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"Voyeuristic" David Attenborough should be banned from university campuses

1st April 2016
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David Attenborough should be “no platformed” by UK universities due to his “exploitation of animals purely in the pursuit of his own voyeuristic gains”, according to a student pressure group.

In secret documents leaked to The National Student, the Animal Rights Sympathy Exchange (A.R.S.E) claims that Attenborough ‘s wildlife documentaries “are damaging in their very nature through exploitation of their subject matter” and that the veteran broadcaster has shown “blatant disregard for issues of consent with regards to the animals he has spied on throughout his 60+ year career.”

In a memo to the group’s committee, A.R.S.E Lead Campaigner Felicity Harpington-Wong writes, “Although he has come to be regarded in some circles as a “national treasure”, we are staging a motion to have this term struck from every university-affiliated mention of David Attenborough from the past five years.

“David Attenborough has continually exploited the animals that he bases his voyeuristic so-called “documentaries” on, filming them without their knowledge in a clandestine manner, with no regard to issues of consent or the emotional welfare of the animals themselves.

“It is for this reason that we are also calling for him to be no-platformed by all universities who consider themselves to be ethically pliant when it comes to the very real issues of animal exploitation and disrespect in the 21st Century.” 

Harpington-Wong is a 29-year-old abattoir worker turned campaign manager, who has held various positions in student unions throughout the country.

She also self-identifies as a squirrel, something that she has previously said has led to “years of torment from the inter-speciesist masses, whose narrow-minded politics are preventing us from making real progress for all races and species.”

Before launching A.R.S.E in November 2014 she led an unsuccessful campaign to have all Quorn products removed from university campuses in the UK, in an attempt to “remove the insulting appropriation and idolisation of meat-based products from venues in which vegetarian, vegan, pescetarian students should have as much right as anyone else to feel safe and comfortable.”

She added that the anti-Attenborough memo will be distributed to the NUS and student media outlets in the coming weeks, and will be followed by a viral social media campaign using the hashtag #NoPeAttenborough.

A.R.S.E also hopes to receive support from animal rights charity PETA in its campaign.

David Attenborough has been awarded various honours during his career, including a CBE. He is also a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London, the Royal Society and the Society of Antiquaries.

The 89-year-old has yet to comment on the motion.

 




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