As a society, we have fought against sexism, racism and bigotry. Today it's time for us to acknowledge another "-ism", one that's been around for a long time yet is still largely unrecognised: speciesism. Speciesism is the belief that all other animals are inferior to human beings and therefore humans are justified in exploiting them.
Doing what I do for a living, I spend my waking hours weighing up the potential of misadventure against the likelihood, the steps you need to take to minimize danger against the worst possible outcome. The risk of shark attack in Australia is tiny, but the potential effects are catastrophic, and so I cannot in good faith just tell my Aussie supporters to carry on swimming anytime, anywhere.
It's a New Year, and it's always at this time that people like me get all pensive - thinking about the year just gone and the year ahead. Although many will be thinking of a host of resolutions and changes, new jobs, new diet and the like, for me and many like me my thoughts always relate to animals...
Now I am sure that there are many owners who treat their exotic pets wonderfully but in my opinion these animals are not meant to be domesticated. The joy of a monkey or parrot cannot be seen when caged. It is seeing these creatures in their natural environment that brings the wonder and awe of the animal kingdom to us.