Allegedly King Charles III hates grey squirrels but loves the reds. Speciesism?

This is a short note, as I call them, about King Charles III. I like writing about the Royal family of the UK because I don’t really like them. I am unsure whether there is a place for them in the UK in the 21st century because they are too expensive, too wealthy and too priviledged. And their existence does not chime very well with events such as the cost-of-living crisis. I know the counterarguments but I am unconvinced.

King Charles III dislikes grey but likes red squirrels. Speciesim?
King Charles III dislikes grey but likes red squirrels. Speciesim? Image by MikeB based on images on Wikipedia.

Having got that out of the way, it is reported that King Charles has a hatred for gray squirrels but he loves red squirrels. This is speciesism strictly speaking. And it is reported that he dislikes gray squirrels so much that he wanted to use their fur to create a type of fabric. And allegedly he was prepared to reduce their numbers using extreme methods.

Fiona Bretherton, the development manager at Untouched World said that on a trip to New Zealand King Charles noticed that Untouched World had developed a fibre from the brushtail possum back in the 1990s.

At that time New Zealand had 70 million possums chomping their way through 21,000 tons of New Zealand’s landscape.

Possums apparently prefer native trees and birds also feed on native trees and therefore the possums had an impact upon the bird population and it was decided to, I guess, get rid of them and use their fur to make a fabric.

They decided to humanely harvest (I hate that word when it is used about killing animals for their fur) the possums and use their skins for textiles. King Charles III, according to Fiona Bretherton, was inspired by the “sustainable solution” devised by New Zealand.

And apparently, he asked if there was a similar way to address the “environmental challenge of gray squirrels”. He wanted to know whether a similar process could be created to deal with the gray squirrel population in the UK.

Apparently, the gray squirrel’s fur is unsuitable to make fabrics as reported. I’m not sure why but the idea fell through.

The idea per se is not relevant to this short post. This is about the fact that King Charles was prepared to kill gray squirrels for commercial reasons and of course to protect red squirrels.

The British Royal family is steeped in blood sports including foxhunting and shooting birds. It is an unpleasant background. You can’t blame them in one way because they’ve been brought up that way. I just think that the Royal family should lead the way on animal welfare. To be seen to be engaged in blood sports and sport hunting for entertainment achieves the exact opposite.

Blood sport loving William and Harry are out of step with their subjects

Harry in his book ‘Spare’ writes that he was proud that he had shot a stag through the heart

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Speciesism - 'them and us' | Cruelty - always shameful
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Post Category: Rodents