The lady doth protest too much, methinks

Tiny Tash is writing a letter to Tesco to protest against their harsh treatment of amphibians.  I wish I could say that I’d had a direct hand in this but it is entirely her own idea.  She’s even designed a header for her letter with a picture of a tortoise on it and she refers to Tesco as “an evil shop”. 

Cake Worm responded to this by claiming that it doesn’t do any good to protest because it doesn’t change anything.

How did I manage to raise someone as cynical as this?

The Hildy (who is faster off the mark than I am) cited Rosa Parks and her refusal to give up a bus seat to a white man in 1955.  Her protest prompted a mass black boycott of buses and was instrumental in raising racial awareness issues in North America.

Now Cake Worm is aware that one person can make a difference and Tiny Tash is ready to take on the world in the defence of amphibians at nine years old.  I didn’t start protesting till I was a student and we marched against the poll tax.

All is well in the hoverFrog household.

What rouses you to protest?

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “The lady doth protest too much, methinks

  1. M

    Obviously, Mr Frog, I see your point with this issue. And reading the links from the page – I am equally disgusted… however from what I read, all Tesco has done is bought into an existing supermarket chain. They haven’t bought into something and gone “Ooooh, I know what’ll be a good idea” – they’ve bought into the stores that were there and have been content to let them run as they were, with the practices and methods that were employed prior to Tesco getting involved with them. What does the protest aim to do? To have Tesco withdraw from China? If they do that, the process will still go on. To have Tesco loose the slaughter of live animals from the stores (assuming that Tesco has that degree of control over what goes on) – they do that and people will go elsewhere – the process will continue; just not in those stores; assuming those stores survive without that part of the business.

    The articles refer to a general lack of animal rights in China. Could one chain of stores change a culture? I’d say no.

    I think Cake worm is right to be cyncial. in 1955 there was more going on than one woman refusing to give up her seat. It was the combination of many forces moving towards a point which was waiting for a trigger; Rosa was the trigger. Change happened.

    In this country; we breed animals for food. I don’t know about humane killing; but I know that watching the “F word” the other night, seeing a stunned pig being bled to death turned my stomach. What is the difference between this and the practices in China – except for the fact that they don’t bleed the pig at the counter and then wrap it ready to be scanned at the checkout.

    You’re a vegetarian Mr Frog; you’ve already made your stand against these things (I know not your reasons – but it’s not important – you’ve chosen to live meat free and aren’t adding to the slaughter of animals in this country) – you and many others have done the same thing. Hundreds. Thousands of others. And yet the country isn’t meat free. People still tuck into their stakes, their pork, their chicken. And we know that there are degrees of “accepted abuse” where the nature of “humanely raising for slaughter” is pushed as close to the boundaries of what we think will suffice; when really, I doubt for all the talk and muster we’re being all that humane about things. But. But when we can’t even change the country we’re in. When we’ve either given up or, like religion, allowed people to live the lives they chose even when they go against our own beliefs… How can we make change happen in another country? And what right does someone like me, who eats meat, have saying that another country who does essentially what we do here – but with cuter animals – and at the counter (is this any different from those who chose their live sea food in those restraunts that do that sort of thing?) – what right do I have to say “stop doing that” when I am not going to stop doing what I do? It would be hugely hypocritical of me. So should I just accept that people in other parts of the world have a right to have a culture that is different to ours. That they have things that they do that turn my stomach, that I do not agree with; but it is part of their culture and they should be allowed to continue.

    Politically, do we have any influence on their actions?
    Why will they listen to us?

    Mas – cynic or realist?

  2. M

    hmm. it didn’t like my comment. (although wordpress says “no, no, you’ve already said that” when I tried re-posting it… obviously I exceeded my valid point threshhold or something)

    Mas

  3. Two things make me think of protesting –

    1. People who think climate change is the fault of cars and their emissions.
    2. The government.

    Sadly I only protest about #2 on polling day.

  4. Mas, you got caught as spam. I’m very disappointed Mas. I’d never have put you down for a spammer. Bad Mas.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say that NO we should not accept elements of society that we find repulsive. If we see someone doing something we consider wrong then we should say something about it. Either they will stop, we will learn that our pre-conceived notions are wrong or nothing will happen. I suspect a lot of the latter but hope for a bit of the former two.

    Like any business Tesco operate to make a profit. If they make less of a profit by following unwholesome practices then they will stop them. For them it is a matter of economics.

    Rich, climate change is the fault of Americans, everybody knows that. You can protest against the government at any time but you do need to fill out a form first.

  5. The Chinese eat tortoises AND frogs? They really will eat anything.

    Did you know, by the way, that there is an honest-mr-hoverfrog blog on 20six at the moment that advertises porn? I spotted it last night when it popped up on most recently blogged.

    I’d agree that protest usually changes nothing, but I stick firm to Minority Influence Theory, by which I mean that I feel it’s important to show dissent rather than give tacit acceptance. At least the one stands some chance of changing things. Would I still have marched as part of the million against the Iraq war even if I knew it would change nothing? – Yes. Would I still have written to my MP, only to receive a central-party ‘party pack’ of notes defending Labour’s stance on the war, if I’d known what I’d get in return? – Yes. Would I do it again tomorrow? – Yes. Why? To show others that certain things matter and that they should matter to them too.

  6. M

    (I thought that would happen – must have been the meaty content of my comment)
    I agree with saying “no” to elements of society we find utterly morally reprehensible… however, what is “our society” ? Those of us in England have a very British upbringing (whatever that constitutes now-adays) and therefore we belong to a British society; however those in China by the same logic, belong to a Chinese society. Whilst we may belong to a large “human race” society, these two societies are different and are unique in their culture. By opposing a part of Chinese society are we by virtue of our actions discriminating against Chinese culture and putting ourselves above them “because we do not behave the way they do” ; similar ideas were touted by Hilter and look where that led!

    As to Tesco… well.. yes, they are after the profit margins – but their behaviour in other countries… well… not even their behaviour – the supermarket chain they bought into’s behaviour… it’s not out of place for that society. For that culture. For any sort of protest to dent Tesco and for them to take notice, everyone in the country would need to boycott the stores. Which will never happen. And should we be protesting? Should we not be addressing our concerns to the Chinese government rather than Tesco who is just one of many suppliers (and like I said previously, anything Tesco does would be pointless as demand would be met by other companies; just not one with British Branches we can wave our placards outside of.)

    But like I said. I still eat meat; and I doubt very much that for all our claims of “humane killing” that they are treated any better than their Chinese counterparts. At the end of the day, they’re still being bred, raised, overfed and murdered for food. I would feel hypocritical protesting when I’m allowing the same thing to go on here; and I accept the same thing going on here because I enjoy the end product.

    Mas

  7. M

    Also; consider other protests towards the Asian region. Have they had any effect? Sharks are still being killed for the fins despite it being illegal to do so, endagered mammals like Tigers and Rhinos are being hunted and killed for tiny parts of them to be ground to make medicinal products. All illegal. But for all the effort we’ve gone to it’s still going on and will continue to go on.
    Supply and demand.

    Mas

  8. Oink, really. That’s terrible. I deleted my old one over there a few weeks ago. Nice to see that 20six have made head ways on the spam problem since the platform change. 🙂

    I haven’t been on a proper march since we had kids though. It’s difficult to get baby sitters and it often got quite…boisterous…during some of the protests I went on. I can still whinge in writing though.

    Mas, just because it still goes on doesn’t mean we should stop protesting against it. In fact it’s more reason that ever to make a fuss. It may be part of Chinese culture to eat tortoise, dog and shark and I think if your going to eat meat then why limit yourself to cows, chickens and pigs. However, there is every reason in the world to ensure that the quality of life of these so called “food animals” is as good as can reasonably be expected. What sort of society is it that keeps animals in small cages unable to move about? An unpleasant one I feel. It’s important too that we don’t over farm the resources so that they become extinct. That’s just being sensible about it.

    I also think that a great number of people eat meat in ignorance as to how it is farmed. Raising awareness is an important byproduct of protest.

  9. I’m almost of the opinion that every meat-eater should have to prove they can kill an animal so that they can truly know where their meat is coming from. I’ve never had the chance, but I do make sure that I eat free range meat whenever I can (restaurants, such as the lovely Japanese Canteen, ruin this one only a bit) and only ever buy organic eggs.

    I was offered shark as ‘fish of the day’ in a pub a few days ago. I’m far too virtuous to have chosen it.

  10. M

    I think though, (if I ever have a point 🙂 ) that my point was that protesting here would do nothing; that even going over there with our size 9s on and waggling our finger and saying “you must do as we tell you” and getting laws put in place… it wouldn’t change the people, the culture.

    Like how saying “England will be smoke free beginning of July” doesn’t mean that everyone is suddenly going to stop smoking; or ever uphold the “no smoking in the work/public place rule” ( And how does that apply to smokers in prison ? ) I think that that is my point; that we have laws – international law has been put in place for lots of things, but, like smoking; people like the way things are and will continue to follow old patterns – even if the world legislates against them. Which is what history shows. Like you say, raising awareness is part of protesting. But, like packets of cigarettes that have “Smoking will kill you slowly and painfully…” emblazened upon on, people do not have to listen to what is being shown. They can ignore and pretend their world is fine and hunkydory and keep on keeping on with whatever it is they chose to do.

    People (mass generalisation here) see farm animals as unintelligent beasts created for the sole purpose of feeding ourselves. Because of this, we can ignore their treatment, how they’re kept; they’re just dumb, stupid beasts and … yadda, yadda, yadda. We know they’re not. We know that pigs, for example, are highly intelligent – at least as intelligent as dogs if not moreso. But their stupidity is a convienient lie that makes it easier for us to live with ourselves and not question things. Just as how they’re put to death. We believe that it is humane. We believe that research has been done to find the most calm way to put these animals down prior to cutting them to joints and shipping them to the supermarkets. But I don’t know. Swine and cattle are stunned and bled (to death); looking online (answers.com) other animals are asphyxiated – neither of which sound humane to me. I mean, if the “captive bolt” is so humane, why aren’t US death row prisoners killed this way instead of lethal injection or electrocution?

    Convienient lies. We believe things are just fine as they are; but when we question the cultures of others, we should really look at ourselves first before casting any stones.

    Mas

  11. Is someone suggesting that the US puts death row prisoners down humanely?

    I also can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to this smoking ban. I’m going to skip down the road singing ‘I WIN, I WIN, I WIN!!!’ when it takes effect.

  12. M

    And Oink, there is something to be said for that. To kill (raise and kill?) what we eat. British, and American, society consumes far too much meat in my opinion; and it’s not the full range of meat products; simply the ones most palatable to ourselves – leading to the creatures being raised to promote growth in those areas that are of great popularity; the rest wasted or turned into animal feed or what-not.

    Mas

  13. M

    I think the whole idea of the methods used to kill… be it animals or humans – for whatever reason – I think it is inhumane in itself.

    The smoking ban will be useless though. People will still smoke. You’ll not be able to leave a smoke-free public place without encountering a wall of smoke as you exit from all the smokers no-longer allowed inside. The bus shelters here have “there will be no smoking in here” – which just means the smokers will smoke around the shelter, smoke will still go into the shelter – it’s not like there’s a magical invisible anti-smoke wall that will stop the passage of the smoke

    and so on and so on.
    Smokers are one of the few minorities whose rights are diminishing and being eroded; we may not agree with it, we may not like it – but smokers are the lepers of this century

    Mas

  14. The smoking ban that I already encountered when I was last in Dublin was fantastic. I went home not smelling of smoke and could easily have worn my clubbing clothes two days in a row. I was more than happy to pass the people stood outside smoking in the doorways.

    As I see it, smoking is an addictive habit that by its very nature erodes acceptable standards. There is no such thing as a considerate smoker – there are more and less considerate smokers, I admit – as true consideration would involve just not smoking around non-smokers at all. And there is absolutely nothing worse than walking behind someone who’s smoking as they walk – that for me is the height of rudeness. I’m happy that standards are being imposed – they’ve been a long time coming.

  15. Mrs Piggermann, I completely agree. All children should be dragged to a slaughterhouse to witness the killing of the food animals and to participate in their slaughter before being allowed to eat lunch on their first day. We’d have a nation of vegetarians in no time.

    Not really. I imagine the trauma would be intolerable but the point is that quite a lot of people don’t associate meat with animals. Part of this is semantics and I blame the french for introducing the word “pork” into the English language rather than pig or swine.

    Mas, I believe that protesting and refusing to participate in something I view as wrong will change a few minds. Maybe not overnight and maybe not many but it only takes the right voice at the right time to change the world.

    I think I’ve just brought a single salty tear to my sentimental eye.

  16. Smoking. Pah!

    I too am happy to see a ban and look forward to extending it to public places rather than merely buildings.

    Lepers don’t get to choose their disease. Smokers do.

    I really want a magical invisible anti-smoke wall. Where can I get one?

  17. M

    pork, bacon, gammon, ham, pepperoni, salami, white and black pudding… the pig is a magnificent beast that provides us such variety of food stuffs – none of which are directly called “pig” – but how about other animals?

    beef, veal… um… that’s it for cows

    mutton, lamb … that’s it for sheep; although at least one of the “meats” refers to the animal

    chicken… duck… they obviously got bored of this “names of meat thing” when they hit poultry; ditto for fish… and that’s the way it is until they came up with venison for deer meat.

    Just interesting.
    And you are not wrong Mr Frog; it just takes one person at the right time and change will happen.

    Mas

  18. Birds never get any respect. Nor do fish. Maybe it’s a size thing.

  19. It’s an empathy thing. I’ve already killed crustaceans and I reckon I could kill a bird before a mammal. I hope I don’t chicken out when it’s time, else I’ll have to give up eating that meat.

  20. You giving up cock would be a shock to the world Mrs Piggermann. Your love of cock (hot and spicy) is well documented and has been discussed at length. Of course, cock is not for me and neither is pork sausage. I much prefer to eat things that flower.

  21. I did that for five years, but eventually I decided that it wasn’t for me either. I just don’t have an issue with eating animals so long as they’ve been happy when alive.

  22. Fabulous

    Brilliant. Today Tesco and tomorrow the world. Ever little helps!

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