WHAT IS 'ETHICAL' TAXIDERMY?
All of the animals I work with for my taxidermy art are ethically sourced.
What does this mean exactly?
I’ll tell you!
As a compassionate wildlife lover and naturalist from a very young age, I have great respect for the earth, all of the amazing creatures within it and of course their welfare.
The meaning of ‘Ethical’ can differ from person to person, but for me in terms of ethical taxidermy, I pride myself in sourcing specimens that are not killed specifically for the purpose of taxidermy.
A large percentage of my specimens are the result of road traffic accidents, which sadly, is a frequent occurrence especially on rural roads where I live.
I hate seeing things go to waste, so I’d much rather preserve the beauty of these fallen animals for others to appreciate, rather than let it rot by the roadside.
Collecting roadkill also benefits our birds of prey and other predators. Opportunistic animals such as buzzards will feed from roadkill, but sadly get struck themselves in the process. By removing roadkill from busy roads reduces this risk.
In taxidermy, the skin is really the only component that is needed from an animal. However, I honour the animal by using every available part, not letting anything go to waste by giving the left overs back to nature for buzzards and other scavengers to enjoy!
Sometimes I also donate meat to people who raw-feed their pets such as dogs and ferrets.
I think that sometimes there’s a misconception that taxidermists can be blood-thirsty animal murderers that kill them purely for the purpose of having their head on the wall.
I really want to change this stereotype by showing people that in any case we would prefer to see an animal alive and well rather than in our workshops!
Not only do I support various wildlife charities, (RSPB, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, Birders Against Wildlife Crime to name a few) I go an extra step further by donating a percentage of every sale to my local wildlife trust and other wildlife conservation charities.
With wild birds of prey, I donate the carcass to the Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme who do amazing research in to a range of different areas:
The PBMS measures the exposure and risk to wildlife to lead from lead shot and ammunition, thereby informing the work of Defra’s Lead Ammunition Group (LAG).
Although my chronic illnesses prevent me from physically helping and volunteering for these wonderful charities, I like to think I am making a difference by living an eco-friendly lifestyle and being as pro-active as I can to help raise and donate money from the taxidermy and art I sell.
Here’s to a brighter, greener future for humans and wildlife alike!