Look on the bright side, UK!

I know there are changes coming, but you just have to make the best of them. For instance, the Brexiteers are trying to legislate animal pain out of existence.

The Tory Government has outdone itself when it comes to neglecting animal rights this week – by effectively declaring that all animals (apart from humans, of course) have no emotions or feelings, including the ability to feel pain. While debating the Brexit bill, MPs voted not to transfer into UK law the parts of EU legislation which recognise animals have sentience, and can feel pain and emotions.

You’d think that they’d have noticed that Charles Darwin, who was as British as they get, wrote a whole book (The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals) on the subject, and came to a different conclusion. But sure, you can discard your history of scientific endeavor.

The good news is that if pain and suffering and emotions can be taken away with just the right omission in your law books, Brexit is going to go well. Just deny the emotions. Don’t stop with animals, just erase all human concerns away. If you reject their existence, you’ll be able to stand silently through all kinds of loss and deprivation with a stiff upper lip, and not much more. If you need occasional relief, just poke a Tory with your umbrella — they won’t care, they’re in an even more advanced state of unfeeling. It’s like a witch’s mark, only all over their body.

You won’t be alone, either. The US is going to get a major stress test tomorrow, and I’m trying to deal with it by denying all emotions, too. I may have to get myself comfortably numb to make it through the next few days. Akvavit might help.


  1. lucifersbike says

    It is an old article, and the vote wasn’t overtly and perhaps intentionally against animal sentience; but omitting to adopt the relevant articles of EU law into post-brexit UK law is a step backwards.

  2. Rich Woods says

    omitting to adopt the relevant articles of EU law into post-brexit UK law is a step backwards.

    Especially as they promised they’d transfer the lot untouched, if only Parliament gave them the necessary powers to do so:

    The Government’s intention, set out in the White Paper The United Kingdom’s exit from and new partnership with the European Union, is that the Bill will “preserve EU law where it stands at the moment before we leave the EU”. In effect, a snapshot will be taken of EU law as it exists immediately prior to the UK’s departure from the EU, and EU law as recorded by that snapshot will be transformed by the ‘Great Repeal Bill’ into domestic law.

    But of course the Tories couldn’t resist the lure of such power and gladly gave in to their backers’ demands at the earliest opportunity. We’ll have fox-hunting back before you know it. Hoorah! This is what ‘taking back control’ really means.

    Next on the agenda, employee protections…

  3. aziraphale says

    If the fox has no emotions or feelings, where’s the fun in hunting it? You might as well hunt a furry robot.

    I sense a market opportunity here.

  4. says

    Unfortunately I expect we will fairly quickly discover that what people voted for was to no longer be subject to the laws and regulations of the EU, so that we can freely deprive livestock of even the most basic of living standards.

    The thing is, it doesn’t stop with animals. Most of our strongest worker’s rights laws are European, we’ll be saying goodbye to those too. All the inconvenient standards of human decency that have been dragging us down for all these years, dropped like a dead ferret.

  5. ajbjasus says

    I’m a firm remainer, but I think the UK’s stance on animal welfare stacks up well against parts of Europe : Foie Gras and ortolan production are notable by their absence here, and we led the campaign against veal crates. We have implemented stricter welfare standards on live animal export than the EU minimum, but wouldn’t be able to ban it if we have to follow EU rules We also don’t have bull fighting, and and blood fiestas as in Spain:

    Q: What happens to the animals in the Blood Fiestas?
    A: Chickens were hung by their feet from a rope, and decapitated by either a sword, often blunted to make it more ‘fun’, or have their heads wrenched off manually.

    Another variation on this was to bury the birds in a box or in the earth with just their heads sticking up, then they were beaten to death or their heads hacked off with swords.

    Ducks had their wings clipped and wetre thrown into a river or the sea and dozens of swimmers troied to catch them. The birds were often pulled apart in the tug of war.

    Geese are strung up by their feet and have their heads wrenched off manually.

    Pigeons and squirrels are imprisoned in tiny pots suspended from a very high pole, the pots are stoned until they break and the birds and animals fall out alive or dead.

    The most famous goat fiesta was that of Manganeses de la Polvorosa where a goat was thrown from a church tower. FAACE saw two goats mortally injured. If a goat survived the ordeal, it was killed and eaten afterwards. FAACE managed to bring enough pressure to obtain two Ministry of the Interior orders forbidding the fiesta, but the village defied them and the practise continued until January 2000.

    The most notorious donkey fiesta is at Villanueva de la Vera where Vicki managed to get two donkeys out, the famous Blackie and another donkey Jose.

    The animal used in 1986, was killed by drowning it in the village fountain.

    No donkey has been killed since then, but the animal always has a terrible ordeal in the hour and a half it is on the streets This fiesta is under constant observation.

    Pigs are greased and set loose to be caught by crowds of men, the animal is nearly always badly injured in the struggle and sometimes they are pulled and crushed so badly they literally burst.
    Q: What are the worst examples of these fiestas?

    A: The worst of all the fiestas for cruelty are those using cows, bulls or calves.

    With so many fiestas centred on cattle, it is true to say that any unimaginable horror can be done to one of these animals, and probably is.

    From our own experience and witness we know that a cow, calf or bull condemned to a blood fiesta can die from stabbing, strangulation, spearing, and multiple injuries. It can be thrown down from a height, deliberately and repeatedly knocked down by a car or tractor, or drowned.

    Before it dies it can suffer rape by sticks or metal spikes, live castration, have its horns, tails and ears ripped off, be blinded or burned.

    Its torture can last to up to five hours.