I do not separate human rights from animal rights. This is a stance now known among animal rights activists as ‘speciesism’ and it’s something I strongly oppose. I feel both are equally important and that we will never be a fully mature species ourselves until we recognise that fact.
I support all moves to realign animal rights issues with those of the UDHR. I would also like to see much tougher sentences passed against animal abusers and those who allow animals to suffer and die as a result of neglect. Indeed whilst out campaigning the constituency on Sunday I had to find the owner of a vehicle containing a frantic dog, left in the sunshine with no ventilation. The fact that such things still happen after all the publicity surrounding dogs dying in hot cars astounds me!
I am an ethical vegan and and an animal rights campaigner and will soon be launching a website aimed at promoting the health, environmental and ethical dimensions of the lifestyle in what I hope will be a positive way. The intention is to bring veganism into the mainstream culture and persuade people that an animal exploitation-free life is not as extreme as some people may think.
I am of course intrinsically opposed to the meat, dairy and poultry industries in all their guises. However as a pragmatist I know that we will never eradicate these activities in the short to medium term. Realistically I would prefer to see much more stringent controls over livestock farming, animal transport and abattoirs. I am a campaigner for CCTV in slaughterhouses and against the ‘AG GAG’ legislation in the USA.
I support much of the work of The Compassion In World Farming group although of course my ultimate ambition would be to see animals removed from the farming equation completely and the land used to provide feed and fodder for animals much more efficiently used to provide food for humans.
I am a passionate advocate of animal rights issues and a long term campaigner on everything from no-kill shelters, badger baiting, fox hunting, badger culls, animal experiments, livestock welfare, farming, diet, mega-farms and many other similar issues.
I am a supporter of FRAME, BUAV, PCRM and PETA. Although I do have some issues with certain PETA campaigns.
I am of course totally opposed to the use of fur, leather or any other animal products in any application, but especially clothing. I think we need to have a greater awareness of the use of such products, particularly fur, in many of the things we buy. One of the big concerns for me is educating people about how to tell real fur from faux fur, which is often not as easy as many people think.
I am against animals being used in any entertainment capacity, including circuses, water parks (such as Sea World), Zoos and wildlife parks, except where there is a proven and valid conservation dimension to their work.
I am anti-hunting of all kinds, including of course fox hunting, big game hunting and recreation hunting. I am of course vehemently opposed to snares. I do accept that in closed populations some animals may need to be culled for reasons of land management. Whilst I’m not supportive of anything that ends the life of any living creature prematurely, I am pragmatic where the good of the many outweighs that of the few (thank you Mr Spock!).
I support many campaigns against poaching and hunting of big game in Africa, especially the Rhino and Elephants.
I am against the testing of cosmetics, household and similar products on animals and support the work of groups like FRAME and PCRM to move away from animal testing for drugs and other therapies. I am inherently opposed to animal testing of all kinds and would want to see scientists move towards cell culture, computer modelling and controlled human testing of drugs in the future.
I do not support any kind of bloodsport, including of course bullfighting, dog fighting, hare coursing and other similar activities. I am a supporter of the Hunt Saboteurs organisation. I would also like to see horse racing much more strictly controlled and extreme steeplechase events curtailed or banned. At the very least I would like to see races such as the Grand National severely limited in terms of the risk factors to both animals and riders, if not banned altogether. I am also opposed to greyhound racing in it’s current form.
Likewise I think the explosion in livestock abuse and the mechanisation of the livestock farming industry is a result of the cost pressures placed on farmers by food procurers and supermarkets. I would like to see our consumption of all such produce reduced and a fairer price paid to farmers for their produce as a start on the road to weaning the planet off animal products.
I am a vehement campaigner against the production, sale and consumption of Foie Gras and have been involved in several campaigns to stop local restaurants serving this vile product.
I am opposed to all forms of whaling, the killing of seals and a vocal and active campaigner against the killing of dolphins and pilot whales both in the Faeroe Islands and in Taji Cove Japan. Indeed I wrote along letter to the Japanese ambassador last year during the annual Taji dolphin drive to save a pod of dolphins from imminent slaughter. Sadly my efforts were in vain, as were those of fellow campaigners.
You can also read some of my writing on animal rights issues on my personal blog at https://wavinganddrowning.wordpress.com/ and on Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ian-middleton/marius-giraffe_b_4783568.html