Belfast Telegraph

Why it’s time for cull on hysterical hatred of foxes

By Robert McNeil

Vulpophobia is getting out of hand. Some time after the terrible attack on twin babies by a fox in Londonshire, the hysteria continues.

Some is fomented by the fox-mangling brigade, who would bring back hunting. Anyone who kills for pleasure should be under 24-hour house arrest, and if we're going to bring back fox-mangling then we might as well have bear-baiting as well. Forward to the past!

I agree with the babies' distraught mother that urban foxes must be culled. But I read one letter in a newspaper from a man complaining about an urban fox staring at him “sullenly”. Perhaps he expected it to curtsey.

The latest “intelligence” is that animal rights activists are possibly, theoretically, undoubtedly, definitely threatening the family involved in the attack. We know how nutty some “animal lovers” can be, and I dare say there's a wacko out there who might try something.

The newspaper stories were based on a couple of people in an internet chatroom casting doubt on the veracity of the story. But the internet is full of weirdies. Even when a bullied schoolkid commits suicide, they post hateful messages of scorn. Welcome to the psyche of the human race, now online for all to see.

Interestingly, or indeed otherwise, one tabloid website has, among its headings of “News”, “Comment”, “Sport”, “Breasts” and so forth, a section called “Animal Cruelty”. Whether for titillation or horror is not explained.

I've no love for foxes nor any other animal in particular, though I feel sorry for the quiet, vegetarian ones like deer and so forth, put forth into the world of nature to be torn to shreds by other animals or shot by buffoons.

The vicious system of nature could only have been created by a malevolent and sadistic deity, perhaps even Stan (“Satan” in some translations). Eat or be eaten. What a great basis for life. Nature is hellish. Ravens peck out the eyes of newly born calves. Foxes slaughter hens by the score. Taoism, of which I often speak fondly, says we should be at one with nature. I do not share this belief. I believe nature should be crushed.

Pending scientific breakthroughs (see below), all predatory beasts should be humanely destroyed, with only a few of each species kept for public amusement in zoos, where shaven-headed children can point at them and laugh. Mankind does not interfere in the rubbish system of nature nearly enough.

Soon, with genetic jiggerypokery, we shall remove the cruelty of cats, that they may play in the back garden with birds sitting safely on their heads.

The lion shall lie down with the lamb. Can't wait. In the meantime, starving foxes in the cities are wondering what they've done wrong, after the hideous actions of one nutter from their own species. They're not all the same, just as there are bad mutts and good mutts, bad folk and good folk. Imagine a being from a superior civilisation came down to Earth. The report he took back would depend very much on whether he interviewed Cheryl Cole or Nick Griffin.

I'm not saying animals have such wide divergences of personality. Animals are exceptionally thick and usually predictable in their behaviour. You throw a stick. The dog chases after it. Idiot. The babies attack was so exceptional it underlined the rule in thick red ink.

In the meantime, give over with the vulpophobia. By all means, destroy the foxes. But don't hate them all irrationally.

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