Us vs Them

A Bloody Business‘ was aired on Four Corners in 2011 and endeavoured to expose the cruelty inflicted on Australian cattle exported to the slaughterhouses of Indonesia. As disturbing as the video was, and how unfathomable it is that this treatment of animals is taking place with Australian livestock, the worst was yet to come.

Throughout the broadcast, the interviewees, including members from the Consolidated Pastoral Company and LiveCorp, and representatives of the cattle farmers of Australia were not taking any responsibility for their actions. This disgusted me much further than the video footage had. There was a very clear ‘us vs them’ mentality when discussing the issue of animal welfare in the abattoirs in Indonesia. Ken Warriner, a “guru in the industry“, when discussing this matter used language such as “we are very disappointed in what we saw, the way they handled the cattle, the way they knocked them down, how they did their halal kill”. Warriner was clearly trying to justify his actions, by using the Indonesian way of slaughtering the cattle as a repository for racism. Warriner was stating that the way Indonesians kill their cattle is in no way interchangeable with that of Australia. It is completely ironic and ridiculous that Warriner believes there is a better and more justifiable way to kill cattle. Whether the animal is stunned or not, the way in which the stunning takes place does not take into account the best interests of the cattle, including their fear and suffering.

We, as human beings, have a tendency to block out these horrible things we know that happen to justify our actions, similar to Warriner. I am just as guilty of this as anyone else, I refuse to let myself become exposed to this information as it would make me continually sick to my stomach that animals had to endure this type of torture just so I can have this piece of meat on my plate. We even give different names to the meat that we eat, so we can subconsciously think that this beef we are eating is not cow, or this bacon isn’t from a pig.

I definitely don’t have the solution to this question, nor can I say with absolute certainty that I don’t condone animal suffering as I am a meat eater. By all means, let me know your point of view on this highly controversial subject, and possibly shed some light on any of the matters at hand.


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