*** NEW SHOW! In this show we talk with Jim Robertson, a wildlife photographer and self-taught naturalist who lives in a remote wilderness setting in the Pacific Northwest. Living among elk, wolves, bears, and more has led him to a keen awareness of animals as individuals, and has brought him much joy. It has also brought him much sorrow as the beautiful wildlife habitat he lives in is viewed as a “sportsmen’s paradise”. This depraved and barbaric view has led to the wanton evils of hunting. It is torturous to hear the bullets piercing the air, and knowing that it means the painful loss of some of his cherished animal neighbors.
He’s a vegan and a prolific voice for animals, on his blog, “Exposing The Big Game”, in all areas of cruelty, from factory farming to the federally approved killing of millions of animals, including deer, bears, wolves, and many more.He is also the author of a book by the same name, “Exposing The Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport.”
Dr May was a key campaigner against the badger cull, which was piloted by former environment secretary Owen Patterson, and looks set to continue under his successor Liz Truss.
The 2013 pilot badger culls in Gloucester and Somerset were described as “ineffective” at stemming the spread of bovine TB and failed the test for humaneness, according to an independent panel of experts put together by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
In February, Liz Truss told the annual conference of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) she would press on with the cull in spite of the criticism
She said: “We will not let up, whatever complaints we get from protesters groups. We are in it for the long haul and we will not walk away.”
Dr May said: “She speaks from the same hymn book as Patterson – which is the same hymn book as Cameron, who it seems has some kind of behind closed doors agreement with the NFU to continue the cull regardless of the evidence.”
NFU Director General Andy Robertson said: “The NFU has always been clear about the need for a badger cull as part of a comprehensive strategy to address the scourge of TB. However, we have not met the Prime Minister and Brian May’s claim of a behind the scenes deal therefore makes him look ridiculous.”
In the run up to the election, Dr May launched Common Decency, a project intended to encourage people to vote for people who would act with decency in the House of Commons.
He admits he’s disappointed in the outcome of the election.
He says he has no plans to abandon the project, but will be changing his methods.
“A lot of the old methods don’t work,” he said. “Even getting a vote in the House of Commons and winning that vote is no guarantee you’ll influence the government.”
But the Queen guitarist played down reports of a rift between him and Prince Charles.
In one of the Prince’s recently revealed “black spider” letters, the Prince describes the anti-badger cull lobby as “intellectually dishonest”.
But the letter was sent a decade ago, before Dr May was vocal on animal rights issues – and crucially, before the independent report declared the badger cull pilot ineffective.
Dr May said: “I imagine Prince Charles’ views could have changed.
“Somebody should ask him.
Brian May is a panelist on tonight’s Question Time tonight on BBC One at 10.45pm.
Also on the panel are Ukip leader Nigel Farage, and Jeremy Hunt, who confirmed last week that a bill to repeal the Hunting Act would be on the government’s agenda for this Parliament.
The other day a friend asked me, “How do you keep your head above it all? You do so much, and your immersion in the dark side of information and events is so deep. I’ve seen most of what can be seen, I think. But even still, I have to periodically recharge with temporary absences from the info stream. It’s so disheartening and yet if you’re a person who cares, you just can’t dig your head in the sand. It’s my most challenging thing in this life — striving for a balance between my mental well-being and my commitment to our fellow beings.”
First, I can understand anyone who finds this all too much on a daily basis. I guess I get through it by choosing my battles and knowing that by not eating animals I’m not so much a part of what’s happening to them. Sometimes I have to step back from the fray and look at it all through the lens of deep ecology. Earth has survived far worse than the toxic attack of the human fly speck that’s currently plaguing her and gone on to flourish, as she certainly will again once the anthropogenic onslaught is over.
Consider this blog a chronicle of mankind’s last days. What were humans thinking when they took this incredibly beautiful, fragile, planet down—in the name of greed, selfishness, arrogance, sport or self-esteem?
Some of the articles I post might seem unrelated, off-topic or out of place when examined alone. But they are all part of the bigger picture which someday may be viewed by a higher intelligence who comes across it in their quest to know just how one species—out of so many—thought they had the right to exploit all others, carte blanc, under the narcissistic delusion that non-human lives on Earth had no rights at all.
Whether or not mankind survives the assault they’re putting the planet through is a non-issue for me. Personally, I hope they don’t. They do not deserve a second chance to rule this vibrant, watery orb any more than they deserved the first chance to steal Nature, abuse and forever change her.
But why all this on an anti-hunting blog? Because hunting, and ultimately meat-eating, is where humans first started screwing things up. For a plant-eating primate to leave the trees, take weapon in hand, turn carnivorous and claim the planet and everything that walks, crawls, swims or flies as their own was a recipe for disaster.
As the same friend so aptly put it, “I do wish we didn’t have to share the planet with persons whose empathy muscles are so undeveloped.”
Just a heads up if you are planning on attending the Monday April 27th hearing on the DEIS for the Makah whale hunt.
According to the Federal Register, they are requiring you to pre-register by 4 pm PDT Sunday April 26th. It says that prospective attendees for the public meeting in the NOAA Auditorium in Seattle, Washington should submit their first and last names and affiliation, if appropriate, via the NMFS email email@example.com
Also, for access to the Federal government building in Seattle, Washington, the Department of Commerce Western Region Security Office has advised that all attendees must have valid government-issued identification (e.g., driver’s license, tribal identification card, or passport).
Tirana, Albania – Bujar Hyka and his friends headed out in their jeep west of Albania’s capital on a recent Sunday morning. Dressed in camouflage, the men navigated the vehicle through rough terrain with three restless English Setters eagerly waiting to jump out.
A year ago, this would have been a hunting trip. But under Albania’s new anti-hunting law, Hyka and his friends have been forbidden to kill animals and now simply hike weaponless through the country’s pristine wilderness.
“The government doesn’t understand that hunting is a sport; they are ruining our sport,” said Hyka, 59, head of one of Albania’s hunters and fishermen’s organisations. “It’s like someone taking a football away from footballers.”
Earlier this year, the Albanian government imposed a two-year moratorium on all hunting to save its endangered animal population. Reports suggest 30-50 percent of Albania’s wildlife species have seen a steep decline in the past decade. Hunting is one of the main reasons for the loss.
Among the endangered species in the country are the Balkan lynx, the Egyptian vulture, the Dalmatian pelican, the European eel, and the Albanian water frog.
In response to a favorable comment to a post about a goose hunter who shot his 45 year old son in a hunting accident, one Facebook reader replied:
“I find it disheartening that so many anti-hunters take such psychotic joy in the death of human beings…I find this sort of cheerleading just as bad as the hunters that flaunt their kills. Show some compassion for a change.”
To which I responded, “It’s not that anti-hunters don’t have any compassion; just that their limited supply of it is focused on the original victims (in this case the geese). As police reported about the incident, ‘The two had Canadian Geese decoys spread out in front of their blind…’ Yes, this was a tragedy for the hunters…but they were out there to cause pain, suffering and death for an untold number of geese—a gentle species who care for one another and mate for life. Yesterday afternoon, after the constant blasting of shotguns earlier that day, we saw and heard a lone goose calling mournfully for its lost mate. It is not a game or a sport for the geese—is nothing short of heartbreak.
Hunting accidents are a good way to remind the public about the lethal violence inherent in the “sport” of hunting. To reach the average viewer, the media has to frame everything in the context of how it affects a person. Most people are anthropocentric and have little or no compassion for non-humans. If a human doesn’t get maimed or killed once in a while, people continue to believe the misguided notion that hunting is just a friendly, social hour for traditional family-values proponents; “ethical” conservationists (claiming to be doing the animals a favor by killing them); or worse yet, those fashionable so-called locavore foodies who think of wildlife only as a source of flesh to stuff in their trendy, goateed, hipster gob.
What real harm is there in cheering on the underdog (or deer or goose or wolf) with remarks like, “What a shame,” “One less hunter out there,” “Another Darwin award,” or “Now he knows what the animals went through.” A mite insensitive, perhaps, but people’s attitudes during wartime can turn rather ugly. And make no mistake; hunting is like war to the animals and those who advocate for them. No doubt the otherwise compassionate Allies cheered as their enemies were eliminated. After all, how much compassion did Hitler and his ilk deserve anyway?
Still, in one way, devoted anti-hunters can be compared to fanatical wolf hunters who won’t be satisfied until they attain their ultimate goal: the total annihilation of their quarry. Yet anti-hunters and other compassionate misanthropists aren’t really planning to march out there and off all hunters. They know that the end of hunting won’t come about merely through hunting accidents or people violently targeting them. There’s too much pro-hunting propaganda out there and too many hunters breeding mini-Me’s as ready-made hunting partners to one day take over the tradition.
Never mind that folks can get together in the out-of-doors to take a hike, watch birds or photograph wildlife—without taking any lives.
No, hunting isn’t going to end because of a high hunter body count. Not unless those who survive are willing to learn from others’ mistakes and lay down their weapons once and for all.
Now that’s a vision of the future to be thankful for.
I stopped by the small town hardware store yesterday to pick up some fresh “NO HUNTING” signs, and the clerk acted put out that I didn’t let trespassers shoot wildlife on my land.
Like so many cunning hunters nowadays, he wanted to come across as some saintly, salt-of-the-earth type who would be doing me a favor by killing my deer friends. How could I possibly object to that?
Well, in addition to the obvious, there’s always the chance that a family member could be hit by a stray bullet, pellet or arrow, as happened that same day to a beautiful husky mix who was just minding his own business:
RAYMOND, Wash. — The search is on for whoever shot a hunting arrow into the skull of a Husky mix dog. The arrow went in straight through the eye socket and the vet says it’s a miracle Sampson alive.
At first, Sampson’s family and local veterinarians had no clue why his eye was swollen and bleeding. Then the initial X-rays showed the startling revelation: A hunting arrow was inside Sampson’s head. A CAT scan further detailed what was going on.
“Razor sharp blades that went in and embedded in the back of his skull,” said Laura Bowerman, Sampson’s owner.
Bowerman says Sampson and their other dog Delilah always roam free on the 30 acres just east of Raymond along the banks of the Willapa River. When Sampson was two hours overdue Sept. 7, they went looking for him.
They found him collapsed at the end of the driveway.
He was rushed to Willapa Vet Services where vets took X-rays showing the arrow went straight back under his brain, clipping the casing around the brain and just a little bit of his brain.
Sampson needed a neurosurgeon immediately. A vet tech accompanied the dog and the family to Summit Vet Referral in Tacoma where neurologist Dr. Jerry Demuth successfully removed the arrow.
“They had to open up the back of his skull to pull out the arrowhead and the rest of the shaft,” Bowerman said. Bowerman doesn’t suspect her neighbor as they have a longstanding agreement about the dogs. But it is bow hunting season for deer and elk. Even though “no trespassing” signs are posted, the area behind the Bowerman’s is prime for hunting.
But why shoot a non-aggressive dog?
“He doesn’t look like a wolf. He’s bigger than a coyote,” Bowerman said. “Somebody… it’s just mean. It’s got to be meanness. Who would shoot a dog?”
So far the Bowerman family says it has spent $7,000 to keep their beloved dog alive.
Animal welfare charity, the League Against Cruel Sports, are appealing to the animal loving public of Northern Ireland to support their anti-hunting campaign by attending a rally against fox and stag hunting this Saturday 2nd August, from 2pm at the Stormont Buildings.
The Rally which is being held by Noelle Robinson, Green Party Councillor for Bangor Central in partnership with the charity, will highlight that Northern Ireland is now the only region within the UK that has not introduced a complete ban on fox and stag hunting.
In 2002, the introduction of the Protection of Wild Mammals Act made it illegal to hunt a wild mammal with a pack of hounds in Scotland. In 2004, after 80 years of tireless campaigning by the League, England and Wales followed suit and the Hunting Act was passed. Ten years on, there is currently no hunting legislation that exists in Northern Ireland and as such hunting foxes and stags with dogs, continues to be legal.
The charity have therefore given this campaign priority status and hope they will be able to ensure that this barbaric practice is also made illegal in Northern Ireland.
Janice Watt, Senior Public Affairs Officer in N.I said: “It is vital that we gain the support of both the N.I public and politicians in order to resign this cruel and blood thirsty sport to the history books where it belongs. It is not acceptable in the modern age for any animal to be chased to exhaustion, and then ripped apart whilst still alive.
“The public were outraged at the leniency shown to dog fighters convicted this year in our courts – but what is the difference between setting dogs on a domestic pet, and setting dogs on a fox or stag? The answer is none. We are urging people to show their support for this campaign by attending the rally at Stormont on Saturday.”
Official figures released this month revealed more individuals were prosecuted for hunting with dogs last year in England and Wales (2013), than in any other since the 2004 ban came into force. A total of 341 convictions under the Act, make it the most successful piece of wild animal legislation, with one person on average prosecuted under the Act every week, and over two-thirds of these convicted.