“Among Animals”

August 28, 2011

I was interviewed by the vibrant Jane Ulman for this documentary,  among some colleagues and other folks passionate about animals. It aired on ABC Radio National’s 360 programme yesterday, will be repeated Wednesday, and can be downloaded as a podcast as well.

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4 Responses to ““Among Animals””

  1. Thoraiya Says:

    I was expecting you to put mammoths in their rightful place at the top of the hierarchy.

    HEY, did you see that the Fisch’s book about elephants ruling the world is going to get made? 😀

    I like butcherbirds. as long as I don’t have to handle them; those little hooks on their beaks leave scars.

    That’s good news about Coles phasing out sow-crate-farmed pork by 2014.

    Annoying to hear orphaned joeys described as “collateral damage” and the “biggest animal slaughter on earth” when the whole point of kangaroos being well-adapted to this country is that they have very little investment in any individual offspring and can abort or abandon them in times of drought. If humans could spontaneously abort when food was scarce, there would be no famine in the Sudan right now :p


  2. They must have edited that bit out. As you know, in the beginning was Mamont. I’m not a Fischmonger myself but if there’s elephants putting humankind in their place, I’m there.

    I don’t know where to start with the last comment and its neo-Malthusian environmental determinism. They’re not just talking about orphaned joeys (though their fate is a political, not a natural event) but direct commercial wildlife slaughter due to perceived “overabundance” by the livestock industry. See e.g. http://thinkkangaroos.uts.edu.au/

  3. Thoraiya Says:

    Malthus was mostly on the money, mate. And I know about the kangaroo harvest; a friend of mine did her PhD trying to find a way to sterilise kangaroos via vaccine.

    The issue to me is not actually whether kangaroos are overabundant due to post-European transformation of vast swathes of forest to grassland (they are), nor how we’d provide protein for our pets if roo-shooting wasn’t allowed (more cows, more methane, more global warming) but how we can make the harvesting of kangaroos as humane as possible, and pinkies being killed by a blow to the head does not bother me as much as the adult roos being shot and then escaping. Bring on a professional-marksman-only rule and I’ll be happy.


  4. Malthus was _about_ the money. I dunno about on it. Unless you mean he sat on a big pile of it so that others couldn’t, and wrote about why this was a natural state of affairs.

    I agree, if one must kill, kill well. Though there’s still welfare issues like auditing compliance, processing of the neck-shot, etc. But the bigger question is who decides on “overabundance”? On its meaning, significance, and presence? Even if it exists (which is contested), as you say its the artificial product of colonisation, as well an industry exaggerating pesthood.


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