A Letter from a former kangaroo shooter

A Letter From an Ex-Kangaroo Shooter

I was a professional kangaroo shooter 38 years ago. Now I spend an inordinate amount of time in the defence of animals that are doing poorly at the hands of humans.

You may ask as to what has led me to do a complete turnabout in my thinking, and expect some profound answer explaining that at such and such a moment in time the sky opened up and all of a sudden I saw the light. Sorry to disappoint, but it did not happen this way.

If there is any profundity in my “conversion”, it is that I have come to the realization that we are all led down differing paths in life by our genetic make-up and the circumstance that we find ourselves in.

In my case, 38 years ago, the whole social, political and animal concern scene was vastly different to today’s. There was a predominate attitude of human matters being at the fore of thought and a mish-mash of ideas when dealing with the other animals on the planet. On the one hand, personal pets were gaining in the welfare stakes, as were wild creatures that had “fluffy” appeal. On the other, domestic stock conditions were degrading rapidly into the factory farm situation that is still rampant to now.
Butchered3
(image: Viva- SaveTheKangaroo )

This some decades of time saw European cities and other population centres around the Western World explode into greater awareness of the suffering of our “food”. Unfortunately, socio/economic pressures, had rural climes, to a large extent, excluded from this expansion of a new way in thinking about the rest of nature.

In this distant past, the kangaroo was erroneously thought of as a pest that was diminishing the financial returns of those who depended on their income in outback areas.

This excuse was reasoning enough for kangaroos to be killed without compassion, for they were the enemy. Even so, I, and I would suggest, many other kangaroo shooters, were and are, very uneasy with the practice of having to kill Joey’s on a never ending basis. It was not understood then, that the Joey-at-foot would also die in a state of terror by psychological deprivation, predation or starvation. Many kangaroo shooters now convince themselves that this joey escapes and lives happily ever after. Delusions of this sort are not uncommon in the industry and in governments and their acting agents.

Self-delusion played a big part in my experience as a kangaroo shooter but let me state here in the most unequivocal manner that is possible, to be able to self deceive is part and parcel of being human. There will be those that read this in a most judgmental way, comforting themselves with the thought that they could never had done such a thing as kangaroo shooting. Be very careful of that kind of thinking because it does not accord with the facts about the capacity of humanity to be inhumane to people and animals, given the right set of circumstance. Be very careful that you are not self-deluding yourself on this point, for if you are, you are just the person who could be a kangaroo shooter if the situation dictated it so.

I do come across this kind of condemnation but it so insignificant when compared to the mental anguish I put myself through on a daily basis as to be non-existent. This will be carried till the day I die. Thoughts of the terrible woundings and as stated, the slaughter of the innocents and now with greater knowledge, thoughts of the at-foot-Joey’s left to fend for themselves in their thousands.

Thoughts of taking the lives of countless numbers of kangaroos for convenient reasons. Thoughts of being a part of the juggernaut that was and is altering the genetic make up of a marvellous animal. Thoughts of my part in vilifying the kangaroo with the end result of it not having the awed respect, as it should, of the Australian people. Every time there is a wanton act of cruelty to kangaroos, I must bear some of the blame.

I stopped being a kangaroo shooter for many reason, with the cruelty only one of the many.

The kangaroo is not a pest and it is only the greedy and the foolhardy who believe it is a resource to be used at whim.

Australia must re-define its stubbornly inadequate definition of what is compassion and in doing so reap the rewards of not only doing the right thing, but the very tangible benefits of the eco-tourist dollar.

No doubt, other kangaroo shooters will read this, so it seems appropriate to leave a message for them.

If you can see past the self-delusion of what you are doing to other sentient and suffering capable creatures, for the sake of your future mind, do not wait for kangaroo shooting to be discarded as a remnant of our brutish past, as it will, but choose to get out now. The rest of your life will thank you for this very wise action.

This I guarantee. David Nicholls

The Killing of Kangaroos, Australia’s Icon

David Nicholls challenges the view that the kangaroo industry is humane:

“The mouth of a kangaroo can be blown off and the kangaroo can escape to die of shock and starvation. Stomachs can be hit expelling the contents with the kangaroo still alive. Backbones can be pulverised to an unrecognisable state. Hind legs can be shattered with the kangaroo desperately trying to get away on the other or without the use of the other. To deny that this goes on is just an exercise in attempting to fool the public.”

“Kangaroos have a social life not unlike humans, with strong mother and joey ties, companions relatives and the like. When continually shot, kangaroos fret for loved ones, their own lives being forced to live in a state of spasmodic terror. Kangaroos can be and are horribly wounded, in pouch joeys are bludgeoned to death. The out of pouch joeys all alone for the first time in their short lives, panic stricken after witnessing the brutal death of its mother are left to die from starvation and;or hypothermia. The survivors live in a state of constant fear with proper social order in constant disarray and upheaval”,

‘The Kangaroo- Falsely Maligned by Tradition’ (Kangaroo Myths and Realities, 2005)

Available from AWPC shop.

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4 comments

  • SHOOTERS ARE FERAL AND LACK EVERY OUNCE OF HUMAN COMPASSION. SHOOTERS ARE EXACTLY THE SAME BREED AS SEAL CLUBBERS. SHOOTERS ARE MURDERERS. IT IS AN ABSOLUTE LIE WHICH PSYCHOPATHS AND SOCIOPATHS WILL USE “ANY LAME EXCUSE” TO TRY TO JUSTIFY THEIR REASONS FOR VENTING OUT THEIR INNER HATRED AND BITTERNESS ON OUR KANGAROOS. PLAIN AND SIMPLE SHOOTERS “ENJOY” ACTUALLY “E N J O Y” BEATING TO DEATH THE FEMALES ESPECIALLY IF A BABY IS IN THE POUCH – UTTERLY UNFORGIVABLE, AND THE MALES THEY “E N J O Y: THIS TOO AS THEY GET TO “PROVE” THEIR SO-CALLED EGO’S. PLAIN AND SIMPLE- BASTARDS WHO COMMIT SUCH EVIL CAN NEVER BE FORGIVEN. FOR ANY HUMAN BEING TO DISREGARD THEIR HIGHER-SELF ‘ONE’S SOUL PURPOSE’, THEIR INTELLECT FOR WHAT IS RIGHT AND WRONG AND KNOWING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT HURTS AND WHAT DOESN’T, TRULY DOES NOT WARRANT THE RIGHT TO BE HUMAN. BECAUSE THE VERY REASON “WE HUMANS ARE HERE” IS TO RESPECT, LOVE AND HONOR EACH OTHER – JUST AS RACISM IS UNACCEPTABLE SO TOO IS “SPECISM” IT MAKES NO BLOODY DIFFERENCE WHAT VEHICLE OUR SOULS ARE IN BUT IT DOES MAKE A BLOODY DIFFERENCE AS TO HOW ONE CHOOSES TO TREAT THE OTHER BEING. “””WAKE UP TO YOUR SPIRIT”””we “”all”” went to school, we “”all”” learnt the “”SAME”” things between differences, right and wrong, distrust and trust. So it’s an absolute cop out to say “oh, we didn’t know, oh, really, oh, but they said this and that….it’s all fkn lies. Everybody knows the difference between how we should treat each other but you see when it comes to animals and the planet people think they can do what the hell they want to do – oh, because it’s not their fault it’s the other person’s. ANIMALS DESERVE A GREAT DEAL OF RESPECT AND PRESERVATION AND PROTECTION AND ITS ABOUT BLOODY TIME PEOPLE WOKE UP TO THEMSELVES AND STARTED THINKING AND ACTING FOR THE ANIMALS AND NOT THEMSELVES. …and YES I am Vegan you dam bloody right I am. Because I woke up to the fact of bullshit 14 years ago….I REFUSE TO TAKE ANY ACTION, ANY PART OF HATRED AND VIOLENCE ON ANIMALS.

    • Your comment is excellent, thank you. The bastards who are involved in the murder of Kangaroos are pathetic weak and un evolved. They hate Kangaroos because the Kangaroo is seen as ‘superior ‘ to them in every way. The psychos love to feel the control they have in deciding to kill, they can’t kill humans legally so they get their hit of power by killing defenceless animals. The sooner these evil turds leave this planet the better off we all will be.

  • Thank you for your honesty. We have to pressure our government to stop this slaughter. Its reminiscent of our treatment to the indigenous people we encountered when we arrived. Bloody heartbreaking.

  • The fact that David Nicholls WAS one of these brutish numbskulls and now advocates the protection of these beautiful sentient beings, says a lot about the ‘humanity’ of man. I have no doubt that he will spend the rest of his life with the knowledge of what he did and reflect on it with disgust and self loathing, but that will also be his strength in striving to protect kangaroos and this, is what drives all animal advocates. Thank you for your courage David Nicholls, in speaking up and now spreading advocacy of sentient beings rather than cruelty and inhumanity.

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