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Sorry Jacob Rees-Mogg, ‘personal choice’ is no excuse for buying fur or foie gras

By continuing to allow the sale of cruel products, we are torturing millions of animals for no reason. There is no difference between harming an animal yourself or paying something else to

Connor Jackson
Sunday 20 February 2022 12:50 GMT
I’ll gladly take Jacob Rees-Mogg to one of the many horrendous fur farms I’ve visited myself
I’ll gladly take Jacob Rees-Mogg to one of the many horrendous fur farms I’ve visited myself (Open Cages)

I agree with Jacob Rees-Mogg. It should be my personal choice whether I pay for the torture of defenceless animals.

It’s my personal choice to drop-kick my cat across the kitchen too. Rather than cracking down on violence towards animals with draconian animal welfare “laws”, let me make my own decisions. It’s not the government’s place to dictate how I live my life.

It should be up to me whether I buy a sick puppy from a filthy mill and watch him die of disease rather than adopt him from a shelter. Let’s overturn Lucy’s Law too, which requires all pets to be purchased from English breeders, because I don’t want to know where he came from. Currently, the rules are just too restrictive and inconvenient.

Why can’t I buy fresh cat meat in this country? It’s an outrage that these restrictions stop me from making my own decisions at the checkout. And what’s with these restrictions on dog farming? Why can’t I get an organic, free-range golden retriever from the supermarket? Why can’t I buy a chicken shed and squeeze tens of thousands of labradors inside for their entire lives? Ridiculous. Let the free market decide.

In all seriousness, perhaps these are the logical conclusions of Conservative Party ministers who are currently preparing to make a U-turn on their commitment to ban the sale of fur and foie gras. Thanks to them protecting our “personal choice”, we’ll soon be justifying pretty much any animal cruelty you can imagine. It’s a great result for those who long to do whatever they want regardless of the harm they cause.

Foie gras – a controversial “delicacy” – involves force-feeding a duck or goose with a metal pipe. The birds are made to ingest so much food that their liver becomes diseased and fatty. Sometimes the pipes are greased with engine oil.

To produce fur, wild animals like foxes and minks are confined to tiny barren cages their entire lives. Madness, cannibalism and chronic neglect are all common. Their lives end with anal electrocution or slow gassing. Animal charity Open Cages even filmed minks being beaten to death on a licensed fur farm. Foie gras and fur are illegal to produce in the UK. But you can still buy them here by paying someone else to do it for you overseas. It means Britain can appear animal friendly, while still supporting animal abuse under the table.

Either these ministers want to legalise animal abuse, or there’s an ulterior motive. It’s almost certainly part of an anti-woke agenda. The word “woke” is used here as a derogatory term for “someone who thinks that animals having metal pipes shoved down their throats on a daily basis is a bad thing”.

Animal welfare goes beyond political affiliation. Its value is proudly written into the Conservatives’ manifesto, right now as words only. So will this U-turn earn anti-woke votes? A staggering 1 million people have signed the petition to ban fur sales. An overwhelming 93 per cent of Brits reject wearing real animal fur completely. Nearly 300,000 have called for a ban on foie gras, and more restaurants are dropping it from their menus every year. The bans would be a win for everyone but the industries themselves, which are rapidly declining. This U-turn makes no sense.

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Animals have no voice in society. That’s why we can get away with confining them to crowded factory farms or beating them in our homes. We need better laws to protect them and disincentivise animal abuse. They cannot fight for themselves. Behind our “personal choice” is an extremely vulnerable victim.

Personal choice is no excuse to harm another, whether animal or human. By continuing to allow the sale of cruel products, we are harming millions of animals for no good reason. It doesn’t matter if you do it yourself or pay someone else to.

If ministers disagree, I’ll gladly take them to one of the many horrendous fur farms I’ve visited. I think if Rees-Mogg and his friends would see the haunted eyes of a starving fox circling in a tiny cage, surrounded by dead bodies and awaiting electrocution, they may finally join the 21st century.

Connor Jackson is the CEO of Open Cages. Sign the petitions to ban fur and foie gras

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