Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Treated like an animal


For the animal kingdom, the Holocaust never ended.” — Philip Wollen, former vice president of Citibank, vegan activist

To emphasize how badly someone was treated, people often say, “He was treated like an animal.” To describe how badly someone behaved, others often say, “He acted like an animal.” This consistent demonizing of animals, demeaning them, is as much a part of our cultural framework as fried chicken. Most animals are considered irrelevant, our abuse of them out of sight, and therefore out of mind — where most people like to keep it safe from examination. Safe from personal responsibility to act.

We all share equal responsibility for abuse of the vulnerable.

This is a chance to take a closer look at two of the most despised, forgotten, and abused animals — starting with the rat. A new study out of Japan states that rats are different, and better, than one might have been indoctrinated to think.

The Japanese study was designed to threaten the rats with drowning, often making them tread water for up to five minutes. Another rat, in an adjacent box, had the choice of saving the soggy rat by pushing open a door to allow moving to dry land, and learned quickly to rescue the rat in distress. If the adjacent cage was dry and the rat not in distress, the rats did not open the door. If the rat had already suffered the water routine, there was more likelihood of him moving faster to the rescue, suggesting empathy. Even given the choice of a chocolate treat and rescuing a fellow rat in distress, rats moved to help.

Over 100 million rats and mice are killed in laboratories every year, subjected to all sorts of diseases, invasive routines, amputations, tumor inducement, most often without any anesthesia. They make up 95 percent of the animals used in labs in this country. No experiment, no matter how painful, is illegal. Rats and mice are excluded from even the inadequate protections of the Animal Welfare Act. “They are considered so unimportant that no one has to report how many are experimented on.”

It is no wonder, with universities setting the example, routinely abusing animals in research, that our culture is so cruel and compromised.

The avian flu exposes another massive abuse of animals. Why is one farm in Jefferson County allowed to have more than 1 million chickens? How could that be healthy as food production or capable of humane oversight? Just in Wisconsin, 1.2 million chickens and 602,600 domesticated turkeys have been “depopulated.” However, 39 million birds have been “affected” in the United States since December. Their fate was the same mass killing.

Fourteen wild birds have been documented with avian flu, mostly in the western states. It seems odd that, with low wild contagion, the choice is to destroy almost 39 million domestic birds. Wouldn’t some of them develop immunity and manifest that immunity to be studied? Why not just quarantine them? Too much trouble, maybe.

Electrocution, stun guns, and decapitation are all methods commonly used to kill chickens, geese, ducks and turkeys for human consumption. They are not suitable tools for mass killing quickly. Carbon dioxide has been used extensively. The use of carbon monoxide is acceptable but “causes more convulsions.” The newest method is water-based foam, which can suffocate 15,000 chickens in 15 minutes. The FDA has approved it as humane. The link provided shows an example of chickens not in individual cages being suffocated as foam envelops them — “so the FDA allows the packaging of their dead flesh to be sold as ‘free range.'”

Karen Davis started United Poultry Concerns, “promoting the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl.” Her website describes the environmental consequences of a factory farm the size of the one “depopulated” in Jefferson County: “A 1 million hen factory farm produces 125 tons of wet manure a day!”

Finally, trapping and fur farms indiscriminately destroy dwindling populations of wildlife. Like the use of mice in vivisection, fur farms and trapping are operated with no oversight or rules protecting animals from anal electrocution, bludgeoning, swinging them to the ground to kill them or bashing them against walls. Their format is animal abuse. Trapping and fur farms are expanding exponentially in Wisconsin. The relatively small number of people who inflict this on animals are more organized than the majority who could end it.

Year after year, “humane” people don’t bother to act. They don’t want to look at slaughterhouse videos, trapping videos, or animal experimentation. They would rather just shut their eyes and let this continue. James Baldwin wrote: “People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster.”

You can sign and network a petition to Rep. Chris Taylor to author legislation to end trapping on Wisconsin publicly purchased lands, a petition to end trapping federally, and a petition to keep Wisconsin wolves protected.

Patricia Randolph of Portage is a longtime activist for wildlife. and and

Read more:

1 Comment

Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Uncategorized


Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Let’s have $5 ‘gatherer’ license to take live animals and plants from public lands


“Any society allows you to agree with the government. A free society allows you to disagree fundamentally.” ~ I.F. Stone, “Con Games”

To equalize fair citizen participation, I propose that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources establish laws encouraging citizens to dig up trees and plants and take live animals from our public lands without limit, with a $5 annual “gatherer” license incentive. Citizens can start a small nursery business of indigenous plants and trees or a live indigenous animal center to re-populate empty Wisconsin woods.

The season would not have to interrupt the $5 licenses sold to new trappers for indiscriminate killing of wildlife. Their $5 season spans mid-October through March in the south, into April birthing seasons up north. It would be appropriate to have live animal trapping after birthing seasons in March/April and plants and trees taken during spring re-growth of new vegetation through fall.

As equal citizens, we should all be able to use our public lands for equal enterprise and private profit opportunities.

Trapping is the only private for-profit business of indiscriminate exploitation currently allowed on our publicly purchased lands. With this new proposal, the majority who want to experience living wildlife could start private businesses and buy back living systems to reboot life in their own communities. This would create outdoor opportunities to teach children to gather from the public lands. After all, gathering (hunting/gathering) is historic tradition and our right.

Democracy is only served with equal treatment under the law.

The United States traps more animals for the fur trade than any other country in the world. According to Born Free, 3-5 million animals are trapped and sold for profit annually. Born Free points out that “most are clubbed or suffocated to death as bullet holes and blood stains reduce the pelts’ value.”

In Wisconsin, 2,200 new trappers were recruited in 2013 and another 2,041 trappers were recruited in 2014 with new trapper $5 incentive licenses. Youth under age 15 (no age restrictions) have a $10 license. A regular license costs $20. Over 10,500 trappers actively trapped in 2014.

Gatherers deserve similar rights.

In addition to the estimated 435,694 animals trapped in Wisconsin last year, mostly from our public lands, another half-million were collateral damage. They had poor fur quality, were too young or old, rotted in traps, or were birds of prey, water birds or pets — all dispatched as trash animals. Additionally, 25,544 beavers (ever on the decline) were estimated killed along with 1,267 beavers removed from stocked “trout streams,” and 1,200 beaver dams were removed in 2013 — 150 to 200 of them dynamited.

Russia is the main market for furs, and fur prices fell with the tough Russian economy last year. Average prices were: bobcat, $97; fox, $21-$34 (fox trapping seen in this short video); raccoon, $6-$16; mink, $18; coyote, $23; otter $64; skunk and weasel just a couple of dollars each. Such low value placed on our suffering wildlife and the destruction of our commons.

A current petition to end the use of snares, conibear and steel jaw traps in the United States is gaining support. The author of the petition, Kathleen Buchanan, emailed that she was motivated by a dog named Cub. “In February, he was discovered along a country road in New Mexico, half his body riddled with shotgun pellets, hobbling upon the exposed ends of bones where his hind legs once were — injuries consistent with a leghold trap.” Additional research reported by Stephen Messenger revealed that 2.7 million wild animals were killed by the federal Department of Agriculture’s agents and contractors last year — “7,400 animals every single day.”

Trapping is described as a “steady growth” job opportunity. Fewer than 150,000 people trap in this country — 0.0004 percent of the population.

The general gross imbalance of power is clearly shown by comments against a commercial bobcat fur farm recently proposed in Montana. 21,185 comments came in from Montana, around the country, and all over the world. 21,165 of them were against the fur farm and 20 supported it. The fur farm was approved.

Despite over half the world’s wildlife being destroyed in just 40 years, state agencies are accelerating ecosystem destruction through market trapping and trapper recruitment. In the 1800s there was much more wildlife and fewer trappers, yet market trapping threatened extinctions even then.

Wisconsin is now a hotbed of lyme disease because foxes and bobcats, raccoons and coyotes are being trapped out. Mice populations are exploding. They carry the tick life cycle. With wolves and coyotes declining, chronic wasting disease is already in 25 percent of the 2-year-old bucks. State policies are destroying nature’s balance to serve the narrow interests of hunters, trappers and hounders.

We are directly related to other beings who have learned how to live here naturally, in harmony, over millions of years. We must feel this connection and move from knowing we are doing something wrong to doing something about it. We need to protect their lives with our own. We depend on them. They depend on us.

We have failed them for too long.

Citizens can sign and network a petition to Rep. Chris Taylor to author legislation and gather support from other Wisconsin legislators to end trapping entitlement on our public lands or open them to all citizens for gathering under similar terms.

Let’s get it done.

Please call your federal representative to co-sponsor and support the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act (H.R. 2016/S. 1081).

1 Comment

Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


Enjoy this year’s Vegan Fest! Help needed!

On behalf of Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic, Patricia signed up (paid the $100 booth fee) for Vegan Fest in Madison on Saturday, June 27. This has been an annual event that WWE has attended, having found it a great forum to have a chance to meet like-minded individuals who are concerned about the downward spiral of Wisconsin’s wildlife and the effect that global climate change is exerting on our planet.

As one of Madison’s best summertime festivals, Vegan Fest is offers stimulating conversation, delicious vegan food/recipes, a huge raffle, exhibitors (including WWE) and speakers who share their considerable knowledge regarding the facts, fiction and food choices that consider the well-being of animals and our health. Please click here for further information. It really doesn’t get better than this!

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Patricia cannot make this year’s Vegan Fest. Consequently, we are asking for your help in setting up/taking down the exhibit and with attending to the booth. The key in making WWE’s presence a success is YOU!! Explain to others the plight of our wildlife, and promote/educate them about the importance of coming out one night a year to vote against more killing and ELECT delegates interested in preserving Wisconsin’s wildlife.

Please step up and contact Patricia! She can provide you with more details, informational flyers and WWE bumper stickers (that can be sold to help cover the cost for our booth). In addition to asking for volunteers to cover the booth, we are looking for someone with a truck or SUV that can carry the structure to hold the WWE vinyl 6-foot banner (it will just fit into a standard size SUV). Thanks in advance for your help!

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 5, 2015 in Uncategorized


Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Why does UW’s Nelson Institute feature ‘MeatEater,’ who promotes killing?


What would it take to accomplish the serious, wrenching, full-scale readjustments that in fact are necessary to save the Earth … and (create) a new, modest, regardful relationship with the Earth and its species? — Richard Kreitner in The Nation

On April 14, UW-Madison and the Nelson Institute offered a Steven Rinella event at the Discovery Center. Rinella hosts his own hit TV show, “MeatEater,” on the Sportsmen’s Channel. About 250 mostly white males attended. UW-Madison had run a free MOOC (massive open online course) called “The Land Ethic Reclaimed: Perceptive Hunting, Aldo Leopold, and Conservation,” which attracted 6,000 participants. Paul Robbins, executive director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, was instrumental in getting Rinella to speak, and gave an enthusiastic introduction, saying, “There is nothing this guy will not eat.”

It turned out that Rinella “trapped my ass off for 10 years” until the Russian fur market recently collapsed. A personable storyteller, he engaged the crowd with his hunting philosophy — but I heard nothing new. His “responsible hunting” was a rationale for taking trophy Dall sheep. “You’re beating old man winter” when killing a 12-year-old sheep. (Getting older myself, I would be less than pleased to have someone kill me to spare me another winter.)

The World Wildlife Fund and the London Zoological Society published data that 52 percent of all wildlife on Earth was destroyed in the 40 years from 1970 to 2010. This destruction is accelerating.

The Center for Biological Diversity has a “Take Extinction Off Your Plate” website. It says: “Meat production is one of the main drivers of environmental degradation globally, and the crisis is rapidly growing worse. … This ever-increasing meat consumption in a world of more than 7 billion people is already taking a staggering toll on wildlife, habitat, water resources, air quality and the climate.”

The World Watch Institute’s study on methane and greenhouse gases from livestock production found a stunning 52 percent of greenhouse gases come from animal agriculture. That study shows that a 25 percent reduction in meat and dairy by 2017 would not only make a rapid reduction in atmospheric greenhouse gases, but would also reverse the world food and water crisis.

Why would the Nelson Institute and UW-Madison promote forums and classes celebrating hunting, trapping, and meat-eating? Are they so beholden to this dairy state with a 10 percent hunting minority that they compromise core environmental values?

I asked the director of the Nelson Institute why in an email. He replied, “We host a variety of speakers at the institute, including Steven Rinella (whose powerful message to the hunters in his audience was to obey the rules, value the land, and think before shooting), but also Jane Goodall, and Buddhist monks from Bhutan. We believe the purpose of a university is to host the widest range of ideas as possible, open the universe of discussion and debate to all points of view, and welcome free and open expression.”

So let’s parse Robbins’ reply: “Obey the rules.” Hunting and trapping have been deregulated with almost no oversight. The “rules” allow running packs of dogs on coyotes year-round statewide, pitting packs of dogs in combination with traps and high-powered military grade weapons against a keystone wolf population, so endangered that it took 38 years and millions of dollars to give them token presence on the landscape. The rules allow indiscriminate trapping of as much life as can be taken on $5 new license. Trappers are massively destroying beavers, who create habitat for half of the rare and endangered species on Earth and are water-keepers. The rules are to fund the state agency on killing licenses so that 90 percent of us have no say in governing our “commons.” It does not seem that “obey the rules” means much of anything.

“Value the land” goes back to Leopold 70 years ago. We face very different challenges today. Leopold presided over bounty destruction of wolves, and was a game manager of his time. He touted killing natural top and mid-range predators to have more “game” animals to kill. He had a land ethic but not a wildlife ethic.

“Think before shooting.” So does Rinella’s magical thinking that he has created a “totem” of the skull of a Dall ram he killed differ in any way from just wanting to reduce an animal to private possession and personal ego accomplishment? Did the shooter think before killing the wolf whose skull is a decorated trinket bedecked with Swarovski crystals, featured on the Sportsmen’s Channel website?

This self-congratulatory machismo is expanding as the world is dying. Who will lead in addressing the major causes of this extinction crisis, not just to tweak or “reform” but to reverse it? All oxygen-breathing beings, including humans, are imperiled by climate change, human overpopulation, killing obsessions, and meat-eating.

UW-Madison and the Nelson Institute betray our trust. We need the truth and full-scale readjustments based purely on the truth.

The Wisconsin Conservation Congress election and vote had an appallingly apathetic turnout. The 4,613 citizens, dominated by trappers and hounders, voted for a crane hunt; gave trappers 24-hour trapping for seven months; expanded fisher, otter and turtle trapping; and just barely spared the white deer.

Three wolf alerts: Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan.

Patricia Randolph of Portage is a longtime activist for wildlife. Contact information: or and

Share your opinion on this topic by sending a letter to the editor to Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.

Read more:


Posted by on April 27, 2015 in Uncategorized


DNR Annual Meeting Results

otter mom and pup

Otter mom shows off her pup

A seasons catch

A season’s catch

Click on this link to view the results from the Spring DNR/WCC meeting, held on Monday, April 13, 2015. Both the statewide results and a separate link to individual county results are provided.

1 Comment

Posted by on April 23, 2015 in Uncategorized



Apologies! It has come to our attention that some formatting issues are associated with the “cheat sheet” enclosed in the prior post. Please refer to the following (revised) version that provides the most humane responses for your consideration. We encourage you to read each question carefully and express your viewpoints regarding the issues/proposals being discussed.

 Wildlife Ethic Most Humane Answers 2015 DNR QUESTIONNAIRE FINAL

Once again, thanks for participating!

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 13, 2015 in Uncategorized


Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Stakes are high April 13: killing cranes and white deer, expanding trapping and more hunting with dogs

5526a15b24442.image“Capitalism in inherently militaristic, consumptive, and violent toward nature. Democracy is a fiction.” ~ Earth at Risk conference 2014

Although it is the issues that will attract wildlife watchers to attend the Monday, April 13, DNR/Conservation Congress annual election and vote on governing our commons, it is the elections that hold the power.

The location in each county, questionnaires and information on how to run for election are here on the DNR website. All the meetings start at 7 p.m., but plan to arrive at 6:30 to register and be ready.

This political process that provides citizen input into natural resource decision-making has been hidden and obscured from the nonhunting public and has served only one segment of citizens since its inception 88 years ago: hunters. The hunting lobby effectively lobbied itself into becoming the sole advisory body on wildlife issues in the state. Hunters and their service agency, the DNR, have not encouraged the participation of the general public in this election for self-serving reasons: to perpetuate and expand their killing business.

The election is the first order of business Monday evening and the most important. All counties will have two hunters or trappers running for election, and in most counties, only them. Hunters know that if they continue to control this election, they control which questions that make it to the questionnaire for a vote. Hunters count the votes and design the structure to their advantage.

Each county in Wisconsin is allotted five delegates. The 900,000 citizens in Milwaukee county have five delegates, and the 41 lowest-population rural counties in the state, altogether comprising 900,000 citizens, are also allotted five delegates each, or 210 delegates of 360 total. Democracy is a fiction. This rural 16 percent of Wisconsin’s population controls this sole conservation advisory body to the Natural Resources Board and Legislature, thereby having great influence on the use of our billions of dollars worth of public lands. As they continue to expand their killing agenda, it will take decades to undo the damage. Scientists tell us we must reform now.

The questionnaire gets past the fish-killing questions on page 38, and moves on to proposals for killing sandhill cranes, white deer, otters and fishers; and expanded trapping and hounding. There is a question on studying sand fracking. This is followed by an advertisement of an event to lure children into hunting and trapping.

Watch this adorable day-old sandhill crane chick discover water.

Run two humane candidates in your county and step up so that the 90 percent of citizens who do not kill are represented in protecting our wildlife and public lands for all of us. The past 88 years, layer upon layer of cruelty and killing have been accumulated in these elections with zero pushback. Nurturing and honoring our fellow mortals should have been created instead.

Scientists finally have proclaimed animal and human consciousness to be the same: “They are always aware of their own existence. They feel pain and other sensations. …They mourn their dead — they fear for their lives just as we do.”

Still we make them live in constant fear and allow them to be killed primarily for recreation. Who are we nonhunters, the majority, that we do not set limits to protect them? What have they done that they deserve such suffering and total disregard? They are killed by the millions annually here in Wisconsin.

With deregulation of hunting and trapping into a relatively free-for-all kill fest, the DNR has recruited 2,041 new trappers just in 2014 using $5 new trapper/hunter license incentives. They’re allowed to kill as much as can be trapped in six to seven months of unlimited traps on unlimited trap lines.

Market trapping in the 1850s was ended because it threatened to wipe out much more abundant wildlife than we have now. The Chinese and Russian markets have tripled their demand and U.S. export in the past five years. We are on a trajectory of irreparable loss and ecosystem collapse.

E.O. Wilson, one of our most famous biologists, interviewed by Josh Glancy for the Sunday Times, says that our treatment of other species is rapidly dooming us. “‘One culprit is religion, in whose “fever swamps” we have become mired, giving us an overinflated sense of entitlement,’ he argues. Another is that we are a ‘young and very dysfunctional species.’ He summarizes our dysfunction: ‘We have paleolithic emotions, we haven’t changed any of those … that’s what we call human nature. We have medieval institutions, and we have God-like power. That is a very dangerous mix … we need to ‘build a better ethic,’ one that recognizes the importance of other species.” (click here to view additional information by E.O. Wilson).

The Guardian last year reported on research by scientists at the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London that concluded: “The number of wild animals on Earth has halved in the past 40 years, according to a new analysis.”

“’If half the animals died in London zoo next week it would be front page news,’ said Professor Ken Norris, ZSL’s director of science. ‘But that is happening in the great outdoors. This damage is not inevitable but a consequence of the way we choose to live.’

‘We have lost one half of the animal population and knowing this is driven by human consumption, this is clearly a call to arms and we must act now,’ said Mike Barratt, director of science and policy at WWF.”

The article by Damian Carrington goes on to say that large declines in wildlife in rich nations had already occurred long before the new report’s baseline year of 1970 — the last wolf in the UK was shot in 1680. So the starting point for this 52 percent loss was vast loss already.

E.O. Wilson warns that the stakes could not be higher. “Save the biosphere and you have the capacity to save the world. Don’t save the biosphere and we’re dooming ourselves.”

Start in Wisconsin Monday, April 13, at 6:30 p.m., this one night each year where you can learn about and stand up for a living world, election by election. It is urgent. Life on earth is in critical danger.

April 13 is the only night to attend, elect representation, and vote on the issues. A citizen can send comments on the DNR proposals, including the increase in night trapping and expansion of bear hounding, to Scott Loomans, Bureau of Wildlife Management, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, 53707, or to Scott at (postmarked no later than April 13). Comments do not count as a vote and do not cover the proposed sandhill crane or white deer hunt.

I also encourage citizens to write letters to the editor about this little-known election and vote to

Posters to adapt to county locations and petitions to sign and network against killing bears, white deer, cranes, and trapping expansion can be found at Please like the new Wildlife Ethic facebook page

Patricia Randolph of Portage is a longtime activist for wildlife. or


Read more:

1 Comment

Posted by on April 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 262 other followers