The Road to 65, Mile 31: Wild, Tame and Just Plain Ornery

December 29, 2014, Prescott-   This post will be short and to the point:  I don’t like meanness in human beings.  A rural community in the South, where good folks have made sport with animals for centuries, has decided it’s time to grow up, as a community, and put an end to live animals being dropped pell mell, in a cage, into the public square, as a New Year celebration.

That this is done to an animal that can be pretty ornery itself, and which is overpopulated in much of the country, doesn’t make the case for lowering ourselves to the animal’s level.  Humans are just better than that, or ought to strive to be better.  The same goes for bullfighting, slicing fins off sharks, dogfighting, cockfighting, and knocking the crap out of turkeys in a factory slaughterhouse.  The above, except for most dogs, are all pretty nasty creatures. That doesn’t justify our being atrocious.

I had a dream once, where I was given the opportunity to torture a tyrannical man, who was chained up.  I looked in his eyes and saw a totally fear-ridden soul.  I couldn’t do it, especially as he was disempowered and would not likely be a threat to anyone.  My recollection of the film, Gandhi, which I saw about ten years after I had that dream, was of Mahatma saying, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

Back to animals:  They are, big and small, each given a means to defend themselves.  Those with teeth or beaks, bite.  Those with stingers, sting.  Claws and hooves can kill a perceived attacker.  A few months ago, a commenter on another social media site wrote that wild animals are unnecessary, and he wouldn’t mind seeing them all wiped out.  What havoc that would wreak on the balance of nature is not something with which I’d like to take a chance.  It may seem naive, but I’d rather encourage natural predators to do their work, and if they need help in controlling an overpopulated species, then Man ought to go in and cull the excess, but in a humane manner.  As I see it now, only some species of insects, rodents in cities and some kinds of deer are overpopulated, and we can humanely deal with this problem.  There is no need to be ornery in the process.

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