The singing to sheep bit was weird.

And so it would be easy to dismiss animal right's protester Sandra Kyle as somebody at the extreme end of a debate that probably most of us have mixed feelings about.

Every Saturday Kyle stands outside the city's slaughter house and sings to the sheep. She carries a placard with a simple request to stop killing animals.

Read more: Whanganui woman holds vigils for animals being slaughtered


A stock truck driver became upset at her and that's understandable. It's not his fault. He needs a job. Perhaps he too has reservations about the job that he does? But paying rent and putting food on the table are compelling factors to not think too deeply about it.

It is not uncommon for people to think about becoming vegan or vegetarian at some stage in their lives.

When we hunted our meals it was okay – the natural order of things – we are designed to eat meat after all.

But once we began farming the likes of sheep and cattle for meat, the ethics changed.

Whanganui has many vegans and vegetarians who have adapted to a non-meat lifestyle.

But while many others consider it, most find it too hard.

That's because it takes a commitment, meal planning, a lot of shopping around, and work.

Society is not designed for non-meat eaters. Our country is built on meat production.


We can not expect to drop an industry whose demise would cause an economic upheaval.

So is there a realistic alternative?

In time, perhaps. Lab grown meat is making promising strides, for example.

For now we need people like Kyle to remind us that just because some things are a certain way, we should not stop looking for better ways.

Perhaps one day a meatless society could be possible.

Now that would be something to sing about.