Cruise Control

BY JOHN NASH

The Daily Maverick’s padded-cell correspondent, Don Pinnock (Dumb Pillock), has been at the crayons again. Personally, I’m convinced the nurse has been overdoing his meds. On 7th July ’22, he scribbled a Daily Maverick (a leading South African source of news, opinion and investigations) farticle about “a forensic study” into Botswana’s Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) conservation system. The “study” found the system wanting, which is hardly surprising since the “forensic study” was actually the usual animal rights, anti-hunting rant dressed in asylum PJ’s.

Mr Pillock’s first problem is the author of the “forensic study” he quoted from. The author of the frenetic drivel is none other than Dr. Adam Cruise, another animal rights rent-a-gob, who describes himself as an “award-winning wildlife investigative journalist, ethicist, adventurer, plant-eater, travel writer and photographer”. Translated into
Dumb Pillock plain English, that means:

“Shiny-bum vegan fiction writer who will write any old animal rights crap for cash and illustrate it with infantile, heart-warming photos, especially if it is a trendy urban bandwagon paying lots of greenwash money”.

Pillock may claim the sun shines out of Adam Cruise’s waste-bin but, in reality, they are simply partners in wokery (“woke” – a word meaning awoken hysteria in vulnerable people due to some imaginary outrage of immense but fictitious proportion). Cruise is the editor of “The Journal of African Elephants” (don’t laugh) and he features his chum Pillock’s fiction prominently in his pseudo-scientific comic, while Mr Pillock, in return, features Dr Cruise’s brain-worm fiction in his writing for the Daily Maverick. It’s a cosy little case of literary Gerald Fitzpatrick and Patrick Fitzgerald.

Of course, their oxygen of publicity is provided by The Daily Maverick (strapline – “Truth matters”- see below), an online circus that puts on entertaining shows of these certifiable clowns as they fling their eco-jobbies at their own rotating ventilator. It’s all very media-incestuous, darling. And let’s not get hung up on DM’s strapline – musty, old-fashioned concepts like scientific facts or truth are so yesterday, dude. Today, truth is feelings and fact is measured by the clicks of urban phone zombies.

You might be impressed that Dr Cruise has an -ology, a Doctorate from Stellenbosch, no less. It must be from Stellenbosch Farmers Winery, not the University. You would have to be as inebriated as flatulence to believe otherwise. You see, it is a doctorate in “environmental and animal ethics”. What in upside-down, inside-out, copulating Hades is “environmental and animal ethics”? You might as well have a doctorate in fixing water to a tree trunk with a staple gun or a doctorate in getting wet string to stand on end.

Using ABC blocks, could someone please point out to this demented fool that the environment actually operates in the real world by means of evolutionary competition – “the survival of the fittest” in its time and place. It’s something the rest of us have known for more than 150 years since Charlie Darwin and Herb Spencer first pointed it out. Will someone point it out to Daktari Cruise, please?

According to Wikipedia, animal ethicists “generally place the well-being and interests of sentient individuals (“animals” in plain english) at the centre of their concern”. However, in the real world, while animal welfare is understandable (meaning: since we can’t avoid owning, using, hunting and killing animals or pushing them out of the way to do all our human stuff, we should make animals’ life and death as pain-free as reasonably possible under the circumstances) it doesn’t mean wild animals have any animal rights (AR).  It doesn’t mean that owning them, using them or hunting them is “wrong”, because there is no concept of “wrong” in nature.

You see, to be fair, we should treat wild animals on their own terms, not ours. Wild animals don’t give each other any rights because they are uncivilised, and no doubt they view a human hunter as just another predator in their world where predators are everyday, normal things. Animal rights don’t exist in nature – they are an attempt by civilised people to extend civilisation over nature, an act that is anthro-colonialist and sure to destroy nature (it works by evolutionary competition, not by animal “rights”). So much for “animal ethics”. It’s cobblers.

Then what about “environmental ethics”?

Wiki again – “environmental ethicists focus on the preservation of biodiversity, populations, ecosystems, species and nature itself”. More cobblers – they try to introduce ethics into these fields. Once again, this is a folly – of trying to apply human ethics to the environment, an act of intellectual anthropomorphism that leads to a misunderstanding of how biological and environmental systems work. It is merely common sense that we should try to conserve the environment where we can in order to enjoy its benefits now and in the future, but like animal ethics, “environmental ethics” are an impertinence. If you want to help the environment, become an ecologist, not a philosopher.

So, animal and environmental ethics, (AR code for “animal and environmental rights”) are intellectual nonsense. They don’t exist. They are “nothing”. However, they are a source of life-long opportunities for charlatans because the one thing we do know about “nothing” is that we never know when it will end. These people have managed to monetise “nothing”. Dishonest, but devilishly clever.

So, there are no ethics in nature. That is why a hyena can rather “unethically” disembowel an antelope alive or a cat somewhat “unethically” torture a quite uncomfortable little mouse to death – but they are not doing anything “wrong” – they are simply the products of nature, and nature doesn’t “do” ethics. Why don’t ARsouls ever ask the disembowelled antelope or disassembled mouse about their “rights”? It’s obvious – they have none. ARsouls only mention charismatic animals that raise donations.



Ethics are the indoor rules of the human den that we call civilisation. Human civilisation is the den that we use to protect us humans “indoors” from the nasty, lethal competition of nature “outdoors”.

Unlike uncivilised nature “outside”, we have rules – indoor, civilised human ethics – that’s why we frown upon you if you decide to play hide-the-sausage with close blood relatives, or you harvest another human to eat them for lunch. In nature, on the other hand, animals bonk their closest relatives and kill each other all day long in rather creative ways because they are uncivilised, “outdoors”, non-humans and have no ethics or rules.

We measure against our civilised, indoor human ethics to figure out human right from human wrong. But ethics don’t apply in nature – there are no ethics in nature, and subsequently there is no “right” or “wrong”, no “good” or “bad”, either. In nature, things kill other things with breathtaking savagery, but that is simply nature. Nature couldn’t care less – if you survive in nature, you get to try again, that’s all.

Our indoor civilised ethics in turn underpin our human rights, but they, too, are indoor things of human civilisation. And since there are no ethics or rights outside in nature, conjuring up a doctorate in “animal and environmental ethics” is a load of old horse dollop, no more real than a bogus honorary doctorate from the International University of Navel Lint or whatever, sold by some enterprising scammer in a third-world slum.

It means Dr. Cruise could have saved himself lots of money because now he has a doctorate in philosophical conundrumolgy, a PhD in fart-gas. His doctorate is an academic and philosophical amusement that is meaningless in the real world. It may impress young college freshers enough for creepy old lecturers to get their leg over, but it simply doesn’t apply in the natural world.

It should therefore come as no surprise that another of Dr Cruise’s previous kyk-daar eco-voyeurisms that he calls “forensic investigations’, into Namibia with journalist Ditzy Sasada, published in (guess what?) African Elephant Journal (yep, Cruise’s own comic again) was, sure enough, also dutifully re-trumpeted by Pillock and the Daily Maverick vuvuzela for ARsouls (truth matters, remember). Sane people soon pointed out that the “investigation” flew in the face of science, and Dr Adam Cruise was called out by Namibians and shown to be thinly-veiled anti-hunting, AR rubbish.

So, there’s his problem. If you don’t understand how nature works, it’s difficult to think rationally about it. For hundreds of thousands of years, since we first became humans, hunters have gone “out” of civilisation to become part of (not “look at”) uncivilised outdoor nature and turn into uncivilised predators themselves for a short while. Hunting IS uncivilised, but it competes in an uncivilised environment for the resources that human civilisation needs. That’s the whole point. Hunting is built into our DNA, embedded in the oldest part of the human brain. It’s still there and modern hunters of all kinds experience a massive rush when it is uncovered when they visit the uncivilised place that men (statistically) evolved over millennia to occupy.

Most modern urban people, on the other hand, have lived inside civilisation – comfy, well-fed and protected – for so long that they have no idea what “outdoor” nature is or how it functions, especially if their minds, softened by Disney, have been rotted by AR, an infectious mental disease that came to prominence only fifty years ago as a brain-fart in the addled mind of Peter Singer, a mad Australian.

That’s why it is not worth going through Dr. Cruise’s latest anti-hunting, animal-rights mental drivel (about how bad CBNRM in Botswana is doing) – that would be to give it more recognition than it deserves. It also follows that Dumb Pillock’s piece in the Daily Maverick, echoing that garbage and intended to publicise their idiotic AR agenda plus insult Botswana at the same time, would be a wasteful wear and tear on your precious eyeballs, let alone the danger of giving yourself intellectual jock-itch.

But ARsouls (who live in wildlife la-la land), deluded vegetarians (who stupidly think they don’t kill anything for food) and gun-phobes (with a medieval peasant’s hatred of “evil” inanimate objects) will love these two bozos. That’s why the Daily Maverick vuvuzela plays their music. In the real world of serious wildlife conservation, however, these two clowns are as relevant as a pair of drunks shouting at a football match. They are entertaining to people looking for amusement, a mild annoyance to serious football followers and have absolutely no relevance to the actual game.

So, instead of wasting your time with these two environmental and philosophical Singer saddle-sniffers, my suggestion is that you treat yourself to a four minute video of Botswana’s President Masisi explaining the African perspective, or to a properly thought out, actual, enlightening eight minute short video by a bona fide scientist in the field, Dr Amy Dickman who, although she dislikes trophy hunting as much as anyone, at least has the intelligence and professional honesty to recognise trophy hunting’s benefits to the people and wildlife of Southern Africa.

That is a piece of work that is worth sharing with everyone.

John Nash grew up in West Cornwall and was a £10 pom to Johannesburg in the early 1960’s. He started well in construction project management, mainly high rise buildings but it wasn’t really Africa, so he went bush, prospecting and trading around the murkier bits of the bottom half of the continent. Now retired back in Cornwall among all the other evil old pirates. His interests are still sustainable resources, wildlife management and the utilitarian needs of rural Africa.