Monday, July 7, 2008

Save the sheep, or genus-cide?

gen·o·cide: –noun
the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group.
[From the Greek root génos meaning “family, tribe or race” + the Latin -cide (occido—to massacre, kill]

From Article 2 of a 1948 U.N. convention “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;”

Genus.cide: - neologism
acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, members of a particular genus
[From the Latin genus meaning "descent, family, type, gender" + the Latin -cide (occido—to massacre, kill]

This blogger ran across an article on mulesing. This apparently is an animal husbandry technique/practice used on Australian merino sheep in which the wrinkled skin on the sheep’s rump area is cut away from the perianal region downward, this to prevent “flystrike” - with the skin smoothed out there is less fouling from feces and/or urine, decreasing the likelihood that flies will lay their eggs there. If this happens the eggs hatch eight hours to a day later, and the larvae feed off the sheep’s flesh.

Well PETA and other similar groups decided they had to do something about this “barbarous” “torture” They threatened boycotts of a number of retailers using products with Australian merino wool. A number of these signed on and said they would honor the boycott.. The tussle continues (see links below).

So this blogger was perusing the “Save the Sheep” web site. Apparently they are not just against mulesing but also entirely against the use of wool (of all things, in favor of synthetic fabrics derived from chemicals and petroleum products!!). One wonders if these “do gooders” have completely thought through their positions… If the approximately one hundred million sheep in Australia are not used for the production of wool or for meat, etc. what exactly do the STS folks expect to happen to them? Perhaps they think the Australians will set up these sheep in petting zoos for American tourists to see; that the Australians will put them in sheep retirement pastures; that they will release them into the wild; or {insert other goofy ideas here}

The logical conclusion if all their “concerns” are taken into their account is genus-cide, with the genus in question being “Ovis” i.e. Ovis aries a.k.a the domestic sheep. In fact their “Environment” page lists a number of good reasons to go ahead with this – these animals’ contribution to global warming and climate change; their contribution to soil erosion and vegetation change; and the water pollution they cause via fecal contamination.

Save the sheep
Mulesing – Wikipedia
Mulesing – Animals Australia
Save the sheep – The Animals
Saver the sheep – The Environment
The facts about mulesing
More mulesing done with anesthetic

Oh, the PETA people also object to the use of silk worms...

Down and Silk: Birds and Insects Exploited for Fabric

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