This paper looks at recent efforts to replace the Easter Bunny with the Easter Bilby as a means to explore shifts in ideological constructions of the Australian biophysical environment. The ecological debate concerning what belongs in this landscape (and what doesn't) is examined from an anthropological perspective and historically contextualised in order to analyse how such debates are linked to long-standing ideas concerning the relationship between settler Australians and ‘nature’. I use the term ‘naturework’ to describe the various ways in which settler Australians have sought to re-shape the land (from productive landscape to Arcadian landscape). I argue that there is a form of totemic logic to naturework; a logic in which conservationists and others make correspondences between themselves and the ‘saviour’ bilby and between their colonial predecessors and the ‘pestilent' rabbit.
Thank your mother for the rabbits: bilbies, bunnies and redemptive ecology
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Nicholas Smith; Thank your mother for the rabbits: bilbies, bunnies and redemptive ecology. Australian Zoologist 1 June 2006; 33 (3): 369–378. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2006.010
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