Martin Parker: Interfering With Nature

I’m fed up with films which show every last spasm
Of animal courtship, and final orgasm
By shiny-arsed monkeys or whales with a dong
Which is eagerly mobile and several yards long,
Those mantises starting their cannibal lunch
When love, lust and mealtimes all come to the crunch,
Or fish who must deal with their eggs in the weed         
By ‘doing an Onan’ and scattering seed
Recorded by cameramen for our delight
Then beamed to our sitting-rooms night after night.

Phone hacking is nothing to what we inflict on
The wildlife which TV presenters have picked on,
Spied on, pursued, interrupted and fumbled,
Attenboroughed, Oddied and Packhamed and Humbled −
No dormouse left dormant, no tern left unturned ,
No coitus left private, no chance ever spurned
To show us in close-up on wide HD screen
Their arousal and climax and all in between.
I speak as I find from my own small experience −
Sex is more fruitful without interferience.

So, let voyeurs stop filming, let Peeping Toms cease.
If we want the whole natural world to increase
And avoid knowing most of it’s doomed to extinction
Let’s draw a firm line and let’s make a distinction
Between what should be shown and what quite simply can’t
Without having kids snigger or shocking your aunt.
If programmes are made for the prurient viewer
Shy animals’ matings will only get fewer.
But leave them in peace and there’s one thing I’m sure of  −
Our wildlife is something there might be much more of.