Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hard Choices: How to Decide What Stays and What Goes in a Green World


Prairie Dogs are considered a nuisance because they carry a type of plague, make holes digging their tunnels that cattle and horses stumble in breaking bones.

It's legal to shoot prairie dogs and many land owners advertise and organize trips for people to come and stay and target shoot using the dogs as their targets.

I can't condone this activity as an animal lover but I can understand why their population needs to be controlled. Like deer.

But, unlike deer, they cannot be eaten, their skins are not used for anything. Their value doesn't lie in death or life.

I understand the need for control but I do not like the eradication methods legally employed.

The idea of using them as a recreational target makes me cringe.

I believe in rodent and pest and weed control. I don't like metal clip mouse traps. If someone was shooting mice I would want them to stop.

But what is the answer? It's not moving the creatures elsewhere. Like a garbage ship, it has to land somewhere and who would want it?

Perhaps the only humane answer is mass eradication using a painless method.

How many need to go? To stay? How do you know which ones are elderly and which are the young? How to decide which ones are to go and why? What makes one more valuable to stay and one of lesser value to go?

If they live up to 5 years, would a 3 year old be the one to go so the 1 year old can stay a while, have his chance at existence? Make more so they can die early?

What do they do besides dig holes? Well, on the food chain, they are food for an endangered species of ferrets. If the prairie dogs go the ferrets go. What will happen if the ferrets go?

Where does it end?

I am of the belief that the earth is ours and all that is in it. Just follow the food's very clear. We are in charge. We hunt and plant and harvest. We work so we can eat.

We learn better ways to take care of the earth, of using it to our advantage.

We just don't like to see there are no guarantees.

Like abortion. Of the millions of little ones that have died before their time, how many would have made the best president of the United States? Or an inventor of a better space ship? Or a scientist discovering a cure for cancer?

And speaking of painless death for the critters...what's with treating them better than humans?

Save the whale, but kill the human? the human and the human will save the whale, right?