Greenpeace says “Eat roos.”

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2007:
VICTORIA–Greenpeace Aust-ralia on October 10, 2007 endorsed
slaughtering kangaroos instead of cattle as a purported way to fight
global warming.
The argument for eating kangaroos was prominently featured in
the Greenpeace Australia press release promoting Paths to a
Low-Carbon Future, a Greenpeace-commissioned report released on
October 10 and made available for downloading from the top of the
Greenpeace Australia web site.
Kangaroos were actually mentioned in only two sentences of
the 30-page report, but the press release mention– which omitted
half the context–won mentions of Paths to a Low-Carbon Future in
more than 200 newspapers worldwide within the next 24 hours.
Wrote report author Mark Diesendorf at the bottom of page 16,
“This report proposes to reduce beef consumption by 20%, as this
agricultural sector makes the biggest contribution to Australia’s
methane emissions. This could be accomplished by shifting to
kangaroo meat and/or lower-meat diets.”


At the bottom of page 23, Diesendorf elaborated, “The
second agriculture measure, a 20% reduction in beef production from
1990 levels…could be accomplished by shifting to kangaroo meat
and/or lower-meat diets.”
The Greenpeace Australia press release omitted mention of
eating less meat.
Opposition to kangaroo massacres was among the issues that
built Greenpeace Australia, but Greenpeace energy campaigner Mark
Wakeham “urged Aussies to substitute some red meat for roo to help
reduce land clearing and the release of methane gas from flatulent
cattle and sheep,” reported Karen Collier of the Victoria Herald-Sun.
Diesendorf readily defended his recommendation to eat
kangaroos, without reference to eating less meat. “Kangaroos do not
emit greenhouse gases. They are not hooved animals either so they
don’t damage the soil,” Diesendorf told Collier. “There is a small
sub-set of environmentalists who see the kangaroo as a cuddly animal
who should be left alone. They are entitled to their view, but more
and more people are moving toward eating it.”
Noting that Diesendorf had given eating less meat equal
prominence with eating kangaroos in Paths to a Low-Carbon Future,
and had apparently not mentioned eating kangaroos in a decade of work
for the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of
Technology in Sydney, ANIMAL PEOPLE asked him by e-mail if he had
been misquoted or misrepresented. At deadline he had not responded.
Meanwhile, observed Collier, “The Greenpeace report has
renewed calls for Victoria to lift a ban on harvesting roos for
food,” led by the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia.
Kangaroo meat is sold in Victoria, but is imported from other parts
of Australia. Kangaroo meat is also exported from Australia to
Germany, Russia, Belgium, and France.
The Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia has been
aggressively working to expand the global market for kangaroo meat
and leather, backed by the Australian government. Allied with the
athletic shoe industry, KIAA in 1995 persuaded the U.S. Fish &
Wildlife Service to end a 1974 prohibition on kangaroo leather
imports into the U.S., and during the 2007 California state
legislative session won the repeal of a 1971 California ban on
kangaroo leather sales. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
signed the repeal into law on October 13, 2007.
Of the three million adult kangaroos who are hunted each
year, about 60% are reportedly butchered for human consumption,
while the rest are rendered into pet food, as are as many as three
joeys in the pouch who are killed with each female.
The current kangaroo hunting quotas, originally set at 5% of
the population of species legal to hunt, now amount to 10% or more,
as the kangaroo numbers have fallen by half during five years of
drought.
“Australia is the driest, most fragile continent on earth,”
Australian Wildlife Protection Council president Maryland Wilson told
Steve Dow of the Sydney Morning Herald in September 2007. “If people
want to eat meat,” Wilson added, “let them get it from a country
that is able to produce it.”
Her message was not well received by the Australian livestock
industry. Australia exports more live animals to slaughter, mostly
in the Middle East, than any other nation, and is also among the
world leaders in total livestock production and exports of frozen
meat.

Goodbye to Joey

The Greenpeace Australia position favoring kangaroo slaughter
broke sharply from Greenpeace history.
Recalled Paul Watson, who founded the Sea Shepherd
Conservation Society in 1977, seven years after becoming the
youngest cofounder of the first organization to bear the Greenpeace
name, “Back in 1986, Greenpeace produced a film about the
commercial slaughter of the kangaroos in Australia. The film was
called Goodbye to Joey, and it denounced the wholesale slaughter of
kangaroos. According to Australian Greenpeace spokesperson Trevor
Daley, Greenpeace opposed the commercial trade of kangaroo products
on ecological and moral grounds.”
Distributed in Europe and the U.S., Goodbye to Joey was used
in campaigns to ban imports of kangaroo products.
“It is bad enough that Greenpeace no longer opposes the mass
slaughter of harp seals in Canada,” Watson said. “It is tragic that
Greenpeace continues to support the trophy hunting of polar bears in
Alaska and Canada. But to openly support the largest massacre of any
wildlife species on the planet is going beyond the bounds of
acceptability.”
Added Al “Jet” Johnson, the now-retired airline pilot who
founded Greenpeace USA, and was a member of the film crew that made
Goodbye to Joey, “This is inexcusable. How can we produce a
passionate film denouncing the horrific kangaroo slaughter and then
advocate the mass slaughter of kangaroos a few years later?”

Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *