disaster in north Queensland on Animal Australia’s facebook page. These individuals are showing that even though they have a fundamental disagreement with the principle market for cattle from this area, live export, they are prepared to do what they can for the livestock in these areas.

 However to date the organisation Animals Australia has shown its alignment with PETA’s position by its stony silence to the unfolding events. Any funds spent by Animals Australia directly on animals for their welfare is very nominal as revealed by their own campaign material. Another organisation that professes love for animals in general but cannot transfer that to practical aid to an animal in need especially if it may indirectly help the real caregivers, farmers.  

If you are able to help here are the links to BendigoBank Far North Queensland Bushfire Appeal and to Aussie Helpers


  1. The comments from PETA are beyond words!!! What an uncaring lot of fools are running that organisation. They would not have a clue about life in the real world. Can anyone imagine storing enough hay or food for 15,000 cattle on a property in case it may flood or a bushfire may eventuate sometime?? If a fire came through with hay stacked away, what a mess that would make.
    Really these people need a lesson in real world activities.
    I have seen some comments from the Townsville Bulletin - obviously some comments are from city slickers who have no idea about how this country operates and what life is really about. They must be living in a cocoon and probably think that milk comes in cartons. Maybe PETA members should actually get out and experience farm life to see what they are missing. They just get sillier and more unbearable each year. I wonder if any of the PETA mob work for a living?

  2. Really well written Dale.
    This is just another example of how out of touch the animal activist organisations are with the reality of just how things really are. They are experts at spin and tugging at the emotional heartstrings of those who are ignorant to the industry of Primary Production. If only those who donated their hard earned cash would find out what really happens to these funds, I'm sure they'd be much more careful who they give it to in the future.

  3. Shame Shame Shame on PETA..Australian farmers need some sort of Government protection from their kind of Terroristic thinking..

  4. Even as an urban dweller I am fully aware that these beasts are the farmers' bread and butter. As if they would willingly allow them to perish if there was any way to prevent it. Fire, flood and drought are very much part of Australia, and in nature there are always predators ready to attack the weak and vulnerable animal victims of any of these elements. PETA activists would do better to assist the families who lose so much in their time of need.

  5. PETA do they realize the native animals too that are in this Natural Disaster, who do they want to punish for those animals perishing and starving.? Animal Welfare where is the passion and love for the animals come and help dont hinder and let animals suffer because PETA you want to punish the human only from you comfortable chairs and well fed belly, Come on donate your wages help the animals some of the native animals will eat and drink beside the domestic livestock , THAT the farmer? grazier will save and look after. Come on Help dont hinder show REAL ANIMAL WELFARE...

  6. As we know, the Greens organisation started off as tree-huggers but morphed when the remnants of the communist parties took over.

    Peta is a similar cuddly on the outside - terrorist on the inside organisation. Peta are animal haters....see eg

    "A 2010 inspection of 290 PETA animal custody records performed by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services discovered that PETA killed 84 percent of the animals it took control of within only 24 hours. Additionally, the inspection discovered that PETA’s animal shelter didn't meet PETA’s own published guidelines for running a humane shelter."


  7. Today Qld Country Hour ran the story, Welfare claims over QLD livestock. Links aren’t live in this comment section so you will need to copy & paste this link.
    The full story is available at the audio link on the right hand side of the page. I listened to this story as in was aired on ABC radio and by memory 3 times PETA’s Claire Fryer was asked if she had any sympathy with the landholders impacted by these fires; 3 times she stonewalled with a heartless reply. Another indicator of her discontent with the Australian pastoral holdings of north Qld was her use of the word, rancher.

    This is the part of the Country hour story that I like, “Queensland Agriculture Minister John McVeigh rejects the claims made by PETA.
    "This is typical grandstanding and a blatant attempt by PETA to use this heartbreaking event on Gulf cattle producers to lift its own profile,' he said.
    "I visited the region last week and I saw first hand how cattle producers are spending tens of thousands dollars a week on molasses and fodder to keep cattle alive."
    "It's time for PETA to put up or shut up.
    "If they want to help, donate to Gulf Fire Appeal which can be done at any branch of the Bendigo Bank."

  8. Over the last couple of years here in Victoria we have had various 'environmental charities' screaming about water allocations in the drought and the risk to the Murray River Red Gum Forests. We, the taxpayers of Australia, give these organisations 'charitable' status, yet I bet not one organised its members to collect grey water and to drive up to the Murray and help water the Red Gums. Nothing but a bunch of hypocrites!!

  9. In the discussion starter above I linked to a blog article, Ethical treatment of animals = unethical treatment of people. Today Kent Morris has written a follow up blog in which he shared an email that he sent to PETA's Clare Fryer.

    I was shocked and appalled to firstly read a PETA media release and secondly hear your radio interview on ABC radio regarding the fires in the gulf country.

    Your lack of understanding on the topic does you and your organisation little credit in the wider community. while you mention that Farmers (NOT ranchers) have a duty of care to their animals, you repeatedly fail to acknowledge the fact that what has occurred in the gulf IS a natural disaster. I have not herd you calling for prosecutions of livestock owners who have had stock washed away in the floods earlier this year, or for prosecutions of pet owners who lost their animals in these events.

    Your latest stunt is yet another thinly veiled attempt to close down any form of livestock production in the north of the country and it is pleasing to see that the minister has treated your claims with the contempt that they deserve.

    Your actions would be better spent assisting in fundraising to provide feed and water for the livestock and native animals left to fend for themselves in the aftermath of this disaster.

    Prosecutions will not save a single animal, if you really want to save the animals, support the producers who are trying their absolute best to save those that remain.
    Kent Morris

  10. Well known outback photograher, Fiona Lake, has written an article called Meat Free Monday Propaganda, that is very revelant to this discussion.

    The links are live in the comment section so either copy & paste this link or look in the right hand column under My Blog List for a live link to Fiona's blog site.

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  12. Update on the situation for Gulf cattlepeople impacted by last years fires. On ABC radio country hour today there was a report of the current situation. Dispite the huge rain in the last few days in far north Qld the Gulf country has been missing out. They had some rain 10 days ago & the grass has shot but they depairily need follow-up.

    1. The Gods can indeed be cruel!
      Good luck to all. al

  13. See commepts from Peter and me on Geoff's post about his peaceful part of the world - Approaching 12 inches of rain here, strong winds and still pouring....


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