Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Wildflowers On Campus


It's nice to point out positive things when they occur. One of the main reasons most developments are worse than they should be (housing estates and so on) is because they don't incorporate enough wildlife-supporting environment. If a house was built on a bare green field, then an orchard was added, and flower banks, and bushes and other trees, it would be a net gain. Councils and the government let us down by not enforcing that. Instead they cram houses on, with no wildlife corridors, just predominantly roads, paths, foundations, fences (instead of hedges), small patches of manicured lawn rather than bushes and flowers. Councils and the government extend the ruin over our countryside.

Anyway, as an example of ways that can mitigate change, Aberystwyth University recently cut back some bushes - but instead of leaving the earth bare, they planted wildflowers. You can read more about it here. Councils should adopt this strategy (and other green ideas) whenever there are new developments.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Kettles Forever Breaking - Waste

The interior of a kettle. Fragile connections, parts near heat,
lots of plastic moving parts. What could go wrong?

Planned obsolescence is horrible. We mentioned it here and here. Ah, kettles.

I would rather have a no-frills kettle that is reliable. No water-level window (they're a point of failure and leaking), no fancy bases, no filters, no internal lights. Just a kettle with minimal parts, high-quality, with fewer things that can break. Although the Morphy Richards kettle looked nice I was immediately concerned by the on/off switch (that lights up) - it is the most handled component in the kettle and seems to be intentionally of the flimsiest design. It didn't feel sturdy, and I suspected it would be an inbuilt failure point. I was almost right.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Animal Fat In The New Bank Of England Notes

Tallow. Yum.

If you are in the UK, you might be aware that the Bank of England uses tallow (rendered fat - a slaughterhouse by-product) in the production of the new £5 notes, and the bank has plans to do the same for the future notes they are going to release. We get those notes in Wales, too.

The bank is doing a consultation as to whether this bothers people. I know it bothers me and many vegetarians. If it bothers you too then the details of the consultation can be found here and you can respond here.

Vegans and most vegetarians exclude animal products because of the cruelty involved in their production. By using animal products in the production of the money, the bank is excluding many people from using those notes. For many other people it is offensive to know that the money is connected to slaughterhouse byproducts.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Welsh Government / Labour Want To Kill Badgers (Again)



It's sad to see badgers being targeted again. This is following on from Wildlife Trusts and Forestry Commissions persecuting wildlife, livestock farmers doing the same, and an upturn in prejudice and discrimination from speciesists. Well, this is the latest:

On 28th March the Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales, Christianne Glossop, set out her plans for badger culling in Wales at a Bovine TB Symposium in London. Here is the BBC report of an interview she gave them and comments from a scientific expert that are critical of her plans. In the interview the Chief Veterinary Officer admits the proposed culling might actually increase TB.

Wales has had real success in reducing bovine TB over the past 8 years through increasing cattle measures and biosecurity without culling badgers. It has achieved a 47% reduction and now has the lowest number of new incidents for a decade with 95% of herds TB free. It makes no sense to jeopardise this success through the introduction of reactive culling of badgers which the science does not support and which has previously been shown to increase TB levels. Welsh Labour had committed to being science-led regarding bovine TB in their 2016 manifesto.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Speciesism, Immigrants And Natives


We recently wrote about Wildlife Trusts And Forestry Commissions Persecuting Wildlife and Farmers Campaign To Kill More Wildlife. A week full of hypocritical people wanting to kill badgers, deer and other wildlife, yet calling themselves environmentalists. Following on from that, one of our members had an interesting chat about this with someone claiming to be an environmentalist yesterday. For the whole conversation the anti-squirrel person (ASP) kept focussing on "native" versus "non-native" species, yet they couldn't recognise their own speciesism. Just as with racism or sexism, it is the assigning of more value to one kind of being than another based on arbitrary preferences. Here are some parts of the discussion.

Anti-Squirrel Person (ASP): "Are you content with one non-native species causing the local or nation extinction of another?"

CIN: After this many generations non-native species ARE native species. Or do you think children of immigrants aren't "proper" citizens?


Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Farmers Campaign To Kill More Wildlife


From the Cambrian News: Calls for culling of red deer

"FARMERS in the Pontsian area near Llandysul are calling on environmental chiefs to cull a rogue herd of 30 to 35 wild red deer."

(And we'd only just written about idiots persecuting wildlife...) Sigh.

Question: What do they mean by "rogue deer"?
Answer: Wildlife.

Any animals that aren't being raised and killed for profit are "rogue".

First humans cut down the forests that covered most of the country. Then we built towns and cities and roads and industrial estates and motorways and factories and power stations. Then, because there were not many totally unspoilt green spaces left, people rushed to visit and explore those remaining. Wildlife once had free reign across the land that was just as much theirs, before the larger species were persecuted and killed. Any large surviving wildlife retreated to the ever-shrinking areas, but even here farmers and idiots want to persecute and kill them.

Best answer? Go vegan. It requires far less land, and the rest could be given over to nature and wildlife. It also cuts off the income to the animal farmers who want to persecute badgers, foxes, deer, and anything else they can't send to a slaughterhouse.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Wildlife Trusts And Forestry Commissions Persecuting Wildlife


Wildlife organisations are made up of people, and therefore can be as prejudiced as any other organisation - they choose one animal to protect, another to kill. Grey squirrels are one of their more frequent targets (covered in the past here and here), since they see grey squirrels as immigrants having an effect on the wildlife organisation's favoured "pure" squirrels. Good old speciesism.

Regardless of how the apologists at the Wildlife Trusts or RSPB try to spin it: killing wildlife is killing wildlife.

We recently discovered that the Wildlife Trusts support killing grey squirrels, and have withdrawn our support from them (and I've removed them from my will, to be replaced with a more compassionate organisation!). The Wildlife Trust are part of Red Squirrels United, who will be "training" volunteers to cull greys, probably with clubs. Sounds lovely, doesn't it. There's a petition here, and more information here.