Canadians pride themselves on being nice, but the country is a moral contradiction when it comes to animal rights, says a Brock University professor in a new book released this week.
More than half of Canadians have pets. Some churches conduct an annual “blessing of the animals.” But when it comes to animal rights, Canada is in the dark ages compared to some other countries, says John Sorenson, chair of Sociology at Brock, in his book About Canada: Animal Rights.
“Gandhi is quoted as saying ‘The greatness of a nation can be judged by how it treats animals,’” he said. “Then we look at how animals are really being treated in Canada. In comparison to 10 other countries, we come out at the bottom of the pile.”
Sorenson, one of the country’s foremost experts in Critical Animal Studies, argues that Canadians are opportunists who profit from advanced legislation passed in other countries. He points out that while the U.S. has banned the practice of slaughtering horses, in Canada, 112,887 horses were slaughtered in 2008 for uses like pet food, fertilizer and glue. This is supported by Agriculture Canada.
Sorenson cites other examples of animal exploitation such as factory farming, the fur trade, sport hunting, puppy mills and a lax Canadian Council on Animal Care code of ethics that issues a “blank cheque” to vivisectors.
About Canada: Animal Rights was launched this week. It is published by Fernwood Publishing.