THE TRUE GREEN ALLIANCE (TGA)
A Non-Government & (to become) Public Benefit Organisation
(Inaugurated 27th February 2016)
To create a southern African (ultimately global) society that is properly informed about the principles and practices of wildlife management; that understands the wisdom of, and necessity for, the practice of sustainable utilisation of living resources (both wild and domestic) for the benefit of mankind; that supports and embraces the animal welfare philosophy; and that rejects the animal rights doctrine.
- To field a trained, responsible and passionate team of TGA experts that will constantly and actively counteract animal rights propaganda; reverse pro-animal rights perceptions within southern African societies and governments; and that will purge society of the pernicious scourge of animal rights activism.
- To educate society with regard to all aspects of the TGA vision.
- To create a strong, broad-based, credible and respected alliance of individuals, businesses, other NGO organisations and organs of government, that are involved with the management of living resources; and that, collectively, will constantly strive to achieve TGA’s vision.
NB: TGA, therefore, will promote caring for the earth and sustainable living practices throughout the societies and the governments of southern Africa, with particular emphasis on the sustainable use of our living resources, and fostering the correct social and official government attitudes towards wildlife management (conservation).
WORLD CONSERVATION STRATEGY (1980)
The cornerstones of the TGA’s philosophy are modelled on the provisions of the World Conservation Strategy – 1980 (WCS), revised 1991 and renamed: Caring for the Earth, A Strategy for Sustainable Living. This protocol, in 1980, was declared to be the official Mission Statement, and it reflected the principle policy, of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). In 1980, the WCS was hailed by world society as being the blue print for the symbiotic survival of both man and nature on planet earth.
After the promulgation of the WCS, all those responsible sovereign states who were members of the IUCN at that time obligated themselves to model their National Conservation Strategies (NCSs) on the WCS template; and to write its provisions into their national laws. South Africa was one of them. Thus did the WCS obtain its legal teeth.
The WCS proposed and promoted, inter alia, an integrated approach to development and sustainable natural resource management. The three principle objectives of what the WCS describes as living resource conservation (sic) are:
- To maintain essential ecological processes and life support systems (such as soil regeneration and protection, the recycling of nutrients, and the cleansing of waters), on which human survival and development depend;
- To preserve genetic diversity (the range of genetic material found in the world’s organisms), on which depend the functioning of many of the above processes and life-support systems, the breeding programmes necessary for the protection and improvement of cultivated plants, domesticated animals and microorganisms, as well as much scientific and medical advancement, technical innovation, and the security of the many industries that use living resources; and
- To ensure the sustainable utilisation of species and ecosystems (notably fish and other wildlife, forests and grazing lands), which support millions of rural communities as well as major industries.
TGA recognises the importance to mankind of world societies’ embracing and governments achieving, all three of these objectives. It shall be TGA’s purpose, therefore, to promote and support the attainment of these objectives in everything that we undertake; and to oppose, and to expose, any and all activities that might render them beyond our reach.
TGA believes that the WCS still represents a blue-print for the survival of both mankind AND nature on planet earth and that our publics-at-large, and our governments, should be encouraged to continue to embrace this opinion.
THE GREEN MOVEMENT
TGA recognises and supports the legitimacy of all those true elements of what society euphemistically calls The Green Movement (or The Greenies) – including TRUE environmentalism and TRUE animal welfare-ism. There is a third component, however – animal rightsism – the ideology of which we believe has no place in any civilised and responsible society.
TGA categorises and identifies the three elements of The Green Movement as follows:
- TRUE Environmentalism is a doctrine that strives to ensure that the environment in which we all live remains in a habitable and healthy condition. The TRUE environmentalist believes in and supports all three objectives of the WCS’s living resource conservation True environmentalism, therefore, works for both the benefit of mankind and in the best interests of all other living resources (plants and animals) on planet earth. We believe that every person on this globe, therefore, should be a TRUE environmentalist because to be anything else is suicidal.
- TRUE Animal welfarists also believe in, and they support, all three objectives of the WCS’s living resource conservation ethic – with provisos. They insist that when man uses a LIVE animal for his own benefit (such as using an ox to plough a field; or a donkey to pull a cart), the animal must be treated humanely; and that when man kills an animal to obtain benefits (such as slaughtering a beast to obtain meat to eat), such killing must be conducted without cruelty. TRUE animal welfare organisations, therefore, oversee man’s civilised standards in his treatment of the animals that he uses. For this reason they deserve society’s support.
- Animal Rightists reject the WCS entirely. They are particularly opposed to the third principle of the living resource conservation ethic and, because of this they are easily identifiable, and separable, from environmentalists and animal welfarists. Animal rightists are fanatical in their belief that man has no right whatsoever to use an animal – ANY animal – for his own benefit – in ANY way. They believe that animals – both domesticated and wild – have the same right to life as have human beings. And they insist that man should eat nothing but vegetable foods.
NB: Animal rightists cannot achieve their objectives without violating the legitimate rights of other people.
THE ANIMAL RIGHTISTS
TGA identifies animal rightsism as the biggest obstacle to the attainment of WCS & NCS goals everywhere; and we understand, unequivocally, that the healthy status of wild animal populations, wild habitats, and biological diversity is adversely affected whenever and wherever the animal rightists have been able to successfully interfere in wildlife management principles and practices. TGA, therefore, will concentrate on stopping any new inroads that the animal rights movement tries to make, and on reversing the successful advances it has already had, on the thinking and on the practices of our governments and civil services, and on the hearts and minds of our society – particularly our urban society.At the same time, TGA does not ignore the negative impacts that the animal rights movement has had, or intends to generate, within the (non-wildlife) social, domestic and agricultural practices of society. We understand and accept that both the wild and tame aspects of the overall animal rights problem are inseparably connected.
In the practice of their ideology, animal rightists reject the fact that man is an integral part of the animal kingdom or that he exists and survives, as do all other animals, ONLY in terms of the natural trophic rules and processes that make food chains and food webs in nature, function. They reject entirely, therefore, the idea that man can – AND SHOULD – live within the sustainable parameters of these natural systems and in symbiosis with nature, thereby using the earth’s living resources in a sustainable manner in order that man, together with the living resources that he uses, can and will survive into posterity.
Everything the animal rightists do, therefore, undermines mankind’s efforts to achieve WCS objectives; and it negates the actions that every sovereign state undertakes to achieve the goals of its NCS. The animal rights ideology is not only financially, socially and governmentally destructive, therefore, it is suicidal for mankind and it misdirects human energies. It is also wasteful of our living natural resources and of taxpayer monies.
In every respect TGA urges people, in all walks of life, to understand that the animal rights doctrine actually undermines the very foundation of our civilisation; and that it is, right now, unravelling the status and the direction of all the pillars that once supported the responsible and rational management of the earth’s living resources. They are doing this by impregnating their pernicious dogma into the policies and procedures of international organisations like the IUCN, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES).
NB: The animal rightists are fundamentally and diametrically opposed to what the animal welfare organisations are striving to achieve. They claim that the animal welfare doctrine is the biggest stumbling block to the attainment of their animal rights objectives; and they very clearly, and very forcibly, identify their differences. The animal welfare ideology, the animal rightists say, is aimed at regulating man’s use of animals thereby legitimising within our social psyche, the idea that animals can and should be used for the benefit of mankind; whilst the animal rightists purpose is to abolish man’s use of animals (in every dimension).
Regrettably, because the unscrupulous use of (animal-centred) emotion is a major component of their fund-raising efforts within the world’s huge but unversed (in things natural) urban societies, the animal rightists are able to solicit more funds from the public than do their counterparts in the Green Movement. Consequently, a lot of grey areas are beginning to appear in what were once TRUE environmental and TRUE animal welfare ranks because they cannot compete, financially, with the false and highly emotional propaganda that is disseminated by the animal rights NGOs. Many of these once pure organisations, therefore, are now adopting selected animal rightist objectives as their own – in order to make more money.The animal rights philosophy, therefore, is erosive and corruptive of many legitimate and desirable social norms and values.As the animal rights propaganda has been (and continues to be) spread and absorbed into susceptible elements of our urban societies, so has there occurred a mental corruption in, and decomposition of, society’s erstwhile wildlife management obligations and values. Accredited animal rights NGOs at CITES have also corrupted the one time great principles and practices of that important international wildlife-trade-regulation organisation; and these NGOs now orchestrate (virtually control) what amounts to the anti-trade rhetoric that is currently being voiced by CITES. ‘Prohibition’, rather than ‘regulation’, is now the catchword at CITES!
Certain wildlife management professors in South Africa’s academic institutions are known to have accepted huge sponsorships from major and well-heeled international animal rights organisations. Professor Rudi van Aarde (University of Pretoria), for example, received R 9 200 000 between c.2000 and c.2010 from IFAW (The International Fund for Animal Welfare – which is purported to be the biggest animal rights organisation in the world). He is using this money, inter alia, to expand his anti-elephant culling management dogma throughout southern Africa. But just how many academics are involved in this sponsorship scenario we do not yet know. Van Aarde now publicly disseminates what amounts to raw animal rights propaganda on South African television and radio. He is now, undoubtedly, his paymaster’s puppet!
The Chief Executive Officer of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (The NSPCA) has also received large sponsorships from an American based international animal rights organisation (the Humane Society of the United States); and HSUS paid for and has trained South Africa’s NSPCA Inspectors.
There is absolutely no doubt, with the bait of large sums of money being the key, southern Africa has been infiltrated and our society continues to be penetrated, by what amounts to an international animal rights mafia – whose purpose is not to help animals but to, ultimately, make a lot of money out of a gullible public – money that keeps their senior officers in fat cat employment.
Kenya’s wildlife aficionados claim that the international animal rights NGOs with well established offices in Nairobi, already rule official government wildlife management opinion and policy in that country, and they enforce (total protection) wildlife management practices by way of continuous bribes to appropriate politicians and/or civil servants. And the old-order (recently retired) officers of Kruger National Park claim that the same thing has been happening in SANParks, here in South Africa.
It shall be one of the purposes of TGA to investigate all these matters thoroughly, to combat this erosion of our beliefs and lifestyles, and to reverse whatever support the animal rightists currently enjoy in our societies – and within government and the ranks of the civil service, too. We intend that with this task, as in all others, TGA shall pursue its objectives, determinedly, methodically, within the scope of legal and financial means, according to the mandates of its policies, and with decorum.
- TGA believes that the concept of endangered species is invalid – that it has no basis in science – and that the promotion of this ideal has caused great confusion in the hearts and minds of society-at-large. It has also resulted in many different animal species populations being grossly mismanaged in Africa and across the globe.
NB: Species organise themselves at the population level and different populations (of the same species) enjoy varying degrees of ecological safety. Populations that are in decline (UNSAFE), therefore, require the application of preservation management practices (protection from harm); whereas those populations (of the same species) that are stable, increasing, or excessive (all SAFE) should be managed according to the principles of conservation management (wise and sustainable use). We accept and will promote, therefore, the concept that wildlife management is comprised of two functions – conservation and preservation – and that this understanding should become our foundation for establishing a common, acceptable and understandable wildlife management vocabulary within society: and that TGA’s interpretations of those words should guide our wildlife management ethic.
- TGA regards honest science as representing the foundation framework necessary to understand the natural world. TGA, therefore, supports the use of honest science to develop rational and effective methods of wildlife and habitat management practices – specifically of wild animal population management – as one of the pillars of the southern African model of wildlife management.
- TGA recognises the intrinsic value of wildlife and its importance to humanity; and it views wildlife and people as interrelated components of a single ecological-cultural-economic complex.
- TGA supports regulated hunting, trapping and fishing and recognises the right of game ranch owners to pursue either the consumptive or non-consumptive use of wildlife, as they individually see fit, provided:
- consumptive-use practices are sustainable; and
- non-consumptive use is pursued in tandem with acceptable and responsible habitat and animal population management practices.
- TGA is concerned that foundation elements of the animal rights ideology contradict the principles that have led to the recognised successes of wildlife management practices in southern Africa.
- TGA believes that both the selective and broad application of elements of the animal rights philosophy to contemporary issues of wildlife management, promotes bad choices regarding potential human-wildlife relationships and false expectations for wild animal population management; and that this erodes society’s confidence in the decades of knowledge gained through scientific exploration of wild animals and their habitats.
- TGA recognises that a range of individual philosophies exists within the realm of animal rights but that most animal rights adherents hold similar foundational beliefs, including:-
- Each individual animal should be afforded the same basic rights as humans;
- Every animal should live free from human-induced pain and suffering;
- Animals should NOT be exploited for any human purposes whatsoever; and
- Every individual animal has equal status regardless of commonality or rarity, or whether or not the species is native, exotic, invasive, or feral.
- TGA adopts the philosophy that our animal welfare concerns – with specific reference to wildlife management – should focus on the quality of life for animal It does NOT preclude the use of any of the recognised tools of management, or the use of animals for food or recreation, or for other cultural uses, provided that when such use causes the loss of an animal’s life, it is justified and achieved through the most humane methods possible.
NB: The tools of wildlife management include, inter alia, lethal population reduction; reintroduction, culling; hunting; harvesting; the controlled use of poisons and other chemicals; lethal and/or non-lethal trapping; capture-and-translocation; and habitat manipulation – such as controlled veld burning and the provision, and/or the closing down, of artificial water supplies.
- TGA recognises that the philosophy expounded above contrasts with the animal rights view which holds that it is wrong to take a sentient animal’s life, or to cause it to suffer for virtually any reason, even when such actions are designed to protect species or ecosystems, or to promote human welfare and safety. The animal rightists, however, have not come to consensus with regard to which species are sentient enough to qualify for these considered protections.
- TGA understands that the animal rights philosophy believes animals should be given the same moral considerations and legal protection as humans.
- TGA points out that the animal rightists have focused emphasis on individual animals whilst failing to recognise the inter-relatedness of wildlife communities within functioning ecosystems, and that they hold that protecting individual animals is more important than conserving populations, species and ecosystems. For example, wildlife managers may consider the protection of an individual animal of a so-called endangered species more important than the existence of an individual of a common species, but animal rightists advocate that these individuals are equally valuable and deserving of equal protection.
- TGA observes that, with regard to the animal rightists demands that humankind should become entirely vegetarian in its diet, they are silent on the issue of the massive land use alterations that would be necessary to feed human populations in the absence of the consumptive use of animals; and in the dramatic and continual loss of wildlife that would entail as habitats are converted to, and maintained in, intensive agriculture.
- TGA notes that the animal rights viewpoint has no room for the use of animals in scientific and medical research, whether designed to benefit humans or animals; nor that curtailment of these uses will inhibit wildlife science and conservation, and a vast range of human endeavours and progress.
- TGA recognises that the conflict between the tenets of the animal rights philosophy, and those of the wildlife management philosophy, is profound. And that established principles and techniques of wildlife population management, both lethal practices (such as population reduction, culling, regulated hunting and trapping) and non-lethal techniques (such as capture-and-translocation, aversive conditioning or capture-and-marking for research purposes) are dismissed as irrelevant in the animal rights viewpoint.
- TGA understands, accepts and respects the legal provisions surrounding the concept of res nullius and the consequent assumption of wildlife ownership by the state; that this effects regular and legal private ownership and private management of wild animals; and that it is the foundation of the laws protecting all wildlife in southern Africa. This means, outside private ownership, all wild animals are considered to be a public resource held in trust by government for the benefit of all its citizens. The animal rights philosophy advocates opposition to the concept of private ownership of wildlife, and/or as a property that is held as a public trust resource, and it further advocates affording individual legal rights to all animals. Taken literally, under the animal rights legal framework, there would be no existing legal basis for any kind of wildlife management and, if the above concept of wildlife management administration is voided, it would be difficult, if not impossible, for wildlife professionals to protect unsafe animal populations or to control overabundant (safe), invasive, exotic, or ecologically detrimental animal populations; to control the spread of disease between wildlife and domestic stock (both ways); and/or to protect human health and safety.
- The policy of TGA, regarding the animal rights ideology and related wildlife management principles and practices, is that:
- TGA recognises, and it shall broadly disseminate the fact, that the philosophy of animal rights is incompatible with science-based wildlife management;
- TGA will educate organizations and individuals about the need for the scientific management of wildlife and habitats, the wisdom of sustainable utilisation of living resources (both domesticated and wild), and about the practical problems relative to the management of wildlife and habitats, and to human society, in the face of the animal rights philosophy; and
- TGA differentiates between animal rights and animal welfare, and supports the TRUE animal welfare philosophy which holds that animals can be studied and managed through science-based methods and that human use of wildlife – including regulated hunting, trapping, and the lethal control of animals in the interests of maintaining biological diversity, for the benefit of habitats and wild animals, and in the interests of human society – is totally acceptable provided these practices are sustainable and individual animals are treated ethically and as humanely as possible. In all these regards TGA will support, and will promote, the application of preservation management to UNSAFE wild animal populations; and of conservation management to SAFE wild animal populations. TGA supports, also, both lethal and non-lethal means (whichever is deemed the most appropriate) for the protection of domestic stock from wild predators on agricultural land.
ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION
It is TGA’s intention to get all shareholders in our collective animal-use industries to buy into our concept of having one single organisation (TGA) to represent everybody of a like-mind in the country; to get them to support our efforts to educate the public and government; and to get them to allow us to fight whatever battles have to be fought with the animal rightists, for one and for all. In this regard we intend to spread our net far and wide to include such groups as: domestic stock farmer associations; game ranch-owner associations; hunter organisations; outdoor-sports business associations; commercial fisheries and angling associations; furriers; taxidermists; public wildlife associations; private game reserve owners; SANParks; parliament; the ruling party and opposition parties in government; provincial nature conservation departments; supermarkets (that sell animal and poultry products for human consumption); commercial financial institutions; individuals and companies who share our vision and mission; and many, many more.
TGA will be governed by a Board of Directors representing its members; and that it will function within the parameters laid down by policies that are approved by the Board. TGA, therefore, will not be a loose cannon but a disciplined arm of all its various members – and it will carry out its task of marginalising the animal rights doctrine within our society according to these approved policies. The policies will be compiled by the TGA-CEO (or his proxies), in consultation with external experts and/or with relevant Board members; and the policies so derived will be ratified by the Board before implementation.
It will be TGA’s objective to learn all there is to know about every facet of those animal-use industries that identify with us; and to establish liaisons with them so that when TGA has to deal with a problem they will know what to do, who to ask for information and advice, and what to say. TGA may, from time to time, issue media releases (about, for example, the undesirability of the animal rights doctrine and about the virtues of sustainable utilisation of living resources) for everybody – on the basis of a standard format and with sound rationale. Specialists within the different animal-use industries may also be co-opted by TGA, from time to time, but it should become our joint purpose (when confronting the animal rightists and/or rogue environmental activists) for all stakeholders to publicly function through the TGA. In this regard, it shall be an objective of TGA to establish a rapport with the media, with government, with the relevant nature conservation officers in the civil service, and with the general public. This will have the beneficial effect – when a particular battle is being waged – that anybody and everybody of importance in the country will know that the matter is being handled by a unified, powerful, influential and both politically and socially acceptable organisation.
NB: The fact of TGA being an ALLIANCE is very important – because the broader we make this alliance the greater will be its influence and credibility in the eyes of the government, the courts and society-at-large.
The content of TGA policies – although written by the CEO in compliance with the TGA’s legal constitution – will be approved and ratified by the TGA Board of Directors before they become operational.
TGA will be registered as a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) – which means all membership fees and donations will be tax deductable; and it shall have a permanent establishment of career officers and employees. Although it will operate as an independent entity, it shall remain in close contact and in full cooperation, at all times, with its members; and with its Board of Directors.
THE VISION EXPLAINED
It is TGA’s vision to guide southern African society back towards a responsible understanding and acceptance of what is right and what is wrong when controversial wildlife management, and other animal-use issues, irrupt in the public domain. Once TGA is operational, it is hoped that the debate on controversial wildlife management matters will no longer be the sole prerogative of the animal rights NGOs and their fellow travellers in the media. Past experience suggests that the purpose of many sensation-seeking journalists has been to generate as much upheaval within society as they can generate, about emotion-charged wildlife management issues of which they have no knowledge, nor accountability. It shall be one of TGA’s primary purposes, therefore, to properly inform the people of the media – and to encourage them to be constructive (NOT destructive), and to be responsible – when reporting upon issues that are promoted by the animal rights brigade. TGA believes that the people of the media are hugely to blame for the great heights of undeserved popularity to which the animal rightist NGOs have climbed in recent years; and that our wildlife resources have suffered severely as a consequence. Irresponsible journalism, therefore, will be just as much to blame when wild animal populations become extinct due to animal rights interference in their proper management.
TGA believes that ONE organisation representing ALL animal-use industries, will speak with a much more powerful and much more acceptable public voice, than can individuals, or small groups of people, who are bonded ONLY by reason of their personal and/or vested interests. It will be necessary to create a figurative GOLIATH to fight, on everybody’s behalf, the mass of fanatical animal rights activists that TGA will have to face. It should be remembered that any individual, or any small group of people, who takes on the animal rights movement will be tackling opponents that, individually and collectively, command annual incomes that range into hundreds of millions of US dollars. To win each battle, therefore, is going to be a gargantuan task; and success will only come with the help of massive public understanding and support – and from a broad-based alliance.
In this regard, however, it shall be TGAs purpose NOT to engage in verbal disputes with individual animal rightists or with their NGOs – because none of them will EVER be convinced by reason. They know it would be financial suicide if they did! It shall be TGA’s purpose, instead, to convince society of the virtues of, and justification for, what WE believe in with regard to any controversy; to explain the incompatibilities of the animal rights philosophy with the issues under debate; and to generally – constantly and consistently – inculcate in society’s mind the gross iniquities and the pernicious consequences to wildlife, caused by society accepting and supporting the animal rights cause.
There is also a problem in southern Africa insofar as local nature conservation officials, small and large stock farmers, game ranch owners, fishermen and hunters often do not see eye to eye. TGA will gear itself to handle such situations of conflict – most of which can be resolved by the dissemination of rational knowledge.
TGA will also handle all matters involving government misunderstanding and inefficiencies in wildlife management matters and in matters of corruption by government officials – and others – within the field of TGA’s expertise. In all these concerns TGA will operate ONLY within the mandates of its approved policies.
All this CAN be done. With determination and with passion, it CAN be done! Our biggest ally is the fact that we will be going to war with common sense, with reason and with right on our side. And the World Conservation Strategy (1980), and our National Conservation Strategy, will be our foundation and guide.