Animal activists angry at Tutu for promoting Braai Day

2008-09-22 00:00

Animal Rights Africa (ARA) said yesterday it is “appalled” that the National Heritage Council and Archbishop Tutu are promoting Braai Day as a way of celebrating the country’s heritage.

“Tutu is the patron of Braai4Heritage and apparently when asked what are vegetarians supposed to do on National Braai Day later this month, he replied, ‘They can stand and watch.’

Unfortunately, this ritual is also associated with the cruel and unnecessary slaughter of animals,” said ARA spokesman Steve Smit.

Smit said it is regrettable that Tutu, “one of the world’s greatest moral voices”, has chosen to support oppression and suffering in this way.

“I cannot count the number of times I have listened to human rights activists protest against exploitation and injustice while devouring the tortured and dismembered carcass of a cow, chicken, pig, or other sentient being. They denounce domination and oppression and even preach for peace as they consume the fleshy fragments of the most oppressed beings on the planet.”

He said that by far the largest number of animals currently being used — and abused — are those raised and slaughtered for food.

“Almost 60 billion land-based animals are killed each year globally by the meat industry, and they’re raised and killed in ways that would horrify any compassionate person. This figure does not include the animals torn from the oceans and rivers.

“It is irrefutable that the process of slaughtering an animal — as well as pre-slaughter suffering such as confinement, mutilation, transport and tethering — is an excruciatingly terrifying and agonising experience. “

Smit said there is an inextricable link between the treatment and slaughter of other animals and treatment and slaughter of human beings.

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