Many of you who have read some of my previous posts know me to have a special place in my heart for dogs since I am pup mommy to four. But this love and respect of animals extends to domestic and wildlife in general, especially those who are victims of unspeakable cruelty at the hands of man and/or are in danger of becoming extinct. No, this post is not about showing grisly pictures. But it is a plea to raise awareness and help those who cannot speak.
The annual baby seal slaughter has begun in Canada. And while humane and other wildlife organizations have achieved significant progress through the years in closing markets for Canadian seal fur and seafood, thus making the slaughter less profitable for hunters, this annual slaughter allowed by the government of our modern, sophisticated neighbor to the North, Canada, still remains. “O Canada” their national anthem, should be “Woe, Canada.”
But we, in the US, also have “blood on our hands” with the potential and probable gutting of the Endangered Species Act, with regard to the gray wolf in the Northern Rockies. The amendment to delist the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is part of the budget package to be voted on by Congress next week. The amendment was sponsored by Congressmen from Montana and other western states and is supported by organizations such as Safari Club International, etc. The delisting is not based upon science, but upon the desire to remove a predator that causes problems for hunters of elk and caribou, and ranchers who have lost cattle to wolves.
Now I understand how cattlemen can be angry and upset about losing steers to wolves, because steers are money. But I can also be equally upset when when ranchers graze their cattle on public lands, for a mere pittance at $1.35/head.
But the larger issue is when you begin to delist a singular species from the ESA for political reasons rather than for environmental, scientific. Then you are setting a dangerous precedent. Today wolves, tomorrow cougars, or the red fox, and on and on.
We, as a society, recoil in horror and/or disbelief when we read or hear about people being brutalized in the Middle East and other parts of the world for what we consider to be normal, human actions and emotions. Yet, we pay too little attention, IMHO, to the atrocities visited upon the treasures of nature, whose species and predecessors roamed this earth as long, if not longer than man. From elephants being killed for their ivory,
lions being hunted to extinction, to sharks and whales whose numbers continue to be decimated, we pay all too little attention, until one day our children and grandchildren may only be able to read about them in books.
This is plea is not to support one organization over another, to propogate its philosophy, or to request anyone’s financial support. It is a request to become more cognizant of the world around us. We worry more about the effect of plastic bottles and bags on the environment than losing our world’s living, breathing treasures.
Here are links to some organizations who are participating and in the forefront in the fight to save these splendid creatures. “The greatness of a nation and ,its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” — Mahatma Gandhi
IFAW – International Fund for Animal Welfare
Defenders of Wildlife – Helping Save America’s Wolves and other domestic/international wildlife
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust – African Elephants
Greenpeace – Whaling and Oceans