Does ecological policy have to be so cruel? Embracing epistemic multiplicity offers a different way

Jean-Paul Gagnon, Robin Ladwig, Hannah Barrowman

Research output: Contribution to Newspaper/Magazine/BulletinArticle

Abstract

Why is non-human life destroyed in such “cruel and unusual ways”? The rabbit: braces that once upheld a now forgotten industry in Australia are the target of biological attack — after 24-48 hours of exposure to a Calicivirus, the animal begins to haemorrhage internally and has been reported squealing and bleeding from the eyes. The cane toad: misunderstood icon of Queensland, producer of a class-1 narcotic, inspirer of songs, gardener’s mate and friend to children, is routinely run over by motorists — popping like balloons under the tire.

And then there is the carp: centrepiece of many Polish Christmas dinners as a symbolic bearer of good fortune and increasingly popular restaurant fare in the United States (you can try your very own slice of browned “Kentucky Tuna” for $35 a plate at Ward 426) is sold in Australia, instead, as fertilizer. Wild dogs, foxes and blackberries are poisoned; pigs, goats and deer are hunted — sometimes with the help of armoured dogs; alligator apples are burned in part because the sale of their edible fruit, said to taste of honeydew, is prohibited in Australia; cats are scalped (the Banana Shire offers a $10 bounty per pelt). And the list goes on.
Original languageEnglish
Pages1-3
Number of pages3
Specialist publicationABC Religion & Ethics
PublisherAustralian Broadcasting Corporation
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2020

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