Posts Tagged ‘diary’

Close all Slaughterhouses?

Thursday, October 24th, 2019

I have nothing against anyone who wishes to be vegan. Although I’m not myself vegan, I think it laudable that some people have chosen to live in this way. For all of us, cutting down the amount of meat we eat is a good thing, probably for ourselves and certainly for the planet. The same is true for diary products, though I think to a lesser extent.

But I can’t agree that we should stop all animal farming and would hate to see the end this would mean to seeing animals grazing in fields, many of which would be unsuitable for growing crops. Grazing animals have an important role in keeping soil healthy, cutting down the need for chemical fertilisers and contributing to biodiversity.

Back in the day successful farmers cared for the animals they farmed and it was in everyone’s interest to treat them well. I’d certainly call for the end to highly intensive farming that now produces meat more cheaply but with great cruelty, and we try to avoid buying meat produced through animal cruelty. But I think it wrong to suggest that all farming of animals is cruel.

Much of the campaigning in the posters and speeches at events such as this is I think misleading, playing on emotional responses to pictures of cute animals. Much also seems to me to fail to understand the basics of the natural world, where many species do prey on other species; what we do in farming animals is a more organised and arguably less cruel extension of this. Foxes may look cuddly in photographs and videos of them playing, but put them among the chickens and you get a bloodbath, nature indeed red in tooth and claw (but of course we shouldn’t make a sport out of hunting foxes.)

The premise of many protesters is that there is no such thing as humane slaughter, and this protest calls for the closure of all slaughterhouses. It unfortunately isn’t had to find examples of cruel practices and to make horrific videos showing them. It’s certainly good that such cruelty is exposed and that the laws that exist against such practices are used with full force to outlaw them – and where necessary that such laws are strengthened. We certainly should try to develop more humane ways to kill animals for food, which I think has been the aim of our previous legislation in the area, but I’d sure this could be improved.

I think all species are inherently “speciesist” and we should not feel any guilt about thinking there is something special about humanity. To suggest that cows or pigs or sheep are “just like us” is simply wrong; in many important ways they are simply not, though of course there is much we share.

Of course some of the claims made are simply wrong. Dairy cows have been extensively bred to produce many times the amount of milk their calves require. We can drink it or use it to make butter and cheese without “stealing it from the calves.” We take honey from the bees (something I’ve certainly done myself) but have to give them sugar to keep the colonies healthy so they will produce more honey for us in following years and so on. As I wrote back in June, “keeping animals and killing them for food or milking them can be done in a decent and humane way and one that has an important contribution to our environment.” Like everything in nature it needs balance.

More pictures at Close all Slaughterhouses.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, please share on social media.
And small donations – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.


April 2019 complete

Sunday, May 19th, 2019

April may only have had 30 days, but it was a very long month for me, particularly because of the actions by Extinction Rebellion, XR. Though many friends have reservations (or worse) about them and their methods, particularly over their attitude to the police and arrests, their protests have begun to change the debate, though so far not actually got our government to take any of the actions needed to save life on earth. Perhaps the only action the Conservative government have so far taken is to put pressure on the Met police to be tougher on any further protests.

I suspect that the total of 41 posts probably is the most I’ve made in any month on My London Diary, though I’ve not gone through the site to check, As you will see from the list below XR was not the only thing happening in April.

My London Diary – Apr 2019

Protest against Israeli Army Recruitment
XR Families and Children at the Treasury
50 days anti-racist occupation at Goldsmiths
Protests at Anglo-American mining AGM


Southall rally for unity against racism
Disabled protest against Facebook
XR March back from City protests
Azerbaijanis & Armenians at Turkish Embassy
Extinction Rebellion at Marble Arch
Extinction Rebellion in Parliament Square
Free Julian Assange
Capital Ring – Hendon to Highgate
Police clear XR from Oxford Circus

Emma Thompson speaks at XR
Knife crime Operation Shutdown
Drax Protest at BEIS

XR around Parliament Square
Drax wood burning must end
XR Waterloo ‘Garden Bridge’ continues
Save Lambeth Children’s Centres
Extinction Rebellion at Shell
Extinction Rebellion Funeral Procession
Extinction Rebellion Marble Arch
Anti-capitalist environmental action
Extinction Rebellion Sea at Oxford Circus

Extinction Rebellion Garden Bridge
Brexiteers march at Westminster
Sewol Ferry Disaster 5 years on
Love the Elephant
Against extinction and trophy hunting
Times end transphobic articles
Regent’s Canal
Scrap Universal Credit Jobcentre protest
Tottenham and Spurs
Brexit protesters
Living wage at Dept of Business
Staines Walk

Brunei Sultan gay sex stoning protest
Sudanese for Freedom, Peace and Justice
Private hire drivers protest congestion charge
Windsor walk

London Images


There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images