Posts Tagged ‘animal rights’

But I thought I needed to make a comment.

Apparently, the Animal Rights Taliban has decided to campaign against me– because of this post.

Like all fanatics, these sorts of people are incapable of tolerating views that contrary to them. You’ll note that I’ve not commented on their pages, but they’ll not had the same good manners to leave this blog alone.

But let’s leave all this alone for the sake of this post.

One of the hysterical comments I received, which I did not approve because it did not fit comment guidelines, provided a link to the Facebook Group defaming Melissa Bachman.

The comment I didn’t approve got listed on the page because I’m a mean old Stalinist who doesn’t believe in free speech.

I actually do believe in free speech, but this is my blog. Every comment I choose to approve is a reflection of editorial decision. Anyone is perfectly free to start his or her own blog. You can even start one called “Retrieverman Sucks” or “Retrieveman Touches Little Boys.” (WordPress blogs are free!)

But you’re not getting a free space to deny science and act like a bunch of hysterical thugs on this blog.

Now, I noticed that the anti-Bachman page suggested that I was biasing the information somehow. In the comments I do quote Valerius Geist, a world-renowned expert on deer and wildlife management. I also provide a link to abstracts to links from wildlife management specialists, including some research scientists, who contend that trophy hunting can be a major positive for wildlife and for their ecosystems.

These scientists come to these conclusions through scientific inquiry, not rank emotionalism and a sort inverted (or perhaps perverted) kind of emotionalist class warfare.  One comment goes like this:

He is also biasing the information, the emeritus proffessor that he is quoting is also a hunter, and they are arguing that hunters help the balance of the ecosystem by keeping herbivores numbers controlled, but how do they justify the killings of all the bears and that horrifying photo of her with around 8 wolves! which poor community eats wolf meat!?

Now, I do have some issues with wolf controls as they are currently promoted in the United States.

However, wolves will eventually have to be controlled at some point.

Wolves will conflict with people, and the best way to ensure that wolves and people have fewer conflicts is to make sure that wolves fear people.

The best way to do this is to have a limited and controlled wolf hunt.

Whether wolf numbers have recovered enough in order to have those controls is a good question.

And about that we can have an honest debate. I don’t necessarily agree with Geist on this issue.

But I don’t assume that Geist is an idiot or doesn’t know what he’s talking about or is somehow horribly biased because he is a hunter.

But our dear anti-Bachmanists think this is a reliable source:

The Animal Liberation Front!

What’s the Animal Liberation Front?

Well, the Southern Poverty Law Center considers them as a terrorist group. The SPLC has been instrumental in monitoring and, yes, shutting down extremist groups, including the Klan. It’s hardly a conservative group at all.

The US Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and ATF considers ALF to be a dangerous terrorist group.

An ALF member famously burned down a sheepskin factory in Colorado a few years ago.

These people are not nice little hippies that want to have discussions.

They are so fanatical that they will destroy property and put people’s lives at risk to achieve their aims.

It turns out that my decision to call this particular round of trolls the AR Taliban was not inaccurate.

This group of Taliban actually supports the AR version of Al Qaeda! Or at least, they consider them to be a more reliable source than tenured, published scientists.

And I will not take lectures on my morality from people who think like this.

I simply won’t.

I’m not about to let the fanatics win.

Like all fanatics who support terrorism, you cannot be nice to them.

They only understand strength.

I hope that all of my readers will help me stand up to these bullies.

They don’t want us to have a free society.

They want all of society to accept their morality.

And if they don’t, they support violence until we do.

We cannot allow that.

I did not intend to blog this weekend, but when I saw that these people were quoting ALF (not Gordon Shumway) on their Facebook page, I soon realized that I needed to say something.

These people are not interested in discussion.

They are interested in forcing others to agree with them.

So to hell with you AR shitheads and your support of terrorists!

I am not afraid of you.

I will write and control my blog as I see fit.

And if you don’t like that, you can kiss my ass.

This is what I think of that Facebook group:


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Melissa Bachman just got a TV show on National Geographic. The show will be about hunting. The animal rights elitists have, of course, lost their collective minds over this development.

In the US, we have plenty of hunting and fishing channels on TV.

They are usually located deep within the recesses of the sporting channels that I normally don’t watch.

However, there are fishing shows on major networks.

Animal Planet has two fishing shows:  River Monsters (one of my faves), Hillbilly Handfishin’, and the upcoming Top Hooker.

Now fishing is one thing.

Most people don’t care about how fish feel.

I really don’t. There is some debate about whether fish can feel pain from the hooks.

I’m quite skeptical, because it’s so common for people to catch the same fish multiple times. You’d think they’d learn if they actually consciously felt pain.

But I digress.

There is a big ideological difference between fishing and hunting.

And that’s when you start shooting animals that are cute or are closely related to dogs and cats.

And that’s when otherwise rational people lose their minds.

Now, Nation Geographic Channel, wanting to cash in on the outdoor sports TV genre that Animal Planet has been so successful with, has decided to sign Melissa Bachman for a TV series.

Melissa Bachman is a young female hunter.

You know, a strong woman.

The type feminists are supposed to admire.

But not in this case, because she kills bears and alligators and deer.

And that’s so evil and wrong to have on TV.

Because we said so.

Since it was announced that Nat Geo was doing the show, Facebook, the place where all sorts of hysterical, pseudo-activists like to hang out, now has an anti-Melissa Bachman page, and there are at least three online petitions going around.

If I ever lose subscribers, I am glad to lose them because of animal rights issues.

I don’t believe in animal rights.

At all.

And I think hunting shows should be on television more often.

If you look at Animal Planet’s line-up, there are good programs about conservation.

And then they have those shows who are for the hysterical loons.

Like Whale Wars.

A show that has nothing to do with conservation.

It’s really just an animal rights-centered propaganda show.

It teaches you nothing, other than there are people who actually believe all this animal rights garbage and are trying to use industrial sabotage to get their way. (Which is quite scary!)

But most of the nature programming leaves out a really important part of the conservation story.

The truth is that most of the big game species we have in North America actually wouldn’t be here but for the efforts of hunters.

Hunters contribute lots of money to conservation– and lots of labor and political campaigning. I don’t think people realize how much duck hunters actually have contributed to ensuring the wetlands have been preserved.

Wetlands aren’t just good for ducks. They are good for all sorts of wildlife.

And they do it for selfish reasons.

They want ducks to shoot.

But in order to have ducks to shoot, they have to preserve duck habitat.

And duck habitat is good for lots of different species, including songbirds, beavers, otters, mink, and muskrats.

A well-produced show about hunting with a charismatic and well-informed presenter could do a lot of good in changing the way many people feel about hunting.

That’s what I hope Melissa Bachman’s show will offer.

I find the reaction from some quarters rather disgusting– and a little bit disturbing.

So much do these people hate what others do that they demand that it be taken off television.

There are a lot of shows I don’t like.

I have a little secret way of dealing with them:

It’s really tricky.

I don’t watch these shows.

That’s all there is to it.

But what I also find disturbing is the cultural elitism that comes across from the anti-hunter crowd.

They look down their noses at rural people and what they do for fun.

I can’t tell you how old I was when I was first taken hunting.

I couldn’t have been very old, but I do know that my grandpa took me.

My grandpa knew all about the wild animals in our area. He was very concerned about them.

He enjoyed hunting them, but he also knew that hunting was under attack.

When I was about 7 or 8 years old, we were out squirrel hunting, and I remember he told me that there were people out there who wanted to ban all hunting.

I thought he was crazy.

But then, I had only known West Virginia. In West Virginia, hunting and fishing are truly ways of life.

I had no idea exactly how alienated from the natural world most of America actually is.

And it’s because of that alienation  that people have no clue what sound conservation  practices actually are.

Hunting and fishing are major parts of a sound wildlife management scheme.

If people don’t want to learn this simple fact, then there really isn’t much hope for wildlife in this country.

It is this same mentality that argues we shouldn’t control feral goats or pigs or cats– they have individual rights, don’t you know?

If we allow the animal rights community to set the entire debate about how animals are treated in this country, wildlife will lose.

There is no discussion about it.

I hope Melissa Bachman’s show helps change how we discuss hunting and wildlife issues in this country.

We really need to educate people.

If we don’t, wildlife and our free society will lose.


Update:  No more comments from intolerant animal rights cultists will be tolerated on this post. Post them. I’ll remove them, and I’ll ban you. This is not a public forum. This is my blog.

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Killing a wounded deer that will likely die a horrible death during the winter makes one a “cruel bastard.”

But it’s okay if you let your dogs maim the deer– which means the keepers– “the cruel bastards”– have to kill the ones the dogs wounded.

Makes perfect sense to me!

This problem could be solved if the policy was that all dogs on the property were required to either be on a leash or under control.

NB:  Stags are male red deer. Fallow deer and roe deer males are called bucks. This animal rights person doesn’t even know the proper nomenclature.

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The old-type peke looked a lot like a Tibetan spaniel (compare: http://www.petside.com/breeds/assets_c/2009/01/tibetan-spaniel-thumb-334xauto-291.jpg)

The old type peke looked a lot like a Tibetan Spaniel (compare: http://www.petside.com/breeds/assets_c/2009/01/tibetan-spaniel-thumb-334xauto-291.jpg)

I’ve noticed a common tactic among those who defend the status quo in the dog world is to try to paint their critics as being in league the animal rights extremists. I’m not talking the nice vegans with whom I disagree on certain issues.

I’m talking about the people who support terrorism, theft, and vandalism in the name of liberation. I’m also talking about those who would rather tell other people how to live, rather than working together to try to find ways to reduce animal suffering. (Temple Grandin is a very good example of someone who actually does this work to improve the lives of livestock.)

I’ve always thought liberation was a nebulous term. After all, a Marxist sees liberation rather differently than a libertarian, and in that comparison, I’m talking about two members of the same species.

One can only imagine what liberation would mean to dog, a cat, a hamster, or hippopotamus. Of course, that assumes that these animals know what their liberation means at all.

I’ve known horses that were raised in stables that seem perfectly okay with that lifestyle.  It is all they have ever known. When such horses are released into a pasture, they seem lost and certainly don’t act as if they are free. It’s only when they return to a barn stall that seem to feel comfortable again.

That said, I do oppose any intentional animal suffering that is necessarily prolonged. The wold is full of suffering. We all experience it.  All species feel pain, suffer, and die. The only thing enlightened and moral people can do is reduce suffering. Veganism is one way to do this. However, it will never become the universal diet of the planet. I don’t do well without meat in my diet. I’ve been at my happiest and healthiest when I reduced my carbohydrate intake and embraced the hunter-gatherer blood coursing through my veins.

The way I justify these two apparently contradictory notions that lie deep within my ethical sense is that I take a Benthamesque approach. I don’t do it exactly as Peter Singer did. I am willing to tolerate a certain amount of suffering and pain so that I can live, but the main goal is to reduce it. I particularly am more opposed to actions that result in prolonged pain and suffering than those that cause the animal suffering for just a very short time.

And for that reason, I can tolerate foxes held in leg hold traps (especially those that have been designed not to damage the fox’s foot) far better than I can tolerate breeding dogs with conformation that makes their whole lives miserable. That fox feels discomfort only for the last few hours of his live, because in most states, the traps must be checked daily. A pekingese that cannot cool itself properly suffers for a longer period of time than that fox does.  The peke suffers from excess heat through its entire life, while the fox got to be wild and free for most of its life.

The animal rights people may have locked onto the issues of purebred dogs.  On some issues, they are correct. On others, I respectfully disagree.

You see, the animal rights lobby doesn’t have the institutional power that the dog fancy has right now. The animal right lobby does have some victories, usually in the industrial farming sector, but in stopping hunting, meat consumption, and dog showing they haven’t been that successful.

In Europe they have been more successful in stopping hunting and even stopping reasonable farming practices (like the use of sheepdogs!), but that happens because most European countries (with the exception of the Nordic countries) have had a long history in which hunting rights were the realm of only the very wealthy. In the US, the hunting culture is more egalitarian, and thus, you don’t have the major center-left parties siding with the animal rights lobby.

In comparison, the purebred dog fancy does everything it can to ensure that reforms never take place here. The registries must operate closed stud books, and breed purity is everything. Those who do try their best to breed for health are often confronted with a general loss of genetic diversity and the sudden appearance of new genetic disorders that were previously unrecognized. Breeders who go outside the strictures of the fancy are pilloried.

It’s because of all of this that I am more outraged by the dog fancy than I am outraged by the animal rights people. I might make common cause with the animal rights lobby on this issue, and I hope that meat-eaters and vegans can at least agree on trying work together to reduce animal suffering. I’m with them on that one, but on the issues of banning hunting, dog-ownership, and the consumption of meat,  I’m definitely not singing off their page.

However, if you group me with the really nutty animal liberationists out there, you are setting up a straw man. And that’s one argument tactic I find particularly exasperating.

The dog fancy defenders like to portray everyone who opposes them as existing within the framework of either being with them or with the animal rights extremists. It’s a nice dualism, and in highly dualistic, melodramatic culture, this narrative certainly helps their cause.

However, the real world is always more complex than this narrative. The world exists in shades of gray, not clearly defined bands of black and white.

And that’s why it’s a mistake to assume those who want a better system for breeding dogs are also in league with those who want to ban dog ownership. It’s called nuance, and it’s something that is apparently much harder for people to see than I thought.

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