Is there any Australian political party that’s going to advance animal justice?
That’s not really a logical question. Why? Because there’s no way to advance animal justice in the political system. The size and number of business, cultural, political and social structures in place will swat it out of the way. They have no place for it.
As Gary Francione has said, the objective first must be to educate the general population. Nothing can really be achieved until more people come to accept the idea that fellow animals aren’t subservient to human interests.
So the most urgent need at this stage is not to run political parties that have no possibility of introducing rights measures, but to get more people to accept the idea that other animals deserve our justice.
The rhetoric of the Animal Justice Party is all in favour of releasing animals from their thrall, but in practice, this gets watered down to the lowest common denominator: animal ‘welfare.’
While compared to a few years back, the AJP have made an effort to incorporate more rights language in their platform, they miserably fail to get at what they talk about, for a simple reason: rights simply aren’t compatible with ‘welfare.’
If you say animals have a right to live, you can’t in your next breath trade that away and say, “Well, in the meantime, we’re not supporting rights, but improved use.”
Improved use is not animal rights; it doesn’t acknowledge the “right [of animals] to live protected from human harm.”
The AJP calls for an “end to animal live animal exports,” yet their ‘justice’ doesn’t extend to making the case that no animals should be slaughtered – instead, they say they’ll support “animal-friendly farming practices.”
Animal friendly? It’s animal friendly to send them to slaughter?
In any case, the AJP haven’t yet even got a footing on their watery pontoon.
An article on the AJP website tells us that, “The Animal Justice Party and the Australian Labor Party have agreed to work together to increase the production of plant-based food in Australia.”
It went on to say that:
This is an alternative to an industry which presently involves cruel and unnecessary trafficking in live farm animals to far away countries inflicting immense suffering on Australian bred animals during the journey and frequently at the destination country.
But what did Joel Fitzgibbon, the Shadow Agriculture Minister have to say about this?
He denied that Labor and the Animal Justice Party had done any deals, saying the story was:
just a silly beat up.
Of course the Labor party is absolutely dedicated to our red meat sector; it’s the backbone of our agricultural sector.
Just because we’re interested in further diversifying our agricultural product it doesn’t mean we’re doing it at the expense of other products.
On another, perhaps more disturbing note, one of the AJP’s candidates, Douglas Leith, who offers interesting presentations about animal research, nevertheless made a distressing claim: that the Orlando shootings were a government conspiracy, and the people involved were actors.
This is indicative of why a party that claims to advocate for animal rights muddies itself in the waters of animal ‘welfare.’
And why they don’t understand there is simply no way to advocate animal rights in the current political system.