Thursday, October 20, 2011


I was appalled, as I am sure most others were, by the images that came out this morning of those magnificent animals shot to death in Ohio, after their release from captivity by their clearly deranged and abusive human "owner." To see these creatures sprawled on the ground in lifeless heaps was heart-breaking. The arrogance of our species seems untempered by shame, or conscience, or compassion.

First, it is shameful that our laws allow our fellow beings in the wild to be captured and treated as chattels by members of our own species, to be traded and sold into the hands of people who quite obviously have no understanding of their needs and care.

Next, it is shameful that a man just released from jail on a firearms conviction, on whose property were found, I read, more than 100 other weapons, and who had received repeated visits from police in consequence of complaints about his mistreatment of the animals--it is shameful that our laws would not prevent such a man from being responsible for fifty or more wild animals; and that our law enforcement should be powerless to intervene until it was already too late.

And finally it is shameful that, as a consequence, we find ourselves reduced to our familiar solution of last resort: the use of firearms to inflict lethal punishment on the innocent. I am hard put to fault the law enforcement official who saw no other option when human lives were at stake. But there is even then a certain arrogance in our assumption of superiority over other species and the assertion of our right to dispose of them as we will.

At the very least, were we able to bring a little of the restraint of sanity and compassion to the exercise of our rightly cherished freedoms, we would manage to do a great deal less damage to the planet and our fellow-travelers through life.


MDK said...

I follow you on this dire situation. I also find no fault with the law enforcement's decision at that time. Had they been more prepared, I hope it would have turned out somewhat different... at least I hope. It saddened me greatly.

Richard said...

I agree with you Peter.

As a species, our record towards our fellow creatures is shameful. Some of the things that are done to animals in the name of our civilisation are purely sickening.

In this case, I only hope that the state officials and law enforcement learn from this awful mess.