Wondrous Wildlife – January 2011

Wondrous Wildlife

By Vern and Lori Gieger

Modern Atrocities


harpsealIn our daily struggle to survive, we forget that every living creature also is facing the same struggles. We as humans forget that our own survival depends upon how we view and care for our world and all its living creatures. Every day animals are tortured and killed for profit and entertainment. Are we are losing our humanity?

A profitable industry in Africa is what many refer to as canned hunts, wildlife is confined to an area, and those willing to pay simply go in and kill for a thrill. Taking home a trophy, to prove what? That they can kill an innocent animal that can neither escape nor defend its self.

Canada allows the slaughter of baby seals, Canadian seal killers armed with clubs like a caveman go to the nursery floes of the harp and hood seal, the largest mass slaughter of marine mammals on this planet. To add insult to injury each pelt sells for a whopping $30 Canadian dollars. The mother seals watch helplessly, the seal pups are just a few weeks old, and some haven’t even been in the water.

Apparently that soft baby fur is what rich ladies and vain men desire. When people speak out there is hope; baby seals are now safe from being victims of mass execution in Russia, as that country announced it has banned the practice.

Ever heard of lippicat or geowolf fur? It is real fur, commonly used in the fashion industry, but neither of these species exists. China exports tons every year, shipped in bales to almost every country. Thousands of domestic dogs and cats are killed every day, via various inhumane methods; some are literally skinned alive, all in the name of fashion.

Steel jaw traps, another example of cruelty; the traps inflict excruciating pain on the target animals, as well as many non-target animals. They don’t kill; they snap shut on the leg or other body part. Many die slowly of dehydration, starvation or infection. They remind me of something left over from the Spanish Inquisition, an archaic instrument of torture. More than 80 countries have banned their use, and several states in the U.S. have either banned or restricted them.

Shame on you Sarah Palin for portraying your state as one in which wildlife is merely a commodity! There is no sportsmanship in indiscriminate aerial wolf hunting, no wolf can run as fast as a plane can fly, male, female, and pups; many suffer a slow painful death. Many are wounded, left to freeze to death, starve to death, slowly bleed to death, or die of infection. Like the canned hunts the animals don’t stand a chance; no not even a speck of sportsmanship there. While promoting her new TV series “Wild Alaska” Palin remarked, “Here in Alaska we harvest our wild life.” Growing up in a rural area, I heard of harvesting a crop such as corn, but never in reference to hunting or even the slaughtering of farm animals which were raised for food.

Be a voice for those who have none. Contact your elected officials and urge them to protect our diminishing wildlife. “Animals have done us no harm and they have no power of resistance.… There is something so very dreadful in tormenting those who have never harmed us, who cannot defend themselves, who are utterly in our power.”—Cardinal John Henry

For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com

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