Cherry Had It Right; Shoot With A Camera

A Gun Solves Nothing For Animals, Cherry Proves That

We can change. Whether we want to or not isn’t a question, but an act of willpower, compassion and switching the way we view the planet and ourselves.

A new exhibition at London’s Royal Geographical Society highlights a pioneering wildlife photographer.

Over a decade before Sir David Attenborough was born, photographer Cherry Kearton led the way with the sort of ethical, moral outlook that only in 2021 we are seeing more of. Clearly we have some way to go yet, to get to the type of world we dream about, where people aren’t abused, or homeless, or starving and where animals are left to live their lives just as humans would like reciprocated to them.

Cherry Kearton was born in 1871 in Yorkshire, England and was a director, cinematographer and photographer and with his brother Richard, he became a pioneering wildlife film producer, with Sir David Attenborough himself citing Kearton as influential in his own journey to becoming a wildlife documentarian.

In 1914, Cherry and his brother Richard set off on a safari expedition in Africa. During this same time and in stark contrast to Cherry and Richard, trigger-happy US President Teddy Roosevelt and his son Kermit killed 17 lions, 11 elephants, 20 rhinos, 9 giraffes, 19 zebras, 400 plus hippopotamuses, hyenas and other large animals, as well as thousands of birds and smaller animals. Cherry Kearton hunted armed only with a camera and a conscious.

Why Not Change

We’re tackling fundamentally different approaches to how wildlife should be viewed, used, or consumed, but we’re particular dealing with out of date pastimes, upbringings and traditions. It’s why we continue to see the brutal killing of dolphins in the Faroe Islands in the name of “tradition”, or the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan in the name of human “entertainment” at marine parks around the world, or trophy hunters proclaiming “conservation”, when really it’s a thrill to kill a defenceless animal.

Nothing can be learned from a dead animal, but for biology. And nothing can be learned about a wild animal from that same animal in captivity, when a captive animal doesn’t display the same behaviour as their wild counterparts. People will argue for science through dead animals for research, but surely we have enough research to last multiple lifetimes. People will also argue for hunting animals to sustain their populations, yet at the same time populations have significantly decreased and we already have sustainable populations and conservation efforts, through non-killing methods and eco-tourism. Hunting for sustenance is one thing and that is something (even we as vegans, vegetarians or other) we must appreciate when communicating with native people of this world, who depend and rely on sustenance that they simply can’t gain from locally farmed crops or convenient supermarkets.

So why continue the killing? Why prolong the suffering? Why persist with this audacity, when there are alternative humane methods. Change is a difficult word for some. Let’s shoot animals with a camera.

Visit the Exhibition

14 December 2021 – 20 December 2021

Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR


For more information, visit the Royal Geographical Society’s website here

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Cherry Had It Right; Shoot With A Camera 📸 – via @bettersafaris @RGS_IBG @visitlondon #photography #wildlifephotography #nature #thephotohour

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