From Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW)

We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Don't blame deer for our own problems

Letter as published on SILIVE.com
December 9, 2015

Don't blame deer for our own problems

I'd like to offer some facts regarding the inflammatory articles you've published re deer in Staten Island:

Humans are notorious for scapegoating others if they can do so at all; for you to raise hysteria about deer - while not commenting on the exploding human population - is questionable at best. Urban sprawl and the desire for more malls and housing has left wildlife with no home. For you to scapegoat them for a variety of supposed 'ills' in a land of the largest garbage landfill in the U.S. (not caused by wildlife) is astonishingly myopic.

Car accidents are overwhelmingly caused by driver error: Drunkenness, texting, disobeying signage. New York state has fatal auto collisions on a weekly basis, none involving wildlife. It's so easy for the media, for TV ads, etc., to scapegoat animals for our bad driving; AAA reports an 80 percent drop in animal collisions when drivers heed their instructions. Statistically, Americans spend an average of 55 workdays (2,200 hours) per year stuck in traffic; the very least we can do is stop for animals, who have as much right to exist as we do.

Regarding Lyme, the CDC has proven that mice are the primary carriers - not deer. But the media keeps trotting out falsehoods, which, of course, are good click bait.

For a community to complain about its wildlife - S.I. just got rid of its wild turkeys as well - is distressing; is this really arising from residents, or just media-driven fear to sell papers? APHIS/USDA (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service/U.S. Department of Agriculture) has an agenda - they're composed of hunters who make a handsome living off killing wildlife. Kindly leave killing off the table.

Ultimately, more than 7 billion people currently inhabit the planet, compared to only 3 billion in 1967. Every year about 135 million people are born and 55 million people die, adding 80 million to our global population. This means more demands on housing, employment, water supplies and the environment. We will have to decide how to address this situation; but the very last thing we should be doing is killing wildlife to accommodate our own burgeoning race, our own culpability.

Kiley Blacman
Tuckahoe, NY

[The writer is founder of Animal Defenders of Westchester.]

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