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Better dead than not red

Do you love red squirrels? I love red squirrels. They are very red and they are very squirrely. I love them. There are also some ecologists in England who love them too, almost as much as I do. They just love those big fluffy red tails.

They love them so much they hate anything which may come to lessen their numbers. They particularly hate grey squirrels, with a determined pathological intensity. They hate them so much, that they find great pleasure in killing them, wherever they can find them. Fine action for beardy ecologists, you may think, wiping out one species with murderous fury, to preserve another specially blessed one. But in this case, it’s OK, because the grey squirrels deserve it. Check out the Redsquirrel.org.uk home page, to find out why. Notice the lead phrase:

Sadly, thanks to the invasion of its grey cousin introduced from America, RED SQUIRRELS have been driven out from much of their territory

Invasion. America. Their territory. Then check this Grey Squirrel Control page, which describes how you can easily kill grey squirrels, while avoiding killing anything else:

To achieve this [survival] it is necessary to enhance the competitive ability of the native red squirrel in relation to the introduced American grey squirrel. Historical evidence shows that generally when both occur together the grey squirrel out-competes the red and eventually replaces it…Grey squirrel control is targeted to areas where reds and greys are competing for resources. It helps red squirrels by reducing the density of greys and hence reducing competition, and by halting the further spread of greys into red-only areas.

American. Out-competes. Reducing competition. Red-only areas.

It seems the anti-capitalistic mentality is alive and well, and living in Northern England, where it slaughters poor little squirrels because their great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents were American. These dangerous rodents are also irresponsibly over-competitive, as well as failing to be red. What greater crimes could there possibly be? Re-settlement is too good for them. Annihilation is the only option. If you want genocidal bloodthirstiness, look no further than this:

If only a small proportion of the population is removed, there is a risk that remaining [grey] animals will become stronger and fitter as a result. Shooting can, however, be useful when greys first start to appear at a site. Luring the animals to a baiting station where a clear shot can be taken is a useful technique.

Charming. Let’s hope the same approach is never taken to rogue libertarians.

It’s also a good job red squirrels aren’t being out-competed by badgers. You’d have bearded eco-warriors from all over the country going out with shovels and pit-bull terriers trying to wipe badgers out, too. Oh, sorry. Being ‘European’ immigrants instead, I’m sure the badgers are safe. For the moment. Let nobody reveal that badgers were actually imported from North America by the Vikings, 800 years ago, or it will be curtains for those nasty black and white interlopers.

Did I just make that last bit up? Probably. I should be taken out and shot.

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20 comments to Better dead than not red

  • Here in America, at least in my backyard, the Red Squirrels dominate the Grey Squirrels, driving the Grey’s from the feeders and generally scolding the Grey’s incessantly from perches in the trees. Though the Grey’s numbers are higher than the Reds, the Reds rule the roost in my backyard.

  • Around here the black squirrels are displcing the greys, (and I don;t think I’ve ever seen a red one, outside books) leading to endless racial humour of dubious but non-serious nature.


  • ernest young

    Ah! ah!, good ‘ole affirmative action – eco-style….

  • limberwulf

    I personally find both grey and red squirrels to be quite tasty when fried, especially when you put a little hot sauce on them right before they come off the frying pan. Tastes like hot wings.

  • Tell you what, we’ll do a swap. We’ll take back the grey squirrels if y’all take back those f*****g starlings!

  • Julian Morrison

    Can’t imagine you’d get much eating off a squirrel. Although I suppose that doesn’t stop people from buying quails.

    BTW: Red squirrels are cuter. It’s the tufty ears.

  • Joe

    That Bellamy fellow looks oddly like a squirrel too.

  • fnyser

    Red squirrels need to become better problem solvers that they may compete with the greys on the bird-feeder raiding front. Perhaps a multi-billion Pound headstart program and block homes would begin to put the reds on equally footing with those clever greedy capitalist American greys.

  • S. Weasel

    Man, if you think gray squirrels are thuggish, wait’ll you get chased around a golf course by a fox squirrel.

  • Jacob

    What do you shoot the gray squirrels with ?
    Are they going to give you back your guns for this noble cause?

  • Squirrel are good enough eating to be worth the effort to portion ratio. They are also small enough to be killed humanely with a high-powered air rifle.

    It is my understanding that any Brit who has a place to shoot and reference letters from their physician and vicar can obtain a permit to purchase such an air rifle. Best of all you can get them with sound suppressors without further paperwork, whereas in the States a suppressor requires as much hassle as a machine gun.

  • Julian Morrison

    Crossbows are easy to get too, and a big-ass one could take down any game animal in britain.

  • Peter

    What a load of arrant nonsense.

    1. Airguns (under 12 ft lbs) are available without “letters of recommendation” or any such tosh.
    2. Bowhunting of all sorts is illegal in Britain.
    3. Squirrel makes good enough eating, although they are very disinclined to give up their skins even post mortem. The meat can be a bit tough, and tastes better in Autumn (stuffed with nuts).
    4. Grey squirrels are destructive pests. They strip the bark from trees, eat fledglings, dig up everything going etc. etc.
    5. There are not enough predators around that can deal with squirrels, so the population has gone through the roof.
    6. They aren’t cute and fluffy, they are aggressive little sods that are little more than rats with bushy tails.
    7. There aren’t enough red squirrels left to cause the sort of problems the greys have.

  • Julian Morrison

    Hey, I never said it was legal to hunt. “I’m just shooting at trees, officer”. Having the bow is legal, if you aren’t carrying it unwrapped in public. Buying it is legal. Shooting at inanimates is legal.

  • Peter

    Sorry… I’m a bit twitchy (not in a squirrel sense) about the current stupidity that surrounds any mention of killing the ickle fwuffy animals that I tend to go in, um, guns blazing. There are too many people talking too much tosh on what they “know” about hunting & shooting, without much recourse to those oh-so-old-fashioned – not to mention pesky – facts.

    Somewhat OT: If people can’t stomach the thought of killing an anmial, stop buying your ruddy styrofoam-slabbed, factory-farmed dead flesh in Sainsburys!

    Oh, and I apparently can’t format for toffee.

  • Big Dave

    Hi Im only 15 but i was just given my first air rifle and my grand parents happen to own a large area of woods which is over run with grey squirrels and ive been having a lot of fun shooting the f**k out of em so far ive shot 7. no grey squirrel is safe ill kill em all and those bloody pidgeons are next. long live the red squirrel

  • the foxcontroller

    i ave a webley xocet 4 shooting grey squirells but i went out tonite to a local woods n dere is a bridge in there n i shot 54 pidgeons with a logun gunlamp attached 2 da gun but i think that the red squirell shud b left to breed

  • I agree with you about the way you view the issue. I remember, long time ago, Jack London said something like “Everything positive has a negative side; everything negative has a positive side.” I also find it interesting to see different points of views and learn useful things in the discussion.

    Posted by: Richard Hill at May 22, 2005 08:59 AM

  • ben & francis

    me and my friend currently own a webley xocet and an airarms tx 200. this summer we have successfully slotted 11 GREY squirrels, 4 dirty city pigeons plus other undisclosed kills( due to legal reasons)! we also believe that there should be revenge for the demise of the red squirrels on the mainland of England. we are currently making a video to document our hidden war and shall update you shortly. Viva La Ristance!

  • T1000

    Greys are non native vermin, and need to be removed from these islands, so the Reds can make a comeback. Pity we can’t shoot Ratboys and Chavs as well (also vermin) and save us a fortune in benefit payments and the costs of dealing with all their crimes!!!