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CASH Courier > 2005 Fall Issue

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The C.A.S.H. Courier

ARTICLE from the Fall 2005 Issue

ASK UNCLE JOE

 GOT A QUESTION FOR UNCLE JOE? YOU CAN E-MAIL IT TO ASKUNCLEJOE@HOTMAIL.COM .

WOULD YOU RATHER SNAIL MAIL YOUR QUESTION? SEND IT TO: ASK UNCLE JOE, C/O WILDLIFE WATCH, BOX 562, NEW PALTZ, NY 12561.

UNCLE JOE GETS A LOT OF MAIL SO DON’T BE OFFENDED IF HE CANNOT ANSWER YOUR QUESTION IN THE COURIER. HECK, HE’S GOTTA WORK A DAY JOB, TOO.

Letters are printed as received. They are unedited.


Dear Uncle Joe:

Trapping is not awful like you people say.

Here in N.Y. I’m required to check my traps every 24 hours. I once caught a toy poodle in a N0. 2 trap set for bobcat. I removed the dog from the trap and a week later he was jumping and bouncing all around the room. You should try to get enforced regulations on regular trap checking and trap size limitations instead of outlawing all trapping. Trapping is a necessary tool for managing wildlife.

Ed H.
Burdett, NJ

Dear Ed:

I’m sorry to inform you that you are only partially correct about New York requiring you to check your traps every 24 hours.

The NYDEC says that you can check your traps once every 48 hours in certain Wildlife “Management” Units. Are you aware that many trappers lobby against 24-hour check times? In several states that do not have 24-hour check times it is possible that an animal can linger for up to 72 or more hours before the trapper returns. I don’t think I have to tell you about the things that can happen to a trapped animal who writhes in pain in a trap (predation, chewing their limb off, etc.).

Take this description of what a #15 grizzly bear trap can do. The following was taken from http://www.sportsmansguide.com  ... these can literally snap a 2 x 4 in half!

“Use extreme caution.”

Trapping does not “manage” wildlife, but instead interferes with nature’s delicate balance. Trappers actively target and kill natural predators (coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, fishers, wolverines, wolves, lynx, etc.), messing with wildlife populations for the sake of recreation. If fur trapping did not exist, the predator/prey ratio would be balanced and ecosystems would benefit.

Peace,

Uncle Joe


Dear Uncle Joe:

Though I don’t understand why you think what you think, I do know that this whole issue revolves around the belief/non-belief that animals are sentient beings of the same value of humans or resources to be used. I mean, if that is what prompts you to believe this trash, than you should say it right out front as part of your mission. If you don’t believe that animals are beings with souls, than what is your argument against hunting? “Innocent animals”?

How can animals be innocent if they are not sentient? If they are not moral beings, animals cannot be held accountable for their actions; hence they can be neither innoncent nor guilty, good or bad.

Ty J.

Athens, TX

Dear Ty:

Our mission is based on several areas of concern, each being as important as the others. We’re concerned with the way state and federal fish and game departments manipulate wildlife populations to perpetuate an overpopulation of animals for hunters to shoot or spear with arrows. We are also concerned about the suffering that animals must endure whether they are trapped, shot or stabbed (spear hunting is permitted in many areas), or when they are orphaned after their mother is killed by a hunter. We also oppose the extreme violence that is a part of every hunting and fishing trip. In a world that is becoming increasingly violent with each new day, we see hunting as an impediment to peace on earth.

Discussion about the existence of a soul is something that is best left to philosophers and theologians and we do not claim the expertise to tackle the issue in an authoritative way. What we know about biology and the dynamics of wildlife populations gives us our arguments to defend our case against hunting. Animals are indeed sentient.

They have highly-developed nervous systems and are able to experience physical sensations as well as a range of emotions.

We use the phrase “innocent animals” because they have done nothing to deserve the treatment they receive at the hands of humans. We beat, burn, maim, poison, shoot, stab, drown, boil alive, skin alive, starve, suffocate, crush and psychologically torture animals by the tens of billions every year. Wild animals are managed for recreational killing, a practice that we feel doesn’t even have a pretense of an excuse.

Peace,

Uncle Joe


Dear Uncle Joe:

You are a bunch of hypocrites. Eating meat and wearing animal hide for clothing while wanting to ban hunting is ridiculous. It’s like saying that because you don’t care to grow your own tomatoes, no one should. I am teaching my daughter that you respect all animals.

One animal eats because another dies. It’s the circle of life.

Regards,

Norman B.
Enumclaw, WA

Dear Norman:

Thank you for contacting C.A.S.H.

Tomatoes and other plants cannot be compared to animals because plants are not sentient.

They do not have the capacity to feel pain and suffer, to experience terror or joy or to love their offspring. The animals killed by hunters can experience all these emotions and sensations, plus some.

C.A.S.H. members are not required to adhere to any sort of lifestyle because we realize that everyone from vegan to omnivore has the capacity to understand the way fish and game agencies act to appease hunters and trappers at the expense of the health and well-being of wildlife.

I am glad that you are teaching your daughter to respect all animals but this seems odd coming from a hunter. You obviously support hunting animals to eat them, but what about big-game trophy hunting where animals are killed not to be eaten, but instead are mounted and displayed. Do you consider this “respect” or is it exploitation and abuse? How about canned hunts, where animals are often sourced from private collectors or zoos? Will you teach your daughter that this is “respect” or abuse?

Peace,

Uncle Joe

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