The Cattle Council of Australia has hit back at statements issued by PETA that graziers impacted by stock losses are mostly "sick at heart because they are not making money" from the animals they've lost in North West Queensland's record breaking flood.
The statement issued by PETA consultant, Mimi Bekhechi, urges people to "go vegan, and break this vicious spiral of death".
CCA chief executive officer Margot Andrae questioned what PETA was doing to assist in saving the lives of animals that had survived the flood.
“In terms of genuine animal welfare outcomes, while PETA writes faceless letters to the press, our industry is putting in around-the-clock efforts at ground level to get fodder to hungry cattle," she said
“Clearly PETA doesn’t like the fact that Australia is united behind the cattle producing families of north-West Queensland and that Australians continue to support our sustainable livestock industry and the communities and the jobs our sector supports.
“It just confirms how out of touch and increasingly desperate PETA is for publicity."
Ms Andrae said exploiting the devastation of producers and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of cattle, sheep and native animals to push an extreme agenda was "extremely offensive”.
The statement from PETA can be read in full below.
"Dorothea Mackellar had it right a century ago when she wrote in her famous poem "My Country" about a land "of droughts and flooding rains," proclaiming "when sick at heart around us, we see the cattle die". Today, the news channels and social media feeds are full of stories of graziers who are sick at heart at the deaths of hundreds of thousands of cattle – drowned or, a few weeks ago, dying of heat exhaustion and thirst.
What these stories don’t mention is that these animals were never fated to have a long life. If the animals hadn’t drowned or died of dehydration, they would have been hanged by their back legs in a slaughterhouse only to have their throats slashed open, sometimes, due to the speed of processing, while still fully conscious. The graziers are now mostly "sick at heart" because they are not making money from the appalling deaths these animals faced at the hands of the sunburnt country.
Droughts and flooding rain were a reality a hundred years ago, and they will only become more intense as climate change, to which animal agriculture is a major contributor, continues to intensify. But, as long as we continue to buy the flesh of these unhappy animals, graziers will continue to breed them, on land that is totally unsuitable. Please – if your heart is sick at the sights of hundreds of thousands of dead animals this week – go vegan, and break this vicious spiral of death." - PETA
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