Stop the Slaughter!

When the media is so awash with lies and half truths, the latest suggestion that "we" should slaughter million sheep can only be met with the answer "Who are the real sheep?"; the woolly creatures to be found in the fields and glades of the Forest of Dean or the pacified woolly headed creatures sitting in front of our televisions. Whilst politicians argue whether or not foot and mouth has got out of control, where is our voice shouting the obvious: "Capitalism is out of control - Stop the Slaughter!"

When we look at the facts of foot and mouth we discover that it is not as terrible as the media would have us believe. Very few animals die from it, there are cures and there are vaccines. What terrifies the bosses is the effect it has on profits. Milk yield goes down, animals are slow to put on weight. For the bosses livestock is simply an element in the productive process, a component in the factory farm. The animal is reduced to being a living embodiment of value where the fact that it is living can be ignored.

It is just a figure in an economic equation. The scant legislation as regards animal cruelty reflects an economic/political balancing game to maximise profitability even in the face of popular protest.

The more recent vilification of animal rights activists as terrorists shows how critical this area of protest has become. Without necessarily adopting the priorities of animal rights activists, we can still see how we as human animals are not so far removed from our furry cousins. Each cruelty imposed upon dumb animals makes it easier for such cruelty to be imposed human animals. The slaughter of the sheep makes it easier for another human generation to be shepherded to the killing fields of war. Stop the Slaughter!

Indeed the massive slaughter of dumb animals is firmly enmeshed in the imperial domination of Euro-American capitalism. For the slaughter is dictated by the logic of maintaining a "Foot and Mouth Free Status". And the importance of this is to establish protectionist measures in the name of animal health whilst paying lip service to the myth of free trade. "Foot and Mouth Free Status" is a powerful myth to wage economic war against Africa, South America and the far East, to ban meat imports from these countries and to depict them as dirty and disease ridden. In reality the chemicals routinely pumped through the living carcasses of Euro-American are far more dangerous to human health. The implications of genetic engineering have yet to fully emerge. If this slaughter goes ahead it will lead to more experiments, more Dolly the Sheep. These new creatures with built in immunities will be rushed into production to replace the depleted sheep stocks. Stop the Slaughter!

Commodity relations are intensifying. Every stage of the production process loses any intrinsic or natural characteristics in favour of the universal characteristic of capitalism. An animal is meat even before it is born - a projection on an economist's graph. The remnants of 'traditional' farming are being swallowed up by the ever-expanding swathe of agri-business. This crisis, like those before it will speed this process up as the more powerful concerns successfully lobby for compensation which the small-scale farmers do less well out off. The slaughter accelerates the industrialisation of the countryside. Stop the Slaughter!

What we must assert is that Foot and Mouth Disease is not the cause for the slaughter. That cause is capitalism. We must set out to prevent the slaughter using all the methods and techniques which years of protest have taught us. We must refuse to accept the limitations on our movements because the logic of capitalism equates a mild disease with death - because we equate capitalism with death: First they came for the sheep!

Stop the Slaughter!

We must turn the political agenda upside down and leave the newshounds gobbing the Slaughter!

We must ensure that resources are switched to alleviate animal suffering rather than stoking the pyres of capitalist obsolescence. Stop the Slaughter!

We must stem the subjugation of all human and animal activity, of the whole of nature to the precepts of the economy which has reached its highest form as globalised capitalism. We must break this system which condemns millions to starvation and misery across the world whilst stifling those of us in the affluent zones with the phoney sentimentality of Comic Relief and other such charades.