BBC Radio 4 programme on violence in nature writing

I recently presented a programme for BBC Radio 4 entitled ‘Tooth and Claw’. A link to the programme is here It made it onto ‘Pick of the Week’.
It was brilliantly produced by Michael Umney, and a joy to make.
It examines a conundrum that has long interested me: how can someone with a clairvoyant rapport with nature also enjoy killing things?


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2 responses to “BBC Radio 4 programme on violence in nature writing”

  1. Tony Sandy Avatar
    Tony Sandy

    You can’t have a rapport and enjoy killing. This is simple hypocrisy and contradictory in nature. What people say is not necessarily the truth but what they do betrays their real feelings or lack of them.

  2. Angelina Souren Avatar
    Angelina Souren

    The answer to this is partly a question, namely “what is nature?”. We tend to see ourselves as separate from it, but we are as much part of it as the leaves you just slipped on in the park and the pigeons that were rummaging around there. And from there, it gets trickier and scarier because what would happen next if you were to set speciesism aside?

    I have learned not to kill other species if I can help it. For a long time, I didn’t understand that the flies and wasps that we swatted in our home when I was growing up and continued to swat after I left home were usually simply lost and needed to be shown where the window was. I try not to step on snails when it has just rained and they’re all over the pavement; if I can, I place them back into the grass or under shrubs. Why? Well, I wouldn’t want a giant snail to step on me and crush me either. But it doesn’t keep me awake at night when I do accidentally step on one or merely here a crunching sound and wonder. It seems to be part of life, hence nature, this thing. We humans pride ourselves on being better than non-human animals, but as you’ve indicated before, I think, that is not quite the case. We treat other species horribly, and each other often too, and when we say that we love animals, we often merely mean that we like possessing them and showing them off.

    Do you have any answers or thoughts for the huge numbers of animals whose skin get stripped off – it’s called “degloved” if I am not mistaken – during all kinds of human construction projects and undoubtedly also when we are working in our gardens and when farmers farm? That one’s a real mind-bender.

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