Voiceless but networking


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44 shares, 36 points

WH Smith’s ban on the sale of shooting magazines to anyone under 14 reveals a classic example of how the anti-hunting rabble twists facts and stretches academic credibility to try to justify their drivel.

Actually, the overall story of how the ban came about brings up many such examples. I’ll focus on just one because it’s not one that jumps out at you, but it’s a beauty. And it brings us closer to home than a UK-based magazine ban.

Animal Aid, the hysterical ‘saviours’ behind WH Smith’s mag ban, enlists Jeffrey Masson as a supporter of their cause. They like Masson not just because he has written nine books on the emotional lives of animals (When Elephants Weep, The Pig Who Sang to the Moon, etc), he’s a learned academic: “a Freudian analyst [who] was the Project Director of the Sigmund Freud Archives,” AA gushes. Too bad that his views were largely dismissed by his peers and he was sacked from the Archives.

But fair call, Masson may well be a smart and deep-thinking man, probably worthy of respect. But he blows away any shred of academic or scientific credibility with this comment: “I find the whole idea of encouraging young people to shoot animals for pleasure completely insane and, believe me, I rarely use the word insane.”

In other words, a man who studies sanity, who sees it in scientific terms, is branding hunters like you and me insane. He’s not making a sweeping generalisation and using the word in a somewhat colloquial sense. He’s labelling us mentally ill. No wonder his peers shunned him.

Ah, but it’s never quite as simple as an academic lending rational support to a cause, is it? He has clearly let his sentimentality get in the way of reason. And as it turns out, Masson is a vegan and a director of Voiceless. Yes, the same group that helps fund THINKK.

By the way, did you know our Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, is on the Voiceless council?

While Bob is jetting around espousing gun control to the UN and the extremist positions of Voiceless, Voiceless is about to help the Greens ramp up their campaign against pig dogging. Greens MLC David Shoebridge is hosting a public event at NSW Parliament House on 25 October where they’ll discuss whether pig dogging is “conservation or cruelty”.

Daniel Ramp stands beside Masson as a director of Voiceless. He and the organisation’s legal counsel, Ruth Hatten, will join Animal Liberation’s Lynda Stoner and, of course, Shoebridge to provide what is sure to be a, ahem, balanced and considered discussion of the topic.

Funny thing is, Shoebridge’s invitation doesn’t list Ramp as a Voiceless director. Instead, Ramp appears as a UTS academic. Sounds much more credible, eh?

His academic specialties don’t include pig dogging. Possibly the closest he gets is looking generally at invasive species under the umbrella of managing ecosystems, but it appears he focuses more on statistical modelling of threats to biodiversity and his favourite subject, kangaroos.

Ramp is big on kangaroos. I reckon that’s why he became one of the co-founders of – you guessed it – THINKK.

What a network our animal-liberating detractors have created. It’s an effective network in which they can talk up the threat of insane slaughter until their paranoia becomes palpable, as well as one in which they are able to spin each other’s academic credibility to suit their goals. It shows.

As a result, shooters and hunters have to be very clever about deconstructing their spin, exposing their lies and deflating their hubris. If we aren’t, it’ll be more than magazines that get banned.


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Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.

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