Page 25

EXPLORING WILDLIFE

Magpies by Mike Brown.

and the wolf. It was an Irish member of parliament, Richard Martin, who despite ridicule from his peers in the House of Commons, introduced an Act for the humane treatment of cattle in 1822 and along with a small group of supporters established the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, in 1824. So involved with the cause of animal protection did he become that he was known in his lifetime as ‘Humanity Dick’. His pioneering legislation has subsequently been replicated throughout the world. Continuing agitation by anti-cruelty groups has seen

[QOVQÅKIV\[\MX[NWZ_IZLQVZMKMV\\QUM[ with the push to outlaw whale hunting for »[KQMV\QÅK¼X]ZXW[M[VM_Z]TM[OW^MZVQVONW` hunting and hare coursing, and the phasing W]\WNJ]TTÅOP\QVOQV+I\ITWVQIIUWVO \PMUW[\X]JTQKQ[MLM`IUXTM[WN\PMVM_ awareness. Vivisection of captive animals to determine the viability or otherwise of drugs and treatments for human ailments remains contentious and continues to be vociferously opposed. While humanity has undoubtedly JMVMÅ\MLNZWU\PMXW[Q\Q^MW]\KWUM[IV\Q ^Q^Q[MK\QWVQ[\[IZO]M\PI\\PMJMVMÅ\[PI^M been achieved by unethical and inhumane

means and are intrinsically cruel. The recently devised Earth Charter, an ethical code for the modern world, though silent on the issue of vivisection, promotes a more compassionate relationship with the natural world and its citizens. One of its early endeavours – to equip young people in Syria to become ecocitizens, in 16 schools in Aleppo – has, however, come to naught in \PMUIaPMUWN\PMKWVÆQK\\PI\PI[ZML]KML that city to rubble; a sad irony indeed. Here, man’s inhumanity to man has thwarted the potential of environmental education to act as a catalyst for peace. How cruel is that? Irish Wildlife Summer ‘15

23

Irish Wildlife Trust  
Irish Wildlife Trust  

Summer 2015