Badger Watercolour painted during the debatable badger cull in UK 2013
As artists, our hearts often become entwined with emotional issues regarding the subjects that we adore painting. I love painting wildlife and, as the facts surrounding the badger cull taking place in UK emerge, my own heart has continually sunk. Due to the seemingly heartless approach to wiping out 70% of badgers from each selected cull zone, with the British governments own admission that over 80% of these culled creatures will in fact be healthy. Add to that the admission that no-one even knows what the badger population is in each area to begin with, prior to the cull. Apparently only a small percentage of badgers will be carrying the TB infection, which is transferred between cows and badgers hence the reason behind the cull. A government decision that has angered wildlife lovers leaving scientists and animal organisations shaking their heads in disbelief. Statistics show that TB is not spiralling out of control as the press seem to love mentioning. I have never been involved in politics, nor do I wish to become an activist but the details behind this slaughter have been unbearable to witness as an animal lover.
So I found myself trying to paint a badger over the last few weeks and I couldn't. Once the eyes started looking at me in each new painting my heart sank even further. I am dismayed by people in power ignoring all scientific research stating clearly that a cull will have no impact on Bovine TB. But as an artist I am further dismayed that gorgeous wildlife subjects will be eradicated on a whim to win votes and gain political status. There is no doubt the true motive for the cull is purely political.
What other wildlife animals will we be losing next?
80% of British badgers in each cull zone will now be missing. Maybe in the future we will only be seeing certain wildlife via art or photography and that would be a very sad outcome of mans' behaviour today.