Sent to New Jersey Newspapers.
On Saturday, September 27, the NJ Division
of Fish and Wildlife will target birds for slaughter during its “Youth
Waterfowl Hunting Day.” A press release from the Division claims that Youth
Waterfowl Hunting Day “encourages responsible, ethical and safe hunting
practices.” Unfortunately for both the hunters and the birds, there is no
such thing as “ethical and safe” hunting.
Every year, children are seriously injured
or killed while practicing the “ethical and safe” sport if hunting. Since
September 1, the Associated Press has reported many injuries and
fatalities. A 14-year old Utah boy was shot in the torso while dove
hunting; an 18-year old fatally shot in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
while hunting geese; and a 6-year old Texas boy was shot while dove
hunting. In addition, a Colorado bow hunter was found to have bled to death
after an arrow pierced a major artery in his leg.
The International Hunter Education
Association reports that in 2001, more than ten percent youths aged 19 and
younger who were involved in firearm-related hunting accidents were fatally
injured. These tragedies are an unavoidable reality if people continue to
pursue violent bloodshed as a way of entertaining themselves.
Encouraging children to be violent killers
of harmless and defenseless animals is not something that should ever be
taken lightly; not only is animal cruelty such as hunting wrong on its face,
it is also wrong because an increasing amount of evidence indicates that
children who are cruel to animals often grow into adults who are cruel
toward humans. A recent incident supporting this viewpoint this took place
on April 24, 2003 in Red Lion, Pennsylvania. Before school started, student
Jimmy Sheets, a young teen, pulled a gun out of his book bag and shot his
principal to death before turning the gun on himself. Jimmy was described
as "a passionate hunter." (Philadelphia Daily News) Even when young
hunters do not turn their guns on humans, the crass indifference toward the
lives of the animals is something that hardens one’s soul.
This wanton killing of wildlife is
encouraged by wildlife managers within the Division of Fish and Wildlife
because the fees generated by the sale of hunting licenses pay the salaries
of Division employees and excise taxes on firearms and ammunition pay them
to turn wildlife into living targets. The goal is to pump out bullets and
arrows at the expense of the animals, the community and our children.
Because a plethora of evidence proves that the violence of hunting is
dangerous to society on many different levels, we call on parents to raise
their children to respect all forms of life and reject the violent lessons
taught by the Division of Fish and Wildlife through their hunting programs.
To learn about ways to live in peaceful coexistence with wildlife, please
visit the web site of the Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting at
http://www.all-creatures.org/cash/ or call (845) 256-1400.
Joe Miele, Vice President
New Jersey Field Office
Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting
Rochelle Park, NJ 07662