Yellow-Eyed Penguin, native to New Zealand. Credit: David Brighten
Sponsored by Swarovski Optik, ecotourism social enterprise Terra Incognita Travel have organised a competition (details below) to find the wildlife blogger of the year. How exciting is that!
Thank you to James Common, Director of New Nature Magazine, for sharing his red squirrel encounter on social media that led me to Terra Incognita. Reading the variety of wildlife experiences and stories, I was inspired to enter my own: ‘Jewel in the Crown: New Zealand’s Yellow-Eyed Penguin‘. What an opportunity to be read by judges that include highly regarded nature writers, wildlife filmmakers, conservation scientists and environmental campaigners—that’s a prize in itself! Continue reading
By Tracy Brighten
Make a decision to lose weight, change career, or have children, and friends and family generally meet the change with excitement and words of encouragement. But tell them you no longer eat meat, fish, or dairy, or even that you’re just thinking about it, and you find yourself being interrogated!
If your reasons for dietary changes are health based, you risk the usual ill-informed response that you can’t be healthy without meat. But if your reasons are ethics based, be prepared for an even rougher ride. Continue reading
By Tracy Brighten
December wasn’t an easy month to be dairy free, but thinking of calves taken from their mothers kept me on track
I was already considering the next stage of my journey in eating more ethically, but the exposure of dairy industry cruelty was the motivation I needed. After witnessing the abuse of bobby calves, it was time for change. Continue reading
The agreement by 195 countries at the Paris Climate Change Conference is a landmark consensus that climate change is a global problem requiring global commitment. Some people believe spiralling populations and associated development in India and China is the biggest issue. Others believe greenhouse gas emission control will be ineffective with the growing trend of factory farming. Not only do farm animals produce methane, but forests are felled to plant crops for animal feed.
Another question often asked when considering climate change and the depletion of non-renewable resources is why should we care about future generations? Don’t we just live the life we want and leave future generations to deal with the fallout? Continue reading
Animals feel pain and suffering, so why do we deny them equal consideration, placing human preferences above compassion?
Calf in a veal crate
Philosopher Peter Singer criticises philosophy for failing to challenge accepted beliefs. He argues for a change in traditional Western ethics, which is human-centred or anthropocentric and which denies any direct moral obligation to the natural environment. In his book All Animals are Equal (1986), Singer calls for a change in attitude that gives animals equality of consideration regardless of any differences in their capabilities compared to humans. He makes a strong case for a shake-up in our cultural thinking. Continue reading