Category: Guest posts

Guest Post: Jane Smith | All Our Wild and Precious Lives

“Is there such a thing as wildlife? There’s definitely such thing as the Earth. There’s also such a thing as life on Earth. But doesn’t ‘wildlife’ imply an us-and-them situation? Are we ‘tamelife’? All of our human and pre-human ancestors came from the wild. But at what point did they stop being wild life, to become something else? Was it when we made fire? Was it when we started to speak with words? Was it when we started to own things? Our physical and spiritual connection to other species got very lost somewhere along the line. Nowadays, Nature is so often seen as a thing ‘out there’, with wildlife taken as ‘species out there’. It’s a separation mentality, and it’s not only unhelpful but it’s also untrue.” Guest post by Jane Smith, the UK’s first elected animal rights councillor.

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Guest Post | Clive Swinsco: Badgers – Defend Brock’s Clan

“Badgers are innocent! Unfortunately, however, their jury have been bribed and their judges are corrupt; therefore the mass execution of badgers continues. Political? Of course it’s political! Bloodsports are the ruling class “at play” and property development is one way the rich increase their wealth – Badgers are problematic “on both counts.” In spring 2020 (Vol. 38 No5) BBC Wildlife magazine published the article “Badgers – Out of the Woods?”…I responded in May – my letter was never published. There can be no doubt that the continued “official” killing of badgers by this government has given a killers/baiters “charter” to every sadist, hunter, ignorant farmer or mindless thug in the country; a carte blanche to persecute and kill any badger anywhere It’s what happens when you treat a species with abject contempt and cruelty ‘Out of the woods’? Certainly not. Not by a long way.” Guest post by Clive Swinsco

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Guest Post | Dominic Dyer: Fox hunting – political poison for the Tory Party

“Fox hunting is now political poison for the government. Covid 19 and the restrictions on public gatherings has caused huge financial damage to hunts in England, and many might not survive the pandemic. Those that do will find themselves increasingly shunned by public and politicians alike as they face increasing restrictions on their hunting activities. Like drink driving, hunting with hounds is no longer socially acceptable to the vast majority of people in Britain. The last 17 years has seen many twists and turns in the debate on fox hunting, but we might soon be able to say we have “Made Hunting History” once and for all.” Guest post by Dominic Dyer, Policy Advisor & British Wildlife Advocate at the Born Free Foundation & Board Member at Wildlife & Countryside Link.

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Guest Post | Hunting on Protected Sites – Another Natural England Cover Up?

“In October 2020 I saw a pack of hunting dogs rampaging over open moorland above Bradfield, South Yorkshire. Almost all Pennine moors are designated as conservation areas, administered by Natural England, the key Government adviser for nature and the environment. Bradfield Moors is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Protection Area for ground nesting birds and a Special Area of Conservation for rare blanket bog habitat. The landowner has banned the public from taking dogs onto this moor because of the threat to wildlife, so what was going on? I will be appealing to Natural England and the Information Commissioner to find out why enforcement action was not taken and ask Olivia Blake MP to get on the case as well. In my opinion, this is yet another example of Natural England overlooking illegal activity by rich landowners.” Guest post by Bob Berzins

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Guest Post | George Millins: Sizewell Nuclear Reptiles

“Plans to build twin fission reactors at Sizewell in Suffolk are a monstrous insult to the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Already a broad range of objections relates to how construction plans with thousands of workers will swamp this fragile place. There are safety concerns and plans for a permanent uranium isotope storage dump on the side of the beach. This lies next to a coastal sandbank that was formed by a storm surge in 1953 that has halved in size since 1995. The idea that the station will form an island in the sea is a distinct possibility, not a guess or a worst-case scenario. The effects of new roads and road traffic is a particularly nasty way in which wildlife is fragmented and then depleted in a landscape.” Guest post by George Millins

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Guest Post | ‘Gamebirds’ – Evading protection in law

“How is it that artificially-reared ‘gamebirds’ such as pheasants, commercially produced under industrial conditions, in no meaningful sense ‘wild’, and claimed to be reared for food, manage to evade the potential protections of both the Animal Welfare Act and of welfare at slaughter – regulations that society expects should apply to any other animal that meets these criteria?…Were they to be fully subject to such protections then, of course, their shooting for ‘sport’ would not be possible. This bizarre legal sleight of hand removes protection for pheasants in particular from major welfare harms, caused directly by their artificial rearing, by falsely representing them as wild and outside human control or responsibility.” Guest post.

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Guest Post | Badger Cull Monitor: ‘I am exhausted’

“When I’m out in the field, I can do something. I can save lives, I can engage myself with map-reading, and strategising, and hiding in hedgerows when a quad bike sounds in the distance, and crawling through ditches when voices can be heard just the other side of a hedge…But when I’m at home. When I’m sitting there, looking at that ‘write article on badger cull’ on my to-do list. When I stare at those words and instead of feeling able to begin typing I am immobilised by the blood I can see in my mind, the blood that clings to cages and to the mud beneath the cages. When I don’t know how to start and so instead my mind displays those videos of badgers playing and grooming together and I see a target on their heads and their hearts, and I can’t comfort them and I can’t tell them that I am sorry, I am so, so sorry for the way my species is treating them, for the way my species is slaughtering them and slicing off their ears and stuffing them into plastic bags and throwing them into plastic buckets and tossing them into an incinerator.” Guest Post by a cull monitor

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Language Matters | Guest Post : Dr Adam Cruise

“The same process of language reform needs to occur in order to tackle human dominance over other animals. The biggest obstacle has to do with the word ‘animal’ itself. French philosopher, Jacques Derrida, was one of the first to highlight this particular problem. The word ‘animal’ has come to represent all beings that are not human, or it represents humans that act like wild animals (supposedly). The original Latin word is ‘animalus’, which means ‘having breath’. Humans also breathe. They too have flesh and participate in the world as every other living being does…Due to this objectification in language, humans easily ignore the sentience and interests of other animals and a switch to seeing them as pure objects that may be utilised, is easily made.” Guest post by Dr Adam Cruise

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