Friday 28 October 2016

Lay of the land: Taking a stand against suffering of animals

Fiona O'Connell

Published 27/09/2015 | 02:30

'It's a pity that he [Simon Coveny] doesn't even acknowledge correspondence from ARAN, let alone address the issues'
'It's a pity that he [Simon Coveny] doesn't even acknowledge correspondence from ARAN, let alone address the issues'

The leaves are turning red this last Sunday of September. But something more will be ablaze tonight: following a total lunar eclipse, there will be a blood moon.

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Blood moons have been viewed throughout history as omens of big changes to come. Which augurs well for the Make Cruelty to Animals History rally, organised by Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN), that takes place in Dublin this afternoon.

Because if ever there was an area in dire need of transformation, it is in the way that we treat animals.

I've seen dogs driven demented from confinement in cages not fit to be called pens, only to learn that this is perfectly legal.

Meanwhile, farmers found guilty of appalling cruelty to their livestock routinely get off with suspended sentences.

The local dog rescue currently has a glut of defeated-looked pedigrees on its hands. They were dumped as they were apparently "no longer needed for breeding".

Many such rescues will not attend today's rally. Because who else will mind those abandoned animals?

Their reward is zero respect and scant - if any - governmental support. Many battle despair and the feeling that no one gives a damn.

It is for them, as well as for the animals, that I am leaving these scenic surrounds to go back to my Dublin roots and take part in that rally. Though this is certainly no city slicker event.

As Limerick-born ARAN founder John Carmody's accent proves. People from all walks of life will attend. From north and south, east and west, both rural and urban communities.

Unfortunately, the determinedly peaceful plea for the introduction of new legislation and stricter punishments for animal abusers is likely to be ignored.

If you think it's hard to get the Government to act on human issues, imagine what it's like fighting on behalf of those who have no voice - or vote.

On that point, Carmody was active in the recent marriage referendum. For there are parallels between heterosexuals showing solidarity with the gay community and those with a heart standing by animal welfare groups. After all, we are your family, friends, colleague and neighbours, who in turn feel empathy for those who Saint Francis of Assisi called "our brother and sister creatures".

Incidentally, Simon Coveney was quite the minister for compassion during that referendum.

So it's a pity that he doesn't even acknowledge correspondence from ARAN, let alone address the issues.

But what do you expect from a politician who has the gall to deride as "inward-looking" those citizens who have concerns about the migrants crisis?

That sort of bull would make anyone see red.

Sunday Independent

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