Garry Mallard examines the Greens hunting policies and uncovers some interesting double-standards.
The Greens, like all politicians, are consummate manipulators and propagandists. They understand that the best lies are those that are never actually spoken, but rather nourished in such a way as to allow the public’s naivety to weave the lie for them. Thus, the Greens ride on a wave of flawed assumption. Take the vexed topic of hunting.
The Greens are not as opposed as one might be forgiven for concluding, given their aggressive and often quite offensive persecution of non-Aboriginal hunters. It is not the killing of “innocent animals” to which the Greens object, but rather ownership of the instruments used to rob them of “innocence”.
The Greens are wholly and quite fanatically in favour of the total annihilation of all introduced (feral) species, from rabbits to wild dogs, cats to deer and everything in between, as their more surreptitious public statements clearly demonstrate.
In his February 2013 response to an opinion piece, Greens MP David Shoebridge confided to the readership of a small rural newspaper, The Bega District News:
“For a decade now a government funded authority called the Game Council has supposedly regulated the access of amateur hunters to state forests to shoot, pierce, stab and gore feral animals. However, these ten years of amateur hunting have not controlled a single feral pest species in a single forest.
“Despite these failures the NSW government continues to pump millions of dollars every year into the Game Council. Every cent would be far better spent on targeted feral animal control programs with professional shooters, teamed up where necessary with trapping and baiting, to effectively control feral animals in a given area. Unlike amateur hunting these kinds of program are more than weekend blood-sports, they actually work.
It is abundantly clear to me that Mr. Shoebridge objects not to the killing of animals, but to the fact far more should have been killed for the money invested.
As though that were not evidence enough, we have the following from the Greens’ NSW agriculture spokesperson, Jeremy Buckingham, on the topic of feral deer control:
“The Greens NSW agriculture spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today announced the Greens policy on feral deer, saying that “the next Parliament should stop protecting deer as a hunting resource and instead declare feral deer a pest species and develop a state-wide control and eradication strategy.”
I do not hang my hat on these two examples of the Greens’ Davrosian extermination agenda alone. Their own website lists the following objectives under “What the Greens want”:
- Develop a state-wide control and eradication strategy,
- Develop well-planned control and eradication programs to protect the environment and agriculture with clear goals and professional execution.
So it is revealed not only that they do not oppose the killing of “innocent animals” such as deer, dogs, cats, rabbits, foxes, pigs, goats, camels, horses and so on, but that their primary concern is in fact that too few are being killed to give the taxpayer bang for his buck.
The Greens harbour an abiding contempt for those members of non-Aboriginal Australia whom they maintain hunt solely for the “joy of killing”.
Again, this is a Greens’ construct aimed at nurturing hatred for those members of society of which they do not approve and history is replete with examples of political regimes whose efforts to first demonise cultural minorities have led to far greater evils. I am yet to meet the hunter who claims he/she “kills for fun”. I have certainly met many who claim they derive satisfaction from being in the wild, preserving age-old skills and cultural activities, while putting fresh free-range, organic meat on the table.
Many have described the sense of satisfaction they derive from shooting foxes and cats while after their true quarry, thus helping to reduce the impact of feral predation of native species, but for the joy of killing? No!
It is only hunting’s opponents who make such claims and since when did conclusions born of emotive disdain, fear and ignorance become fact, much less tolerable?
If leading members of the Islamic community were to say, “It is wrong to label all Muslims violent warmongers looking for martyrdom,” would we tolerate people calling them liars?
While support for the Greens may equate to support for an anti-European hunting position, it certainly does not equate to the protection of “innocent animals”. It equates to the antithesis of that objective – their total eradication – which the Greens themselves complain is not the hunters’ objective.
Hunters and the Greens have more in common than many may think:
- Hunters value organic harvest and the free-range ethos,
- It is illegal to hunt native animals in all but a few highly regulated circumstances and hunters oppose the illegal targeting of Australia’s native fauna, known as poaching,
- Hunters maintain their activities have legitimate cultural significance. The Greens habitually refer to hunting in cultural terms, though striving to apply derogatory epithets whenever possible e.g. the “killing culture, the American style guns and killing culture etc. Ergo the question of hunting’s cultural authenticity is not disputed by the Greens, only the desirability of the culture and their tolerance of it.
Of course the aforementioned epithets are applied only to European hunting cultures, despite the fact that processed and packaged foods are widely available, even in outback Australia, where Aboriginal people still, quite legitimately, choose to participate in hunting activities with the open admiration of the Greens.
Over the years I have met and spoken at length with thousands of the people the Greens stereotype as the very vermin of society; doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, academics, SES and VRA volunteers, Rural Fire Service personnel, teachers, wardspersons, barristers, plumbers, builders, magistrates, butchers, bakers and even one very talented candlestick maker.
These are the people – men and women – who hunt; the same people the Greens casually and habitually refer to as thugs, cold-hearted killers, weekend cowboys, rednecks etc., and generally promote as people deserving of the community’s mistrust, antipathy and scorn.
On their behalf I would like to finish with the three questions my conversations that they’d like the Greens to answer, honestly and directly:
- When did the Greens adopt the One Nation-esque position that they are the final arbiters of cultural legitimacy in Australia?
- How did the Greens reach the policy conclusion that the traditional harvest of plentiful, non-indigenous, public larder resources is at odds with the philosophy of low-impact sustainable living?
- How do the Greens justify promoting responsible hunters to the Australian community as heartless murderers of “innocent animals”, when the Greens’ own feral animal policies clearly support total eradication, including the use of baits laced with 1080, which is condemned by all animal welfare agencies?
In my view, these are questions the Greens’ own supporters should feel compelled to ask, though I am oddly confident the Greens will not feel ethically compelled to respond.