Sunday, 14 December 2008

Some creatures are cuter than others

Following on from my 'Shooting Seals' post... the case for shooting them in Scotland is that they eat salmon, which could otherwise be caught and eaten by humans (who would, of course, then starve to death without salmon). Charlie Whelan, political supremo at Unite, has been speaking this week on a related issue, opposing the reintroduction of beavers into Scotland, because they will 'upset the ecological balance' and eat the salmon too.

I wonder how many people in the UK would eat seal if it was served up? I suspect not many. So what's the difference between that, and allowing seals to be killed just so that you can eat your salmon? (Echoes of the dolphin-friendly tuna debate too, which always made me wonder, what about tuna-friendly tuna?)

I can see the problem with the beavers if they eat all the salmon, though I suspect Charlie's interest is more about preserving his right to catch salmon than the salmon's right not to be eaten by beavers. [Ignore this paragraph, I am talking complete nonsense. Should have stuck to talking about seals. What do I know about beavers anyway? Etc, etc.]

17 comments:

Remember Remember said...

Dolphin are Tuna-unfriendly.

SteveL said...

It's not that eco-balanced when the salmon in question are grown in farms in scottish sea lochs. As for the beavers, one answer: wolves.

Not only will they keep the deer down, they will pick of the slow, and the females, rather than focus on the males with the best antlers, which is what hunters do.

Furthermore, and I speak as someone who has lived where the wildlife includes predators (cougar, brown bear), it makes heading back-country more edgy. In scotland, it would replace trudging across the Rannoch Moor to sprinting over it, fearing nightfall and the howls that came with it

http://www.wolvesandhumans.org/wolves/history_of_wolves_in_scotland.htm

Kerry said...

So then who/ what keeps the wolf numbers down? It's going to be a bloodbath up there!

Andy said...

Hey, I'd try Seal - lightly buttered with garlic and lemon, I bet it'd be delicious!

Seriously, I agree with your main point - killing competing creatures does seem a bit below the belt

Hughes Views said...

Humankind has been interfering in the survival rates of other species for thousands of years. We've herded them, changed their habitats, eliminated predators etc. etc. And long may we continue so to do; it's a major reason for the success of our own species.

There's nothing much natural about Britain, "Natural England" was the daftest possible name for an agency....

pagar said...

Extremely off topic, but I couldn't help noticing the report on your visit to the Bristol Black Carers Group meeting and some questions immediately sprung to mind.

Firstly, why is it necessary to have a black carers group? Are the challenges and issues faced by carers who are black so dramatically different that it is felt necessary to exclude white carers from the group? Would it be possible to set up a white carers association- if not why would that be considered any more racist?

Secondly, you said at the meeting that you were unhappy that carers were losing their state supplied motability vehicle within a couple of weeks of the end of their caring role. Why should this be any different from the private sector where the provision of a company vehicle would terminate immediately someone ceased to be employed?

Kerry said...

If you'd posted that on the 'Tomorrow' post, which specifically mentions that event, then you might have got away with it.

Dick the Prick said...

It's all a bit grim. The Irish pork scare last week was disturbing in as much as seeing how pigs are kept. Yes, I know, i've probably been ignorant on purpose but still. There's that Churchill quote about pigs being intelligent and also cannibals called humans long-pigs as apparently we taste like them. All Creatures Great and Small it ain't.

Bristol Dave said...

Dick:

Grim, yes, but I still love my sausages, bacon, and steak :)

Andy said...

Kerry, OT and probably wrong post, but would you comment on the assertion that the "black carers group" is inherently racist because it excludes caucasian carers. There's been a lot of talk about this and I think a definitive view from you might be useful.

Dick the Prick said...

Bristol - I once got a full hairy eye lid in a pork pie. Guess you've got to be philosophical about it.

Kerry said...

"There's been a lot of talk about this" - yes, and I know who has prompted it. No, of course I don't think it is racist, I wouldn't have attended the AGM if I did. But will respond properly on the "Tomorrow" post so please keep the discussion there.

Emerald said...

"...the salmon's right not to be eaten by beavers."

Umm… beavers are vegetarian…vegan even. Someone must be lacking edukayshun. A job here for Liam Byrne perhaps?

Kerry said...

OK, guilty as charged! I think I was getting them muddled up with otters; I had visions of them scooping fish out of the water with their paws. And they do have big teeth.

Anyway - Charlie was on the radio this morning, and I gather it's more about them building huge dams, etc, etc... but then someone else said it wouldn't interfere with salmon breeding patterns at all. I will let him and Charlie slug it out, seeing as the beavers are on their way now anway.

I'll stick to seals. They eat fish. Right?

Kerry said...

PS I don't know what kind of school you went to, but the dietary habits of beavers weren't on the curriculum at mine!

Emerald said...

I have attended many schools Kerry, but this particular nugget was acquired by paying attention during geography lessons at an excellent state comprehensive in the Midlands (this was the 1970s after all, standards were a lot higher then). Those dams are very important in habitat creation in certain environments, apparently.

Don’t tell me that listening to too much UK Decay has affected your recall?

Kerry said...

No, we didn't do beavers in geography. We did drumlins in the Lake District and the fact they can peas in Lincolnshire. That's about all I can remember, but definitely no animals. My only knowledge of beavers comes from the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.