Saturday, September 8

The Evil Peacock

I am scared of peacocks.

I was reminded of this fact when I saw a heron on the side of the motorway today.

Herons share with peacocks the characteristics that I think forms the basis of my peacock fear - the beady eyes and tiny head in comparison body size. It is wrong. And the little head of the peacock with the black beady eyes flits around in an unpredictable, angular manner. And as if one pair of beady eyes isn't enough, it can open its tail and stare at you with ten more pairs of black eyes.

It looks like it is thinking sly thoughts too. It looks like a crafty, evil bird with its pea-head and tiny brain. I don't like it at all at all.

Look at it....

How scared would you be if you woke up to find that peering down at you one night???

Oh evil, unnatural bird, begone with you.

Wednesday, September 5

Oh what to do???

Am in a quandary.

I have for some time had the most ardent desire to go and visit the Mountain Gorillas in the Virunga Mountains. I was doing some research today for a presentation on Dian Fossey I am doing (don't ask why - it's rather geeky and I don't want to destroy the 'cool' persona I have drawn around myself over these many years) and my attention was drawn to a topic that Dian spent many years debating with her peers.

Fossey was a campaigner for (and arguably the promulgator of) 'active conservationism'. Active conservationism espouses directly participatory methodologies such as, anti-poaching patrols, boundary enforcement and the active preservation of natural habitat. This theory posits itself against 'theorectical conservationism' which seeks to protect wildlife through the promotion of tourism and promotes a more spectatorial role from the conservationist with respect to the wildlife and their habitat. (Yes. I made up 'spectatorial' in case you are wondering but it should exist as I can't find a nicer sounding synoynym for 'passive/hands off' ...... inert? phlegmatic? Don't like either)

Given that Fossey is my absolute heroine and I know of no-one who understood more what was needed to rescue these animals from present-extinction, I am loathe, to say the least, the pursue the very kind of activity that she was so vehemently opposed to.

A quick look at the fatality figures for the gorilla population quickly supports Dian's argument that not only is gorilla-tourism morally dubious (are animals there for the entertainment of mankind?) but actively harms the gorillas themselves. In 2005, eight gorillas died from tourist contracted diseases (e.g. measles)

I would be horrified to think that my love of these animals actually harmed them and brought about the very opposite circumstance that I was ultimately seeking to acheive through my visit(I was intending on making links with a view to establishing a small gorilla charity in the UK).

Thus today (or rather, now, as I write this) I have come to the terribly sad conclusion that I should forego my trip to trek them in the Virungas and accept that I should never see these creatures I am so passionate about in their natural habitat.

The best thing I and to promote their welfare is to leave them well alone and support them through other means available.