There are many conservation and wildlife communicators (photographers, broadcasters, writers etc.) that I admire, and have left me in awe of their dedication, ability and character.
Without doubt, the most important would be Sir David Attenborough, who over 30 years ago with his Life on Earth series engaged me so deeply in the natural world, that I decided to become a zoologist. Sir David continues to humble and inspire me.
Additionally, my overall bioethics and sense of justice and fairness for human and non-human species has been strong influenced by the thinking of Peter Singer, who I was fortunate enough to complete some post-graduate bioethics training under many years ago.
In the photographic world, I marvel at so many peoples’ ability, dedication, passion, the values they demonstrate and their ability to make a difference. Many are fellows of the Internataionl league of Conservation Photographer (iLCP).
Here are just a few I know, who inspire me in many ways, and I suggest following (or at least taking the time to look at their work). Joel Sartore, Brian Skerry, Melissa Groo, Morgan Heim, David Showalter, Jen Guyton, and Jasper Doest.
Finally, my mother Margaret and my partner Heather have set benchmarks as to what it is, to be a truly kind, tolerant, caring, generous and a compassionate person. For this, I am truly grateful and always in humble awe.
A few favourite quotes
“It’s a moral question about whether we have the right to exterminate species”
Sir David Attenborough
‘The question is, are we happy to suppose that our grandchildren may never be able to see an elephant except in a picture book?”
Sir David Attenborough
“Why should our nastiness be the baggage of an apish past and our kindness uniquely human? Why should we not seek continuity with other animals for our ‘noble’ traits as well”
Stephen Jay Gould
“For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me see there is no way to happiness, happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one.”
Favourite section from a poem
“I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain’d, I stand and look at them long and long. They do not sweat and whine about their condition, They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins, They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God, Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things, Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago, Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.”
Walt Whitman ‘I Think I Could Turn And Live With Animals’ from Song of Myself