Hardly a day goes by without news of the extinction or endangerment of yet another animal species, followed by urgent but largely unheeded calls for action. An eloquent denunciation of the failures of Canada's government and society to protect wildlife from human exploitation, Max Foran's The Subjugation of Canadian Wildlife argues that a root cause of wildlife depletions and habitat loss is the culturally ingrained beliefs that underpin management practices and policies.
Tracing the evolution of the highly contestable assumptions that define the human-wildlife relationship, Foran stresses the price wild animals pay for human self-interest. Using several examples of government oversight at the federal, provincial, and territorial levels, from the Species at Risk Act to the Biodiversity Strategy, Protected Areas Network, and provincial management plans, this volume shows that wildlife policies are as much – or more – about human needs, priorities, and profit as they are about preservation. Challenging established concepts including ecological integrity, adaptive management, sport hunting as conservation, and the flawed belief that wildlife is a renewable resource, the author compels us to recognize animals as sentient individuals and as integral components of complex ecological systems.
A passionate critique of contemporary wildlife policy, The Subjugation of Canadian Wildlife calls for belief-change as the best hope for an ecologically healthy, wildlife-rich Canada.
Max Foran is professor emeritus of communication at the University of Calgary.