Game Changer: Animal Rights and the Fate of Africa's Wildlife

Game Changer: Animal Rights and the Fate of Africa's Wildlife

Game Changer: Animal Rights and the Fate of Africa's Wildlife

Game Changer: Animal Rights and the Fate of Africa's Wildlife

Synopsis

Are conservation and protecting animals the same thing? In Game Changer, award-winning environmental reporter Glen Martin takes a fresh look at this question as it applies to Africa's megafauna. Martin assesses the rising influence of the animal rights movement and finds that the policies championed by animal welfare groups could lead paradoxically to the elimination of the very species--including elephants and lions--that are the most cherished. In his anecdotal and highly engaging style, Martin takes readers to the heart of the conflict. He revisits the debate between conservationists, who believe that people whose lives are directly impacted by the creation of national parks and preserves should be compensated, versus those who believe that restrictive protection that forbids hunting is the most effective way to conserve wildlife and habitats. Focusing on the different approaches taken by Kenya, Tanzania, and Namibia, Martin vividly shows how the world's last great populations of wildlife have become the hostages in a fight between those who love animals and those who would save them.

Excerpt

For anyone who has traveled the developing world, Nairobi is instantly recognizable. It is the doppelganger of Manila, Mexico City, Lagos, Bangkok—a dynamic conurbation of immense size, swelling almost visibly, with a core of decayed high-rises surrounded by concentric rings of slums and gridlocked roadways. the only clues that this is the capital of Kenya, the heart of East Africa, are the marabou storks perched disconsolately on the fever trees along Uhuru Highway, the city’s primary thoroughfare. Somehow, they still evoke the veldt and the bush, the teeming game.

Fifty years ago, lions hunted and black rhinos browsed in the acacia scrub on the very outskirts of town. Today, the only sizable expanse of open land near the city is Nairobi National Park, a partly fenced thirty-thousand-acre reserve that is adjacent to Kenyatta International Airport and still contains fairly robust populations of plains game. It is not unusual to see the bloated carcass of a zebra or impala that somehow broke through the wire next to the airport’s service road, only to be struck by a cab shuttling passengers to and from the city.

The park, however, is a mere remnant of what was. More (or less) than that, it is hardly representative of an intact and functioning East African ecosystem. Rather, it is a de facto landscape-scale zoo that exists because of the fences. Nor is it inviolate. Poaching, poisoning, and encroachment by livestock herders and squatters all go on here . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.