It makes no sense that animal lovers support predation |

It makes no sense that animal lovers support predation

Out on a LimbRoss L. TalbottGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The Greeks had three different terms for love. One was for brotherly love, another for family and the third for intimate love between a man and woman.In our culture today, the word love is probably the most misused word in the English language. It spans everything from “I love hamburgers” to “I love God.”Webster defines love as “a great liking or fondness,” also “deep affection, devotion or sexual desire.” I guess it boils down to what your definition of is, is.

What really bothers me is the way the word love is applied to animals. I guess it does follow that people who condone the death of some 50 million babies in the name of “women’s rights” would be in favor of deer and elk population control by wolf predation.The so-called animal lovers seem to have a special affinity for predators. A mountain lion’s understanding of “love” falls in the category of “a great liking or fondness” for warm flesh, from house cat and dog to human children.Coyotes are carnivores that are virtually nondiscriminating. I heard the cries of a deer one winter night and discovered these “precious carnivores” ripping the intestines out of a still-living doe deer.Coyotes are great killers, but wolves are better. I guess you could call the way wolves and coyotes operate to control elk and deer populations as teamwork.Maybe we need to introduce the Cripps and Bloods or some other gangs into our cities as a means of human population control.Years ago, some 300 head of mule deer would drift into my fields at sundown. Now we get excited to see four or five, and really excited to see an older buck with a nice set of antlers. More coyotes, less fawns – it’s just that simple.I’m a proud hunter, and I believe that a good clean shot is much more merciful than a slow death by coyotes. Also, I don’t shoot fawns and rarely a doe.

Can you imagine the outrage if slaughterhouses killed livestock by running them down, hamstringing them and gutting the still-living animals?I must admit cougars are much more efficient killers. Their prey does not suffer very long.The old myth that cougars strengthen the herds by killing the sick is just that, a myth. Cougars are so good they kill anything they want. A wildlife official once told me an adult cougar will kill approximately a deer per week. That is about 50 deer per year per mountain lion.Well, it is not just the “lions and tigers and bears, oh my.” I remember when the frogs sang all night by the creek and the salamanders stirred the water in the ponds. Then they introduced the raccoons in this area, and now I haven’t seen a frog all summer.A couple of DOW researchers showed up at a friend’s ranch to investigate what the ranchers were doing that was killing off the frogs. Well, guess what? The ranchers introduced them to the eating habits of raccoons and to where responsibilities for the frog’s demise really lie.Government agencies often create problems and then blame citizens. For instance, there are probably 30 to 50 bears feeding at the South Canyon dump. They teach them to live off garbage and then give us what for if our garbage cans are not bear-proof. Hike in after hours to check it out and you will be arrested for trespassing.

The love of predatory animals strikes very close to home. The common house cat is the No. 1 predator in the United States, and yet people just “love” their cats. Maybe many people’s affection for predators is an extension of their own personality.Getting wolf packs to control elk herds may seem logical, but elk are not the only meat on their plate. Cougars may be beautiful and awesome, but they are definitely not vegans.When my kids were growing up on the ranch, they freely ran the creek bottoms and surrounding hills. The worst animal hazard was getting squirted by a skunk. New Castle population back then was about 650, and this area was much wilder.Now we worry about predators both human and animal.I hereby protest the pious promoters for population control by predation.Ross L. Talbott lives in New Castle.

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