My mother-in-law is a truly humble, kind and lovely woman. But she was born and raised on a farm so she and I don't always see eye-to-eye on everything to do with animals.
We began with a lovely dinner she had prepared and were having a wonderful conversation about anything BUT animal conservation. But the inevitable happened....the talk moved closer and closer to dogs (near and dear to my heart as I have three of my own) and she made a comment that "old dogs should just go somewhere to die".
Because she's a lovely woman and has my utmost respect, I didn't say much at this point. (I know, those of you that know me well cannot believe I didn't lose my mind). But her next comment got me thinking. My lovely, sweet mother-in-law felt that since animals don't have the ability to reason or the same level of intelligence as man, they should not, therefore, be shown the same level of respect or "rights" for lack of a better term.
Well this one I couldn't let slide......I told her that those were two of the very same arguments used by men to prevent women from voting. And white slave owners used to tout that as a reason to keep their slaves. And based on that logic, then mentally challenged people certainly shouldn't have rights either. Something only seems unreasonable until reason prevails. As I said before, it's a being's ability to suffer that qualifies it for rights.
I love my mother-in-law dearly and I truly hope she will invite me back to dinner one night, but that commentary certainly sparked a reaction in me. I don't propose to change the world - I'm only one small voice. But if we can impact and educate those around us, the world will change on its own.
And some people may never see the reasoning behind the fight for animal rights. But once a species is eradicated it's gone forever. And if man hasn't figured out by now that every single thing in nature serves a purpose, then I say man is the one that is lost.
Just a thought.....
As you can see from my website, I love nature and all the animals in it. I live in an area where all the deer, moose and elk wander by. We had a lot of coyotes around but now that two reported packs of wolves have moved in, we don't see much of the coyotes any more. We have cougars as well, but we manage to co-exist without anything bad happening to our horses and dogs because we behave as the interlopers to nature. We moved into their territory, not the other way around.
In my recent protest of the DKD Coyote Killing Contest in Lac St. Anne last weekend, I was thrilled to find that they received world-wide backlash for what they were doing. I was also glad to hear that the majority of those against it kept their comments to informed research, little swearing and few used name-calling tactics. Those on the other side were very derogatory, however; if you weren't in total support of "eradicating that varmint" then you were deemed a hippie, city slicker, tree hugging, whiny ass, crybaby that should go help the homeless. Unfortunately, the "polite" method of protesting through social media served only to bring the contest more hunters and 34 coyotes were slaughtered in a small area. That is a sad commentary on our society.
71,000 coyotes were reportedly killed in Saskatchewan in 2009 to 2010 and that province wonders why it has a rodent problem again? When will man truly understand that everything we do has a cascade effect on nature?
I heard two more sad stories recently, one is that China is bludgeoning dogs to death to make leather goods (http://investigations.peta.org/china-dog-leather/) and the second is that the Government of BC is going to kill 180+ wolves (the hunters will be flying in helicopters) in their estimation to save the caribou (https://www.facebook.com/PacificWild.org ). Unless the government takes a stand to protect the habitat for the caribou, the only thing they're doing is slaughtering wolves and ensuring that those caribou have a slow death from starvation.
What I fail to understand is why we allow this go on? Mankind is truly the predator and we justify our actions based on all sorts of inane commentary. One of the smartest and most passionate friends of mine recently said, "I'm so tired from just earning a living and trying to survive, I don't have the energy to fight this crap any more...". I know my friend isn't alone in how she feels.
Hunters and conservationists fight constantly and yet, both sides want to preserve nature supposedly (albeit for different reasons). Wouldn't it be a powerful message if those two factions could join together to eradicate irresponsible behaviour? The Canadian Government has "reservations" about the species put forward to protect (http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/sheryl-fink/endangered-species-canada_b_6310802.html) and has proven, once again they're of no help. They won't even do anything to help our own Canadian wildlife.
I believe responsible hunters (and I know many of them) should still be able to hunt. I think some mass production farming operations are much more inhumane than responsible hunting can be. I'm never going to be a vegan and yes, I wear leather shoes. But the population of the earth is growing exponentially and we will see the obliteration of wildlife faster and faster in the years to come. I don't want zoos and photographs/internet to be the only way my grandchildren get to see some of the amazing things I've seen.
If you check out the PETA website about dog-leather, there's a post you can do with your dog to personalize your support of them. The only politicians that likely to listen to our protests are those still trying to get into office so I highly doubt we will stop the wolf kill in BC, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try.
Hunters don't look for the weak and the sick, they shoot for the most trophy-worthy. That in itself ensures damage to the natural order. We need the strongest specimens reproducing to ensure the survival of the herd/pack, etc. The rights of any being aren't limited to those that can reason, but should envelope those that can suffer. Animals suffer everyday at the hands of man. I know we're bombarded with "if it bleeds, it reads.." news and busy just trying to make our own lives happen. But that doesn't mean we can afford to neglect the animals of the world.
Spend just five minutes more passing on the information available on PETA, Second Chance Animal Rescue, or any other organization you feel is worthy and awareness will continue to increase. I believe we can change the world with small steps - we just have to take the first few.
© Wild By Nature