The Natural Stuff

Jonathan McGowan Biography (Part 2)

Jonathan McGowan

Learning from an early age

I learned long ago the difference between right and wrong. I had to learn from an early age, having a rather hard life of living in foster care without a real family. I had no love, but much abuse from some of the many foster parents I was placed with. I had to think for myself and in one such foster home I was left out doors to wonder, hungry and thirsty for several hours at a time, in baking hot summer sun, or freezing cold winter. I had to use my wits and experiment. I had a natural curiosity for all things natural before I lived at this place, and spent many hours searching for reptiles in the garden and surrounding countryside.

From the age of three, I was watching lizards, bumble bees and earwigs, spiders, frogs and birds. I was watching deer and foxes at the age of six. I learned a lot about wildlife. at school, I was different from other kids, I would spent playtime walking up and down the hedgerows of the fields instead of playing British bulldogs. I was addicted to nature.

I later mistrusted humans because they were cruel to me. I suffered broken bones, near death and mental torture at the hands of nasty people possibly even my own biological parents. There are many influences that shape a human being into adulthood. My influences were nature and the way in which other humans behaved. I was curious as to why humans behaved in the way they did. After being subject to mush cruelty by humans, I hated cruelty to animals and humans alike.

I soon realized that animals were not much different to humans as I observed them; I saw the same thinking patterns. I saw how sensitive they were to injuries, external parasites on their skin, the loss of their own young, Play, love, forgiveness. I saw most of the attributes in animals that we humans posses and seem to think that we alone posses.


At one point in my early life I did hunt animals for food either for myself or for my animals I kept captive. I hated to see animals suffer pain and terror and I made sure that I dispatched them as soon as possible. This was soon to end and I soon disliked ending the life of all higher animals, that is anything above simple invertebrates as there is a difference in the amount of physical and mental pain the so called lower animals are capable of feeling. That is not to say that they do not feel pain, far from it in many senses.

I loved to eat meat from an early age, but growing up in the countryside I was very aware of the activities of much country folk. I went on several fox hunts when I was just twelve years of age. I witness the upper class morons, gallivanting around chasing the poor fox. I could not understand it, why? The poor animal was chased by dozens of much larger and stronger canines until it dropped from exhaustion and then be ripped apart. I will never forget the first time I saw this happen and the look of helplessness upon the poor vixens face as she was ripped apart, while nasty red nosed idiots cheered. Blood was smeared on my face and I was part of the blood thirsty clan.

No way had sorry folks done I not take to that, not that I did not like the blood on my face, that was nothing but to be part of a callous thuggish disrespectful group of people was not me.

For years I asked myself ‘why’? I did go on several other fox hunts to watch the people in their madness and once or twice I gave them wrong directions as to where the fox had gone. Once a fox ran through the land where I lived and was desperate to seek shelter in the stables where we had our cattle and fowl. The fox took refuge and the hounds came in but they did not seek the fox, but took a few of my loved laying hens. The hounds took off towards the horn on the lane with hens in their mouths. The idiots sat on top their land rovers just laughed out loud even when I through sticks at the hound to get them to drop the dead bodies. They did not even apologise.

I by then started to hate fox hunts especially after I started watching badgers at the age of fifteen. I got to know many badger setts when living in mid Dorset. The chalky hilly terrain was ideal for many wildlife species and I spent as much time as possible roaming the downs day and night watching deer, owls, badgers and pumas.

I met badger diggers and I realized that many setts were being dug into and poor animals taken beaten and thrown to murderous dogs. The hunt often destroyed badger setts as the fox often took refuge there. That was an inconvenience to them. The hunt was breaking the law, all the time, in many ways and nothing was being done about it. I am sure that this still goes on. I wondered at the time what the point was anyway hunting a fox. They did not eat it. I noticed that foxes ate thousands of rats, rabbits, voles, mice and hares. The very animals that were classed as vermin! Why then eradicate your ally?

Something I notice today is that where foxes are heavily controlled, there are huge amounts of rats and rabbits. The farmers, gamekeepers and other idiots have not cottoned on yet!


The more involved I got with the hunting, shooting and farming brigade, the more horrified I became at their nasty cruel way of behaving towards not just wild animals but domestic animals also. I visited the weekly cattle market and saw farmers hideously whipping cattle, pigs and sheep. Once a steer had its eye gouged out by another horned animal and the farmer just whacked the poor animal until it went into shock. Pigs were imprisoned in metal cages that they could not turn around in. Chickens and ducks were man handled as if they were not living breathing organisms but just items to abuse and get kicks out of. I was sickened even more. Some of my friends lived on farms and I saw the abuse all of the time.

I did see also good farmers, conservationist’s farmers that did not behave in this backward way but they were few and far between. I was intrigued by this large gap in extremes of mentality. One of my mates lived near a chicken broil production unit and we used to go into them to nick food for are pet ferrets. I kept ferrets for years and at the time I did hunt rabbits to eat and for my animals, later only keeping them as pets. At the broiler unit many thousands of chickens were piled up, a rotting bottom layer, a crippled layer and a layer of dirty featherless animals that never saw the light of day. Again I was disturbed by this. In later years the animal welfare act saw massive changes in the way animals were reared. I saw hens in battery farms, pigs in horrible breeding units, cows standing in their own muck for months on end.

I saw those animals as living, breathing beings, feeling pain and worry, just like I did when I was younger. I knew they were the same as I soon started to take a closer look at animals. I would skin them, open them up and look at their insides, the organs, bones, eyes and brains. We were the same basically. In fact I saw more love in animals that I did in most humans. Animals did not abandon their young; they did not commit cruelty on them.

I visited a slaughter house once or twice. These places are disturbing. The animals know that they are going to die. Some desperately try to escape high fences. I saw long distance lorries full of cattle and sheep, thirsty, hungry and dirty.

I saw the shooting parties getting great pleasure from shooting a pheasant and watching it fall, not even bothered about the pain it was in. the hills echoed with the horrendous sound of shotguns on a weekly basis. I hated it but admittedly I joined in for a while. It was the life of the folk I shared my life with.

I was a conservationist, from an early age. I worked for the Dorset Naturalists trust (now wildlife Trust) and conservation volunteers doing hard graft helping to shape Dorset’s nature reserves from the age of twelve. There was a slight conflict of some interests though. I did feel that hunting wild animals for food was fine if it was without cruelty, and was sustainable.

I saw life and death all the time. I saw predators killing and eating other animals. Surely that is what they were there for as well as procreating, the natural rhythm of life beating like a giant earthly heart. One thing I noticed though was that in nature there was rarely great cruelty, and if there was it was short lived. Nature was not cruel. I fished the river Stour also from an early age; I loved the excitement and the fish and watching the other animals along the river. I later only fished for food as I do now think that it is cruel to hook a fish, take it out of the water and put it back. The fish cannot scream, cry or plead to be put back. If it did, then maybe we would see that so called human trait.

I learned to hunt animals with a camera not a gun, and the resulting hunt could last forever.

Road kill

I was also finding a lot of dead animals on the roads killed by motorists, just left to become road fodder or traps to lure other animals to their deaths. I used to cycle around picking up all dead animals and placing them where scavengers could access them without harm. Before this and some time after, I was still catching some rabbits and pigeons to feed my animals with and did not want to waste any of the unfortunate beasts so I set about preserving the beautiful pelts of rabbits. I taught myself to use salt. I then experimented on dead badgers and stoats and pheasants that I found. I marvelled at the beauty of the animals, the feathers, and the fur. I then set about trying to preserve any dead animal that I found. I saw it as a wicked waste. While skinning thee animals I realised that the meat I was giving to my animals was clean lean and free from chemicals and rubbish that was put into commercially reared farm animals.

I was still living with foster parents at the time so was not able to be myself. I did experiment behind their backs by cooking snakes, rabbit and insects. I ate them and they were good. I started to feel that I was getting more out of nature by actually eating it. I was as close as one could get. I felt good like an ancient hunter and gatherer of times gone by. It was fitting to taste the hare from the downs in which I walked, the pheasant from the woods where I sat and watched the beasts of the night.

At one with nature

When I was out, in the woods and hills I was a wild animal. I classed myself as being one with nature. After several hours of climbing disused quarries, spying on roe deer, often stalking them to within touching distance and watching the sun set and then witnessing the day animals sleep and the night animals awake, it opened my eyes, ears and nostrils. I became attuned to nature. I felt free. I became so engrossed that I would experience a culture shock when I got back to the village. The lights, the cars, and people. If I encountered a human when I was out I often hid just like the cat. I was a wild animal.

After I left school and college I spent a while with the wrong groups of people, roped into the town life and sub culture. I yearned to be wild. It never left me though. A secret side of me prevailed and I would sneak out wherever I lived to be a wild animal.

Religion and extra terrestrial life

I spent a long time with depression. Disillusioned with society, I was seeking answers. As I child I chose to be religious. I was an active member of the church and believed in Christianity in a big way. I went against it in my early twenties as I realized that there were too many untruths in the holy bible and that it was messes about with, books added and books taken out. None of it was the word of God, but confused dictators. However I pondered deeply into the meaning of religion and its roots and the many branches of not just Christianity but other faiths. I deeply looked into it with an open mind and came to the conclusion that all faiths stem from the same point.

While I was out early in life I experiences profound sightings of other life, extra terrestrial life. It set me on the big quest, the quest to find the truth. I soon realized that we humans were told all that we should know by several authorities; in fact we are kept in the dark, like farmed mushrooms and fed bullshit. I give talks on the U.F.O phenomenon as I believe that every person should know the truth, but unfortunately that is ignored by most even though it is there for all to see. Seek and ye shall find.

How I live my life

I believe that we humans are slightly different from other animals. We are at the top of the spiritual growth chain. We can reason, we can know the difference between right and wrong and we have choices. We chose as to where are spirit may go when our bodies break down into universal atoms. If you do not believe in such nonsense then behold you are just young and have a lot to learn. Scepticism is a defect, not the way towards good scientific judgement. The sensitive people of the world know about such. Common sense, logic thinking, and intelligent knowledge are earned by hardship. Conventional knowledge is read from books. That is the reason as to why science thinks it has all the answers, but in fact it is the discipline of the young. I am not shaped by modern society. I think for myself and in so doing I reason things out in a logical manner.

I choose to live my life in the way I do. I am responsible for that. Some things are unavoidable to some extent but can be altered or bettered. I have suffered from the condition fibromyalgia for many years yet I can do more than many folk suffering from this incurable syndrome. I am in pain every day of my life. The way I get by is by doing the things that I love, and the quest for truth keeps me working.

I also choose to live my life in a slightly different way from most people. My difference is a direct result of the way in which I have lived my life.

My knowledge and love of natural history has let me to believe that nature is clean. I choose to eat animals that have been hit by careless people on roads by driving vehicles. Undoubtedly many collisions with animals are accidental and folk may be saddened by it, but the vast majority of animal road deaths can be avoided if people realize that roads, especially country roads are built over the homes of animals, thus one should expect animals to be crossing by wing , foot or belly. It is up to us to pre consider the possible and take action.

I have only ever hit three animals whilst driving. I am always looking out. These days people are blind, deaf and are losing the sense of smell. We are de evolving into an unnatural being. (This maybe pre destined, and part of our evolutionary journey). But we still live on planet Earth and we rely on its resources. Our biggest problem is over population with near seven billion humans on this small planet, we are heading for disaster. It is a taboo subject, but reflects the fact that we are just like other animals in basic ways, we have the urge to reproduce whatever the consequences. Yet if we really loved our children, we would not have them in the first place. The children born today will have a hell of a future. Maybe Literally.

By eating only road killed animals, I am eating organic, fresh, good tasting, and wild lived animals. I hate wastage. The animal would have died for nothing, rotting just to feed tarmac. This is immoral. Other animals may die as they scavenge on carcasses. I do not really want to contribute to the commercial meat industry. I am all for good free range and organic farms and have on occasion bought wild meat products from these outlets. I just do not need to as there is so much wild animals on the roadside waiting to be used in a good way.

I use the skins in taxidermy and the meat is not wasted. The only thing that would prevent me from doing this is if for some reason I was unable to drive. I am basically green living and recycle, use low energy and do not drive just to look for road kill, but do several jobs at the same time. Besides I do think that the sun is more responsible for global climate change than humans and I do believe that we are heading for another ice age despite a short warm period before hand.

I have strong opinions as to how modern society is going wrong and hope to have a section in the near future on that topic.

Media interest

Just lately there has been much media interest in my habits of eating road kill. I do find this very strange and shows that most people are not educated in the ways of folk in other parts of the world. It is only a western concept. I also eat wild fungi, berries and nuts. I do go to supermarkets to by dairy produce (something that I am not entirely happy about) and bread and groceries. I am a normal person in many respects and not a wild man or a tramp that has no money and so has resorted to rushing out into the road to scrape up an animal pancake.(Most animals are whole and not much damaged).

Animals are killed in their thousands, it is an appalling tragedy. As I have stated elsewhere on this website, humans do not care about the world in which they live. They seem to think that animals are nothing, useless and inferior to humans. Religion has played a huge role in shaping human ideas and conditioning the psychology of how we think and behave. That too is appalling but, I have not been conditioned. I am myself.

Centre for Fortean Zoology Expeditions

Sumatra, Indonesia

In 2011 I went to the rain forests of west Sumatra on one of Adam Davies' expeditions to search for the Orang Pendek.

Here are descriptions of the amazing geography, bio-diversity of life within the jungle; including plants and fungi, invertebrates and other Sumatran wildlife.

Meghalaya, India

In 2010 I went to the state of Meghalaya in North-East India to search for another cryptid (the Mande Burong).

Here you can see photographs and video of this fascinating part of the world.

My Blogs

The Natural Stuff Diary is a weekly record of natural history and is regularly updated.

Big Cat News is my regularly updated field evidence.

My blog on UFOs is my accounts and experiences of unexplained phenomena.