Tuesday, June 03, 2014
Fury as animal rights activist and RSPCA trustee candidate compares treatment of animals on British farms to the HOLOCAUST
A candidate standing to be on the ruling council of the RSPCA has been criticised after likening the treatment of farm animals to the holocaust. Peta Watson Smith made the comments as candidates standing in the election are in the final push for votes, which have to be cast by Tuesday.
But the Jewish Vegetarian Society says even though they too oppose 'factory farming', using the word holocaust will only offend and alienate people from their cause.
Mrs Watson Smith said some animals are being treated abysmally on farms and said people weren't always aware of the 'holocaust' happening to animals.
She is one of six candidates standing to be on the charity's council, with five seats available on the 25 member body.
According to the RSPCA website, the council is an integral part of the charity and elected members are responsible for providing leadership and direction as well as making sure their resources are being used to benefit animal welfare.
But speaking to the Times, Mrs Watson Smith said: 'I don't think people always appreciate what is the holocaust going on behind closed doors.
'You talk about the Jews. This probably sounds like animal rights, but if you recognise animals as sentient beings, why are we treating them so abysmally on farms?'
But Lara Smallman director of the Jewish Vegetarian Society said that her comments will not help the vegetarian and animal cause.
She added: 'We are passionate about using positive messaging to spread awareness. Our focus, therefore, is very much on highlighting the many benefits of adopting a vegetarian diet.
'Whilst we share Peta Watson Smith's opposition to factory farming, we do not believe anything positive can come from making comparisons with the holocaust.
'Using the word 'holocaust' is not going to advance the vegetarian cause, rather, it will only serve to offend, divide, and quite possibly, alienate people.
'The emphasis should always be on engaging and educating the public in a responsible and meaningful way.
'The Farmers' Union of Wales also said her comments were disrespectful to the Jewish community.
The results of the RSPCA council election will be announced at the charity's annual general meeting later this month.
It is thought that the election could prove to be a turning point for the charity who hope to appoint a new chief executive by early next year.
In February, Gavin Grant announced he would be stepping down with immediate effect after a controversial two years in the post.
Mr Grant, 59, attracted heavy criticism for the decision to spend £326,000 prosecuting the Heythrop Hunt in Oxfordshire for illegal foxhunting, the hunt David Cameron used to ride in before the ban.
Critics said the ‘staggering’ expense of bringing the case at the end of 2012, which was successful, was nonetheless a waste of the money donated by members of the public.
He was also under fire last year for suggesting farmers who participated in the badger cull - permitted by the government to try and control tuberculosis in cattle - should be ‘named and shamed’.
His unexpected departure as chief executive was due to ‘medical concerns about his health’, the animal charity said in a statement at the time
Mrs Watson Smith's comments come after earlier this year the singer Morrissey claimed 'If you believe in the abattoir then you would support Auschwitz'.
The Smiths frontman made the remark in a Q&A session on his fan site - True To You.
The controversial singer has long been known as an animal rights activist.
White Police Lieutenant Awarded $1.35 Million In Racial Discrimination Lawsuit
A Long Island police lieutenant has been awarded $1.35 million in his racial discrimination lawsuit against the village of Freeport. Lt. Christopher Barrella, who is white, had accused the village of awarding the police chief’s job to a Hispanic officer with few qualifications and a lower test score.
Following the federal jury’s decision Wednesday, Barrella described the process as trying but said he always had faith in the jury system.
“It’s really a good feeling to be validated, and I am incredibly appreciative that the jury saw it my way,” Barrella told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.
The former mayor, Andrew Hardwick, was a defendant in the case but could not be reached for comment. He was the village’s first black mayor.
Barrella had charged that Hardwick terminated and demoted qualified, experienced non-Hispanic whites. Barrella charged that Hardwick illegaly chose Miguel Bermudez for the job of police chief.
The current Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy, who is white, said the jury got it wrong. “I have the utmost confidence in Chief Bermudez, who’s probably one of the finest chiefs of Freeport village that we’ve ever had,” Kennedy told Rivera.
The jury award includes $200,000 in punitive damages.
“I think that this is a wake up call for all employers, everybody is protected under the U.S.’s anti-discrimination law,” Barrella’s attorney Amanda Fugazy told WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall.
The spokesperson for the village said there is no supporting evidence that the village discriminated against Barrella and they plan to appeal, Hall reported.
BBC faces review of 'everything': UK govt
ALL aspects of how the BBC is run and paid for will be reviewed when its charter comes up for renewal, Britain's culture secretary says.
Sajid Javid said "everything" would be looked at, including licence fees and governance structures, when negotiations get under way.
Senior Tories have previously called the compulsory annual charge paid by British viewers out of date and warned it faces the axe but BBC executives insist a subscription system could end up costing more money.
Javid said plans for the process of renewing the charter, which expires in December 2016, were being worked on.
He told Total Politics: "We will announce plans in due course. That will be a time to look at all aspects of the BBC: governance arrangements, licence fees and so forth. That's where we plan to look at everything."
The renewal negotiations will take place on the back of a torrid few years in which the British broadcaster was lambasted for its handling of the Jimmy Savile scandal, massive executive pay-offs and a Newsnight investigation that led to the late Lord McAlpine being wrongly accused of child abuse.
Conservative MP John Whittingdale, chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, reportedly told senior BBC executives earlier this month that he did not believe the licence fee would survive.
Tory Party chairman Grant Shapps warned the corporation last year it could lose its exclusive right to the STG3.6 billion ($A6.57 billion) raised by the licence fee if it failed to tackle what he believes is a culture of secrecy, waste and unbalanced reporting in the organisation.
The government has frozen the annual licence fee, which is paid by every British household with a TV, at STG145.50 ($A265.58) for the rest of the charter period.
Discrimination Saves And Enslaves
The sense's ability to discriminate differences serves us daily; it saves lives. When approaching an intersection, the color of the traffic light lets you know whether to stop or continue. Whether you admit it or not, your ability to discriminate differences between people you encounter can also serve you well. In its extreme, discrimination of difference has also resulted in bigotry and the holocaust that killed millions.
That's why Mark Cuban's candid comments on racial discrimination in an Inc magazine interview are both courageous and important in this time of division and rampant political correctness. In measured tones, he observed: "In this day and age, this country has really come a long way putting any type of bigotry behind us, regardless of who it's toward. We've come a long way, and with that progress comes a price. We're a lot more vigilant, and we're a lot less tolerant of different views... We're all prejudiced in one way or another. If I see a black kid in a hoodie and it's late at night, I'm walking to the other side of the street. And if on that side of the street, there's a guy that has tattoos all over his face -- white guy, bald head, tattoos everywhere -- I'm walking back to the other side of the street. And the list goes on of stereotypes that we all live up to and are fearful of."
Even Jesse Jackson said a few years ago, “There is nothing more painful to me … than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery, then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.”
Red light or green light? Go toward or move away? With strangers in unfamiliar areas, what they wear and how they act contributes to a first impression and our initial reaction. That's why we tell youths to dress appropriately and put on their best behavior when they want to impress. That's why we tell teens that you're known by the people you're with. First impressions matter, but not all can accept that when race is involved.
When the black, ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith took a stand in support of Mark Cuban's comments, many attacked him. People wrote: "Stephen A. Smith ain't black" and "You ain't one of us." Smith fired back, "I do understand that to some degree there is a little of racism we all have to overcome. I get all of that. But it doesn't mean that every single issue is race related. Sometimes it is about how you represent yourself."
When two people initially come together who are obviously different, the differences are likely to dominate whether they acknowledge it or not. Once they come to know each other, those same differences become the background and the similarities take the foreground. There are some people of a different race or ethnicity that you no longer even notice the differences because you know them. As Mark Cuban acknowledged, familiarity helps us get beyond our differences.
But there are some in every race who hurt others. The news and movies frequently reinforce negative stereotypes for ratings--if it bleeds, it leads! So if a group of blacks in an unfamiliar neighborhood are approaching me at night, I'd join Mark Cuban. It's a safety issue; better safe than sorry. But if a group of young blacks approached singing "Amazing Grace," I might cross the street to join in. Discrimination can create distance or attraction.
If I hear a shot ringing out down the hall and someone yelling Allahu Akbar, I'm thinking Islamic extremist. If a woman wearing an open-faced Al-Almira scarf helped me at a retail store, I'd gladly thank her for her service. As the holocaust survivor Victor Frankl once observed, “There are two races of men in this world but only these two: the race of the decent man and the race of the indecent man."
The point Mark Cuban attempted to make during his videotaped interview was the importance of helping people get beyond their prejudices and bigotries:
"I'll try to give them a chance to improve themselves, because I think that helping people improve their lives, helping people engage with people they may fear or may not understand, and helping people realize that while we all may have our prejudices and bigotries we have to learn that it's an issue that we have to control, that it's part of my responsibility as an entrepreneur to try to solve it, not just to kick the problem down the road. Because it does my company no good, it does my customers no good, it does society no good."
That's not just Mark Cuban's job. That's all our jobs. Discrimination can save or enslave. Let's keep working to get beyond first impressions and establish more mutual respect.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.