4,000 people protesting WA government plans to cull large sharks around surfing beaches is a sign that something has gone seriously wrong with Australian culture.
These 4,000 apparently think that shark lives are more important than human lives.
There are always a few people who think that the world would be better off without mankind, there are always people on the margins. But 4,000 people is a pretty wide margin.
Their concerns are cloaked in environmentalism:
Environmentalists argue there is overwhelming evidence that killing sharks will not prevent attacks.
“There is going to be other marine life caught in the bait lines, not just sharks and there’s going to be sharks under three metres also caught in the bait lines,” protest organiser Natalie Banks said on Saturday.
“We are ruining the marine ecosystem.”
There is little evidence for these intimations of devastation. If they want to see the “devastation” caused by line fishing for sharks off popular surfing beaches they can come to Queensland where we have been doing just that off Gold and Sunshine Coast beaches since well-before I was born.
Queensland still boasts some of the best marine environmental attractions in the world, and there are virtually no shark attacks off popular surfing beaches.
The facts are against the protestors.
This is the sort of thing that happens when cultures lose faith in themselves. Man has been making the world safer for mankind for tens of thousands of years, but suddenly a significant number of us are opposed to it when it involves culling another species, notwithstanding the fact that culling species is a large part of how we make our living.
Over centuries we’ve eradicated threats like lions, tigers and malaria bearing mosquitoes, and our biology is based on nutrients and energy derived from a range of domesticated and wild animals.
As an animal and as a culture, culling is central to what we are.
However, it is apparently OK for sharks to just be sharks, but not for humans to be humans. This is a sign of serious problems for humans as humans, and Australians as Australians.
An organism not prepared to contest its right to live against all others is on the way out.