Africa Deserves Better


The Mirror Online published more hate speech on October 22nd, in a piece by Sean Rayment, their ex-para who usually writes about military matters but has now apparently gone AWOL from reality. Maybe he has developed PTSD, poor sod.

In the piece:

Campaigners slam company arranging trophy hunting safari to kill wildlife in South Africa”, he reported that “Members of the Avon Vale Hunt at its £90-a-head ball could bid on the trip to South Africa offering the chance to shoot dead wildlife”. 

Now call me old-fashioned, but even an ex-Captain in the paras must kno’ that chicken guns excepted, you don’t shoot dead wildlife – you usually shoot the live ones. Thusly, it came to pass that I smelled something rodenty going on – almost as if some criminally deceptive ARVI (Animal Rights/Vegan/Insane) organisation had handed him a nasty little cut ’n paste jobby to put his name on to earn a crust. I wondered if he’d even read it.

The Avon Vale Hunt auctioned a four-animal hunting trip to South Africa (SA) – for one springbok, one impala, one warthog and one gemsbok (oryx). Hardly surprising – after all, Avon Vale Hunt is a hunting club. The secret is in their name, Captain. It’s what they do and it’s just an auction for a hunting holiday. It’s not an invitation to join an SS death squad. It’s just a hunt for four extremely common, widely eaten SA animals, all of which will have been raised on huge estates specifically for hunting and meat and none are in any way endangered.

Will someone please tell the good ex-Captain that in the real world, over a million animals are shot on the 10,000 private hunting reserves of SA every year, producing 50,000 tons of low carbon, free range venison.

The numbers of these hunted wild animals keep going up because reserve owners (“game farmers”) raise animals ahead of demand. Living a very peaceful life without predators, in their natural habitat with extra water laid on, protected from disturbance behind game farm fencing (average size 4000 acres), these untroubled wild animals breed like white mice. It’s a more-than-sustainable conservation harvest that brings in valuable farm income and produces delicious meat on very poor, dry soils.

It is certainly greener and more profitable than growing cattle or crops.

According to a recent dribble-stained HSI report – (HSI is the international face of HSUS, rabid animal rights (AR) souls whose only achievement is to make Goebbels look honest) – South Africa “reported exporting 4,204 hunting trophies on average per year”. Setting aside the fact that lots of wild animals yield far more than one trophy (all sorts of things are made from animal leather or horn), let’s round it up to 5000 trophies a year, just to keep HSI’s sentimentality intact.

5000 may sound a lot, but with 1.3 million animals being harvested annually on those private reserves, plus more that result from preventing wild animal dispersals spreading out of the protected National Parks into surrounding areas, plus still many more thousands shot as farm or urban pests or resulting from dangerous human/animal conflicts, you realise that trophy hunting is just a part of a huge array of perfectly ordinary consumptive and management rural activities. 

And hunting is a huge, modern rural industry in SA. It’s like deer stalking on the great private reserves (estates) of Scotland. Hunters in Scotland take home an estimated 20,000 trophies per year. In SA, the private estates cover forty million acres, ten times the area in Scotland, so if hunters in SA took the same percentage of trophies, they would be taking 200,000 home, not 5,000. HSI and Mirror Online hypocrisy doesn’t begin to cover it. 

It’s a hunt.

Visiting hunters from the UK can take their trophies home from a hunt in SA if they wish, but many don’t and the hunting fee doesn’t usually include any taxidermy or the carcass itself. The carcass is valuable free-range meat and goes into the meat industry or is distributed to locals. In passing, should the lucky winner of the hunt wish to keep the trophies and have them prepared by a well-known Port Elizabeth taxidermist, for example, preparation of shoulder mounts of all four animals for display will cost about £2400 (plus P&P, duties etc) and provide very welcome income and employment for highly skilled local craftspeople, black and white.

It begs the question, since the consumptive wildlife industry of SA employs 100,000 people (17,000 in trophy hunting alone) and hunting revenue supports over a million km2 of Southern Africa – why does the Mirror repeat blatantly fake news like:

Campaigners said trophy hunting…brings almost no benefits to the communities where the hunts happen”

Almost no benefits?

40 million acres of privately funded, conserved wildlife habitat, billions of wild animals, birds and plants, 100,000 jobs and 50,000 tons of low fat, low carbon, low water, free range organic meat in addition to precious tax and licence revenues????? “Almost no benefits???” How much “almost” does the Mirror Online need? Who fact-checks this garbage?

Why must the farming and field sports fraternities put up with this kind of blatant, lying, hate-speech? 

I’ll tell you why, Dear Reader. Because they don’t fight back. There is no CLM (Countryside Lives Matter). Nobody is taking the knee for rural people – the only knees in rural matters are worn-out knees from hard work. In this case, neither the Avon Hunt nor the generous company that donated the hunting holiday are apparently prepared to speak up and defend themselves, so the liars and potty-stirrers get a free run. Hunt and safari organisers live in 2022 but they still think in 1890. In the old days, before the internet stole everyone’s privacy and turned the nation into curtain twitchers, you could ignore beggars, nutters, meths drinkers and insanitary people who scratch a lot, but now things are very, very different. 

The BINGOs (Big International NGOs) and the faking media are extremely skilled at manipulating social media in order to turn the gullible ARVI into cash donkeys by infecting them with eco-anxiety. But the millions of eco-depressive scrollers on social media are also voters who, after a generation of being force fed with a tsunami of electronic info-irrelevance, now apparently have the attention span of Alzheimer’s goldfish and the emotional maturity of a very timid three-year-old child. Voters in turn affect politicians, and politicians have the power to destroy rural lives and industries at home and abroad. 

Despite their hallowed claims, many politicians would throw their own mother under a bus to stay in power, let alone “a few million smelly animals and grubby people in some basket-case on the other side of the world”. Black lives matter? Help wildlife? You’re havin’ a giraffe, mate – the clickerati and UK focus group stats are the only importance in Westminster. Without any balancing argument, the clicks and focus stats are all going one way. To paraphrase Emperor Hirohito –

The eco-political situation has developed not necessarily to rural people’s advantage.” 

Undeterred, the faking Mirror chundered on, waging its imaginary class war, outrageously doxing one of the hunt members and a totally unconnected UK pub chain without the slightest journalistic justification:

Avon Hunt based in Chippenham, Wilts, with an annual membership of £1500, is one of the most exclusive in the country and has multi-millionaire landowners and businessmen and women as members. This includes Sir James Fuller, a non-executive director of the pub giant Fuller, Smith & Turner, and the owner of the 4,500-acre Neston Park Estate”. 

What the hell happened to IPSO and Editor’s Guidelines? Where are even the slightest vestiges of probity? Avon Vale is no different to half the shooting, golf, yachting or polo clubs in the country, its membership fee no more than the average package holiday or a decent TV.

And so, Dear Reader, you have to ask yourself why? Why would all these BINGOs and the faking Mirror spout such arrant, spiteful and dangerous hate-speech? It is all so corrupting. Well, with all corruption, the answer is the same.

Follow the money”.

So let’s have a butcher’s at the players in the piece. 

The faking Mirror, is, of course, simply rabble-rousing and attracting eyeballs to its paid advertising, although it is a pity to watch their man, who once served our country with distinction, being reduced to a job expounding eco-chuggers’ lies. His piece included the following fake gems:

  • Born Free disputed this. Head of policy Dr Mark Jones said: “Far from being vital for conservation, trophy hunters cynically (cynically?) kill animals for fun (no they don’t kill for fun, Jonesy, they hunt, you chump)
  • “and by doing so cause intense animal suffering (no they don’t – the animals will be harvested anyway)
  • “while increasing the pressure on already beleaguered wildlife (no it won’t – regulated hunting increases overall animal numbers, fool)
  • “Research shows that, typically, very little of trophy hunters’ fees ever reach conservation authorities or local communities” Rubbish – like UK fieldsports, there are demonstrably huge benefits for the land, the habitat, the people and the animals).

And then this –

“Wiltshire Hunt Saboteurs, who have long-campaigned against the Avon Vale hunt”

The faking Mirror now quotes the unwashed, attention-seeking rabble whose premeditated criminal trespass intentions are clear – why else put the term “saboteurs” in their name? It’s a great pity that plod is too busy painting rainbows, recruiting by genetics rather than suitability and pushing the rights of one-legged black lesbians or whatever the heck is their latest PR wheeze.

And then this – “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said: “By auctioning off an animal-slaughtering ­expedition, the organisation exposes its total ignorance about the intrinsic value of wild populations” Slaughtering? (This is PETA, known as PETAnnihilation for their habit of killing pets handed to them, while hunters and farmers know and have actually increased the intrinsic and extrinsic value of wildlife)

“True conservationists are those who work to keep animals alive.” What does that make hunters and farmers in SA who have not only kept numbers alive, but they have also increased the conserved natural habitat by 40 million acres and raised wild animal numbers by many millions? 

Why the fake news?

Perhaps I can shed some light on the BINGOs –

  • HSI – $24 million annual income
  • Born Free Foundation – £5.9 million annual income
  • PETA – $68 million annual income

Kerching! Behold, Dear Reader, £100 million worth of parasites.

Precious little of that money reaches the people or animals of Africa. They are far more interested in wonga than wildlife and a lot more interested in offshore assets than offshore Africans. Perhaps the new PM should reconsider his support for their racket. The people of Africa deserve better. The animals of Africa deserve better. We deserve better, and Truth certainly deserves better than the faking Mirror Online and the thieving liars and hate-mongers it features. 

They are all parasites, and they will continue to inject their venom into rural matters, to weaponise the natural environment and to feed your way of life to their larvae, the mindless ARVI grubs. Then, when you are consumed, they will simply move on to other victims. It’s time to speak up.

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.