It is not just that I cannot bear to think that animals must suffer their entire lives in order that we live. Nor is it simply that the industrialised farming of animals warns us of the horror of which a society autistic to the natural world is capable. It is that this issue reminds us that life is better lived—is richer, better and more hopeful—as part of the natural world, than as its tyrant.
Richard Flanagan is a novelist.
His novels, Death Of A River Guide, The Sound Of One Hand Clapping, Gould's Book Of Fish, The Unknown Terrorist, and Wanting have received numerous honours and are published in twenty-six countries. Richard's latest novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North won the 2014 Man Booker Prize.
His journalism has been published in the New York Times, the New Yorker, le Monde, Liberation, Suddeutsche Zeitung, The Guardian (UK) and The Telegraph (UK). His essay on the forestry company Gunns, first published in the London Telegraph and later The Monthly, is seen as marking a critical point in the demise of that company and its plan for a two billion dollar pulp mill in Tasmania.
He wrote and directed a feature film version of The Sound Of One Hand Clapping and worked with Baz Luhrmann as a writer on Australia. A collection of his essays is published as And What Do You Do, Mr Gable?. A rapid on the Franklin River, Flanagan's Surprise, is named after him.
Long disturbed by the industrial farming of animals, Richard Flanagan became a Voiceless Council Member in 2013.