• Ed Flattau

Penchant for Cruelty

Human nature all too often draws us into mindless killing, most frequently expressed by violence against the animal world.

In our country, we’re obviously not doing a very good job in controlling our violent tendencies. Witness the Trump Administration having weakened protection of such creatures as wolves and grizzlies.

Thus, we have euphemistic “sports" hunters in Alaska legally poking their automatic rifles into lairs of pregnant wolves and their pups, and dens occupied by hibernating grizzly bear sows and their cubs. Follow the whimpering!

Not quite as lethal but with the same motivation is the hunting from helicopters allowed by Alaska. The marksmen can then fire down at predators struggling across snowy fields to escape their aerial pursuers.

Other especially notable acts of cruelty have included Ohio officials’ brutal actions. As recently as 2019, Ohio Fishery Authorities were caught sorting out noncommercial fish that had been swept up into their nets and were left to die, suffocating and writhing on the deck rather than mercifully being tossed back into the lake. If the officials chose to return these surplus fish to the water, they perversely broke their spines thus assuring an agonizing death.

And things have not improved globally. In Japan, commercial fishermen vie with porpoises every day to get their haul of fish. These fishermen hold an annual event in which they celebrate their catch by corralling and slaughtering large schools of porpoises in coastal inlets.

Back on our own shores, some elements in our Federal Government are still moving to weaken protection of birds, prairie dogs, humpback whales, grizzly bears, and wolves. Efforts to curb predator populations are likely to backfire, since these creatures keep a check on hoofed populations that, if left to run free, would likely decimate the foliage and damage the future of many species that rely on the vegetation.

In retrospect, losing our temper can interfere with the balance of nature.

Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur on Unsplash.com


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