Monday, October 5, 2015

Animal Rescue Club

The value that any given individual places on the life of an animal ranges greatly depending upon who you ask. Or maybe to be more specific, I should say there is a large gap between the views of a survivalist and a card carrying member of PETA. I started thinking about this today because of two recent events. One, I'm sure you're well aware of. The other is very unlikely to have hit your radar.

The example I imagine you read about this week is the homeless man in Alaska that killed a bear cub with a homemade spear. I made the mistake of reading the comments on the first Facebook post I saw on the story. I say "mistake" because I knew full well that it was going to be one comment after another about how horrible the man was and what a tragedy this was. As more details of the story come out, the facts are appearing to show that the man's own negligence played a major part in this story - so I can understand some of the outrage against him. If that were the only cause for the outrage, I wouldn't have thought much of it. The problem is that it was a minor reason for complaint by most of the comments I read. It appears that the bear's life was somehow more important than a human's life. That part never makes sense to me. When did an animal become more important than a human?

I have never been a hunter, but don't let that give you a misguided idea of how I feel about animals. I just never happened to get into hunting. Fishing has been my outdoors sport of choice. Truth be told, when I fish, I do almost 100% catch and release. I prefer the fun of fishing more than the desire to have to clean and cook the fish. Don't get me wrong though. I love meat. I greatly appreciate the venison that my hunter friends share with me every year. I also appreciate the people raising cows and pigs so that I can enjoy my bacon cheeseburgers. At the same time though, I also appreciate the hunting regulations that are in place to limit the number of any particular species from being taken in any given season.

As far as the "ethical treatment of animals," I will completely support the prosecution of anyone who abuses animals of any kind. On the flip side, I also agree with the destruction of an animal that attacks a human. Before you get all excited, I'm not talking about the neighbor's Terrier nipping at your ankle. I'm talking about the dog that mauls the kid walking down the street or the bear that attacks a hiker. I also believe that when it comes to the life of a human versus the life of an animal, the animal should die.

OK, now that I've got half of you upset and the other half craving a cheeseburger, I should get to the point. Humans are more important than animals, but humans should be expected to treat animals humanely. Respecting animals (or humans for that matter) is something you should learn at an early age. That gets me to the second story I heard about today... The one I doubt you heard about.

Apparently, my six year old daughter started a "club" with some of the other first graders at school. They call it the "Animal Rescue Club." I asked her how many animals they have rescued so far. Her response: "Two ladybugs so far, but we've hoping to save more animals." Well, kudos to her and her friends. I am glad to see they have a healthy desire to care for the creatures of the earth. (For the record, she also has a healthy desire to go fishing with dad.) To be honest, I'd rather have her running around at recess saving insects than trading Pokemon cards with her friends.

Do what you want with today's rambling nonsense. Go out and adopt a pet from the animal shelter. Cammie up and go hunting or grab your fishing rod and hit the lake. Or, like I'm most likely to do, go enjoy a thick juicy burger. Just try really hard not to put yourself in a position where you have to kill an animal because you put yourself in harm's way. You don't want to be the topic of next week's nasty comment feeds on Facebook. There are already too many of those as it is already. Or, even worse, prove than Darwinism is alive and well by means of your own negligence and demise. Until next time....