I might have mentioned this in previous posts, but I will mention it again, as it pertains to tonight’s blog post. I love animals. When I say that I love animals, I don’t just mean dogs and cats–although I do own a small circus of them, with owning two dogs and three cats in a small 2 bedroom apartment. I mean farm animals and wild animals as well. I am a big believer in treating any living thing in a manner that I would want to be treated in. This applies to animals, not just people.
So when I say this next part, you can take me extremely seriously.
I find poaching disgusting.
Poaching, not hunting.
I’m completely okay if a person hunts for food, because then that person is using the animal it killed for a reason. I am even more for the Native American thought process, where they use everything when they have to take a life, and they give thanks to the animal for the life that the animal gave so that the person could live on. I respect that. I try to mirror that belief and practice.
I am not okay with the idea that somebody has gone out with a gun, to take the life of an animal, and they don’t plan to eat it.
There are many reasons why a person takes this kind of action. One reason is that they took that animal’s life because they were scared of it. Fear tends to be out of ignorance–people fear what they do not understand–and people do thoughtless, often unnecessary things out of fear.
Another reason is that the animal they killed was killing their livestock. Honestly, I’m not a farmer. I don’t know about the process of farming. I do, however, know that there is always a better option if one researches and puts the efforts into carrying out a different method than just shooting an animal. After all, that animal is probably killing livestock and eating garden goods because the habitat in which it normally hunts has been invaded by humans and food then becomes scarce. At this point, the animal goes and steals what it can. An example of this can be seen with how the wolves have been treated in numerous places, including Alaska, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. Here are the links from articles where this can be seen being reported. Some of these places even went as far as shooting at the animals from planes above.
The New Threat to Wolves in and around Yellowstone
Alaska to Kill Wolves To Inflate Game Herds
New Ruling Allows Mother Wolves & Pups to be Killed on National Wildlife Refuges
Another reason why humans kill animals is, apparently, for the sport of it. Trophy hunting. Some people think that going after a wild animal, who is only armed with what nature gave it–teeth, claws, venom (yes, scary, but still natural)–while armed with a gun, is a sport that is thrilling. Don’t even mention the fact that a gun is not a weapon that nature gave to humans. It’s something we created, something that is deadlier, far too efficient, and takes the playing field and puts it far too much in the human’s corner. It’s not a fair fight, that animal has no chance against a bullet in which “the projectile’s initial velocity may be as high as 4000 feet (1200 meters) per second”(hypertextbook.com). So hunters don’t even need to be face to face with said animal. How is that sport? It’s not fair, there’s no struggle, battle, or fight to it. It’s just a person shooting an overpowered weapon at an animal that has no hope of defending itself against a weapon like that.
Lastly, the most sickening reason to kill an animal, even worse than trophy hunting, is poaching. A person kills an animal for whatever the person sees valuable on the animal. For foxes, it’s the pelt. For rhinos, it’s the horns. For elephants, it’s the tusks. For sharks, it’s the fins. For sea turtles, it’s the eggs, meat AND shell. Tigers–pelt, nose leather, eyeballs, tails, bile, whiskers, penis, fat, eggs, teeth, ears and tongue. Leopard–skin. Orangutan–skulls (really? skulls? Come on, people!). Gorillas, lemurs, pangolins–meat, medicinal purposes, their scales. These are just the common ones that people see being advertised all over the news and internet, and this is just the ones that are killed to sell things from. This isn’t including all the animals that are poached ALIVE to sell as pets, or the ones that are poached, actually killed, just because they are deemed a threat.
In comes one of my biggest passions.
I have been a lover of wolves my entire life. When I was little, I loved wolves. Blame Balto, White Fang, The Journey of Natty Gann–I dunno where it came from, but I have loved wolves since I can remember. That was strengthened when I went to Diabetic camp as a grade schooler and met a teacher there, the person who took us on nature hikes and pointed out things we could eat and what not to eat, how to try to not disturb anything because many lives depend on the environment being just the way it was. This man, I don’t remember his name now, he became my pen pal. And every time he wrote to me, he would send these beautiful cards illustrated with images of wolves. From there, I was hooked. In college, I got my first tattoo–a tribal wolf on my right shoulder, a representation of how I view myself.
So when I was on Youtube, looking for a video to share with all my readers, I found this one.
A Wolf Named Romeo
So this wild wolf comes to the edge of this town and starts making friends with all the dogs and people there. It’s wild. I don’t know how or why this wolf would want to do this, but it did. However, the wolf was killed by poachers. These men were hunters from another state who killed the wolf because it was hunting season in Alaska–yes, apparently you can hunt wolves in Alaska, even though they are an endangered species. It is also assumed that the hunters wanted the pelt. I don’t know if that is a certain fact, and if so, what they were going to do with the pelt–sell it or keep it as a “trophy”. However, it is a fact that the wolf was killed. It is also a fact that it was found that the men who did it, killed the wolf illegally.
Here’s the thing, people. We all live on this planet. Just because we are a sentient and intelligent species, it does not make us better or more entitled to this planet than any other species (or race, but let’s not get into that yet). In fact, because of this, it makes it our responsibility to protect this planet and ALL that reside on it, not just the human species. The planet is not here at our disposal. This planet is not disposable. And neither are any of the life forms on it. In fact, without every single thing on this planet, there would not be balance, and the world would soon stop existing as we know it.
My question to you now, after all of my ranting, is this. If you are not going to eat the animal, why do you need to kill it? Isn’t it our responsibility, being the overwhelmingly dominant species on this planet, to protect the species that also live on this planet? Isn’t it our duty, as a species that is taking over every other species’ habitat, to find a way to co-exist, to not kill animals for taking livestock but to find a way to keep them out? Isn’t it our duty to try to keep the balance of nature through protecting the factors of that nature–the animals, the plants, the water, the air? Or am I wrong in my thinking?
As always, leave your comments–respectfully–below.