feral cats and immigration (The Age)

To: Andrew Stafford <>
Subject: feral cats and immigration (The Age)
From: Andrew Thelander <>
Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2013 13:17:33 +1100
Adrian Franklin also develops this argument in his book, Animal Nation (UNSW 
Press, 2006) in which he cites others who have drawn this metaphorical parallel 
between attitudes to feral animals and human immigrants. He seems to like Tim 
Low's book, The New Nature, saying "the implication from Tim Low is that if we 
let go of the idea of a proper, perfectible nature and concentrate on 
*possible* natures and how we can assist them into being, then all manner of 
beautiful, interesting and life-affirming things can happen that are truly 
Australian, reflecting our true history and natural history. This is the enigma 
of hybrid environments, hybrid lives and human-animal relations." [p.235]
Aside from the question whether automatic loathing of feral animals is a form 
of "eco-nationalism", I assume Franklin thinks we can't practically eradicate 
feral cats (look at how the Brits at an early stage poured money into 
eradicating Nth American stoats but failed) but that we can "assist into being" 
some kind of hybrid balance between the old and the new that doesn't involve 
actual extinction. This may not be as silly as it sounds given recent publicity 
about how protecting dingos in some areas keeps foxes and cats down and allows 
small mammals to maintain numbers.
Does Franklin have a point or should we just repeat the call made in 1996 by 
the WA Liberal MP, Richard Evans, who wanted all cats - feral or otherwise - 
eradicated from Australia by 2020? Good old King Canute??

On 08/01/2013, at 11:51 AM, Andrew Stafford wrote:

> To put it impolitely, this might be the biggest load of crap this side of a 
> dysentery epidemic:
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