‘Let’s Transform!’. Inaugural speech of Emma Hurst, MP, Animal Justice Party

One of the most powerful animal right speeches we have heard was delivered by Emma Hurst MP of the Animal Justice Party (AJP) in 2019.  In her inaugural speech in the Australian Parliament, she tells the story of the ‘dirty mouse’, or ‘pest’ she saw as a child.  Cowering in a corner terrified, its little heart beating against its chest, she immediately understood that the tiny being’s life was as important to them as our lives are to us…

She also tells the story of Dudley, the Australian steer live-exported to Indonesia,  filmed trying to resist being dragged to slaughter. He put up a brave fight, but finally stumbled and fell.  Numerous men jumped on his back, stabbed him with sticks, poked him in the eye, and broke his tail as he bellowed in pain…     

There are other true stories told with simplicity, clarity and compassion by the young MP.  She finishes her speech with a call to action to to her fellow MPs and fellow Australians:


‘This is the moment. This is the time for change. Let’s transform.


Let’s dare to hope.

Let’s dissolve the cages and shackles that have enslaved animals and caused them great harm’.



You can watch the video here

Follow Emma Hurst on Facebook (Emma Hurst)

Instagram (@emma.hurst)

Twitter  (@MicHurst)

We can never be truly moral until such atrocities stop forever

How can any decent society condone what happens to pigs in piggeries?   Battering sick babies to death (‘thumping’), worn out sows with severe uterus prolapses forced to painfully walk to their own death – such things are commonplace in this industry.

Gandhi said ‘the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated’.  In reality, there is no nation on Earth that treats other animals well.    So long as we keep raising them in cruel circumstances and then slaughtering them for food,  we cannot claim to be moral beings.


Read the SURGE article here.  WARNING:  GRAPHIC CONTENT


Death By A Thousand Cuts – How we Make Farmed Animals Suffer In The Slaughter Process

In this article End Animal Slaughter contributor Lynley Tulloch claims that the suffering of animals sent to slaughter is far from instantaneous.  (All photos taken at slaughterhouses in Whanganui, New Zealand, by Sandra Kyle)


A recent article in Stuff claimed that “meatworks are ‘gory and messy and nasty’, but the slaughtering’s humane”. While the article acknowledges the stressful process of transportation of animals, it makes the assertion that the killing itself is painless. It claims that the stunning process that immediately precedes the actual slaughter is instantaneous, and renders the animal insensible while s/he is killed.

This may well be true, provided the stunning process is effective every time. And yet, I remain unconvinced that we can narrow the slaughter down to that one instant. I think it is important that we don’t separate the transportation and holding of animals in slaughterhouse pens from the actual slaughter, and consider how the whole process makes the animals suffer.


Cows waiting overnight at Land Meats slaughterhouse Whanganui, New Zealand, for slaughter the next day.  


The Codes of Welfare governing animal slaughter and transport in New Zealand are woefully inadequate to prevent suffering on a mass scale.  Animals sent to slaughter often travel long distances.  It is a very uncomfortable journey.  They travel in filthy, hot and noisy carriages, putting up with exhaust fumes and slippery floors covered in urine and excrement.    It’s not exactly the Orient Express.

Animals going to slaughter travel in open trucks in all weathers, and stand on slippery floors covered with their own excrement.  


New Zealand has a Code of Welfare for Transport .   I think that most people accept this as evidence that animals have their welfare needs met during transport. Yet even when adhering to this Code animals suffer horrendously.  The Code sets a minimum standard for the time between which animals must go without water. For ruminants such as cows this is 24 hours. If the ruminants are pregnant or lactating, then it is 12 hours. This is timed from the period within which water is first removed to within 2 hours of arrival at the slaughterhouse. Mature animals also do not need to be unloaded for rest for 24 hours.

The implications of the above minimum standard are enormous in terms of animal suffering. Adult animals can legally be on a truck for 24 hours, and during this time may not be offered water or rest. They also can legally go without food for 36 hours.


Animals are often already hungry when they arrive at the slaughterhouse, and are legally permitted to go without food for 36 hours before their slaughter. 


In short, it is legal to transport mature animals for 24 hours without rest, water, or food in a hot and smelly truck. For young 4- 10-day old calves they can legally go 12 hours on a truck and 24 hours without milk.  ‘Milk lambs’ (those still being fed by mother) can legally go 28 hours without a feed before being slaughtered.  This is the high animal welfare standards New Zealand boasts of.


Bobby calves (surplus to requirements and killed at a few days old) can legally go 24 hours without milk and spend up to 12 hours travelling to their slaughter. 


Once at their destination the animals are loaded into pens where they wait for their turn to die. This video (non graphic) shows animals at a slaughterhouse in Whanganui, New Zealand, taken by animal rights activist Sandra Kyle on February 22, 2021.


The temperature was in the 20 degree plus range, yet for most of the animals there is absolutely no shelter from the sun, and they are all packed in tightly.   Yet the New Zealand Commercial Slaughter Code of Welfare states that:

 “The lairage must provide adequate shelter from adverse weather conditions and ventilation to protect the welfare of the animals being held for slaughter.”

Animals waiting in slaughter pens often have no shelter, and often have to wait for many hours packed in tightly.  


We can see that the New Zealand Animal Welfare codes are at most a  ‘best practice’ guide,  and are interpreted to benefit those in the Industry and not the animals themselves. In response to a recent query about animal transport, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) replied:

‘Farmers send cattle for sale or slaughter for numerous reasons, including to reduce the stocking rate if feed is limited and to remove unproductive animals from the herd. The reason why an animal is sent for slaughter is not recorded.

All livestock transported to slaughter should have a comfortable and safe journey, arriving in a fit and healthy state. It’s the responsibility of farmers to make sure cows are adequately prepared for transport, able to withstand the stress of travel, and are handled in a manner that minimises stress and injury’.

Although it is an offence to transport cattle late in pregnancy unless they are travelling with veterinary certification, every year in New Zealand there are cases of animals giving birth either during transport or at the slaughterhouse itself.   In 2020, 50 infringement notices of $500.00 were issued to farmers who sent their cattle in late stages of pregnancy to be slaughtered. While some births are on the truck, the majority are in the holding pens.  The  Commercial Slaughter Code of Welfare states:

“When animals give birth in the holding pens, the welfare of both dam and offspring must be protected.”

Exactly how they should be protected is not specified, again leaving it open to interpretation. It is highly disturbing that any animal would begin their life in a slaughterhouse,  even more disturbing that the newborn calf is immediately then killed.  And of course, after giving birth the mother will then be slaughtered herself.

If the calf has not birthed, then the regulations during the slaughter of pregnant cows is for the calf to remain in utero “for at least 15-20 minutes after the maternal neck cut or thoracic stick.” If the calf shows any sign of life after being removed from the womb it must be immediately stunned and killed.

This ‘best practice’ presents unique ethical issues. Does the unborn calf feel pain? The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reports that calves in utero are insentient and unconscious due to neuro–inhibitors in the brain. However, the ability of calves to feel pain in utero, especially in the third trimester, cannot be ruled out entirely.

Cows may also be lactating when sent to slaughter. The regulation for lactating cows in New Zealand are as follows:

“Lactating dairy cattle with distended udders must be slaughtered within 24 hours of arrival unless milked.”

It is, in my opinion, unethical that lactating cows stand in a holding pen for any length of time, let alone 24 hours, dripping milk from their distended and painful udders.


One last look at freedom


The above instances of transport, waiting in holding pens, and giving birth at the slaughterhouse are examples of how inadequate our codes are to protect helpless animals sent to slaughter.  It is time to squarely face how we regulate the lives of animals to profit ourselves at the same time causing them great pain and distress.   What we are doing is not in any way ‘humane’ and does not come under the umbrella of ‘welfare’. Similarly, we cannot narrow ‘slaughter’ down to the one instant in which the animals heart is stopped.  It is just one small part of a long  journey to death for farmed animals.  Death by a thousand cuts.

You have a choice not to be a part of this horror story.   Please choose compassion over suffering,  and eat a plant-based diet. 

Dr Lynley Tulloch is an animal rights activist and writer, and has a PhD in sustainability education and ecocentric philosophy.



‘A Revolution of Empathy’

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In the soon-to-be-released film ‘Gunda’, about a charismatic pig, there are no humans and no musical soundtrack – just the animals themselves, going about their lives.   

“Every day after filming, all of my team, we felt we were becoming different people. We were becoming better. Every day of communicating with animals, surprised us every day. Every day we say they are able to joke, they able to sacrifice, they able to help each other. They’re able to smile. They are able to experience freedom, same way as we. They are able to be happy. Every day we were coming back and we were opening a new dimension in our life. I saw my team, one by one become vegetarian.”  

Viktor Kossakovsky, Director of ‘Gunda’


Read the IndieWire article here


Eating animals is barbaric, but it’s easy to adopt a vegan diet

End Animal Slaughter contributor LAURIE TURUNEN is an artist, and is currently writing a vegan cookbook.   In this short article she asks us to consider our assumptions about why it’s OK to eat meat, and urges us to adopt a healthier, more compassionate vegan diet.


Humans who believe they are nice people, yet support the kind of injustice and savagery to animals required to produce the meat they eat, really need to ask why their “niceness” is selective.

If I said I would get hold of a dog, forcibly inseminate her, take her baby away if it’s a boy and kill it, take her milk, repeat the whole cycle again until she can’t take it any more and then kill and eat her, would you think this was OK.   Why then is this OK for a dairy cow?

Do you willingly support the worst inhumane atrocities to others who experience pain just like us?  If you were being tortured and mutilated, kept in a tiny smelly cage, soaking in your own excrement, waiting to be violently slaughtered, would you want everyone to just mind their own business?

If you eat meat, would you be able to kill the beautiful lamb in this photo? No??? Then how natural is it for humans to be eating animals? Humans are not lions, tigers or bears so we should stop pretending we have the same instincts.

It is time for you to stop and think about what you have been so programmed to believe is necessary or ethically okay.   Killing and chopping up animals to eat them is neither.

Going vegan is the awakened, compassionate thing to do. I don’t care how addicted you are to eating dead body parts or how much you believe you need them. You don’t need them and your habits are easy enough to change.

Eating low fat vegan, mainly fruits, vegetables and herbs, does the body a lot of good. For example, there are studies that show that eating heme iron from meat increases the likelihood of heart disease, cancer and diabetes significantly! It’s the non heme iron from plants, like leafy greens, vegetables, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes and some grains, that is the healthiest type of iron for the human body.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine among other medical bodies support a plant based diet, and state that plant-based food is superior to meat.  All plants contain protein and vital nutrients to keep you healthier.   Protein is NOT the most important nutrient in our food! Even if you believed it was, there is more than enough of it in plants.

Our food should not be barbaric. Eating animals is nothing but that.    If we eat meat and dairy, then it is time for you to go deep and question your heavy programming, misinformation and lies that have been drilled into you since birth.

Adopting a vegan diet is the healthiest, most sustainable and compassionate thing to do.   What’s more, with so many choices now, it is easy.  

Have mercy on animals and improve your own health by going vegan.

‘There Is a Sense of Trust Between Us’

This moving  story of human/non-human friendship is one of the most unusual we have seen.  It is the story of a Japanese Diver and his friend Yoriko, a humphead wrasse. 

The wrasse is a large, diverse and remarkable fish.  There are more than 600 species of wrasse, ranging in size from 20 cm to 2.5 metres, and they can live up to 50 years.  The most well known wrasse,  the ‘cleaner fish’, lives in symbiosis with larger, often predatory, fish, grooming them (sometimes swimming into their open mouths and through their gill cavities) and benefiting by consuming the parasites they remove. They can clean many hundreds of ‘clients’ every day, and as many visitors to Aquariums know, it is a sight to behold to see a line of fishes congregated at cleaner stations, waiting for their turn! 

It has been well established that fishes feel pain, and it is thought increasingly likely they feel emotions too.   Why then do we cause these sentient creatures, trillions of individuals a year,  so much suffering?   We happily teach our children to impale them in their sensitive mouths and haul them into a medium where they cannot breathe.     Our appetite for fish means that cruel commercial and factory farming practices prolong their suffering and also risk depleting the ocean of its inhabitants.  Is this not madness?   

It’s time we called a halt to the carnage.   It’s time we stopped eating fish.    

Read the article and watch the video about Hiroyuki Arakawa and Yoriko. 

See also:

Marc Bekoff’s article on fish sentience.

Q&A: Marc Pierschel, Film Maker

1 Your film THE END OF MEAT envisions a future where meat consumption belongs to the past.   What was your chief motivation in making this film?

When I made my last documentary, Live and Let Live, one of my interview questions was what the human-animal relationship will look like in 20 years from now. I got some really interesting answers, which got me thinking about a future perspective in the first place. When the vegan movement suddently entered the mainstream in Germany around 7 years ago, I got the idea to explore the idea further in form of a documentary. I am a vegan myself so it is obviously a really exciting question to explore a future vision of a world without animal exploitation.

2 While meat and animal products continue to be consumed in large quantities in some parts of the world, the growth of veganism is a marked trend in the western world, do you agree?

Yes, absolutely. That was one of the main inspirations to make the film – the growth of veganism and how it changed from a lifestyle that was seen as absurd or crazy to something that is now quite trendy. The market for vegan foods is still growing here and in other european countries and I don’t think it will stop anytime soon especially with new innovative foods that are really challenging traditional animal products in taste and texture.

3 The production and consumption of animal flesh and products involves many industries and people – farmers and farm workers, transport workers, butchers, slaughterhouse workers, retailers, the petfood industry, admin workers, scientists, vets and so on.  In some cases, like here in New Zealand, it is a pillar of the economy.   Is the economy in danger of collapsing if we no longer produce and export animal flesh?

I asked myself this question when I was researching the situation here in Germany. And what I found was that the number of farms and famers over the last 20 years has reduced dramatically. We are now seeing  larger and larger operations farming animals in a more automated way,  so I think employment in the industry or at least for traditional farmers has been decreasing for many years, even before the rise of veganism. On the other hand the plant-based economy is growing quickly and we see that traditional meat producers are entering the plant-based market, either by producing their own vegan and vegetarian products or by investing in plant-based or cultured meat start-ups. So there are new jobs being created at the same time. I don’t think it will be a collapse but rather a slow shift to an animal-free industry.

4 In order to bring the change about sooner, what should our strategies be?

I think consumer awareness is key for broader change. And that is something that has been growing exponentially. Without awareness it will difficult to establish any sort of structural changes that are necessary on a legislative level. For example by taxing animal products or cutting subsidies. It is a tricky situation since the animal industry has such a large lobby in most countries. But with growing ecological and health related problems that are undeniably caused by the consumption of animal products I think it is far from  a hopeless cause.

5 What would a post-meat western society look like?  How will it be a better world?

There would be tremendous benefits to lots of ecological problems our planet is currently facing: Greenhouse gases from animal farming, deforestation for farm- and cropland, water shortages caused by farming as well as vast ocean dead zones from agricultural pollution. And of course there are the billions of animal lives that won’t be born only to suffer and be killed. It would be interesting how this would change our relationship with the animals that we don’t eat – I hope this will also have an effect on other exploitative practices that are still seen as acceptable,  such as animals used in entertainment,  for testing and hunting – just to name a few. A very interesting book I can recommend is ‘Zoopolis’ by Will Kymlicka and Sue Donaldson, who also have an appearance in the film.

6 Where can people see your film?

You can livestream The End of Meat at http://www.theendofmeat.com/en/watch.html.   You can also sign up to our newsletter or follow us @theendofmeat on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.  Thanks!

Thankyou for your time.

Review of ‘Mama’s Last Hug…’ by Frans de Waal

Read the New York Times review of Frans de Waal’s new book ‘Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions And What They Tell Us About Ourselves.’  Quote:  ‘We deny the facts of evolution when we pretend that only humans think, feel and know.  (‘Anthropodenial’).  The title ‘Mama’s Last Hug’ refers to an amazing encounter between a dying chimpanzee and an old friend.  (Video is embedded in the text)


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