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.

Letter to the Editor - We have encroached on their habitat, not the other way around

Letter as published on The Journal News
May 22, 2016

Re: "NY: Tips to avoid getting attacked by a black bear," April 22 article

How heartbreaking to read about the poor animal having the police called on him for eating a plant — by someone gobbling up his own delicious dinner — with the media joining the alarm....

First, the Department of Environmental Conservation labels them “problem” bears; then, when an animal tries to eat some bird seed, a homeowner cautions: “… he'll be back” ("Bear spotted in Bedford second time in two days," April 30 article) like the bear is some Schwarzenegger cyborg monster.

We are so removed from the natural world, we are outraged when wildlife seeks a bit of food, as though we're the only ones who have the right to eat. We have more concern for the Kardashians than for wildlife.

And though there are almost 8 billion of us and counting — destroying habitats, tearing down forests, spewing garbage, over-fishing the oceans and polluting the air and waterways — we scapegoat and slaughter the animals who have more right to be here than anyone else. We don't dare mention human population control — instead we point the finger at the animals, so we can enslave them, exploit them and bizarrely make them living targets for “sport.”

We are their voice: We expect if Bedford takes any action at all, it will be humane and nonlethal only.

We also expect the media to treat animals with respect — the same way they've had to upgrade their treatment of women, gays, etc. Animals aren't “problems,” animals are “victims.” Animals are sentient and intelligent and have it worse than any other beings on this earth; saying “it’s just an animal” is no longer acceptable.

Kiley Blackman, founder of Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW)

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