Judas work: four modes of sorrow

Deborah Bird Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this essay I examine four modes of thinking about the betrayals involved in the planned mass deaths of animals, specifically the wild donkeys of North Australia. I consider the wild, but in contrast to the positive valence this concept has acquired in environmental literature. I work with a set of negative connotations that I encountered in conversations with Aboriginal people in North Australia. I explore the wild as a form of narcissism, to use Hatley's terminology, and I engage with animal mass deaths as an outcome of processes of disconnection and catastrophe. My analysis examines how the colonising wild is the tearing apart of the fabric of the life and death on earth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-66
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental philosophy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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