There's more to this apocolyptic year than mass murder, scientific quibbling, political manipulation, grief.

If there wasn't a basic insanity in us, in the way we see the world, the emotions we suppress, the suffering we ignore, we could never have toleratedthe live export trade. I didn't know about it.

Why not?

I didn't want to know. And those with stronger stomachs and deeper pockets played on that fear of suffering in me and millions like me. The live export trade led to the Foot and Mouth policy. The few who knew what was happening assumed that no one cared about animal suffering.

It looks as if they were right. But why don't we care? Why do we find it acceptable to treat animals as things?

We're all connected after all. It's natural to feel something when we see another creature in pain. Why don't we all say "This is intolerable. We cannot let it happen."?