What has happened to us that we have to get children to express our deepest values and concerns because we have been conditioned to repress them for political reasons?
(Pic:Gavin Jennings, Victorian Min Environment)
Part of an illustration by Frank P. Mahony from the famous Australian story, Dot and the Kangaroo by Ethel C Pedley, published in 1920.
Dot and the Kangaroo (see at nla.gov.au/nla.aus-f2688>), written in the early 20th century, is still a very popular book, because most people like the idea of being friends with wild animals, of living near the bush, of children being able to move freely and safely.
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Unfortunately Australian and State governments are exceptions to this rule; most of our politicians really don't seem to care what happens to our wildlife, or citizens and their children. They are hypnotised by big business and big development, focused on trying to endlessly grow the economy, even though this is causing distress to people as well as wildlife. They are so engrossed in this recipe which they have been sold for political success, that they have lost their hearts.
The same thing is in danger of happening to the rest of the people in Australia.
Have you noticed how adult citizens in our society are persuaded to suppress feelings of disgust, anger and indignation at the horrific suffering human expansion causes to wildlife?
A sign that we adults truly feel that we are not allowed to express and to act upon our real feelings is that, more and more, we get children to do the expressing for us.
The Whittlesea Leader Newspaper, Victoria, has published a #When:00:52:22Z">story about the reaction of local children to the plight of yet more kangaroos displaced by yet another huge shopping centre.
To see the serious, pained, faces of children, burdened with a job which should never be theirs, but has fallen to them because they are not yet completely defeated, should bring our society to its senses and stop the ... um... senseless expansion.
But will it?
What does it take to stop senseless growth and cruel destruction of sentient wildlife?
Australian wildlife rescuers have devoted a site to trying to help the kangaroos in question at Mill Park, but so far the bloody mess continues on the roads as the shopping centre goes ahead.
Perhaps if children marched on parliament and stood in front of the bulldozers that daily destroy habitat, life and beauty, in favour of plastic and concrete money-traps called shopping centres, the madness might stop. Or would the government also turn its head there and look the other way if the machinery for shopping centres simply mowed children down in the same way it does kangaroos, wombats, parrots, possums, devils, wallabies, quolls, snakes and trees.
The children in question have sent letters to Environment Minister Gavin Jennings, begging him not to kill the stranded kangaroos.
Most students have asked for the kangaroos to be moved somewhere safe, because they fear the animals will be shot if they remain in their habitat, which is due to be built over.
Unfortunately you cannot stuff a mob of kangaroos into a high-rise apartment and order in food from a restaurant. Kangaroos actually require many square kilometers of habitat and connection with other roos in other places to survive and prosper. If a shopping centre is constructed on the area they live in, then somewhere similar will have to be found for them. Perhaps the children are not aware that shopping centres, roads and houses are being built all over the place, not just in Epping. So, finding a new home for kangaroos is going to be really hard, but it must be done. Moving them is also very difficult; they are not used to wheeled transport and wonder what on earth is going to happen to them and do themselves injuries trying to escape.
The solution is obviously to stop constructing shopping centres. Perhaps this is what the children should have asked the Government to do.
Here are the letters the children wrote:
I have seen a kangaroo hit by a car and I am not happy about it. Please save the kangaroos near Westfield by moving them somewhere.
I want you to put the kangaroos to live in the zoo. People do not look for signs and they do not pay attention to the signs and drive fast and kill kangaroos.
I don't want the kangaroos to die near the shopping centre.
I am angry.
Please move them to a safe place.
Lucas, South Morang
I am concerned about all of the kangaroos near the shopping centre with no habitat.
I am very angry about this.
I would like them relocated to a different area. There is a big, great, free and open area on Phillip Island.
I would like you to save the kangaroos in South Morang, struggling and fighting for food.
I am very angry about the way they have built Westfield over the top of the kangaroos’ habitat.
I would love the kangaroos to be moved to another area that has no plans for building any shopping centres, cinemas etc.
How would you like it if you were a kangaroo and you were shot?
The kangaroos near Westfield don’t look happy. Please send them to a big island or somewhere safe.
I would like an answer please.
I am upset about the kangaroos because I am so angry about them being trapped.
If I was a kangaroo, I would want to stay in my habitat.
Please put the kangaroos somewhere safe.
If you were a kangaroo, would you like to be shot? That’s unfair to kangaroos and other animals. I want them moved to another area because they are getting stranded.
Yours sincerely (means I’m being honest).
Vincent, South Morang
I am sad that kangaroos are dying.
If people laugh I say “what if you were a kangaroo”? Would you like to be shot? I would like the kangaroos to be safe.
I don't want kangaroos to die near Westfield.
I am sad. It is a good solution to relocate the kangaroos.
I feel really angry because kangaroos have been dying because people have been building on their habitat.
I want the kangaroos in South Morang not to get shot by people. I want them relocated.
I am sad.
I feel bad because you’re killing the kangaroos and I don’t want you to kill the kangaroos.
Please stop killing the kangaroos.
I am sad because I don’t want the kangaroos at Westfield.
I think we should put them somewhere safe.
The kangaroos are dying because they have been hit by a car, guns, dogs and some animals.
I am angry.
Please put them in a better habitat.
I feel really angry and I think that should not be happening.
How would you like it if I came around destroying your home?
So please relocate them.
I saw a baby kangaroo on the road.
Please keep the kangaroos safe.
I feel really bad about what’s happening to the kangaroos near Westfield.
If you were one, would you like it?
Probably not. Please, do not shoot the kangaroos. Please, I want them to live a happy life.
Please relocate them somewhere else.
Keep the kangaroos safe and not shot.
I am sad because I’ve been watching the kangaroos being run over and I don’t like it.
It’s not fair. I want them moved somewhere else.
How would you feel if you were a kangaroo and you got shot?
I love kangaroos.
I’m so angry about the kangaroos dying.
Please save the kangaroos in South Morang because if you were a kangaroo, would you like to be shot? I would think not. I would like you to send them somewhere else.
I’m very angry at the people who take the kangaroos’ home away.
Imagine if you were a kangaroo and you had no food and drinks?
Don’t forget about your children.
They might want to see the kangaroos.
I’m really angry and sad.
It feels like I’m going to cry.
I want you to save the kangaroos in the world and I want the kangaroos in South Morang saved.