The Top Ten things to help wildlife (and people) this winter

Would you like to know the most effective way of encouraging wildlife this winter? Here are some of my personal suggestions which would make the biggest difference:

Forget Hedgehog homes and peanut bird feeders. Your garden is probably too small to make much difference to anything apart from your feelings of self-worth. All bird food relies on destruction of wild habitat to grow it and putting it out is an act of pure selfishness. You destroy large areas of wild habitat to artificially increase the food available outside your window.  It leads to a super abundance of particular species and significant spread of disease among them. No, homes and feeders are the usual suggestions made by every other ‘things to help wildlife’ article and writer. There are already hundreds of those, making out that the reason wildlife is suffering is because you aren’t doing enough in your garden, if you have one. Here are some more effective actions for wildlife for you to consider:

  1. Tax the land of wealthy landowners until it reverts to the state and turn it over to wildlife. Think doing something in your garden is going to help wildlife when someone with hundreds of thousands of acres is destroying theirs? Think again. The UK has been largely owned by 1,000 families for a thousand  years. People have systematically killed all our large wildlife. The rich cannot be trusted to leave wildlife to flourish on the land they occupy. We must remove it from them. We should make the whole of the UK a Nature Reserve apart from isolated pockets of Human Reserve for housing and food production. The natural world should not be a rich person’s plaything.
  2. Support the reintroduction of Wolves, Beavers, Lynx and all extinct-in-the-UK top predators. They’re the rightful wild inhabitants of this land and our extermination of them is a disgrace and a stain on humanity. Stop complaining about Japan resuming whaling or palm oil in Nutella leading to the death of Orang Utans when you’re happy to live in a country without wolves. Such colonialist attitudes stink.
  3. Outlaw the killing of all wildlife, including foxes, badgers and all birds. Remove the General License for so-called agricultural pests. They are currently only killed for financial reasons. Increase the severity of sentences for wildlife crimes and set up large specialist units to investigate and prosecute. Badgers are currently killed as an act of pointless vengeance in a failed attempt to reduce the cost of milk; badgers are worth paying extra for. Outlaw all blood sports, including driven grouse shooting and pheasant and partridge releasing. Both are massively damaging to the natural world and profit a tiny minority of the incredibly wealthy.
  4. Stop eating so much pork, beef, lamb and chicken and stop drinking cow’s milk. Significantly reduce the amount of land used for pasture and turn uplands into wilderness. Why feed birds and care for them in your garden when you’re also paying for birds to be tortured in cages and killed when a few months old for mass-produced protein?
  5. Neuter all domestic cats and dogs and stop their breeding. Make the environmental damage of pets socially unacceptable. Support a viable population of assistance dogs. Cats kill millions of wild birds and are kept at unnaturally high densities. Domestic dogs are often horribly disabled from perverted inbreeding, consume vast resources and rarely exhibit healthy natural behaviours.
  6. Ensure conditions are right for tree growth to ensure biodiversity. Planting trees is often seen as a panacea. There are public campaigns to plant more trees. There are scientific papers and press articles written on how planting trees will help slow global heating. What they all ignore is the fact that trees grow perfectly well on their own. They don’t need to be planted. What did oak trees do to spread before people planted acorns, raised saplings, and then transplanted them in nasty plastic sapling shields? They grew on their own. Squirrels buried them and Jays hid them and acorns sprouted into oaks. Tree planting is a trick to get poor people to pay rich landowners to replace the trees which poor people have previously paid rich people to cut down.
  7. Abandon all pointless ‘habitat management’ conservation jobs and leave nature to it. All conservation work is wildlife farming. It consumes vast resources, creates thousands of management jobs and does nothing to increase the space available for wildlife. The people who want habitat management for wildlife conservation are generally people driving polluting diesel 4×4 vehicles who are in favour of more well-paid conservation jobs. Nature doesn’t need them to be farming butterflies. Just leave it alone. That’s what ‘wild’ means.
  8. Convert all roads in conurbations to pedestrian and cyclist priority. Ban private ownership of cars except for people over 20 minutes away from a shared electric vehicle.
  9. Buy nothing for Xmas. Your pointless consumption of worthless objects is a key driver of habitat destruction and species extinction. Spend time appreciating your relatives instead and make them something personal which took longer to create than a click on Amazon. Our market-driven capitalist society is at the heart of the destruction of the natural world, exploitation of natural ‘resources’ and global heating.
  10. What would be your number 10? Please let me know below.

It’s not the list you were expecting, is it? Unless we tackle many of them, wealth inequality will grow, species will become extinct, climate destruction will accelerate and people will become ever more dangerously divorced from nature.

Here’s a Puffin.

Puffins - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

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