16th February 2016

    A few years back after viewing hours upon hours of footage taken as a part of the investigation into the Hawkesbury Valley Meats abattoir I felt the urge to summarise the barbarity of what I witnessed, the explicitness of what will be forever etched into my mind. This summary transformed into not just a question of ethics and morality but into an idea, that as caregivers to the next generation why do we hide the truth? Why do we teach disconnection?

    Ultimately if something is not acceptable for our kids eyes and minds then how on Earth is it acceptable for their stomachs and their future world?


    Born To Die-The excursion into the Australian abattoir and beyond. 

    It is time to swing open the doors of these forbidden fortresses, abattoirs, which are so intricately woven into the fabric of our society and in ways that will surprise, if not astound, you. Almost every day in Australia the lives are drained from an untold number of totally healthy beings but with the recent exposures of systemic brutal practices in slaughterhouses both here and in other countries a deep, menacing discord has been struck within us.

    It is a long time coming for this concealed messy business of covert animal slaughter to come face to face with the tribunal of our society.

    This ‘tribunal’ must not only consist of the reasonable person in our community but extend to our institutions of education from the most revered academic sciences through to animal and agriculture studies but also to the most worthy and innocent tribunal – our mature children.

    Eating meat is a pervasion in our society and ‘culture’ for most Australians. Our children partake of this with complete innocence. Rarely, if ever, is their repeated inquiry -“Mummy, Daddy where does that come from?” – receive the true answer it begs. It is time to unveil that menacing secret that even our school curricula have dodged so dishonestly for many decades – the story behind the acquisition of the flesh and blood of animals.

    Now before the gnashing of teeth begins and the trumpeting objections resound – let us prepare the slate upon which the debate is to commence as pristine. This call for a new chapter in the education of our senior children at school has nothing to do with arguments about vegetarian, vegan or meat based diets. It has to do with a truthful and robust education (in the true meaning of this word) to which our children have a fundamental right. “Veritas”, meaning Truth is so often on the Coat of Arms of our schools; Sydney Boys High School Coat of Arms-Veritate et Virtute (with truth and courage), CABRA, Dominican College for Girls in South Australia also has “VERITAS” embedded in their Coat of Arms, Cumberland Park in Adelaide, Sienna College, Camberwell in Victoria has “VERITAS” as well but also “Justice is Truth in Action”.

    It is clear then that within our education Charter and Principles in Australia there is the fundamental crux or nucleus of upholding the Truth and all what that means. It should never mean shunning away from very critical elements of our life and living and how some of those elements do bring death to so many beings. This formidable, by mass and mores, subject deserves the piercing light of day – not fettered dusk.

    Education is defined in various texts as: “give intellectual, moral and social instruction to someone, especially a child”; “the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.

    The Social Science Faculty of Sydney Boys High School “strives to become a faculty of excellence in teaching and learning by encouraging independent thinking and creativity in an intellectually stimulating environment”.
    Our objectives (Sydney Boys High)

    • To implement teaching strategies for the development of independent and critical thinking;
    • To develop a stimulating and cooperative learning environment for both staff and students;
    • To prepare students for active involvement within our contemporary society.

    Even if you look at the Legal Studies’ policies of Sydney boys High School one can identify where the subject of animals being sent to slaughter as being very appropriate:

    “Legal Studies develops students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to the legal system and its effectiveness in promoting a just and fair society, with a view to empowering students to participate effectively as citizens at the local, national and international level. Studied themes include Justice, law and society, Culture, values and ethics, Legal processes and institutions, Conflict and cooperation and the Effectiveness of  the legal system. In the preliminary course, students study two broad topics of the basics of the legal system and the Individual and the State. They then perform a focus study of two marginalised groups and their position the law. In the HSC course, students engage in the topics of Law and Society and a number of focus studies on crime (compulsory) and two other general themes in law.

    The issue of animals being lawfully destined to slaughter by our society raises some very important questions and notions to be grappled with which both the Social Science and Legal Studies faculties at this school would seek to address though “Independent and critical thinking; culture, values and ethics; marginalised ‘groups’. “

    Very significantly and importantly the children would be asked to critically analyse why one group of animals, those we eat, are not afforded the same protection in law as other animals such as those we pet. It is here we would explore the law as it is simply set out (in NSW) and study the obvious anomaly:

    An “act of cruelty” in Section 4 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 NSW includes “any act …as a consequence of which the animal is …killed, wounded.” (my emphasis). However Section 24(1)(b)(ii) states “the person accused of the offence is not guilty of the offence if the act… is done in the course of and for the purpose of destroying it for producing food for human consumption in a manner that inflicted no unnecessary pain upon the animal.

    It can not be argued that this subject of animal slaughter is too insignificant to be given the light of day when reviewing the education curricula. Meat is a part of two out of every three meals eaten by our children and our society so is therefore very much a part of the mechanization of our society – both in our kitchens right through to the farm gate.

    The number of animals affected by meat consumption is staggering


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