Beasts of burden

Ghandi said: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated". A recent Chispa eco-day at the horse rescue centre CYD Santa Maria in Cartama served as a reminder that many people in our society would fall far short of greatness. Battery farming, circuses, the fur trade and blood sports, quite apart from casual cruelty to animals, are all, in my mind, moral compasses that indicate something profound about our society.
Even in Spain, where bull fighting is part of the cultural fabric, more enlightened members of the public are forcing the debate to question whether it has any part to play in a 21st century civilized country. Here in Andalucía there is a small but determined group of people trying to expose animal cruelty and establish basic levels of animal rights. When I look at natural systems of being and doing  they seem so much more logical and humane that I am surprised they are not adopted by everyone. In England an application for Europe’s largest indoor battery cattle farm is being considered that would allow the owner to keep over 8,000 cattle penned almost permanently in a barn – what does this attitude towards animals say about our society?
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