To The Editor of Island literary journal (Tasmania)

The application of a little intellect might have helped John Schauble realise that I was saying that you can’t cure by killing cats, only by removing imposed farming from the Australian environment, and by admitting that we are all responsible for the crisis of environment in Australia. His Howard comment is simply dissembling – I believe ‘sorry’ is not enough, I believe substantial tracts of farming land should be returned to indigenous people. The Howard bogey is so often wheeled out as a negator, to signify ‘genuine’ social concern, even by those of the right. Being challenged is healthy, being read so inadequately is disturbing.

For the record, as a vegan, I oppose all forms of violence. Killing is killing. As an anarchist, I don’t even accept Schauble’s model of comparison. Furthermore, I feel it is impossible to separate the disregard with which we treat our environment from the indifference and even aggression with which we treat those who are different from ourselves – wherever they come from, whatever their circumstances. If we don’t start connecting the dots, we will blithely go on our way destroying – out of ignorance AND malice.

Regarding the latter, I have no doubt the guys swinging half-dead cats around their heads and hooting were a mixture of both. I’m writing this from the country, where I live when in Australia – not long ago three foxes were impaled on a signpost as a sign of victory and warning. The landowners of the district have not returned land to the rightful custodians, and many of them sing the praises of One Nation. I reject this nation, I reject its ignorance and malice, and most of all its xenophobic self-righteousness.