29 October 2013

New Egg Regulations Promote Cruelty

A Win for Factory Farming?

by Kate Edwards

chicken-88507_640As of November 26, state legislation will be introduced to widen the regulation surrounding eggs sold in Tasmania. The legislation will require anyone who sells eggs to be licensed producers and to adhere to processes such as egg stamping and a food safety plan. Previously this only applied to those selling from more than 20 chickens. However now anyone selling commercially will have to abide by the new regulations.

The community, the CWA in particular, is up in arms about the effect this will have on producers and consumers, with fears that many smaller local producers and roadside sellers will be pushed out of the market. Another question to ask, however, is the effect this legislation will have on those who actually make these eggs – the birds.

One argument which will undoubtedly be made is that regulation of anything creates the opportunity for governments to ensure that standards are met. That licensing will ensure that everything is ‘out in the open’. As we all know, if this were the case then the horrific reality of so many thousands of beautiful birds would be different. This is a loss, not a win, for animals.

Transferring the custom currently given to the many small local sellers over to larger licensed producers is the wrong step in the effort to end factory farming. I know that to most readers, even smaller production by locals is not ideal. However I think everyone would agree that giving consumers a choice other than the horror that is intensive farming is a step in the right direction.

The reality is that cutting out small producers only allows for the products currently sold in supermarkets to flourish; and where supermarkets are concerned, the bottom line will trump welfare every time. I’ve let Primary Industries Minister Bryan Green know what I think, perhaps you should too – bryan.green@parliament.tas.gov.au

Sign the Petition here >>

25 October 2013

ZooDoo at the Royal Hobart Show

In an open letter to ZooDoo, Natalie Coleman exposes the awful nature of ZooDoo and the animal viewings at the Royal Hobart Show:

Letter to Zoodoo:
Just wondering who, exactly is looking after the animals at the Royal Hobart Show? Namely, the Emu's? Because they deserve the sack.

They were having things thrown at them, children were jumping fences and screaming in their faces and hitting their cage. I left my own children and shooed them away only to come past 10 mins later to a child yelling at them with his face up against the cage.

It should NOT be up to random strangers to take care of your animals! It is YOUR job and YOUR responsibility! You want to make money off of animals? Then bloody well make sure they are safe and looked after!

This is exactly why i stopped taking my children to Zoodoo. You are wanting to entertain people at the expense of the wellbeing of your animals. You have a massive poster in front of those poor animals with your name on it. Put a worker there instead!

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard and seen animal suffering on the part of ZooDoo or the Hobart Show. If you have anything you’d like to add please write to contact@vegantasmania.com

16 October 2013

Events and Raw Vegan Picnic

Vegan Tasmania now has an events page ^^ Woohoo! Check out the Events tab up there to see Vegan style events in Tasmania. If you’d like an event added to the calendar simply write to contact@vegantasmania.com or if you events that need listing more often you can request to be able to update the calendar yourself, making my job much simpler!

Speaking of events, this Sunday, 20th October there is a Raw Vegan Picnic on at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hobart.

Please bring:

- most importantly something raw to share! swap, eat, swap some more.

- utensils to devour the yummy raw food on offer i.e. cup, plate, fork/spoon, clean hands

- something to laze on i.e. picnic rug or blanket, folding chair

- and if you like pen and paper to jot down all the great tips and tricks, recipes, contacts etc. that we will share :)

Please feel free to pass this on to others that you think might like to join in.

Also, you may like to think about whether you would be willing to be involved in joining together to increase our purchasing power in an attempt to keep the cost of eating raw vegan down. Or, you may have ideas or local haunts that you buy your produce from that you might like to share.

Picnic starts at 12. We'll be near the front entrance, to the right of the path, probably under a big tree. Just look for the ridiculously glowing complexions, that's us!

Enquiries: info@otisbeanery.com

12 October 2013

Action: An Opinion Piece by Kate Edwards

Please welcome Vegan Tasmania’s newest volunteer writer!

Governments break promises, it’s an undeniable fact. A fact made even the more hard to accept when it means the continual suffering of thousands.

Let me rewind. For a long time, I‘ve been thinking on the weight we put on government action, on the way we can see them as the only source of change. Make no mistake, I believe that change in policy can have the most monumental effects on our society, and that government has a role in representing us in what we believe is right. But how then, am I to save myself from misery when I hear, for example, that state government is backing down on the banning of sow stalls? Should we all continue to fight for this on a policy level? Of course, most definitely, we must. However one thing I have long admired is those individuals or groups which take their own action, those who refuse to believe that policy change is the only mechanism for change.

Recently I witnessed this in The Climate Council. Now whatever you think of climate change is beside the point, I’m not trying to force any opinion here. What I am trying to demonstrate here is an example of a group of people who found a need for action so great that they refused to stop. Granted they are likely to have a substantial amount of funding and support directed at them. However that isn’t the point. The point is, when stood down by government, they didn’t do the one thing which I see defeat so many movements, causes, and individuals. They didn’t solely play the blame game. Because in the end, what they wanted, what they saw as so incredibly critical was their action. They took a responsibility upon themselves. In short, they put what they believed must happen into deeds, not just words.

I see so many examples of this in Tasmania. People who push beyond the constant let downs and frustrations caused by policies and people who just do not represent them. A great example of this is Emma Haswell, founder of Brightside Farm Sanctuary. I have long been in awe of this extraordinary person. Dedicating her time, and indeed her life, to rescuing what must be one of the most forgotten and ill treated groups in our society – farm animals. I am not saying that we shouldn’t fight for change in policy to make the lives of these animals better. That is fundamental. However I’m so admiring of someone like Emma who, while fighting and looking ahead, is helping those in need here and now. She is refusing to be a reflection of an uncaring government. She is using her abilities to make a difference, just as the scientists forming The Climate Council are using theirs.

This theory also applies to us as consumers, workers, students, parents, children, and friends. We have so many chances everyday to put what we believe into action. I firmly believe that if enough of us lead lives we know to be right, society will change. I believe this because we are society. And if society changes, then how can a government, supposedly representative of us, ignore that?

Kate Edwards is a young writer in Tasmania who is about to return to university to pursue her Honours in Creative Writing. When Kate isn't reading or writing, she is usually walking the dogs, cooking, or spending time with her wonderful partner, family and friends. Kate is writing for Vegan Tasmania because she is passionate about animal welfare and often gets grumpy about the lack of voice given to animals by the big cats in parliament.

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