Where to Begin
Imagine you are standing in a round room with many doors. You are in the mange library and each door opens into a room filled with information. The first door might open into the amazing world of parasites and you could spend hours in there learning about Sarcoptes Scabiei, the mite that causes mange.
The next door leads to a room filled with photographs and stories about mangey wombats, and you could spend hours learning about how this mite effects their skin, their body and their behaviour.
The next door leads to a room filled with books and journal articles about soil science and you could spend hours investigating how Australian soils are depleted of vital minerals through human activity.
The next door leads to a room that is filled with material on animal health and nutrition and you may spend hours reading about physiological impacts of dietary deficiencies on animals.
Yet another door leads to a room showing aerial photographs of Australia showing the ongoing clearing of land and the gradual death of once mighty rivers as they crawl to a halt, filled with sediment and dams.
There are many other doors as well, doors labeled Veterinary Interventions for Mange, doors labeled Chemical Treatments for Mange and doors labeled Natural Cures for Mange amongst them.
Which of these doors pulls to you will depend on many things. It will depend on when you were born and the circumstances into which you were.
Had you been a farmer in the early part of last century you would be bemused that anyone would want you to walk through any of these doors for the sake of a wombat. And in fact, many farmers of today would be bemused.
It will depend on your education and where and when you were educated and in what field.
Had you be trained some decades back, you wouldn’t have been taught anything about wombats or native animal populations.
If you were trained more recently you may have been taught animal management paradigms (ways of thinking) dictated by economic rationalism (the dominant paradigm or ideology in Australia today).
In this paradigm, value is placed only on the rare; where there seems to be enough of a particular animal, its value and its worthiness is considered lesser and this impacts on whether any assistance is provided to problems it may face.
In this way of thinking, the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat with only 200 odd members left is worthy of intervention, the more common but fewer Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat is less valued and the Bare-Nosed Wombat whose “commonality” is announced in the other name she is known by - the Common Wombat - is worthless.
How we think, the dominant paradigms that restrict or direct that thinking, determine where we go and what we do.
report attempts to give voice to a diverse group of paradigms from a wide
array of people. In doing this we try to understand the thoughts of those
who believe that all sentient beings are intrinsically worthy and deserve
not to suffer through to those who hold this sentiment only for other
specific species, upon which they put value or otherwise, to those who
hold that belief only for members of their own species.
here to download the full report
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