Saturday 10 December 2016

There is an equality that is only for the elite

Fiona O'Connell

Published 17/05/2015 | 02:30

December 2014: John Carmody from Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) presenting Benjy The Gay Bull with a ‘One way ticket to freedom’ while waiting to be transported from Hillside Animal Sanctuary, Claremorris, Co. Mayo to his new home in The United Kingdom. Photo : Keith Heneghan
December 2014: John Carmody from Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) presenting Benjy The Gay Bull with a ‘One way ticket to freedom’ while waiting to be transported from Hillside Animal Sanctuary, Claremorris, Co. Mayo to his new home in The United Kingdom. Photo : Keith Heneghan
Benjy the gay bull

May was the month of Mary when I was a child. But times have changed, and this May is all about the equality vote.

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Unfortunately, that notion doesn't extend to other species that are equally capable of experiencing pain and pleasure. Because while Benji the gay bull can elicit light-hearted sympathy, the horrendous suffering of animals in vast numbers, ironically, doesn't count. For how many will attend a peaceful demonstration in Dublin later this month, organised by Compassion In World Farming and Aran (Animal Rights Action Network) calling for an end to live exports?

Which explains why Irish politicians can still get away with treating concerned citizens in a cavalier and disrespectful fashion. As EU Commissioner Phil Hogan - our luckiest live export - made clear recently. He responded to a request for his views on live exports by declaring that he would not be "bullied" by the hundreds of text messages which he had received that day alone.

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