The question – “is it ethically sourced?” - is one that is brought to me from time to time. Until now, I have avoided having a formal statement on the website, as this is a question I usually like to answer on the spot so that I can give a considered response that addresses the individual’s concerns. It also gives me a chance to think each time about my own personal ethics so that I can make sure they are always front-of-mind when sourcing for Odd Mountain.
I believe ethics are a deeply personal thing, not something universal, so I avoid throwing around the term ‘ethically sourced’. Instead, I source in line with my own policy, guided by my personal ethics.
My policy is that I will never knowingly sell or stock anything that has caused a living creature to be killed for the sake of display. In addition to this, specimens must be sustainably sourced, species of least concern and non-native to Australia.
While natural death is always preferred, needless waste of life is not. For this reason, I will make use of by-products from industries such food and farming, or from animal care and control programs, and only when I can be sure they were humanely euthanised.
Insect specimens that aren’t collected in the wild, as well as some of the skulls and bones, come to me from conversation farms, which exist to aid in the conservation and protection of at-risk rainforests and other habitats that these species depend on. There, some of the insects live out their full metamorphosis cycle and are collected once they die, to be preserved and prepared and then sold to education centres or businesses, where they are given a new life – and some are released back into the wild in order to sustain populations. This work, the farming, conversation, preservation, preparation and selling, is often undertaken by small, family-run cottage industry operations, indigenous to the land they are helping protect.
I take great care in choosing who I work with, in order to maintain this standard and keep in line with the policy I have set for myself. I hope this information helps you decide whether your personal ethics align with mine - and unless you’re that fruitarian from Notting Hill
, chances are they do!
If you have any questions not addressed by the information on the website, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the form below.