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Of Pink, Animal Rights and Animal Welfare

Pop star Pink recently called for a boycott of Australian wool because of the hideously-mutilating practice of mulesing (hacking chunks of skin from the back end of the sheep to discourage flies), and then she more recently apologized:

My message was, in my mind, boycott animal cruelty, not an entire industry, not Australia, because it’s my favorite country.

This is not the message of an animal-rights advocate; it’s the message of an animal welfare advocate. Animal rights advocates DO boycott entire industries, as we don’t think animals are ours to use. Mulesing is admittedly horrible, but implicit in demanding its prohibition is that it’s okay to produce, raise, and slaughter the sheep–as long as you don’t do that horrible, buttocks-cutting stuff.

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