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Articles from the Club Sandwich on the Green Scene

The McCartneysí recent purchase of 80 acres of Exmoor woodlands at the request of the League Against Cruel Sports, to provide a haven for deer, was a necessary step against the widespead hunting in the area. Nonetheless, as Linda McCartney argues in this edition of And In The Green Corner, buying land is not the real solution to the problem.
Why donít we share this planet with our fellow creatures in a kinder way, and let the Earth run more naturally? Deer are peaceful and beautiful and were here long before us. We have domain over animals (or so we think) so therefore we could and should look after them. Deer hunting is nothing but an old fashioned bloodthirsty way for red-nosed brandy-drinking chauvinistic men and women to socialise. Itís not a healthy way to run a life, itís barbaric.

I donít even agree with the League Against Cruel Sports when it says that culling is necessary: I believe in select breeding, not select killing. We have sheep on our farm and we select breed Ė is we want a lot of sheep one year we put the ram to a lot of ewes. If we want less sheep we put it with fewer ewes. One can control what one breeds; if it IS necessary, one can dart and castrate deer when theyíre young and let them go back into life, and my vet tells me that the hinds (or girls) could be given long-term contraceptive pills. This is the way to keep the numbers down. The stalking and killing of wild animals in their natural habitat, in remote areas, is particularly indefensible.

One the one hand hunters are saying that if they donít kill them, deer will die out, on the other they say that deer cause damage and so must be killed. Itís contradictory, hypocritical and unproven. For 22 years Iíve been living with deer that havenít been culled and we still have to mow the lawn and we still have a full yield of crops. In my opinion itís pollution and destruction and greed thatís taking over our world Ė and not our wildlife, which seems to be diminishing in front of our eyes. Let them live! And then if they do start to take over, letís re-think.

Now we hear that deer are starving. I wonder why! Theyíve been fenced out of their natural habitat, the forestry, so where else can they go but stray onto arable land? And because farmers also donít want to share any of their land with them, they fence them out too. How can they survive?

Farmers could let deer eat on their land and be financially compensated, as damage is usually minimal. The laws have to change Ė governments presently subsides very destructive farming and itís about time they stopped and instead gave grants for encouraging organic farming, wildlife areas and hedgerows. We still have very old-fashioned thinking: giving grants for things that are destroying us. Itís pure greed, and weíre poisoning the planet at the same time.

We must strive for a better world. This Earth could be heaven and we have the ability to make it so. We should teach quality of life, friendship and self-containment to our children, and greed should be considered a bad rather than a good thing. People have to change if we want to save this world, and the only way for this world to change is for each individual to change.

~Linda McCartney

From the Christmas 1991 # 60 Issue of Club Sandwich
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