Rewilding, Raptor persecution, Driven grouse shooting – just a few of the frontline issues that affect today’s wildlife, and of course with every frontline you’ve got to have troops. But not just any troops; troops who stand their ground whatever the odds, who don’t cower in the face of a larger adversary, who are prepared with all manner of equipment for anything that may be thrown at them, these troops are the ‘pull no punches’ naturalists.
‘Pull no punches’ naturalists?!? Is that a new term or am I making words up to fill the gaps in my vocabulary?. For me the term ‘Pull no Punches’ Naturalists’ to some extent means people who are not afraid to fight for their side of the table. But they also offer a unique perspective on what they are debating for or even against, they think outside the box and this is something that I particularly admire. The ability to think outside the box.
Why would that be a useful characteristic? Well if you think about it (I do apologise for the comedy, it is pretty terrible) people who can think outside the box – in other words look at things from a different perspective – can see things that others don’t, and therefore can see gaps in the arguments, but this ability also means that they usually think differently from other people and as a result do not mind in the least if they are criticised by those people for thinking a certain thing. Ok I can see that I’m being a bit overly complicated about it, but the point I’m trying to make is; the punch pulling naturalists are people who can see problems where others don’t, an example would be in large wildlife organisations; I mean, who would think to look in these places for defects that might be affecting wildlife, and then furthermore – who would even consider criticising those same organisations for the defects that they have, however small! (I think you all know who I’m on about!).
The ‘pull no punches’ naturalists are those persons, who – very importantly – have the knowledge and experience to spot these things, but also persons who have the courage to speak up about them and not simply gloss over them, because you’ve got to admit that sometimes we do in fact gloss over many an environmental problem, not because we are gleefully ignoring it, but because we think it so small that it is not a problem, or we are just tired of fighting for it.
So the ‘Pull no punches’ naturalists are the few people in the world who don’t get pulled into the system, who are not herded like sheep with the rest of the flock; they lead the movements and campaigns of many wildlife groups and organisations and keep these going just by their own ability to keep going. And thats why I admire them, because that’s the outlook that we as wildlife advocates, naturalists, conservationists and many more need to have to keep the natural world safe for many generations to come.
So you might want to know who fits this title of ‘Pull no punches’ Naturalists; some you know or might not know, but I certainly believe Chris Packham deserves this title because of his astounding resistance to anybody who doesn’t display the correct attitude towards wildlife conservation and safety, and his ability to talk out with knowledge and experience and hold his ground, for example on Raptor persecution. Another man is George Monbiot; a man who has led the Rewilding movement into the new world and doesn’t mind giving his views and opinions whatever they are! He also has the knowledge and experience to deal with arguments and debates that come up on these subjects, and for that he also deserves this title. I think that Journalist and author Simon Barnes also greatly deserves this title for the support he has given to the conservation cause and also the fact that he does not back down in the face of opposition to his words. Another sure recipient of this title: Mark Avery is a man who I believe takes on a lot of the topics in wildlife, conservation an environmental management that others would fear to tackle, writing freely about them and also spreading the word. Of course we could never do this without mentioning the great Jane Goodall and her almost stubborn fight to study the Chimpanzee, doing things that others scientists refrained from doing in her quest to greater understand this primate, and in doing so lending mightily to the conservation of the apes and much other wildlife in the process.
Those are just a few of the names that I think deserve the title: The ‘Pull no punches’ Naturalist, naturalists I admire and who I think rightly so lead the conservationists and others of this day and age and who I hope to emulate in this manner in the future.