Monthly Archives: June 2018

The End of the Game

Death surrounds Peter Beard’s The End of the Game, not only in terms of the book’s subject matter but also in the fact that this particular edition was given as a gift to someone who died soon after receiving it, and so it returns to my bookshelf – don’t think the recipient had much of a chance to glance through it before dying.

It may come to be viewed as a strange artefact one day, a book like this, with its detailed imagery of human interference in animal affairs. One word in particular, a loaded word, springs to mind when thinking of human/animal interaction: dominion. There’s a debate going on at the moment as to whether some of us humans have misinterpreted the Bible’s meaning w/r/t the word itself. Has our interpretation of dominion led us towards endless destruction rather than promoting a sense of responsibility? The pictures give a clue to the answer to such a question.

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Fur…Faux Fur…F*** Fur…#FurFreeBritain

Though you’d think the human race would be past the point of needing to skin animals for their fur, the practice is currently being debated in the U.K. – well, the practice of allowing fur to be imported into the country (because fur farms were outlawed in the U.K. in 2000).

To give an example of the ineptitude / apathy / blatant disregard shown towards animals by some members of parliament, here’s the transcript from the debate. The whole thing took roughly two hours and little was achieved at the end of it – is this indicative of our present political system (it probably is, you know)?

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And the feeblest excuse for not proposing a full-scale ban on fur is that it would only solve the problem in this country and not anywhere else. Perhaps that’s exactly where we should start, banning all use of fur in the U.K., before expecting others to do what we have not.

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And this debate takes place against the backdrop of the recent statistic that tells us the human race has wiped out 83% of all wild mammals. Given such information, what is there to debate? Speaking of Articles 34, 35 and 36 of the Lisbon Treaty, Daniel Zeichner states: “I therefore argue that there is a legitimate argument for the UK to prohibit fur imports on grounds of public morality, similar to the exemption allowed under WTO rules.” Zeichner points to the political framework allowing the trade of fur to be banned in the U.K. Don’t let M.P.s off the hook, contact your own M.P. and tell them to pursue this matter to its logical conclusion.

#furfreebritain


Ask Yourself, Is it Smart?

Five years on from Edward Snowden’s disclosure that governments collect huge amounts of data from “regular” citizens, it’s kind of perplexing to hear so many people caught up by the Alexa/Echo bug. Suspicious of many “smart” innovations, it is easy to turn down such things as “smart” light bulbs, kettles, electricity/gas meters, and so on. I mean, why would you want such things?

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And then there is the latest trend for voice collecting devices to be fitted around the home (bad enough that we have to carry mobile phones with us, but at least you can leave it in a drawer and exit the room). The Alexa/Echo thing means that wherever you are in the house it’s listening. And so, this begs the question, posed nicely in today’s The Guardian article commemorating the day that people got to know how interested their governments are in their everyday activities: “Why, just a few years after a global scandal involving government surveillance, would people willingly install always-on microphones in their homes?”citizenfour

Now that is a very good question, and if one requires a reason not to do such an idiotic thing, just spend a couple of hours watching Citizen Four, the documentary on Snowden and the actions he took on behalf of fellow citizens (here’s a free version– curious that the official site doesn’t let you watch it for free).


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