Delayed coverage from Wellington NZ


The nature of killing animals

A disturbing report about a mass shooting of dogs in Wellsford, north of Auckland, is headlining New Zealand’s news agencies today (see Radio NZ, The Herald, the Otago Daily Times, and Stuff).

After a Fox Terrier owned by Russell Mendoza was found dead, presumably mauled by two of his neighbours dogs, Mendoza ignored the process for dealing with dog attacks and choose to take his revenge by shooting 33 of his neighbours dogs. The unpleasant details are well covered at the sites above.

The news reports indicate that Mendoza assumed that dogs owned by his neighbour, Rowan Hargreaves, were responsible for the death of his dog.

The nature in which the dogs were killed is unnerving. The loss of his own dog would understandably have enraged him, but to pressure his neighbour into ‘consenting’ to cull so many of his own animals and then carrying out the deed with such barbarism must be of some concern to all that know him – could Mendoza’s lack of control result in human victims over some future injustice?

I respect Hargreaves’ restraint in not taking extreme measures to cut short the shooter’s rampage, and can’t begin to imagine his pain having witnessed the atrocity.

Not that I’m a vegetarian, but….

Auckland SPCA executive director Bob Kerridge says in his many years for the organisation, he has never seen an atrocity against animals on such a scale as this.

To be fair, that’s not a direct quote from Bob, but it did make me think about the scale of the daily slaughter of animals for burgers, chops and steaks.

We all react differently when animals we are opposed to the mass slaughter of are killed (including cats, dogs, whales), but when it comes to animals we’re conditioned to eating (including pigs, sheep, cattle) we literally don’t think twice about their deaths.

In 2003 (the most recent year I could find complete statistics for at Meat and Wool NZ statistics – login not required), 1,304,105 farm animals were killed as part of agricultural production. That’s 25,000 a week, or nearly 3600 each day. If we assume that freezing works and abattoirs operate like a normal business and are open roughly 260 days of the year, that would mean over 5000 animals were killed in New Zealand today. And this doesn’t even include our feathered friends in the poultry industry.

The massacre of 33 dogs makes me sick. That nearly 150 times that number of animals died in freezing works all over the country today doesn’t make me feel any better.

One Response to “The nature of killing animals”

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