This is an interesting voice recording of Mr Paul ‘Pen’ Farthing, the founder and manager of the Nowzad animal rescue charity, who, with his cats and dogs, evacuated Afghanistan via Kabul airport on a privately chartered plane yesterday at 4:30 PM after an enormous effort. He claims that the MoD obstructed his evacuation and that of the animals. He said that Nowzad staff could also have been evacuated if the MoD had performed better. He blames Peter Quentin who is the special adviser to Ben Wallace the Defence Secretary of the UK. I believe that the recording is of Mr Farthing threatening Peter Quentin (confirmed). This has been mentioned before but this is the first time the audio recording has come to light. It was unearthed by a journalist.
Update Aug 30, 2021: Mr Farthing has apologised in an interview, on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, for his language. He said the rant was made when he was it a low point.
“I’m incredibly embarrassed about my language, I do apologise to everybody who’s listened to that.”
“I should not have said it like that, but the sentiment, yes, I was just incredibly upset, angry, frustrated, it was the lowest point. I had no other option, I didn’t know what else to do.”
“So that’s why you’ve probably heard some colourful language.”
Mr Farthing has been described by government officials as “the pet dick” and a defence source described Farthing as a “bully and a total wa**er”. The reference to “pet dick” comes from Jim Carrey’s character in the film Ace Ventura, Pet Detective.
My view is that Mr Farthing is a forceful character which is an asset. He would not have achieved the amazing things he has without that strong character.
People are polarised on this. I am totally for Mr Farthing because he was in a desperate situation. It was life-threatening both to him and his animals. His staff are also in very difficult circumstances. He had struggle for a very long time to evacuate the animals and himself. But it is bringing into question whether animals should be prioritised over people under these circumstances.
In the audio recording you will hear Mr Farthing saying that he will destroy Peter Quentin if he didn’t get him out of Afghanistan with his staff and his animals. He said he would:
“Spend the rest of my time f***ing destroying you on social media and every other f***ing platform I can find.”
A debate is raging about it. And we know that the world is polarised on animal sentience and animal rights. And therefore, you will get people who disagree strongly with Mr Farthing in the way that he is threatening a government minister. On the other hand, there are many who totally agree with him and I am one of those.
Perhaps the key to this debate is the fact that Mr Farthing made arrangements for a privately chartered aircraft to evacuate his animals. It was paid for by private donations. The taxpayer was not involved. In other words, he was providing, to the evacuation process, extra capacity. In doing so, I think he had the right to use that capacity to carry his animals to safety. Indeed, he was offering some of the redundant space on that aircraft to anybody who wanted to use it.
The Sunday Times has reported on the story in a big way. It also be noted that Mr Farthing said that the animals would go into the cargo hold which cannot be used by people. One critic is Charlie Herbert, a former major general who commanded British forces in Afghanistan. He said: “That dozens of interpreters and local staff appear to have been left behind while cats and dogs are evacuated is quite simply apparent”.
I wonder whether he knows the full story? If you know it and if you care about animal sentience and welfare then Mr Farthing’s rant is, I believe, justified. You have to do understand what he has been through. He has been under threat of death by the Taliban. On one occasion a Taliban fighter stuffed an AK-47 rifle barrel into his face. And his animals were under threat of dying inside a vehicle on the way to the airport because of the dire circumstances under which they were travelling.
Perhaps the bottom line to the argument is whether you really care about animals or you don’t. This story opens up the debate about the place of animals on this planet and within the human world. Do we really want to live with animals harmoniously or do we still want to use and abuse them for our entertainment, for financial profit or for food?
I will add to this page as and when I can but I will leave it there for the time being. I would appreciate your input in this debate.
SOME MORE ON NOWZAD AND MR FARTHING:
Live updates on Mr Farthing (Nowzad) getting out of Kabul with his approx. 200 animals as at 26 Aug. 8 PM GMT