Saint Ambrose

Saint Ambrose
Photo: Journey Worker Productions, CC SA 3.0 (C)

Friday, 7 February 2014

Why a picture is not always worth a thousand or two may suffice

There are numerous examples of how even farming can have weird and wacky dimensions that need to be left in the dustbin of history. This one is infuriating enough to make someone contemplate voting Green while they see Red, Yellow and Black:

A photo of a Wedge Tailed Eagle
CC BY-NC Fir0002/Flagstafffotos
The irrational hatred of [Wedge-tailed] eagles by some farmers was unbounded. In a letter to the The Australasian of 22 April 1939, a Mrs P----- R------, of C-------, Victoria, wrote of ‘very handsome but extremely cruel’ eagles tearing the throat from lambs and preferring the warm blood of ‘the largest and strongest’. She enclosed three photographs of an eagle caught in the act of killing ‘a healthy young lamb’. In a reply published in April, well-known naturalist-author David Fleay questioned the ‘badly tattered and frayed’ plumage, odd juxtaposition of predator and prey, and closeness of the photographer to the subject. Unrepentant, Mrs Russell replied on 6 May, that the photos were indeed faked—an eagle was shot and posed over a [dying] lamb—but claimed that her actions were warranted as ‘propaganda’ against the eagle, because the images were visually educational!
Adapted from Penny Olsen, WEDGE-TAILED EAGLE, Melbourne: CSIRO, 2005, pg. 90. (We removed the name and location of the letter writer to protect her progeny.)

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