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Cheers - AE

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Oh-h-h-h-h, Mister Ma-a-a-a-a-a-ayor...

My first thought when I read that a primary school had started a school farm to educate the children was what the fuck was she thinking of? Give the poor little mites fucking complexes, why don't you? But I'd barely got to the end of the first paragraph of The Telegraph's Rowan Pelling's article on the real fallout, that animals such as a lovely little lamb are being sent for the, aha, chop before I changed my mind. Pelling makes a very good point that children can be far less sentimental than adults, and the fact that it was put to a vote and the children decided to send the lamb, who was named Marcus for some reason*, off to market for the fairly practical reason that they wanted the money to buy pigs.
Cue widespread outrage, with one parent branding Charman "a murderer", and chat-show host Paul O'Grady offering Marcus refuge on his smallholding. The doughty Charman refused to be intimidated: she scrupulously observed the democratic process and last weekend Marcus went to the great pasture in the sky.... one cuddly animal obsessive wrote on Facebook that the school should be torched.
Yep, got to wonder who the fragile minds really are, haven't you. And as Pelling points out they're hard of thinking too.
The big question is why are the protesters so terminally dim? Do they truly not see that the project bolsters their cause? Any child who understands that animals have to be killed before they end up on our plates is more likely to respect the meat on their table. They are also more likely to weight up the pros and cons of vegetarianism – as has happened with at least one pupil. And any child who helps hand rear a lamb will be more likely to oppose the cruelties of factory farming.
Well, most, probably, but there's always one... such as Tom Gleeson, the guy on the right of the panel in this clip (about two minutes in):

Mean while the fuss over the school farm that began with the parents has spread, even as far as early evening Australian TV shows, and as a result the whole project now hangs in lambo shit, sorry, I mean limbo. Yes, probably the piglets were going to end up in apple sauce too when the children looked at their economic value and decided that it would cover the cost of a cow or something, but it seems a great shame that self righteous pricks are fucking up something that really does teach something useful. It's got too damn easy to disassociate ourselves from what runs around in fields and what is under the gravy on our plates. My parents' generation knew: many, even some townies, would have kept chickens in the wartime and post war rationing years, and no doubt a few of them ended up on the menu when they stopped laying. Yes, intellectually we know, but it's not knowing knowing when it's so easy to pretend that food just comes from the shops. That's bollocks, and that appears to be the lesson Lydd Primary School and Andrea Charman are trying to get across. I didn't learn it in school but by fishing and eating what I caught - after hiring the boat for the fishing trip it must have been many times the price of buying the same sort of fish in the supermarket, but having personally dragged a couple of the buggers out of the water before belting them over the head with a stick I can honestly say that I harbour no illusions about fish being like a miniature orange railway sleeper. The same goes for meat since I shop at markets where it's often still recognisable, rabbits being only the most obvious example, and while I've never shot at another living creature I could cheerfully do so to fill my stomach**. And as Pelling points out, learning that lesson and breaking down that disassociation between animals and food is surely a good thing for animal welfare in the long run. If more schools did something like it at the least there'll be a few kids turn veggie because of it, and since that would be a better educated choice I'd still call it a good thing even while tucking into a nice bloody steak. And even the ones who don't go veggie would hopefully take more of an interest in the welfare of animals that are destined for the chiller section of the supermarket. Unfortunately the sort of mentality we're dealing with is also the kind that calls for Lydd Primary to be burned to the ground and would ideally like the world to stop eating meat overnight. No doubt PETA*** will soon have some unbearably self righteous fuckwits waving signs and sitting naked in cages on the way to kent if they're not outside the school already, but while I have little but contempt for PETA I'll credit them with this: they're at least consistent with their message, which is more than can be said for some of the protesting parents who I don't doubt have been putting meat in front of their kids for years before this school farm thing came along. Maybe the lesson was most needed by some of them rather than their children.

* 'Marcus'? For fuck's sake, Come on. Surely it should have been Larry. And why give it a names all? I suppose the kiddies named it but I wonder why we do that? Pets, yes, but farm animals? Would anyone name individual fruit or chocolate bars? So why an animal that will, or even just might, become food? And why not name it Adolf or Mugabe instead as suggested on that video clip? Would people get upset about it if it'd been called Osama bin Lamb Dins or something?
** I don't actually hunt and the idea of hunting purely for sport doesn't interest me. Quite the opposite in fact, though here in Australia there are enough pest species to hunt that it's hard to oppose someone shooting an animal that they actually have no intention of eating if it's one that has no business being here in the first place. Here I could probably bring myself to shoot a wild pig and not eat it, but not in Europe unless it was going to be on the menu later.
*** Please Eat the Tasty Animals?


Bill Sticker said...

"*** Please Eat the Tasty Animals?"

Also known as 'People for the Elimination and Termination of Animals' after this news broke.

Angry Exile said...

Yep. Also touched on a few years ago by Penn and Teller

JuliaM said...

"'Marcus'? For fuck's sake, Come on. Surely it should have been Larry. "

Interestingly, several 'anons' popped up at my place in support of the headmistress, and said it wasn't called Marcus at all. But 'market'!

Seemed too good to be true though ;)

Angry Exile said...

Laughing my arse off at 'Market the lamb'...

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