In the cruel and disgusting upper class world of hunting, people on horseback chase after and kill, for fun, that most loveable of all animals – the fox.
So it wasn’t without some amusement that I read in the news this week that an urban fox had attacked and bitten a child in London, and that children up and down the country whose parents feed them ready meals have been, without them knowing it, eating horses.
Predictably the first response from the xenophobic Tory government to the horse meat scandal was to blame the foreigners – in this case Romanian meat plants. The Romanian prime minister immediately denied responsibility, pointing out that if the meat had been from Romanian plants it would have been contaminated with rabbit and baked hedgehog. And he turned out to be right. The dodgy meat was from two British abattoirs who had been passing off horse as beef.
Personally I find it very annoying. If I’m going to spend 72p for a pack of twelve beefburgers from Iceland I expect them to contain 100% qualityAberdeen Angus beef, but horsemeat isn’t going to do people any harm. There are no health reasons for not eating horse, just moral objections fuelled by the pro-hunt lobby, who use horses along with dogs as weapons of mass destruction against the hapless fox.
Oddly enough, although they don’t eat dogs, they don’t seem to be too concerned about them being used for animal experimentation. I first became an animal rights activist when I saw on the TV the terrible story of the beaglesat the Huntingdon Life Science Laboratory who were forced to smoke up to forty cigarettes a day to measure the impact on their lungs.
Thank goodness for the selfless actions of animal rights activists who tirelessly protest against all those involved in animal experimentation. These selflessindividuals protest peacefully against all forms of animal cruelty. Take Darley Oaks Farm, for example. They were making huge profits by breeding guinea pigs for animal experimentation. Animal rights activists focused upon that barbaric institution and, as I’m sure no right thinking animal lover would deny, took the very reasonable and measured step of digging up the grave of the mother in law of the owner Chris Hall and stealing her body(which has never been recovered.) Inevitably the fascist state disagreed and the valiant activists were sent to prison - but I’m sure animal lovers everywhere will raise a glass to salute the actions of the heroic body snatchers.
But although I am, of course, outraged by experiments on animals, there is one form of animal cruelty which angers me and my fellow animal rights activists more than anything else – hunting!
I clearly remember the first time I saw the disgusting sight of a hunt. I was out ferreting for rabbits and had just released my ferret into a rabbit hole when the hunt rode past in pursuit of a fox. I shouted out a few obscenities as they swept past, leaving them in no doubt as to what I thought about their cruel sport, but before I could pick something up and throw it at them I was distracted by my ferret backing out of the burrow pulling a squealing baby rabbit out by the eye socket.
Hunting has now, which one might expect in a civilized society, been banned -but the ban has made no difference at all – the hunts still go on!
Upper class toff hunters claim that they no longer hunt foxes, but chase after a man who runs across fields dragging a rag behind him which has been dipped in fox urine, but very often the hounds veer off and chase after and kill a real fox.
The hunt community – every single one of them an upper class toff – claim that there is nothing wrong with hunting – that fox numbers need to be controlled and hunting is the most humane way to do it. They also claim that killing foxes by hunting means the fittest survive and only the weak and old are killed. What sort of an argument is that? It sounds positively Nazi – just kill the weak and the old and preserve the Aryan foxes! If foxes do need to be culled it should be done in the most humane way – by shooting, trapping or poison – not by posh people on horseback with packs of hounds.
The only way to make fox hunting humane would be to use the beagles from the Huntingdon Life Science Laboratory. After a lifetime on forty fags a day there would be no chance of any of them catching a fox, especially as they’d have to stop at every other field for a fag. But the pro-hunt lobby wouldn’t accept that – what they want is blood –they need to kill the fox so they can cut off its tail and smear its blood on their kids’ faces.
Of course the pro-hunt lobby claim that opposition to hunting is inspired by class prejudice and not by a genuine love of the fox. “Why not ban other activities like ferreting or fishing?” They bleat.
Well I’ll tell them why. Ferreting is a harmless working class pursuit which is an integral part of their culture.
I explained that to David Cameron when I bumped into him last week inPoundland.
“Well what about fishing?” he demanded. “Why not ban that as well?”
“Because fishing involves millions of working class people and is entirely harmless to the fish themselves,” I spat back.
“Entirely harmless?” the Prime Minister scoffed. “Having great hooks ripped into their lips.”
“Fish have no nerves in their mouths,” I held my ground.
“But it’s been estimated,” Cameron would not let up, “that over a million fish a year are killed as a result of swallowing the hooks. How can you call that entirely harmless?”
“You’re missing the point,” I was becoming agitated by Camerons’ constant badgering, “fishing is a working class sport enjoyed by millions, as is ferreting. Hunting is a posh sport, which is why it should be banned. So, for that matter, should other posh sports like polo, hockey, lacrosse and the fieldgame.”
“So let me get this right,” said Cameron, “is the anti-hunt lobby inspired by a love of animals or a hatred of upper class people?”
“Both,” I replied, “we love all animals and hate all upper class people.”
“All animals? “Cameron scoffed. “What about insects like flies, wasps and ants? Supermarket shelves are stocked with thousands of sprays and poisons dedicated to killing insects, as well as slugs, mice and rats. Why don’t you demonstrate against those products?”
“Because those animals aren’t cute like a fox,” I replied, “and the use of items like slug pellets is not an exclusive upper class activity.”
“So let me get this right,” said Cameron, “you don’t object to cruelty against animals by the working classes but only by posh people.”
“That’s about right,” I replied, “unless it’s for religious reasons.”
“Cruelty for religious reasons?” the Prime Minister sounded confused.
“Absolutely,” I said, “some religions believe that you can’t eat an animal unless you hang it upside down by its hind legs, slit its throats and let it bleed to death.”
“And you don’t object to that?” Cameron sounded incredulous.
“Absolutely not,” I replied, “in the pecking order of liberal causes religious tolerance trumps animal rights any day.”