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Friday 19 August 2011

The art of Oushi Kuso

No it's not some fancy new fandangled sushi restaurant owned by a swanky chef with his own TV show. But I wish it was. So far as I can tell it's an ancient Japanese form of communication whereby the communicator uses whatever means they are able to convince their audience they are telling an honest tale. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story. We all know or have seen someone adept in this art. The recreational fisherman with the one that got away. The mate at the pub telling us about the girl that didn't get away. The footy player being interviewed claiming the side they've just thumped by eleventy squillion points is a good team. Oushi Kuso. And perhaps most of us have been guilty of indulging in a bit of Oushi Kuso ourselves. Fortunately, many are clever enough to see Oushi Kuso for what it is, and no real harm is done. But when Oushi Kuso is presented as fact to an audience that knows no better, and has the power to act on what they believe to be true, then that is a cause for real concern.

Recently, Animals Australia released a new website. Animals Australia Unleashed. Unleashed? It's not like they were holding back before was it? Turns out they were. Unleashed is aimed squarely at the youth, and they have let the dogs of the chain in the finest display of Oushi Kuso I have ever seen.

The following is a health warning, if you have high blood pressure or are prone to throwing your mouse through the monitor, I suggest you don't click on this link. Oushi Kuso Grand Masters Now this section of the website shows lovely cute pictures of each animal with a link you can click on to see what horrific things we farmers to do these animals for fun. Since sheep are what I know, I'll start with them.

From the sheep page:  Australia has more sheep than any other country on the planet, roughly 82 million. Millions of these animals suffer and die every year because of neglect. In cold parts of the country, newly shorn sheep, newborns, pregnant and mother ewes regularly die of exposure to the cold. And disease, parasites, foot problems and lack of food during drought can all go unnoticed and unaddressed.

Sorry? More sheep than any other country? Haven't you heard of China? You know, that big place where all the kids in sweat shops make your fancy-arse clothes you wear. A quick Google search could tell you that. And millions die because of neglect? Let's assume your figure of 82 million is correct. Now most people I know work on a yearly death rate of 5%. Which comes to about 4.1 million. Nobody denies sheep die in the paddock. They have a knack for it, be it from cold, heat, flystrike, worms, two rams belting the bejesus out of another poor sucker or some silly ewe sticking her head through the fence to eat the grass that is exactly the same as the stuff on her side. Sheep die. It's the neglect bit you've got wrong. 4.1 million sheep at todays prices equals about $410 000 000, at a conservative guess. That is a helluva lot of zeros to miss out on. We don't "let sheep die." They just do. It sucks, we do what we can to avoid it, but nature is a bitch, just ask the wildebeest on the Serengeti Plains. There's no one to trail feed out tonnes of lupins and oats when it forgets to rain out there.

Young lambs are routinely subjected to painful surgical procedures without pain relief. Their tails are cut off as is part of the skin of their backside (called mulesing), and males are castrated.

The last time I checked, the lambs have this done once to them. At a very young age. Not what I would describe as routinely, as I have yet to see a tail or a pair of testicles grow back. It's not pretty, it's not fun, but it has to happen. Many farmers now use pain relief, and breeders are developing non-mulsing bloodlines, but at one lambing per year per ewe, or two in three years if you're onto it, that takes time. There are breeds which don't require these procedures, one of which we grow, but guess what? Live export is the main market. I bet that little contradiction would blow their funky little minds.

To continue; Around 33 million sheep are killed every year for their flesh in Australia. That’s 13 million adults and 20 million lambs. These animals, who aren't used to human contact or confined spaces are crammed into tightly packed trucks and can face up to 48 hours without access to food or water as they are trucked to slaughter.

As a recieval depot owner and operator, I have this argument all the time with some people. They are not "jammed in." They are loaded at a density so that they don't have a heap of free room to flounder about the place every time the truck starts, stops or hits their brakes when some unwitting clown pulls in front of them then screams to a halt. Imagine an ice cream container with 3 eggs in it. Take it for a drive and see what you end up with. Take the same container, put as many eggs in as you can, but not so many you have to force them in, and note the difference. Until Animals Australia can teach the sheep to hang on or wear seatbelts, we will continue to load them in the best manner we can. Which brings me to the 48 hours without feed and water. The most problems we have are with animals that aren't drained properly. The truck floors turn into ice rinks. A full bellied sheep is more likely to lay down than not, which can then lead more problems like trampling. Most farmers get their animals in the night before trucking, and the majority of journeys wouldn't be more than six hours.

The smell of fear permeates slaughterhouses. Sheep are forced down narrow chutes and wait helplessly for their turn to enter the abattoir to be electrically stunned. Finally their throat is cut and they are hung by their legs on an overhead conveyor line to let the blood and life drain from their body.

Well, it's an abattoir. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but sheep go in one end, and chops and roasts come out the other. Contrary to seemingly popular belief, it's not made in the supermarket. And the smell that permeates the slaughterhouse, that's probably the tallow bin. Electrically stunned? Would you rather no stunning? Touchy subject at the moment.

Rough handling is the norm at shearing sheds. Shearers are paid by number of sheep shorn, not by the hour, so speed is prioritised over precision.

How many times did my old man tear strips of the poor young shearer for too many cuts? What they "forget" to say is the wool grower loses the wool with bits of skin on it. Rough handling? It's not the movie Babe. The shearer can't just ask the sheep to stand for him like Farmer Hogget. Watching the gun shearer is unbelievable. He doesn't seem to be moving that fast but he's done three before the others are into the long blow.

There is plenty more where that came from. Pigs, cattle, chickens, even fish get a run. Oushi Kuso in it's purest form. Not actually lying, but adding in bits and pieces of emotive language and leaving out the important parts to get their point across. And their point is? Veganism. Which in itself isn't a problem. If you don't want to eat meat, that's fine by me. For every person not willing to eat an animal there will always be someone willing to eat three on their behalf. The problem is when they hide their agenda behind the "animal welfare" front. It's plastered all over the website, but to the average punter, you rarely hear veganism mentioned in the media. By all accounts, Animals Australia is a welfare group. Oushi Kuso!. Their goal is to shut us down, one sector at a time. Live export is the easy target. Then it will be long haul transport and so on and so forth. If they were truely a welfare group they'd work with us. And the RSPCA, once a respected organisation in the rural sector, is guilty by association. At the time of writing, there is a sheep ship waiting for repairs in Port Adelaide with 67 000 sheep on board. The RSPCA is demanding access for inspection, but given their publicay stated determination to shut the trade down, that's a bit like asking a vegan to rate your steak. Don't expect rave reviews.

And in case you haven't work it out yet, Oushi Kuso roughly translates to Bull Shit.


Becky said...

We have seen a lot of Oushi Kuso of late. Great post Michael.

Robbie said...

Great post - read it all. thanks for your insight...

Raelene said...

Great read Michael and let's hope many people far and wide read it and realise the true agenda of some of these so called welfare groups.

Anonymous said...

Loved it Michael and really well written. It explains the vegan hidden agenda to perfection.

John said...

When you consider in the eastern states a ewe is worth more than a tonne of grain, you wouldn't want to be losing too many.

Unknown said...

Love this post Michael, total support from me. These animal libbers are really gettin on my wick. Now they want to start regulating our working dogs and making us become a 'qualified trainer', blah blah. Being grain farmers, we only have 1500 merinos, why would we pay thousands for a dog and training to boot, we can't justify it. Our dog's a natural, he's all we need - but now they say there is no such thing as natural talent, it's all about the 'qualified trainer'!The document I refer to reads largely like a back door excuse to regulate farmers. They have apparently also purchased a 'drone' in order to fly over farms and film animal practices from the sky!! What a mob of nutters with too much time on their hands!

alifeworthliving said...

Gee you've got to be careful. I just read parts of the "unleashed" website and you are right when you say that they are not exactly lying per se.

"At just five days old, those calves not considered 'useful' (mostly males) are sent to be slaughtered."
You are not going to send females which will replace your milkers to abs, but even so, calves go to growers who take bobby's and feed them in a humane and productive way. It dosen't make sense morally or financially to maltreat/ mistreat any animal, much less one that you are relying upon for your income and way of life.
Half truths are worse than lies in my opinion, people become wary even when given facts.