Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. Edward Abbey

11 December 2009

Thank you Joao Silva you are still one of my heroes

So the ANC won again and "our" president attended the cruel Ukweshwama ceremony in Nongoma last weekend.

Experts have always said that a nation that abuses animals, also abuses women, children and the weak. Well here's proof of why SA has one of the highest rape and child abuse rates in the world.

Jacob Zuma, wake up and change the course of history now, before it's too late. This kind of behaviour is abhorrent and belongs to a previous era. Stop supporting such outdated practices. This ceremony fell away several years ago and I have no idea why it was revived. Kings should be sent to the corridors of history and so should their bizarre and abusive ceremonies.
It's as bad as the practice of testing young women's virginity using a kudu horn. DESPICABLE! It's as bad as colonisation, slavery, land grabs, genocide against the indigenous, the domination of alternative viewpoints by the juggernaut that is western civilisation etc etc.

Finally to photographer Joao Silva who took this shot, for The Mercury, you are still and always will be one of my heroes. It's guys like you and your bang bang buddies who are the conscience of the nation and are brave enough to be there and capture the moment so that the rest of us can see what happened and question ourselves and what we are doing right now to change the horrible, horrible state of our 2010 nation!

You can visit the website of the brave people of Animal Rights Africa, if you have the stomach for seeing some more photos of the cruel and unnecessary murder that took place in Nongoma last weekend.

06 December 2009

Dubai cash dries up in Cape

As a follow-up to my earlier post about the teetering tower of babel that is Dubai in late 2009, came an interesting spin-off here in South Africa. It seems all sorts of repurcussions are being felt:

http://www.mg.co.za/article/2009-12-04-dubai-cash-dries-up-in-cape


If my memory serves me well [as Siouxsie Sioux was want to say], I think Dubai World owns not just the V&A Waterfront, but several game farms and the Bourke's Luck potholes area in Mpumalanga. I remember the battle fought by locals when that deal went through, smoothly facilitated by some greased palm in the provincial government at the time.

I wish we were more like the Somalis, or the Ogoni, or like the Ethiopians were prior to the 21 st century. They were never willing to sell their souls to conquerors.

04 December 2009

Light a candle for the bull tomorrow 12 to 3pm

News has just come through that the ukweshwama ritual bull murdering ceremony will go ahead in Kwa-Zulu Natal tomorrow 5 December.

Please think of this individual bull tomorrow. I'm not sure if lighting a candle is enough to help him through the experience? Perhaps we animal activists need to think about getting ourselves to the sites of such unnecessary, cruel killings and doing whatever it takes to physically stop the murder.

The time of polite letters and battling in court rooms is over. But the time to take a stand and stop such cruel practices being inflicted on non-human animals everywhere has come.

Culture and tradition must change. These things are not set in stone. They have never been.

I include below, the ARA press release ...

For Immediate Release: 4 December 2009

THINK OF THE BULL TOM0RROW

Animal Rights Africa (ARA) is extremely disappointed that the Judge ruled against us. We are also saddened and frustrated that the Respondents refused to allow ARA to monitor and document the ukweshwama ritual.

ARA has not seen the Judgment as yet but we will be studying it with a view to what our next steps will be. It is a sad fact that attempts at dialogue with the Zulu Royal Household, the Commission on and the relevant government departments fell on deaf ears and that this issue landed up in the courts. ARA will also continue to seek dialogue on this issue and we therefore call on all these entities and the ANC to urgently facilitate such dialogue.

That ARA lost this case is distressing to us, however this pales into insignificance for us in comparison to the fact that the fate is sealed for the innocent bull that will be used in the ritual tomorrow.

As part of a global movement that cuts across all continents, all cultures all ethnic and racial groups, ARA will continue to work for compassion, respect, dignity and inclusive justice.

We ask that people across South Africa, Africa and the world that have shown concern for the fate of this particular bull light a candle between 12pm and 3pm tomorrow (Saturday 5th December) and spend the day in reflection and introspection, in solidarity and compassion with this particular bull.

Contact persons for ARA:

Steve Smit +27 (0) 82 659 4711

Michele Pickover +27 (0) 82 253 2124

ARA email - info@animalrightsafrica.org

ARA website – www.animalrightsafrica.org

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" Martin Luther King

02 December 2009

The bull is primary and justice inclusive

Animal Rights Africa (ARA) is heartened by the decision yesterday of the Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge, Nic van der Reyden, to postpone until this coming Friday 4 December, his decision on whether or not to issue a court order against the bare-handed ritual killing of a bull at the Zulu First Fruits Festival at the Royal Kraal in KwaZulu-Natal this coming Saturday, December 5.

“Whilst we were hoping for a ruling yesterday in favour of the bull being saved from what we consider to be a cruel and protracted death, this indicates to us that the judge is giving serious consideration to the cruelty aspects of the killing as contained in our founding and supporting affidavits”, said ARA spokesperson, Steve Smit.

ARA is extremely encouraged by the overwhelming groundswell of support it has received from South Africans, including many Zulus, who understand the motivation behind our legal action.

However, we are distressed that our action, taken on behalf of the victim, in this case the innocent bull who has moral agency outside of human institutional or cultural arrangements, as well as our call for mercy and compassion, seems to have been misunderstood and deliberately subverted by those who claim to speak on behalf of a so-called homogenized culture that is seemingly “off limits” to, and above public debate. In questioning the way ukweshwama is practiced, the rights view is not anti-culture, not anti-freedom, not anti-human. It is simply pro-justice, maintaining only that the scope of justice be seen to include respect for the rights of animals. As contentious as challenging cultural practices is - one only has to look at how existing cultural practices predispose and expose women to HIV for example -it does not mean that we should not or that we should be intimidated in to not doing it.

“Contrary to claims made by those opposing ARA in this matter, it is not about cultural intolerance, not about an imposition of perceived “western” values, not about disrespect for the Zulu monarchy or Zulu people – it is simply and undeniably about cruelty to a sentient being, and any cultural practice that not only involves cruelty but also contravenes anti-cruelty legislation must be subjected to public scrutiny. Our culture of animal rights demands that we oppose cruelty wherever it occurs. Of great concern to us is the fact that the respondents refused to agree to the event being filmed or monitored for Parliamentary viewing and review. One can only ask why they should be so resistant to allowing the actual process of killing the bull to be preserved on film in parliamentary records” Smit said.

Globally it is increasingly recognised that violence against animals is a precursor to violence against people, especially women and children. It is therefore possible that serious efforts to incorporate humane practices in cultural practices will also help, in the long term, curb violence within communities and society in general.

ARA wishes to reemphasize that there needs to be respect for different communities that co-exist in the same society and where there is a conflict of rights in a multicultural society and a constitutional democracy a court must decide. In response to the many questions by the media as to how ARA will respond if the Judge rules against the application, we remain optimistic that our application will be successful but should this not be the case we will be guided by our legal counsel insofar as the legal options available to us. Whatever the outcome we know we have helped to move the discussion on inclusive justice and the recognition of animal rights.

The simple existence of a practice or belief or habit is not in and of itself a justification for its virtue. Might does not make right and prejudices die hard. We are aware that the animal rights movement – just as the slavery abolitionist movement, the women’s movement and the anti-apartheid movement – is not for the faint-hearted. Whilst this particular event has generated widespread media and public interest, we must emphasize that ARA, as part of the international animal rights movement, is concerned about cruelty to, and exploitation of, animals wherever, however and for whatever reason it occurs. Animal rightists are the voice for the billions of animals worldwide who every year suffer and die at the hand of humans. Culture-based cruelty is just one of the many areas of our concern and action on behalf of animals.