Your cover story made for an excellent read. To be frank, I was not aware of taxidermy until I read your story (‘Skin in the game’, March 19). There is no denying that hunting, over the years, has contributed to the extinction of animal species. Hunting, in fact, harms the environment and should be banned. There will come a time when mankind will realise the ill-effects of such self-centred acts.
It was shocking to know that during the British rule as many as 80,000 tigers, 1.5 lakh leopards and two lakh wolves were hunted and killed. These were dastardly deeds for which Britain will pay a price. A wild animal, according to me, can be killed in order to save human life, as a last resort, but killing it for pleasure and trophies is obnoxious, and should not be tolerated.
I have been reading THE WEEK for two decades now and have always been a fan of your exclusive stories on varied subjects. However, your cover story on how the British loot of Indian wildlife helped a family in Mysore build the largest taxidermy business in the world was haunting in more ways than one.
It was horrifying to learn how forests were deprived of their precious denizens for man’s amusement, and how an enterprising and accomplished industry of taxidermy flourished by bringing in cruelty into the beautiful world of art.
We were taught in history about the atrocities carried out by the Britishers on the people of India and the looting of our wealth and treasures. And, now, through your cover story, we have come to know that back then many animals were killed for mere pleasure.