Category: Guest posts

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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Guest Post: Craig Jones | Ethical Photography

“Photography and Wildlife Ethics. Some might say what does that mean? Does it matter? It matters to me to such an extent that I am always honest in declaring the circumstances under which a photograph has been taken. I never use digital manipulation to misrepresent a subject or mislead the viewer. And I will never sell any of my images to any publication or organisation that promotes any form of hunting or killing of wildlife. But there is a bigger picture. For many nature lovers the ‘weapon of choice’ now is the camera. Use it wrongly and you can impact on the lives of creatures that have no voice, that won’t be able to report your actions.” Guest post by Craig Jones

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Language Matters | Guest Post: Tracy Keeling

“As The War on Wildlife Project’s regular readers will know, it has launched a campaign centered on the idea that ‘language matters’ in discourse on the natural, living world. I couldn’t agree more. It’s conventional logic by now that language matters in relation to human affairs (who are, of course, also part of the natural world). These days, sexist terminology raises eyebrows (or law suits) not laughs, because that’s the case. But the language we use in relation to the non-human living world matters too. Indeed, language has undoubtedly played its part in the sorry predicament we now find ourselves in environmentally. But it also has the potential to help us get out of the mess – if we’re willing to challenge and change our lingo.” Guest post by Tracy Keeling

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Language Matters | Guest Post: Liv Cooper

“Our society has a deep-rooted, seldom recognised, and unfounded intolerance of wildlife being what it says on the tin – wild. This intolerance is an unobtrusive destroyer of biodiversity, with a secret weapon that allows it to take hold in our minds from a young age, which is, of course, language. We’re raised on words such as’ weed’,’ pest’ and ‘vermin’, all of which have strong connotations with dirty, unwanted plants and animals that are uncontrolled and offensive. These labels wield enormous power, being able to justify actions of the destruction of a species under a simple and dangerous concept, that “they’re not supposed to be here”. Even for nature-lovers and conservationists, it’s easy to be blinded by these labels, with a lower value put on certain species from the moment you learn of them, branded with worthlessness and blame. ” Guest post by Liv Cooper

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Guest Post: Hunt Investigation Team | #SnareAware

“In 2016, a majority of UK MPs voted to ban the manufacture, sale, possession and use of snares outright. The government ignored this and instead introduced an unregulated voluntary Code of Practice. Since then, a damning catalogue of breaches has been documented by HIT, NASC and other groups. The Code of Practice is demonstrably failing on multiple levels and snare users have consistently proven themselves incapable of self-regulation. An outright ban on snaring in the UK is needed…The situation is brought into sharp relief when we consider the huge numbers of snares in use in England and Wales – hundreds for each shooting estate and many more on farmland. These high numbers of unregulated snares in use inevitably lead to an unacceptably high rate of suffering.” Guest post, Hunt Investigation Team

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Guest Post | Birders for Ethical Conservation

“In 2018 three longstanding members and supporters of the RSPB wrote to the charity asking them to stop killing foxes, corvids and mustelids. While the authors recognised that the RSPB does, of course, carry out a lot of good and positive work, we believed that the RSPB’s stance on lethal predator control, in the name of conservation and protecting selected species (such as curlews), was unacceptable and wrong. Urgent change was required to implement policies and practices that are ethical and humane, and promote the use of alternative measures to killing.” Guest post by Birders for Ethical Conservation

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Language Matters | Guest post: Bob Berzins

“One definition of vermin is people perceived as despicable and as causing problems for the rest of society and another definition is wild animals that are believed to be harmful to crops, farm animals or game or which carry disease. So vermin people and vermin animals really couldn’t be any worse. And no wonder our relationship with animals and birds follows much the same pattern I’ve described above, we split them into good and bad, with corvids in particular firmly in the “bad” camp. No matter what we do to corvids their numbers keep increasing, giving us permission to kill even more, because if we don’t they will cause us untold harm. In contrast, Ed Douglas’s Country Diaries in The Guardian are vivid experiences of wit and the joy of experiencing our natural world free from the prejudice of terms like vermin.” Guest post by Bob Berzins in support of our ‘Language Matters’ campaign.

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