8 December 2003
I've been watching the Register Herald, and all of a
sudden -- not so coincidentally at about the time of "deer season" --
numerous articles appear about deer-car collisions, dog bites, the plague of
bears, and the need for hunters. Although a great many of these
fear-promoting articles have appeared in our local papers, they are
widespread (anywhere that the NRA and Federal Fish & Game agencies
can reach). For example, a Washington Post article recently mentioned how
the number of hunters is declining and to stem the loss, Federal
agencies (DEC and other Fish and Wildlife management agencies) are now
targeting kids and adults with promotional programs that encourage them to
hunt. The December 4th edition of the Register Herald had an article
"Too early to tell quality, quantity of deer season" with links to the
DEC, incidentally, an agency whose salaries and upkeep are
largely paid by hunting licenses and taxes on firearms and munitions.
As a welcome relief to this glut of anti-animal articles,
James Elliott Lindsley's column "They once ruled the skies" paid homage
to the "beautifully colored long-tailed" passenger pigeon, which
was hunted to extinction. Let me add also the short-tailed albatross,
the whooping crane, the gray wolf; the reed warbler; the anteater and
the Nile crocodile a few of the extinct or near extinct species
caused by self-serving human meddling. If we continue as we are, a
recently released United Nations study, which reported that almost
a quarter of the world's mammals face extinction within 30 years, may
indeed come to pass. We, the 97% of people who do not hunt and the many
among us who chose a rural life to be close to nature's beauty, will
also lose out.
Killing also has never been a good ethical answer.
Remember also that violence breeds violence; witness the hunting accidents
and the epidemic of killing throughout our world. Let me add my addendum
to, and agreement with Rev. James Lindsley's "cautionary tale."
Pine Plains, New York