The trials & tribulations of being a vegan carnivore conservationist
Today on BBC One's Breakfast show
Today I was interviewed on BBC One's Breakfast show to talk about the start of the CITES conference on endangered species. I spoke about WWF's positions on ivory and pangolin trade. You can watch the clip below.
These last few weeks have mostly been centred around two things: the plague in my eyes (aka styes of doom) and insomnia. I apologise if most of this entry is babble, but I’m working on a sleep debt of 500 hours now (or so it feels like) so even breathing is an arduous task. Ever since we got a load of new housemates, I’ve found it really hard to sleep: our walls are so thin that I get woken up whenever anyone unlocks a door, opens the door, closes the door, goes to the bathroom, etc. etc., so because the five people I live with all go to bed at different times, I basically have to wait until the last person goes to bed (around midnight) only to get woken up when the first person gets up (around 6 am). What makes things worse is that usually I’m so frustrated by midnight that I haven’t been able to sleep, that I find it really hard to get to sleep, so am not usually asleep until around 2 am. And then of course people get up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet a few time…
After a number of interesting conversations I've had recently with people on the topic of trophy hunting, it has made me question whether those that are against this sport but partake in another form of murder (meat eating) are in fact hypocrites.
Now let me get this straight: I appreciate that the opponents to trophy hunting have a valid point if (and only if) the sport is undertaken at such a level that it will cause a decline in the wildlife species that are being hunted. On the grounds of conservation, I too agree that trophy hunting is not sustainable nor advisable if there are too many animals hunted out of the population that reproduction cannot replace.
However, much scientific research (e.g. here, here, here, here, and here) has focused on the sustainability of trophy hunting and concluded time and again that it can in fact benefit wildlife conservation, rather than hinder it. This is because huge tracts of land are conserved to create habitat for the highly-valuable hu…
It’s high time us academics took a step back from navel-gazing just for a second to really glance up and around us. At present, we can’t see the wood for the trees. We’re too busy chasing that next grant, boosting our citations and writing that next journal article to reflect on what we’ve become.
So what are we? Simply, we have become money-making machines for universities and journals. We are no longer here to teach students, to improve society or to make the world a better place. We have become commoditised by the exploitative incentive system within academia that only promotes you if you bring in cash. For some sickening, potentially neo-liberal reason, we have forgotten why we are all here in the first place. To create positive change.
We have been confused and misguided by the amorphous “Faculty” and lured into paying exorbitant fees to publish our work, despite practically every other professional writing careerist actually being paid to write. Somehow, we have forgotten that t…