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Easter Show Hides the Truth

Easter Show Hides the Truth

Posted 9 April 2009   by Angie         Permalink | 10 Comments

Tags: Royal Show, easter, rant, pigs, chickens, cows, dairy, factory farming

So Easter is coming and I'm getting pretty excited about all the dairy-free easter eggs, hot-cross buns and faux fish I've stocked my pantry with. But one thing that does really get me worked up at Easter, as a Sydney-sider, is the Sydney Royal Easter Show! (for those of you from interstate it's the equivalent of the Melbourne Show, Brisbane Ekka, etc...)

As a child I adored the Easter Show. My Dad used to even let me have the day off school so we could beat the weekend crowds. My absolute favourite part was visiting all the farm animals. Combine this with fairy floss, roller coasters and show bags and it was truly kid-heaven.

Despite being a sensitive, animal-loving child, all the cruelty surrounding the housing, transportation and ultimate slaughter of these animals never clicked. And why would it? The show is set up in a magical, fairytale way with all of the cute animals and none of the horrors that they must endure.

First you might go to the nursery stalls where you see happy piglets, chicks and ducklings playing and snuggling up to their mothers. Then in the dairy stalls they explain the "nutritious benefits" of dairy and make the whole milking process seem totally natural. Moving onto the adult pigs, cows and chickens you stop to pat them, make a connection with them and admire their ribbons. Everything is clean, there is lots of space and the animals look healthy and well groomed.

Then in the next room, there's a diagram explaining which cut of meat comes from which part of the animal. It is here that you might feel a moment's guilt at the fact animals are slaughtered, but you think "well, they obviously have happy lives up until the end, and this nutrition panel says I need meat to be healthy... gee, I think I'll go have a dagwood dog". You then walk off, feeling on top of the world, singing "Old McDonald" in your head ... thinking everythings ok.

What they forget to mention is that baby animals are taken from their mothers in factory farms and that they have painful surgical procedures performed without aesthetic in their first fragile days of life.

Nor do they tell us that a mother cow isn't just milk making machine—she is forced to give birth every year to continue lactating, only to have her baby taken away from her and slaughtered.

Oh and of course they don't mention the fact that these animals are a tiny few of the 500 million Animals in Australia who, back on factory farms, are kept in prison-like conditions, denied freedom of movement, that would be illegal if they were a cat or a dog!

No wonder we grow up with a warped and romanticised view of the animal farm, when even as kids we have the wool pulled over our eyes at shows like these!

And don't even get me started on the utter cruelty of the rodeos, and the awful leather and skins shops.

So you won't find me at "The Greatest Show on Earth" this year. I'll be spending time celebrating a cruelty-free Easter with my family, friends and ferrets.

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Simo Simo 10 April 2009
This reminds me of exactly the way that the Ekka! is set up...

The baby animal farms, the chickens, ducks, geese and other birds that are kept in individual cages looking all prettied up and put on show...

And the pig races where they have 6 pigs or something of the sort [it's been years since I last went..] race down these tiny tracks...

It makes me think of how much kids are made to believe..
I most certainly won't be giving my kids that false impression, but neither will I expose them to the cruel images and facts at a young age, only when they are old enough to realise that this is reality and that nothing is as what it seems..

X. Simo
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Shirley Shirley 12 April 2009
great blog. i know, its horrible and dont forget most of the animals get sold and eaten sad the wool has definatly been pulled over our eyes. im not going to the royal easter show this year however.. turtle
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Cj Cj 13 April 2009
Thats so sad.. sad. This is going to change my whole perspective on the ES, although i have been recently (not this year though), its good to go (despite the expense scared)

And you see everyone all so happy there when deep inside those poor animals are trying to say "Please Save Me"

It really gets you thinking about the Truth Of The World. Kids always enjoy fun carnivals, shows etc, because they dont look sad do they? This is one great disappointment, but i guess for the kids, you cannot tell them unless you know they really can take it.

We live in such a cruel world.
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Angie Angie 14 April 2009
It IS sad isn't it?! Carnivals can be so much fun, I remember when I realised how I was being tricked I got really grumpy for a few minutes because my morals wouldn't allow me to go anymore. Then I thought "What right have I got to be angry that I 'miss out' when millions of animals are suffering?" So I got grumpy at the organisers, the industry and the abusers instead. it is great that you guys can see how shows like these can be so damaging to young, impressionable minds!
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Brodie Brodie 17 April 2009
I used to love the petting zoo at the Melbourne Show when I was younger. It was only a couple of years ago that I realsied just how cruel it is to pass young animals around to rough children after transporting them in cramped cages from one show to the next. Needless to say, I don't participate anymore.
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bluelentil bluelentil 20 April 2009
I am also a lover of the easter show and an even bigger lover of all animals. i go to the show every year and this year was even better as i got to take my 9mth old to her first show first stop animal nursery!!! i have watched the improvements to this area and i think it is a credit to the easter show organisers. i am a vegan bringing up a vegetarian daughter, unfortunatly the world will never be perfect with animals and humans sharing the earth but what the show tries to do , and i think it does this well is to educate people on animals and for city folks to get abit more of an understanding and appreciation of the dedication and hardwork our farmers do in this country. i don't think it is cruel, but it's all down to opinion.
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Teweesa! Teweesa! 22 April 2009
Young people are too easily influenced by adults. Kids are being manipulated into believing all this 'happy animals' garbage. The animals will NEVER be happy until they are freed. That's what we need to drum into our children's heads.
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ABC ABC 28 April 2009
Such a good point, I just can't go to the Easter Show anymore and pretend like it's a fun thing to do, because it's not.
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Lena Lena 23 May 2009
That is absolutly horrible that is so shocking how they hide reality to make it a fun show cry
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JodieP JodieP 10 August 2009
I am normally proud to be an Australian, but feel ashamed and appalled at the abuse our pigs are subjected to in this country. I understand that there's a meat trade for which our farmers help provide, but the senseless cruel treatment is something I don't condone. This has shocked me so greatly I have started a petition and if you'd like to sign it and have your say then follow the link below:
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