The ludicrousness of animal rights zealotryLast weekend I was sheltering from the wind and rain at Damo's Spring barbecue when I got chatting to a couple of Australian vets, who are living and working in London. Vets are on a good wicket here - especially Australian ones. This couple were in the enviable situation of having two cars and two flats because both had jobs which came with a car and accommodation. Given that they actually wanted to live together, this had led to a strange decrease in their quality of life, given that no matter which flat they are living in they have to be up and out by 8.30am to move the other car out of the resident parking zone, or feed the parking meter. But that's not my point.
They were telling me that Australian vets are very much in demand in the UK becuase they have been trained to do surgery on live animals. There was a slight pause in the conversation at that moment - which they seemed to be expecting, I think they were used to it - before I said, "I'm sorry, are you telling me that an English vet student can be a vet without any surgical training." Yes they said. English vets never do surgery on a live animal until they are let loose on the world and people are paying for their services. I asked why, and they explained that because of the animal liberation movement, British vet students don't do surgery on live animals. Australians do, therefore, people running veterenary clinics like to hire Australians, who have surgical experience, over English, who do not.
So, I said, it's concievable that a caring animal liberationist protester could accidentally run over a fox on the way home from terrorising some poor farmer. They could carefully lie the wounded animal on a blanket - covering its eyes to keep it calm - and gently place it in the back of the car, and drive it carefully to the local vet. Once at the vet they could discover that the vet has never actually done surgery on a live animal before, and thus may be more dangerous to the fox than its original injuries. The couple nodded in agreement.