“I think my strongest impulse is to reduce things down to their skeleton, to tear off their skin and their flesh. Then I’m finished with them.”

This is how German dramatist Heiner Müller described his approach to theatre-making. It sums up well how I tackle issues within journalism – and how I approached my own playwrighting in the not-too-distant past.

The fact I liked storytelling was clear from an early age. I insisted on a Christmas tradition whereby the youngsters – including myself – dreamt up and performed plays for the elders. As a young person, it was also apparent that I felt an affinity with other animals.  I was always keen to share the stories of other animals with my peers, particularly trying to raise awareness of how our own species was treating them.

Storytelling has always remained a steadfast part of my life. I studied theatre at university and went on to be a playwright for some years, during which time I wangled my way to being the first woman writer to have a play performed in a historic London theatre. As anyone who has seen my plays will attest, I have a wicked imagination.

My affinity with other animals – and the wilder spaces many of them inhabit – hasn’t waned either. I did go through a period that I refer to as ‘the anthropocentric years’, during which I was pretty passive rather than active about the rapport. But that period is firmly and thankfully behind me now.

Since 2020, I have been working in environmental journalism. I entered the world of journalism some years before, in 2015, and took the scenic route to my ultimate Earth- and more than human animal-focused ‘beat’. Given my childhood instincts, arriving here very much feels like a homecoming.

In other words, I’ve come full circle back to Nature. And I can say with absolute certainty that this is the place I belong.

Tracy is a diligent, insightful, and compassionate journalist. She has a rigorous approach to uncovering the nuances in stories and a keen eye for producing work that readers will care about.

Afroze Fatima Zaidi, editor at The Canary