PETA logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I must confess my ignorance! I had no idea that ANIMALS were used in military training exercises. Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) have said the training involves the “shooting, stabbing and breaking the bones of live pigs and other animals.” Animal rights campaigners have urged the EU to investigate the British military’s “cruel” use of live animals in battlefield surgery training exercises…specifically, “deadly medical trauma training”. Forces involved include not just the British, but American, Danish, Norwegian and Polish militaries too.
The ‘ethical’ argument ‘supporting’ this animal cruelty is that “the men and women who risk their lives in battle deserve the best possible training.” I do understand the methodology behind this practice…pigs being anatomically similar to humans, but I don’t like it! Are they not considered intelligent beasts? The anticipation of injury must be almost as stressful as the injury itself!
Peta said “sending soldiers to participate in reprehensible exercises that inflict severe injury and death on pigs does not improve the preparedness of the UK’s military medical teams.” That’s Peta’s ‘opinion’…they may be right, or not! Either way, is it ‘unnecessary’ harm if it saves a soldier’s life?
Interestingly, well, for me at least, British army doctors who are trained in battlefield surgery, are trained not in the UK, but at a Danish facility where…according to The Ministry of Defence, animals are heavily anaesthetised and handled humanely by veterinary staff during training exercises. BOLLOCKS! You cannot block out FEAR of death or fear of severe injury!
Peta have claimed the training violates EU laws that say animals must not be used when other options – such as life-like human-patient simulators or mannequins are available. If that’s Peta’s argument, then its a weak argument, and is unlikely to be upheld. Human-patient simulators and mannequins cannot recreate authentic battlefield injuries. For this, blood must pump, and organs must fail. Economics come into play too. A pig may cost £20-£30, which is a lot less than £250,000 to £500,000 for a simulator.
In a letter to the European Commission director-general for environment, Karl Falkenberg, Peta makes the point that the militaries of 22 of the 28 Nato nations, including 19 other EU states, are currently using exclusively NON-ANIMAL trauma training models. This may be so, however, over the last 20 years it’s mainly been the American and British military forces who have fought in great numbers. Supported by many other countries, yes, but in no way in the same numbers. On the other hand, since most of our recent losses/injuries have been incurred from IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices), I can’t see how shooting a pig is going to provide any new information on how to treat this particular battlefield injury?
At the end of the day, we are talking here about animal TORTURE, and I don’t agree with it one little bit. I’ve often said, I judge people by how they treat animals. I certainly wouldn’t want to befriend any of the ‘pig-stickers’, and no doubt they wouldn’t want to befriend me!
Peta says, “The Ministry of Defence has been sending recruits to Denmark to take part in drills in which live pigs are lined up at a firing range and shot with high-velocity bullets. Some of the animals sustain organ injuries and multiple bone fractures – any who survive are later killed. It’s perfectly possible to maintain a first-class modern military without abusing and mutilating animals in the process.” Actually, it may not be, however…again…since most modern conflicts are won from the air, not the ground, I see no earthly reason to ever send in the infantry. We only manage to subdue a perceived enemy for a short period of time before pulling out. Anyway, hasn’t modern warfare become ridiculously expensive? A cruise missile costs in excess of $1million to buy…more to actually fire. The target often has a book value of only a few thousand dollars. I don’t see the ‘value’ in knocking out a twentieth-century building with twenty-first century ordnance. After all, it is you and I as hard-working taxpayers who pay for the damn weapons.
In 2012, Peta uncovered shocking video footage showing training instructors hired by the US military breaking and cutting off the limbs of live goats with tree trimmers, stabbing the animals, and pulling out their internal organs. I admit to cowardice. I couldn’t possibly watch that!
You know of course, if there is ever a ‘day of reckoning’, among other things, the Human race will be held to account for the way we have treated members of the animal kingdom!
We have destroyed their habitats in order to build on the land, farm the land, drill for oil on the land, chop down tree for paper, timber and book shelves.
We have hunted species to extinction for sport.
We slaughter animals for their skin, fur and horns.
We rear them in inhumane conditions for food.
We enslave them (zoos).
We have trained them to carry mines.
We experiment on them in order to produce safe-to-wear cosmetics, and to find cures for human diseases in order that we might live longer, only for the government to turn around and say it can’t afford for us to live longer.
Now we use animals as TARGET practice! Well done us! God, I sound so wet…but I’d die for my dog, and if I had a pet pig, well, I’d die for my pig too!
*Apologies for the length of this post. I guess I got carried away.