Tom Hardy in Africa, Thomas Hardy on Class

Hi, it’s Chris Packwolf, animal welfare correspondent at the Greenygrey; with Chris Packham a parallel for those reading this in the human world. As wolf week takes over from working-class week, yesterday the Greenygrey reported how Gemma Atkinson is a working-class woman animal welfare supporter and environmentally conscious. Tom Hardy stars today.

Atypical Animal Welfare Supporters 

Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy (Photo credit: honeyfitz)

Gemma is probably not the stereotypical animal welfare supporter, and neither is the actor Tom Hardy. Hardy is best known for being a bad boy celebrity, and playing baddie roles such as Bronson and Bane; as told in his biography. Bri’s bane was of course the ultimate Brisbane baddie at the end of Werewolf of Oz.

However, Tom Hardy this week starred in a documentary visiting Africa to report on the struggle to save elephants and rhinos from poachers in the first of the two-part Poaching Wars With Tom Hardy.

Use of Iconic Logos

lacoste

lacoste (Photo credit: Ozzam Escudero Ajihil)

Although it would be nice to raise awareness using just the animals, I think it sometimes needs stars and icons to attract new supporters. That’s why we have the greenygrey wolf as the logo for the Greenygrey website.

We could have chosen a less controversial animal, but felt that the wolf was right; and Lacoste hasn’t done too bad with the crocodile, which of course starred in the Werewolf of Oz pirate story. Crocodiles seem even less popular and iconic an animal to humans than our best friend dog’s close wild cousin.

Being True to Oneself 

"Thomas Hardy," oil on panel, by the...

“Thomas Hardy,” oil on panel, by the Scottish painter and engraver William Strang. 17 in. x 15 in. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Remembering working-class week and Tom Hardy above, the Greenygrey’s struggle between the human and wild animal world is reminiscent of Tom Hardy’s Victorian namesake writer Thomas Hardy’s struggle with class identity.

Thomas Hardy the writer found it difficult to live in upper class life after becoming a successful writer, and felt he would have to lose some of his good working-class qualities to be accepted into the upper echelons; where he would be able to fulfill his literary potential.

Working-Class Animal Welfare

I remember hearing a jokey observation that when the upper classes see a fox they hunt it; when the working-class see a fox they hit it on the head and eat it; when the middle-class see a fox they photograph it.

So although I am a working-class werewolf, in that respect I am more stereotypically middle-class.

Kes 1969 film poster.jpg

Kes’s 1969 film poster

Although vegetarianism and animal welfare support are more typically middle-class I do it out of a liking for animals and the environment rather than social factors. In fact, life would be much easier, and I would probably be more acceptable in my current life, if I did eat meat and not care so much about animals.

And in reality, I think animal lovers cross class and cultural boundaries. An early fictional example of a working-class person finding an interest in life through animals was Kes, a Ken Loach film adapted from the Barry Hines book A Kestrel for a Knave.

Whether it’s kestrels in Britain or elephants in Africa, the Greenygrey totally supports the efforts of animal welfare supporters to try and protect endangered animals for both the animals and humans; the world will be a much poorer place without all the animal species that brighten it with life.

Marc Latham has books available on Smashwords and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/author/marclatham).

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