I have been pondering recently how little has been achieved in the years I’ve been active in feminism, sustainability and animal welfare. Especially considering that folk have been campaigning long before I was even a sparkle in my dad’s eye (why just my dad’s? so much of our language reflects our inequalities). And I have been thinking that the ethical ideals I strive for are just never gonna be achieved because not enough people care enough, or are prepared to change enough, or are prepared to stand up against injustice. And, unfortunately, many of the people who do step forward don’t actually get what the issues and long term solutions are – some of them don’t take the trouble to find out, many just don’t think and are carried away with misguided passion.
The last Magdelene laundry only closed in 1996. That’s less than twenty years ago. I’m sure a small section of society tried to stop the oppression – but the vast majority either participated, colluded or stood by. And it’s the same all over the world.
In the same way that you can’t be a little bit pregnant, a little change simply highlights that injustice is the norm that has to be continually battered against by those who see equal rights, justice, truth as essential for all beings. The Animal Welfare bill that’s been promised since 2009 finally came out this week. And, though some progress has been made, there’s just not enough. It’s been a fight every step of the way. And we’ve to wait and see if any real level of enforcement is provided.
‘It is not easy to stand outside the mainstream and to continue to press for the truth …’ ~ Dr. Maurice Manning, President, Irish Human Rights Commission
And of the many fine activists that do step forward, a fair few fall by the wayside – it’s a crying shame that ANVIL Ireland aren’t around to log the arrival of this new bill. They’d praise the advancements, sure, but they’d also spend time highlighting the shortcomings and proposing the next steps to attaining adequate legislation and enforcement for Irish animals – because we’re not there yet. ANVIL Ireland – gone but not forgotten.
And, so I’ve been thinking ‘What’s the fucking point?’ – but I’ve also been thinking that perhaps the point is Integrity. I’m not entirely convinced yet, but I’m going to stick with that for the moment. The rest of the sad, uninspired, uncaring herd may carry on as normal, rationalising their apathy with societal norms, but I shall continue to be the mad cow. And proud of it.