Archive

Posts Tagged ‘sharks’

Cull Those Bloody Sharks

February 28, 2014 1 comment

There’s nothing I hate more than a poor, inconsistently applied philosophy and the associated hypocrisy. So it goes without saying that I hate fad environmentalism.

After years of research and many fatalities, the Western Australian government has commenced a policy of culling sharks. The policy has sparked protests around Australia and the world. I call these protests an act of fad environmentalism.

The fad environmentalist will state that the ocean is the shark’s natural environment so we have no right to kill it. Here’s breaking news for all you morally superior fad environmentalists: the natural environment for humans consists of parasites, mosquitoes, ticks, leaches, flies, spiders, snakes and predators. Humans have changed their environment to exclude these creatures. So if you live in a house then you have no right to this argument. You exclude animals from their natural environment every day. Most of them purely for convenience. You’re a hypocrite.

Have you ever killed a spider in your home? What about a fly? Flies aren’t even a threat to your safety. You kill them just because they annoy you.

If there was a deadly snake in your backyard would you have it moved on? Or would you allow yourself and your family to be exposed to the risk of death since the snake is in it’s natural environment? Sure the snake may be relocated instead of killed. If it was practical to capture and relocate a 500kg shark I’m sure we’d do that too. What if it was impossible to relocate the snake? You had to leave it in your backyard or kill it. Then what?

What about animal cruelty? People eat meat from animals that are born and bred on a factory farm and tortured their whole lives. Unlike a shark, these animals aren’t a threat to our safety. We torture them because we like the taste. So if you eat meat you’re worse than those that support shark culling. At least culling sharks is attributed to safety. Unlike the animals on factory farms which we torture and kill for fun.

What about the argument that it’s a waste of resources? We should spend the money on other issues that cause more fatalities? Apply this argument consistently and you have a situation where only the risk with the highest fatality rate has any resources allocated. Everything else is left out. Actually there’s many things to consider when allocating funds to programs that protect the public. Number of fatalities, expected returns, diminishing returns with escalating funds, impact on economy, impact on lifestyle, etc. That’s why we end up with a distribution of funds.

Arguments about the best distribution of funds aside, if protecting people from sharks is a waste of money then where were all the protesters in the last few years whilst planes and helicopters patrolled our coast at great expense? This strategy costs millions of dollars a year. What about the nets and drum lines in Queensland that have existed for years? Of course the protesters were non existent. The fad environmentalists have no philosphy about preventing the squandering of resources. All they have is a passion for fashion.

We can’t afford to have Western Australian waters earn a reputation for being too dangerous to swim in. Our whole lifestyle revolves around the coast. Tourism depends on our reputation for being a world class coastal destination. The fact that shark attacks do not cause many fatalities is not really relevant. It’s to do with public perception. People are becoming too scared to swim. We are losing our carefree beach culture. It’s a complicated problem with no easy fix.

I don’t like killing sharks. But I dislike even more the death of a shark attack victim and the impact it has on family, friends and the community. It’s easy for the fad environmentalist to say they hate this or that when they don’t live with the fear or the consequences. I don’t know if culling sharks will help reduce fatalities. Actually I don’t think anyone really knows. Short of conclusive evidence, this policy is an experiment. I’d rather an experiment than nothing. I’m happy if the experiment is limited in duration, done under strict guidelines and used to gather information and learn. In the meantime we continue research and seek alternative solutions.

So if you’re guilty of being a fad environmentalist and you actually care I’d suggest using your resources to help reduce the mass suffering the occurs from large scale factory farming. Or perhaps spend your spare time attempting to reduce the suffering afflicted to the millions of people who live in poverty around the world. Let’s be honest – fad environmentalists don’t care about reducing suffering. Fad environmentalists care only about fashion and themselves. My message then to you hypocrites: retreat to your comfortable home and eat a tender steak.

Advertisements