Willis’ lads called conventional hard-working pupils “ear ‘oles” (on the grounds that they actually listened to teachers) while Mac an Ghaill’s macho lads labelled succeeding students, “dickhead achievers.” The lads favoured larking around, which they called “having a laff,” while the macho lads saw school as a means of “learning to be tough,” which involved rejecting the traditional 3 R’s (reading, writing and arithmetic) in favour of the 3 F’s (fighting, fucking and football).
In the 1980s I took part in an impromptu “inspection” of a “chicken processing plant” in Yorkshire, England. A group of animal advocates effectively stormed the place to “have a look around.” We found the chicken plant workers putting glue in chickens’ eyes and supergluing chickens to wooden posts and using them as cricket bats. Sociologically, along with impoverished immigrant workers, the men committing these rights violations were the lads and the macho lads.
Many animal advocates will have seen the numerous videos showing slaughterhouse employees, circus workers, and “farm hands” using other animals as baseballs, or stomping on small animals, or attacking large animals with sticks, prods, and iron bars. Some videos expose workers sexually abusing animals, or pushing or dragging “downed” animals to their deaths. Most likely, along with impoverished immigrant workers, these rights violations will also have been committed by lads and macho lads.
in 2011, then working for Farm Sanctuary, Bruce Friedrich showed a slideshow to AR2011. He sought to convince his audience that the sparkling new use facilities he highlighted (new chicken prisons and barns for calves) represented a major step forward in terms of animal welfare. As I also said last time, these new facilities did look “better” than the dirty old battery cages and veal crates he showed.
Are these brand new animal use facilities going to see the provision of brand new staffing arrangements? No, probably not – the animals will certainly still be left in the speciesist hands of lads and macho lads.
Will the new facilities be adequately monitored? Possibly, but probably not.
If they are monitored at all, they will be monitored by other speciesists. It is unlikely that animal advocates, Bruce Friedrich included, will be nipping around having a gander themselves and, even if they did, workers will know they’re on their way and more care will be taken – for the duration of the inspection.
I have worked in several “working class job locations," including steel works and car manufacturers, as well as being a cinema projectionist for many years. In the first two in particular, there were plenty of lads and macho lads. The only time one saw persons presenting as female persons outside of the work’s canteen, or as cleaners in office areas, was in the porn magazine pages sellotaped about the place. There were plenty of expressions of racism too, as many “rastas” worked at the car plant, while several Germans and Russians worked at the steel plant.
What has this to do with animal welfare regulation and reforms?
In the steel works and the car plant, the first thing that happened when managers or anyone else imposed new rules and regulations, was the finding of ways of getting around them. New rules were not adhered to as much as circumvented. There is a lot of sociology about what is supposed to happen in work locations as opposed to what actually goes on.
Cinemas are supposed to be regularly inspected by the local fire chief. When I was a projectionist, these inspections were few and far between and we always knew the fire chief was about because phone calls were made as he made his rounds. If he did happen to turn up with no warning, he was taken for a nice cup of tea while we cleared away all the things that were not supposed to be there. Fire chief inspections were a form of monitoring but they meant little in practice.
I wonder whether the middle class animal welfare advocates and their middle class political allies actually believe that the reforms they bring about mean something significant in practical terms? I’d love to be a fly-on-the-wall if ever Bruce Friedrich tried to convince the lads and the macho lads that the new “humane” facilities mean that, henceforth, the animals will be treated "nicely."
After each had stopped “ROTFLMAO,” I expect they’d just get on with their routine rights violations.