GOT A QUESTION FOR UNCLE JOE? YOU CAN E-MAIL IT TO
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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?