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Wellington, Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Roseneath, Wellington, Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

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.

Roseneath, Wellington, Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Friday night, it’s cold…

…and I just wrote a funny email, we’re listening to Big L and eating homemade pizza. The dog is making slurping noises as he eats scraps.

Roseneath, Wellington, Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Flickr 5 yrs old

Pretty cool.

Roseneath, Wellington, Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Highlights from 2008

2008 went fast. Highlights included:

  • Cigars. From the first proper smoke I had on Mauricio’s porch in Habana (a Cohiba no less), to the aged Davidoff on Christmas Eve, cigars have become a great addition to the enjoyment of life.
  • Getting engaged. Tash agrees to marry me just before Christmas. w00t! (BTW, these are in no particular order)
  • Helicopters. Well only one. The flight to the floor of the Grand Canyon followed by a dusk flight over Las Vegas was extremely memorable.
  • Mexico. We only visited Mexico City and Teotihuacan, but I can’t wait to return. Our friends Rulo and Pia gave me a wonderful tour of Mexico City, complete with traffic thrills, grilled grasshoppers, and mariachi!
  • The US trip in March was incredible. I would love to return to New York, Washington DC and San Diego. Tash organised the whole thing and did a marvelous job. The Saturn V in Houston was extremely cool.
  • Webstock was brilliant, and I’m looking forward to the 2009 event in February. The quiz was a lot of fun, we really must organise another one of those!
  • Importantly for me the vast majority of projects I worked on this year were successful. The new year poses many challenges and opportunities, and I see no dull moments ahead.
Roseneath, Wellington, Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Should I become a vegetable eater of some sort?

After seeing the film Earth I began to think about what I had done to reduce my impact on the environment. The answer disturbed me: I have done sweet FA.

Despite having being aware for at least 10 years that I live in a society that is clearly wasteful and exploits natural resources to the full extent possible, I have not made any serious commitment to alter my lifestyle.

So, for the first time I am thinking of becoming a vegetarian, mostly for environmental reasons, although since I saw cattle stuck in a cattle truck while crossing Cook Straight I have had reservations about where meat comes from and how it is processed and killed. I have not purchased meat at all for two weeks, and we’re slowly using up the meat we have left in the freezer. There are some exceptions to the rule: I will eat fish caught by Tash’s Dad, and meat given to me by hunters (or animals that I’ve hunted if for some unprecedented reason I start hunting).

There is a school of thought that the excessive consumption of meat places great stress on the environment, particularly greenhouse emissions, (for example, this “UN says eat less meat to curb global warming”, “Meat must be rationed to four portions a week, says report on climate change”, “Livestock a major threat to environment”, and so on).

Links:

Is becoming a vegetarian actually going to have the desired effect of reducing my impact on the environment, or am I deluding myself?

Roseneath, Wellington, Saturday, November 15th, 2008

Time is flying

I can’t believe it was a month between posts! Until yesterday I was sure that it was early November.

Roseneath, Wellington, Friday, November 14th, 2008

Life insurance is pessimism tax

Thinking of getting me some life insurance. It’s basically a tax for pessimists, but they got me hooked on the fear… I can’t do the trauma insurance though, it’s too gruesome.

Roseneath, Wellington, Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Brand Tags

It really is quite addictive – brandtags. Found via Jon Udell.

Roseneath, Wellington, Thursday, August 21st, 2008

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