The in depth article by Tom Knudson, appearing April 28 in the Sacramento Bee, is a thorough and alarming expose of the government agency Wildlife Services (WS). Knudson reveals more atrocities performed by this agency than I had thought possible. Golden eagles caught in traps then shot and buried, the slaughter of female mountain lions which leaves the nursing cubs to starve, a rare wolverine shot after its foot was injured in a WS trap. All this and more, and the appalling “mistakes” are covered up.
Knudson’s article, part one in a series of three, is landmark news. It depicts Wildlife Services as they are, an agency that unnecessarily slaughters millions of animals, while keeping their activities hidden from the awareness of the American public.
On the home front, my Guest Opinion on trapping was published in the Medford Mail Tribune on Wednesday. My intention with this article was to raise awareness, as many people in our parts don’t realize that trapping still exists. Here in Ashland, we tend to take the “it’s all good” edit a bit too far and allow our heads to stay comfortably nestled in our organic, locally grown sand.
I haven’t had much input about my article but Sally Mackler of Predator Defense tells me she has had several calls about it. This is good news. We all want to be heard, but more importantly the issue of trapping desperately needs to be brought to the limelight.
Today, the Medford Mail Tribune printed a rebuttal to my article. It was titled “Trapping Can Be a Necessity.” The letter, written by a Larry Martin, identified as a farmer from Central Point, Oregon, explains that if he had not trapped the coyotes who were ravaging his chickens he would never have been able to provide eggs to the Ashland Co-op and others markets.
Yawn… Another livestock producer concerned about their inability to “feed the world’s hungry” with all the nasty lurking predators around. I find this reasoning ridiculous. I’m sure most of us would happily do with a few less eggs, a little less beef, and lot less bullshit if ranchers and farmers would learn to cope with natural predators. Besides, they aren’t being altruistic; their own financial and personal interests are the real issue.
Typically, Larry goes on to globalize regarding us “animal-rights activists,” expressing his fear that “trapping is just one piece of the extreme environmental agenda of restricting the utilization of our natural resources.” Right, Larry, we certainly have this agenda in mind, the collective ecological think tank is scheming away as we speak.
Truth is, and I’ve said this before, those who promote destruction of the environment and its species do so for their own selfish reasons. Those who support the natural world and its animals want nothing… except for the environment to be left intact.
Highlight of the Day:
Guest Opinion by Spencer Leonard of the non-profit Big Wildlife, “Science, Not Timber Interests Should Drive Bear Policy,” ran in the Medford Mail Tribune today as well, and it got top billing over the chicken farmer from Central Point.
Spencer’s letter reveals that black bears, 744 of them between 2005 and 2009, were snared and killed by (guess who) the USDA, governing agency for Wildlife Services. Seems the bears are guilty of consuming too much of the cambium layer of the Douglas fir, making the trees less valuable to the timber industry.
An animal eats trees; not humans, not cattle, not sheep, not even chickens, and it is still persecuted? I need a drink! Anyone else feeling the same frustration?