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The yogi, the tourist and the Kangaroo’s head

Life on land

“My understanding about the way in which a yogi choses to live includes the idea that one does not harm other living things.”

May 21, 2023

My understanding about the way in which a yogi choses to live includes the idea that one does not harm other living things, this state is also a state of kindness and compassion, generosity and truthfulness. Yet, here in the state of Victoria, we have a yogi, a tourism sector business and a bloodbath, a confluence of extreme cruelties, all in just one place.

Kangaroos in Dunkeld before mass shootings

Frank’s story

“It is such a beautiful setting which draws them here, being able to see the Kangaroos in real life is particularly important for our overseas students… There were about fifty Kangaroos, ….. their feet cut off, little babies’ feet, big feet, just hacked off … just strewn around the ground".

I think this was one of the most confronting and shocking things I have ever seen in my life.

B.K.S. Iyengar: On non-violence

The Eight Yamas to Iyengar are universal ethical disciplines. Ahimsa the first “is more than a negative command not to kill, for it has a wider positive meaning, love........Violence is bound to decline when men learn to base their faith upon reality and investigation rather than upon ignorance and supposition.

The yogi believes that every creature has as much right to live as he has. He believes that he is born to help others and he looks upon creation with eyes of love......The yogi opposes the evil in the wrong-doer, but not the wrong-doer. Opposition without love leads to violence; loving the wrong-doer without opposing the evil in him is folly and leads to misery”.B.K.S Iyengar, Light on Yoga, 1979, pp.31-32

Christmas cruelties 2020

This has been a strange year, for us, much of it spent inVictoria in the south east of Australia, either in its ferocious fire grounds or in lockdown in central Melbourne. We spent Christmas Day with friends in as mall coastal town on the south coast of Victoria. Being with our friends was a joy. The 24th and 25th of December were also terrible days amidst the most callous and cruel behaviour from a government that took our breath away, as it sent a wave of fear through regional Victoria and the people in this place living a productive and tranquil existence with their Australian wildlife. We slept little over those difficult days, and judging by the communications I received, nor did many other Victorians.

I find these Christmas time announcements particularly cruel as there is already a great deal of anxiety out there among people who live in regional Victoria and have moved there (or always lived there) because they love their wildlife and the joy the animals bring to them, each and everyday. They do not want shooters moving to their area for a few days and shooting all their Kangaroos and literally wiping them out. Nor do they want these horrific massacre sites on their doorsteps nor the violence that made them. Nor the abuse that goes with it.

“Yes, I knew about the government’s tweet to shooters last night and I also knew about the opening up of all remaining shooting zones inVictoria as I was tipped off about those. Licensing Kangaroo meat from animals shot in Victoria for human consumption (at a time of a global zoonotic pandemic), along with the near doubling of the commercial quota for Kangaroos, and announcing it all in such a sneaky way over the holiday period, is a new low, even for the current government. The government’s malice for the natural world extends to the contempt of the people who care for it and their properties and businesses likely to be destroyed by the barbaric cruelty and abuse. We see some terrible things in the world but this is a callous contempt that is equal to anything we have seen when it comes to the nature of this world”. Peter Hylands

Christmas Day 2020

What is occurring in Victoria is its government is importing the same kind of terrifying and bullying behaviours to regional Victoria, that have existed in NSW and Queensland for some time. The problem is going to be far more harrowing for Victorian residents as the state is far smaller and settlement patterns far more compact. High powered rifles and rural residential zonings do not mix. Nor do high powered rifles, tourists and tourism businesses.

How a government can do this kind of stuff to its residents defies description? There is also a very clear pattern of prejudicial discrimination as complaints from the residents impacted by these behaviours are completely ignored because of an elaborate network of buck-passing, from one government department to another. So there are now no rights for these residents, the only options are to suffer or leave. So what this is starting to look like for at least some regional Victorians is that the kind of environmental, cultural and economic abuse usually directed at Indigenous peoples in Australia, Brazil and elsewhere, along with no rights and the accompanying threats, has spread to those non-compliant to the paradigm of commercial wildlife killing.


Dalai Lama with Peter Hylands and Arahmaiani

A Christmas that was not there

Given, that in the western world, this is meant to be a time of peace, compassion and kindness, I will take you to a happier time and place (and a very long way from Victoria in pretty well every sense) at this same time of year when we stayed with the Dalai Lama and his monks, as it turned out, for about a week. So here was compassion and friendship and kindness. There was also deep knowledge of our world. So we think of our friends so far away and at this time.