“The Emperor wishes me to send my innocent little lamb to the slaughter. ”
― S.J. Kincaid
According to Jan O’Connell in her blog, ‘The Australian Food History Timeline’, in 2005 in response to declining lamb sales, the Australian Meat and Livestock Corporation recruited former Australian Rules footballer and media personality Sam Kekovich to be their “Lambassador“. Ms O’Connell states, ‘ The first 90-second diatribe condemned vegetarians as un-Australian. Annual rants have continued to promote lamb for Australia Day, resulting in a spike in lamb sales in the week leading up to the national holiday. In my youth, Australia Day used to be a pretty tame affair, mainly taken up with naturalisation ceremonies, flag-raising and speeches. There was the odd re-enactment of the arrival of the First Fleet at Port Jackson and, of course, there was a public holiday, but I don’t remember lamb being on the menu.’
Some weeks ago we received a call from a contact located in the west of Victoria. A number of sheep, part of a flock being loaded on a transport destined for the abattoir, were ‘left over’ (ie they could not be squeezed onto the already heavily laden truck). By way of being an inconvenience, their lives were saved. Fortunately there was someone nearby who could take them, and through them, we were contacted. Although we have taken in so many sheep this season, and our paddock feed is drying up…we were their lifeline and so we agreed to give the five young wethers a safe destination.
Transport was not available until this week, and poignantly, as thousands of other young sheep faced fear, terror and slaughter, these five sheep arrived to safety, to live out their natural lives together.
Although fearful after their journey, already they are responding to us (with Weetabix as always our helper), and starting to settle.
Being Australian, being a ‘good’ Australian, does not need us to embrace the slaughter of innocent animals. Our lambs are for loving…….