In September 2018, broadcaster and naturalist Chris Packham launched ‘A People’s Manifesto for Wildlife‘ at an event in London.
The Manifesto had been compiled because of Chris’s feeling that the destruction of wildlife and the environment had become normalised. On his website he wrote that, “It’s time to wake up. We must rouse ourselves from this complacent stupor, because we are presiding over an ecological apocalypse and precipitating a mass extinction in our own backyard. But – vitally – it is not too late. There is hope we can hold to, and there is action we can take.“
To promote the Manifesto on social media, Chris – and of course many of the supporters of the ideas it held – used the hashtag #waronwildlife.
In the summer of 2019 a group of us met in Poole, Dorest and wondered whether it was time to resurrect the hashtag and sentiments behind the manifesto. Lush had been working on numerous recycling and regeneration projects for many years and had a strong tradition of supporting ethical campaigns and organisations. The company is well-known for its strong stance against cosmetic testing and animal cruelty in laboratories, and the £250,000 Lush Prize (a global prize fund to support initiatives to end or replace animal testing).
We felt that a team supported by Lush could enhance and expand on the strong principles embedded in the company by adding a focus on the ethical issues surrounding wildlife. We could use the concept of a ‘war on wildlife’ as a ‘container’ for the work several of us were already doing producing podcasts, videos, and articles to highlight our conservation/animal welfare/animal rights concerns.
The War on Wildlife Project was launched a few weeks later.
The War on Wildlife Project exists to help tackle what we see as the ‘war on wildlife’. This is a very broad term of course, but humanity’s impact on the planet and its wildlife is broad. We take a largely ethically-based approach – we consider exploitation and abuse of wildlife (especially for so-called ‘sport’) to be wrong. We believe that it is the ‘extremists’ that kill, not the people who work to stop that killing. For us the individual animals matters as much as the population. Protection must include compassion. Animals are sentient beings and our treatment of them must include a recognition of that.
While the war is global, we’re a very small UK-based team and do therefore tend to write and react to stories and articles from close to home.
We feel that tackling the war requires information, for us to challenge the status quo, and to be willing to see things through a different lens. Not everyone will agree with our analysis or comment, but we hope that our thinking will strike a chord, inspire debate, and – hopefully – action.
Please note that we can also offer help or advice with external websites, sound recordings (as we did with Bob Berzin’s ‘Snared’ audiobook), and podcasts. We wouldn’t normally charge a fee for that work if it comes under our remit to ‘help tackle the war on wildlife’.
Our website features original analysis and comment as well as publishing press-releases we think will be of interest to readers. The site is updated regularly and we want it to be a ‘hub’, a place to discuss solutions to the ‘war on wildlife’ and support each other in that effort. It is also intended to provide a platform for like-minded individuals and organisations. Somewhere that birders tackling poaching could share their work with volunteers counting moths and butterflies, where animal rights people could ‘meet’ the people working to remove pesticides from general use, where whale and dolphin supporters could interact with hunt monitors and botanists.
We work on the principle that outcomes (like changing opinions or bringing a different perspective to our readers) are always more important than who gets the credit! The War on Wildlife Project is not just ‘ours’ it’s intended to be ‘all of ours’, so we welcome guest posts (and in fact some of our guest posts are the most widely read articles on the site!).
We are all for free speech and forthright opinion, but we do have legal responsibilities so stipulate some fairly standard conditions:
- We reserve the right to turn down or not publish contributions.
- We reserve the right to offer suggestions and/or to edit contributions for content/accuracy etc.
- We will not condone acts of violence or condone criminal damage.
- We will not publish hate speech or abusive or unfounded attacks on individuals named within a post.
If you would like to contribute a guest post please contact us using the form in the footer of this site. We prefer posts to be sent to us in Word format (or similar) with separate images. Please include relevant links and a short bio we can use to introduce the post. Please note that if you’d like edits made after publishing we will do our best to help. And of course, a guest post remains the copyright of the author: should an author want a post removing let us know and we will take it down as soon as possible.
Subscribing to our website
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We welcome comments from readers on our posts and podcasts. They can be valuable contributions and discussion points. However, not unexpectedly our content and opinion can act as a ‘trigger’ for certain commentators, so all comments will be moderated before publishing. We also reserve the right to edit or delete comments, and our decision is final. If you’re unhappy with how we’ve edited your comment before publishing it, tell us and we’ll take the comment down.
Please use the contact form in the footer of the website. Messages go to a secure UK server that hosts the website and will be answered as soon as possible (though if you’re spamming or trolling your message will be deleted and not answered). We treat all messages as confidential and will never pass information on unless specifically asked to or given permission to.
The War On Wildlife Project and website is managed by a small online team coordinated by Charlie Moores. Charlie co-founded the group Birders Against Wildlife Crime and is a former trustee of the League Against Cruel Sports. He began podcasting under the banner Talking Naturally and has been working with Lush since 2015.