Monday, April 25, 2011

Let me state from the outset that I am not a hunter. I do like to shoot trap and so far the clay pigeon population is still thriving.  It is like a visceral video game to me and I like to test my aim and reflex reactions. I enjoy this occasional challenge to my mental and physical facilities.  But, nothing has to die because I sometimes like to shoot a shotgun.  Eliminating death from the process does not decrease my enjoyment of the sport.  In fact for me, it probably enhances the enjoyment. 
There is an article in today's LA Times about the Soda Butte Wolf of Idaho.  For a couple of decades it has been on the endangered species list after it was hunted to near extinction.  In a few days the ban will be lifted because of a "pork driven amendment" to the US budget bill that was passed a couple of weeks ago. The reason partisans in the area got this amendment through congress, having nothing to do with the budget bill it was attached to, seems really wrong to me.
I don't live near wolfs, except the show business kind, so I don't have first hand knowledge of the danger they can cause. Fairy tales and folk lore tell of the long term struggle between man and the wolf.  From the three little pigs to Red Riding hood the wolf has always been portrayed as the villain. I understand that in some cases dangerous wildlife has to be corralled when civilization comes to near. However, nature has a balance that keeps things in check naturally and most of the time humans should not interfere with that process.
In the years the Soda Butte wolf was hunted to near extinction the Soda Butte Elk population soared. In fact it grew so large they became a nuisance to the farmers.  It was such a problem that sport hunting of the herds became necessary to thin them and keep them in check.  Idaho developed an industry of "tourist hunting"of the elk for weekend stalkers who wanted a trophy to hang on the walls of their den. For several decades it has been a very profitable business for Idaho with tours, gun sales, cabins, truck rentals, taxidermy  and other facilities for the hunters.
Since the ban on hunting them was made law, the wolf population has made a come back from less than half a dozen to its natural level in Soda Butte.  Now, however, the Elk population has been naturally thinned to its normal level as well, making less of them available for wall trophies. This has hurt the Idaho hunting business.  When this artificial economy was threatened the locals pressured their representatives to include a lift on hunting the wolf in the budget bill.  
It doesn't seem right to me and speaks to what is wrong with a Fascist Capitalism approach that places profit above common sense.  Lift the ban and let us kill the wolves so they won't eat the elk that we like to kill for fun?  Oh and it is not just fun; we can make a couple of bucks off the bucks. 
Putting profit before anything else has caused American jobs to be exported and the strength of our country to become compromised. Walmart used to advertise that they were the "made in America" company which only sold goods we made here in this country.  It did alright for Joe Walton and made him a billionaire.  His kids have inherited the mega store and turned his American dream into an abuser of imported goods and treats their employees as bad as the sweatshop workers in foreign countries, all in the name of MORE profit.
It doesn't seem logical nor right to me, but if profit dictates the way we treat the American worker... why would we care about a wolf.
As you were,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You speak the truth (in all your voices)!
My Vent Haven tee shirt comes in two (and only) days.
I hope to see you at ConVENTion!

Tom Farrell