Today was a beautiful day of blue skies and tranquil temperatures – a beautiful day to decide the fate of fellow living creatures on our planet. The shark summit is happening today at Taronga Zoo and scientists from around the world are meeting to make it safer for us humans to be in the oceans of the world. As many of us know, whenever something is made safer for us it usually ends badly for them.
I am hoping cool heads and calm hearts will win the day but in reality as long as our safety is the issue, the summit will not achieve its aims. If safety were truly the issue then cars would be on motorised tracks like at an amusement park, cigarettes and alcohol would have never been legal and if we are honest about safety, human males would have been interred on island prison camps a long time ago because they have been the biggest threat to the world’s safety. This summit is not about safety – it is about humans being reduced to food by other animals. The idea of this even being possible is so anathema to our sense of superiority that it seems to induce a type of insanity in us. Treating this shark summit as a safety issue is putting a Band-Aid on a global psychic wound. It just won’t stick.
We need to stop distancing ourselves from the food chain and start acknowledging that we are part of it and as such can be vulnerable to being preyed upon. We can no more keep sharks from potentially eating us (though they more often bite us that actually consume us) than we can cordon off the maggot from our coffins. We are meat, like it or not.
On a more enthusiastic note, NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Land and Water, Niall Blair did state on ABC this morning that culling was not an option (only in terms of the protected great white shark) and that the beach is the domain of the shark. However, the increasing animosity of the surf community needs to be tempered and addressed.