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Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Human ability to destroy nonhuman life exceeds all expectations

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throra/Animal Photos!

Humanity now demands over 50 percent more than what the planet can regenerate.”~ Global Footprint Network

The last time I wrote about how “Wisconsin Hates Wildlife,” in 2011, the World Wildlife Fund had estimated that “the population of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles and amphibians has plummeted 35 percent worldwide in the last 35 years.”

Starting with their self-serving age-old lie that killing is “conservation,” the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is out to “conserve” the last third of that wildlife into the annals of extinction history.

Human abilities to destroy life have exceeded all expectations and WWF now states, “There will be a 67 percent decline in global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles from 1970 levels by the end of this decade (in three years).”

Doubling the kill in just a fourth of the time is no doubt due to that busy opposable thumb (or trigger finger) and our prized “reason.” We are the special species set apart from all others. We can rationalize almost anything.

We are such a violent and “sportive” species that half of all species are likely to be extinct by the end of this century. We may be one of them, since oceans are predicted to be fish-less (dead) by 2048, and as ecosystems collapse, war will likely ensue to consume the last scraps of life left.

Now, thanks to accelerating efforts by the Wisconsin DNR, similar agencies in other states, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the new secretary of the interior (Ryan Zinke, an avid hunter), Trump’s pick for secretary of agriculture (Sonny Perdue, an avid hunter), and farm bureaus and ranchers, this longtime effort to kill wild creatures is killing off life on earth. Farm bureaus facilitate poisoning our food systems with chemical soups wiping out birds, bees, insects, bats and amphibians throughout the network of life. Dirty-energy billionaires are in control of the federal government. Legislators have focused great efforts on opening former wildlife refuges to lead shot and shooting ranges and are hellbent on killing the few wolves left that might balance CWD, bubonic plague, Lyme disease, and artificially high populations of deer and elk — farmed, of course for heads on walls.

Wyoming courts are set to allow hunters to kill wolves on sight.

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau, upset about that about 2/10ths of 1 percent of livestock are killed by wolves before making it to the slaughterhouse (USDA figures), sent their president, Jim Holte, to petition legislators in Washington to put the Wisconsin DNR in control of the state’s wolves. Ninety-five percent of the livestock that die before the slaughterhouse, die from subsisting in horrific unhealthy conditions, not from attacks by wolves.

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau, upset about that about 2/10ths of 1 percent of livestock are killed by wolves before making it to the slaughterhouse (USDA figures), sent their president, Jim Holte, to petition legislators in Washington to put the Wisconsin DNR in control of the state’s wolves. Ninety-five percent of the livestock that die before the slaughterhouse, die from subsisting in horrific unhealthy conditions, not from attacks by wolves.

The Wisconsin DNR is certainly doing its part to perpetuate wildlife killing. A few years ago hunter enthusiasm was flagging. Although hunters were encouraged to kill from wheelchairs if necessary, they were aging out. Allowing year-round killing seasons and packs of dogs to pursue wildlife keep wildlife watchers from meeting or caring about wildlife.

Four years ago, the DNR started a “more-killing-needed sale” and offered $5 licenses as an incentive to recruit and train new trappers and hunters. Over the past four years, women were attracted to $5 raccoon mittens and children held up dead trapped animals like stuffed toys. 10,000 new trappers were trained and wildlife from our woods headed to Toronto auctions as Chinese and Russian supply dwindled due to their woods emptying.

Even with 60 percent of large mammals now threatened with extinction, and six of the eight species of bears on the endangered list for over a decade, 109,000 applicants to kill black bears in Wisconsin is the norm. The DNR says more wolves and bears exist, based on anecdotal evidence. They plan to allow hunters to kill another 5,000 bears this fall, mostly spring cubs and yearlings. It is a half-million-dollar-a-year bear sale.

Meanwhile the Vatican met recently, and is evidently on the creator’s side. The Pontifical Academy of Sciences held a “Workshop on Biological Extinction: How to Save the Natural World on Which We Depend.” They find: “Among the changes that are detrimental to the continued existence of biodiversity are the clearing of land for agriculture and urban development; the introduction of alien species, including weeds, pests, and pathogens worldwide, for the last 500 years, at a dizzying rate; hunting and gathering animals and plants at an unsustainable rate for consumption, building materials, or as medicine; and global climate change.”

The PAS president stated recently, “The question is now not so much how our children and grandchildren will fare, but whether the world will be able to function sustainably during the remainder of our own lives.”

Petition to stop trophy-hunting of giraffes here.

Contact legislators here against Alaska opening national refuges to shooting hibernating bears with their cubs, shooting grizzly bears from airplanes, killing wolves and their pups in dens, and the use of steel jaw traps and wire neck snares.

This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on March 12, 2017.

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: The fatal ‘con’ in conservation

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Chris Pousser, Freeimages.com

“(T)he wild creatures inhabiting our world are every bit as much the sentient beings we humans are.” ~ Richard Thiel, retired DNR wolf biologist, forward to “Wild Wolves We Have Known”.

Cathy Stepp, DNR secretary, who campaigned for Donald Trump, leads the DNR in an anti-science crusade, dumping science, along with life on earth, into the trash bin. In a January interview with the Wisconsin State Journal, she said she would be glad if the Trump administration “dials down ‘strangling’ federal requirements that have been imposed on the DNR.”

She has presided over scrubbing the DNR website of climate change science and has weakened regulations of concentrated animal farms polluting Wisconsin waters, hunting and trapping, and established a free-for-all for running packs of dogs on our wildlife.

The federal government is purging its website as well. A Humane Society Legislative Fund petition, “I Will Stand and Fight for Animals!,” says, “The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) abruptly purged its website of documents and records related to enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act and Horse Protection Act, essentially covering for puppy mills, roadside zoos, and other animal abusers.”

The same petition reports that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives “voted to overturn a rule that prohibits killing wolf pups in their dens, spotting grizzly bears from aircraft and then shooting them after landing, and other cruel forms of trophy hunting on Alaska’s national wildlife (so-called) refuges.”

This is Republican “conservation” — the “con” being the destruction and hatred of all that is natural and sacred.

The grand “con” is the exclusion of the 90 percent of the citizens who pay for public lands and have zero say in governing them or in any decisions about wildlife. That is and always has been the exclusive dictatorship of the hunters and trappers, who are 10 percent of the public. Funding the agency from killing licenses is the game and total control of wildlife and public lands by those who destroy life is the shame.

The absurdity that the DNR calls “science” includes just asking trappers how many animals they killed, how many they think are left to be killed, and what methods each used in trapping. This is absurdly bogus. Trappers have every incentive to overestimate the “stock” of animals left so that they can keep killing, and every incentive to under-report their kill, especially of endangered species, pets and birds. The DNR survey states that 8,000 trappers actively trapped — described as 40 percent of the 20,000 trappers trained by the state. Of those who responded, 7.1 percent reported that they used snares. Twelve percent reported that they caught an average of 2.5 dogs and “released” them. (One wonders how many half dogs were released.)

Trapping in 2015-16 was down from the year before, as seen on page 5 of the Wisconsin DNR Fur Trapper Survey. 341,757 animals were trapped and a quarter of trappers hunted the same animals and shot another 35,733 foxes, coyotes, and raccoons. The total 377,490 animals (reported anecdotally) equates to an average 47 animals killed by each trapper.

That’s Republican job creation, but it turns out that the trapper pays much more than he gains. The Wisconsin Fur Buyers Report states that the total pelt value for 2015-16 was estimated at a little over $1.25 million. 284,395 skins were reported sold by Wisconsin trappers, two-thirds to out-of-state buyers.

Multiply 47 animals killed by each trapper times $4.43, and each trapper took in an average of $208.21.

The DNR report, eager to tout the contribution to the economy of clearing the woods of life, says, “The average trapper incurred $318.50 of expenses on such things as traps, lures, gas, and a license.” That means that it cost each trapper over $100 more than each earned as revenue, plus spending a reported “5 million trap nights” or 625 trap hours per trapper.

None of this makes any sense. Little money, lots of time. Obscene suffering caused

Born Free, an organization fighting to end trapping, “has documented through a comprehensive review of scientific literature that trapped animals may suffer severe physical injury, psychological trauma, thirst, hypothermia, and predation. They may remain in traps for days or longer before dying or being killed — often by bludgeoning so as not to damage the animal’s valuable pelt.”

Michael Moore has offered up to 10 ways to fight back. Number one is essential. As regularly as you brush your teeth, “THE DAILY CALL: You must call Congress every day. Yes – YOU! 202-225-3121. It will take just TWO MINUTES! Make it part of your daily routine, one of those five things you do every morning without even thinking about it.”

Call to save our wolves. Call to end trapping. Call to end the hunting war on wildlife and war on other people. Call to demand action to curtail climate change and mass extinction. Call to save life on earth and our own species. Light the fuses now and keep them burning every day.

Please sign and network these two petitions:

Petition to stop the Air Force from dropping bombs on hundreds of whales and dolphins near the Hawaiian Islands.

Petition to ban trophy hunting of the last 700 grizzly bears in Yellowstone.

Originally published in the Madison CapTimes on February 26, 2017.

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Canned lion hunts an example of human cruelty

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Photo by Dave Richards. See his website at onsafari.co.ke/

“When I get over on the other side, I shall use my influence to have the human race drowned again, and this time drowned good, no omissions, no ark.” — Mark Twain, “On the Damned Human Race”

There will be no God’s mandate for an ark this time. Man is taking the rest of life out with him. Steve Bannon and Donald Trump are giving what Chris Hedges calls a “Christianized fascist” push to planetary extinction and climate chaos.

Man’s dominion turned domination of other animals is a Christian perversion. One can choose what one wants from the Bible. My hunter neighbor tells me, “There are animal sacrifices in the Bible — we are supposed to kill them.”

Most religions do make man the center of the universe.

Driving into Madison early on a Saturday morning, I listened to a BBC hour devoted to parsing out the plans of Bannon, power beside the throne. They referenced various statements by Bannon working “to blow up the establishment” with his method being constant chaos. Bannon is quoted as saying, under his plan, they can rule for 50 years.

Rule what is left. Some short lives are focused on delusions of power.

Man has had a substantial run of ruling the planet. It is a story of destruction, cruelty and failure. Humans are so out of balance that we have caged and fenced most of the other species of any size or utility by the billions: laboratories, feedlots, factory farms, puppy mills, pet trade. Wild animals — deer, turkeys, bears, coyotes, wolves, crows, ducks, mourning doves — are shot or bled out by men who enjoy killing just about anybody large enough to hit. Fur “bearers” suffer the obscene torture of trapping. Oceans, predicted to be fish-less by 2048, are trawled and long-lined, with billions of tons of “by-catch” tossed back dead into plastic-polluted waters acidifying with warming.

The figure I have heard in illegal wildlife trade is $22 billion, but since it is hidden, it is hard to calculate. What is sure is that with 60 percent of large mammals threatened with extinction, the market for them has gone ballistic — both in legalized killing and illegal trade. Demand for lions, tigers, giraffes, elephants, cheetahs, wolverines, jaguars, leopards, wolf species including gray wolves, and bears is spiking.

The skeletons of 800 lions are scheduled to be shipped from South Africa to the Far East to be used in folk medicine. The bones are the remains of captive lions killed in fenced hunting enclosures on farms raising 6,000 to 8,000 lions for “hunters” to kill as they are paraded out in front of them. Last year an attempt to protect lions at the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species failed.

The 20,000 free-roaming lions remaining in Africa are threatened by hunting and the Asian trade, now replacing tiger bones with lions, as both species hurtle toward extinction. Botswana stopped all lion hunting in 2013 because of precipitous decline in lion populations.

South Africa’s private lion breeding business practices encourage cub petting and pictures and then pricey canned hunting as the cubs grow larger (like farm petting zoos’ connection to slaughterhouses). There are pictured catalogs for the male lions: $30,000, $28,500, $25,500, and on down. Females can be killed for $7,000. Prices include accommodations, packing and shipping, transportation and cash bar available (for bragging rituals).

In “Blood Lions” and “Dead Lion Walking,” documentary-makers investigate the canned lion hunting industry, citing hundreds of the captive animals shot by wealthy hunters every year in a business worth millions of dollars.

The Department of Natural Resources has its own captive wildlife breeding facilities. Over 400,000 non-native pheasants are hand-raised annually to be thrown out the day before the pheasant hunt. The Boys and Girls Club of Janesville’s annual fenced pheasant kill fundraiser, held this year on Saturday, Feb. 11, teaches young people that benefiting from killing tame birds is normal and acceptable.

The DNR licenses canned hounding facilities, thinly veiling killing wildlife with dogs for fun, seven days a week, 16 hours a day. The wildlife who suffer and die in these local facilities are foxes, raccoons, rabbits, coyotes, bobcats and baby bears. The DNR cares so little for our wildlife that they do not even enforce Legislature-mandated quarterly reports, nor do they look at them.

In his call to resistance, “Make America Ungovernable,” Chris Hedges describes the Trump/Bannon regime of “Christianized fascism” as venerating “a demented hypermasculinity that includes a sacralization of violence, misogyny, a disdain for empathy.”

Mark Twain said it this way, “I bring you the stately nation named Christendom, returning bedraggled, besmirched and dishonored … with her soul full of meanness, her pocket full of boodie, and her mouth full of hypocrisies. Give her soap and towels but hide the looking glass.”

Sign a petition to save wolves.

This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on February 15, 2017.

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Get active now to save Wisconsin’s wolves

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A young wolf

“Native Americans were certain that wolves and many other creatures were people.” ~ John Vucetich, Michigan wolf biologist

Richard Thiel, retired Wisconsin DNR wolf biologist, debuted “Wild Wolves We Have Known: Stories of Wolf Biologists’ Favorite Wolves” at the International Wolf Symposium held in Duluth, Minnesota, in 2013. Twenty-three wolf biologists wrote stories about their experiences working with wolves — work that transformed them into wolf advocates.

The introduction, written by John Vucetich, is a call to human empathy, invoking the moral obligation of man to recognize the fellow humanity of wolves. He writes how knowing individual wolves changed his own life. While acknowledging that humans possess capabilities that wolves do not, he writes: “But it is an entirely separate concern to ask, is a wolf a person?” He poses that wolf possessing these traits — “sensory consciousness, memory, dreams, intentions, personality, emotions — certainly qualifies as being an actor in the world, as the experiencer of a life.” He affirms, “It is perfectly right to treat our dogs as people.”

Vucetich documents that wolves, who are extremely loyal to family, lose one in four family members to death every year of their lives. He adds, “Trust me — just as your family dog knows when you are gone for the weekend, so too does a wolf experience a missing sibling or parent.”

Suffering is a commonality among species.

The word “hierarchy” derives from the Middle English word “ierarchie,” meaning “order of holy beings.” Vucetich: “Developing a healthy relationship with this ‘order of holy beings’ is quite a challenge. One great development in this relationship was the widespread realization, during the 20th century, that humans are not the only kind of organism that deserves our moral consideration…. Not so much because it serves us to treat the non-human world well (which it does), but for its own sake.”

He points out that wildlife are treated as “populations” to be managed, denying individual animals any significant value. He says: “Another approach is to deny that populations and ecosystems have any significant value.”

Vucetich continues that too often we are “harming innocent manifestations of life to pay the price for (our) harming some other manifestation of life. Do two wrongs really make it right? This relationship with the great hierarchy of life is perverse…. I do not know precisely what that (healthier) relationship should look like, but I’m pretty sure it involves greater respect for life at each level in the great hierarchy. And the solution almost certainly involves better understanding of individual organisms.”

This awakening, calling for our moral responsibility to fellow beings, is new within the scientific community. Citing the intensely social lives of wolves, Paul Paquet, a Canadian wolf biologist, states bluntly that it is immoral to kill wolves, period.

Randy Jurewicz, a Wisconsin wolf biologist, recently retired from the DNR and is now free to say that wolves do not “need” to be hunted at all since their populations are self-limiting.

Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat, has joined Wisconsin’s Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson in co-sponsoring Johnson’s Senate bill to remove Endangered Species Act protections from Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Wyoming wolves: H.R. 424 and S.164.

In Wisconsin, delisting would mean using packs of dogs and traps — anything goes for killing combinations.

Eight of nine Wisconsin citizens polled in a 2013 Mason-Dixon poll do not want wolves hunted, and nine in 10 oppose the use of bait, traps, and packs of dogs to trophy kill wolves.

Who is Baldwin representing?

Repeated emails requesting an interview with Baldwin and Freedom of Information Act inquiries into how much funding she receives from hunting organizations and the NRA got no response.

I spoke directly to Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, asking him how we could protect our wolves. He replied, “Double down on calling your senators and representatives and organize.” He cited the women’s march on Washington and the coalitions being built to resist the destructive aggression of the Republican takeover.

The DNR has forsaken all credibility by scrubbing its website of climate change references and purging the wolf committee of all humane representation on wolves’ behalf. The incompetence of the Trump administration described by Paul Krugman is also applicable to the DNR: “Blind ideology, blind loyalty, contempt for knowledge, nuance and expertise, and lack of ethics are the values…”

The Center for Biological Diversity issued a press release and video including this quote: “The new Congress is the most extreme and anti-wolf our country has ever seen, and members wasted no time in attacking endangered wildlife,” said Collette Adkins, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This bill promises to undo hard-earned progress toward gray wolf recovery that has taken years to achieve. Without federal protection hundreds of wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan will once again suffer and die every year.”

Citizens can send a letter opposing this legislation from the center’s website.

Please network that it is urgent to call Ron Johnson (202-224-5323 or via his website), Tammy Baldwin (202-224-5653 or via her website), and Rep. Sean Duffy, R-District 7, co-author of the house bill (202-225-3365) voicing vehement opposition to these political, anti-science bills.

Organize with wolf advocates. Hold wolves in your hearts and act now.

Originally published in the Madison CapTimes on January 29, 2017.

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: A look in the mirror at Trump

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Baby elephant nuzzles her dead mother

“The fate of the sea turtle or the gibbon or the tiger is mine …. (A)ll that is in my universe is not merely mine; it is me. And I will defend myself.” ~ “The Fallacy of Wildlife Conservation” by John A. Livingston

Locker room contempt of women; Trump’s sons cheerily holding up the tail of an endangered elephant they killed; Trump mocking a disabled reporter; walls; threats to Muslims and immigrants — it is a montage of the setting we have created.

Animals, be they tame or wild, small or big, fierce or sweet, have known human arrogance at its worst. They must be so baffled that humans are so cruel to them. Run dogs on them. Dish out death when we fear it so much.

We humans are the Age of the Anthropocene. And gee it is lonely at the top. Trump, thin-skinned to every slight, well knows that coveted lone spot. It is conflicting to crave acceptance and be top bully at the same time. American Indians at least thanked the animals they deprived of life. “I will kill you now — but, hey, thanks.” Trump: “The billionaires and I will take it all — but, hey, thanks. It will be just great.”

We humans never wanted acceptance by lowly underlings on this planet. Absolute power knows no mercy. Humans are top of their own hierarchy, kings of their own devastation. Long ago, Descartes led the way, to our relief, and we left the animal kingdom behind and endowed ourselves as the one species with an immortal soul. The old white bearded guy in the sky said so.

That is covered in another couple of books by John A. Livingston: “One Cosmic Instant: A Natural History of Human Arrogance,” (1968) and “Rogue Primate” (1994).

was one of Canada’s most renowned naturalists. As professor emeritus of environmental studies at York University, he was the founding force behind Canadian Broadcasting Commission’s television series “The Nature of Things.”

Livingston chides in “The Fallacy of Wildlife Conservation,” “If there is no split between man and nature, then man is no more than an animal — and you know what that means. It means among other things, no human uniqueness in the matter of immortal souls…Close ranks brethren, your self-interest is on the line.”

We are the alien and hostile species, separated from all else. Our cities are monocultures, primarily comprised of humans, roads, buildings. So what if hundreds of millions of birds fly into glass skyscrapers? So what if — out there — millions of wild beings are bulldozed for fracking, coal, palm oil and tar sands; or killed in climate change wildfires and drought or shot for good-ol’-boy selfies; or mangled in traps and sewn into high fashion; or hung in slaughterhouses to have their throats slit by the billions? Most humans don’t care about them — they don’t know them.

Governments are complicit in the demise of other species — both in slaughterhouses and nature. And that is leading rapidly toward our own demise.

The alternative is mutual respect and love. Watch this three minute video (“Dillie the Deer, Love on Tiny Hooves”) about the love a rescued blind fawn brought to a woman fighting cancer.

Livingston writes, “I find it deeply and sadly ironic that the most numerous large mammal on Earth, and, in some ways the most successful, is so pathetically lonely and alien, even with respect to his own kind. The implications of this for other, nonhuman biologic beings are obvious.”

Livingston died in 2006. Today, 60 percent of large non-human mammals are threatened with extinction — including the Yellowstone grizzlies and wolves. Our choices have extinguished roughly two-thirds of wildlife of all (nonhuman) life on earth in 40 years. Will it take 20 more to destroy the last third to give us that lone status we apparently seek?

Livingston writes that in almost any shopping center in the “developed” world “you can buy the hide of lynx in the form of a hat, or gloves made from the skin of an unborn lamb; you can buy a coat made from seal whelps; you can buy a tropical fish in a metal cage and a Siamese fighting fish in a plastic bag; you can buy firearms and whammo ammunition and multiple hooks with barbs on them; you can buy snakeskin shoes and unspawned eggs of a sturgeon; you can buy the pulverized enlarged liver of a force-fed goose and the testicles of a bull and the brain of a calf; you can buy chemical biocides and plant growth inhibitors; you can buy the sterile eggs of an untrod chicken and the tongue of a feed lot steer that spent its last weeks hock-deep in its own manure; you can buy medicines made from the blood and viscera of laboratory animals.

“You can buy the Holy Bible and Declaration of Human Rights.”

And you can experience the presidency of Trump as the logical outcome of our death “culture.”

WOLF ACTION ALERT: The Endangered Species Coalition has a video and appeal to all Wisconsin citizens to call Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s office, with contact information. Ask her to stop her efforts to circumvent the Endangered Species Act listing of Wisconsin’s gray wolves. Please act now.

COUNTY DEER ADVISORY COUNCIL: Meetings are being held in every county Jan. 17-19. Please attend and urge that the few remaining wolves in the state remain protected under the Endangered Species Act as the best protection we have against chronic wasting disease, now in 25 percent of 2-year old bucks in Wisconsin. Locations by county here.

This column was originally posted in the Madison CapTimes on January 15, 2017.

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Man to Earth: Drop dead

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Trapped raccoon

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“Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ~ Albert Einstein

Understand this: All life is under imminent threat by human commodification of life (farm and wild). When you truly understand this, realize we must evolve to respect all life and act now with great love and dedication to save all we can, else we go extinct along with our casual and determined abuse of other living beings.

It is urgent. We ourselves must change.

The good news is that change releases us to love rather than continually abuse. It is actually quite natural to love and celebrate “others,” be that other species, religions, races. The “biophilia hypothesis” was proposed as far back as Aristotle, and is extolled by biologist E.O. Wilson. It is “the psychological attraction to all that is alive and vital” in the natural world.

“Diving into the term philia, or friendship, Aristotle evokes the idea of reciprocity and how friendships are beneficial to both parties in more than just one way, but especially in the way of happiness,” the Wikipedia entry reads.

Wouldn’t it be good to be related to the rest of life while we are here and help them, love them, and get to know them?

Last summer I was called by yet another trapper in Wisconsin. He and his wife had bottle-raised an orphan coyote and adopted him as a pet. Then, four years later, someone reported the coyote to the DNR, who sent an employee to tell his wife, “We will stop by to pick up your coyote and euthanize him.” I knew that if the DNR acted swiftly, it would be a dead coyote and a mourning family.

I found a safe place for the coyote while they worked out their license and fencing. The trapper and his wife were out of the door with their coyote in tow almost before I had given them the address. They were that terrified of losing him. When I met them, the trapper said to me, “Knowing him changes you.”

All three of the people I have known who adopted pet coyotes are absolutely enthralled with them.

Similarly, there is Jeff Traska, who hunted bears, then photographed them, then adopted four bears near Wausau. Even hardcore hunters fall in love with these wild animals. Traska started the Black Bear Education Center, and describes himself as “a lifelong outdoorsman and reformed sport hunter who has been fascinated by bears since childhood.”

As my Indian neighbor, Carl, said of raising orphan fawns, “I get so much more pleasure having them run around my kitchen, than I ever did killing them.”

So to know them is to love them. It is ignorance of them that continues the killing. At the International Wolf Symposium in 2013 in Duluth, Minnesota, I witnessed the same phenomenon. Seasoned hunters and trappers, who had started out killing predators, learned profound respect for the wolves in dealing with them. Predator killers became wolf advocates.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is not just a pleasant phrase. It works for all of us to survive.

We need a Department of Peace instead of a Department of Natural Destruction of fellow beings as “resources.” Dennis Kucinich proposed such a department when he ran for president. When he appeared at Fighting Bob Fest, he gave away books entitled “Respect for All Life.”

We will not escape the mass extinction compounded and contributing to climate change that we are accelerating. We cannot.

As Sen. “Turncoat Tammy” Baldwin joins Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Ron Johnson in seeking to remove the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List, we must fight back against that exclusion of science and the erosion of common decency. Stand up for the Endangered Species Act to function without political interference, and against the politics of cruelty. Protect life and protect our own species.

Help the wildlife trying to live among us in urban and rural environments. Feed the birds and learn wild ways.

Here are two ways to reconnect locally:

• Citizens can volunteer to help with Professor David Drake’s Urban Canid Project in Madison, tracking city-dwelling coyotes and foxes with radio collars.

• Visit or volunteer at a farm sanctuary (Dancing freed cow video): Heartland Farm Sanctuary in Verona, or Sol Criations in Endeavor, near Wisconsin Dells.

Thich Nhat Hanh, a renowned Buddhist leader, wrote in a statement on climate change to the United Nations: “Only when we’ve truly fallen back in love with the Earth will our actions spring from reverence and the insight of our interconnectedness. You realize that your consciousness is also the consciousness of the Earth. Look around you — what you see is not your environment, it is you.”

He said, “The Earth and all species on Earth are in real danger.”

Please sign this petition: Wisconsin: Give Abused Cats and Dogs a Voice in Court!

This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on January 1, 2017.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Wisconsin drivers pay dearly for DNR’s deer policy

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WIKIMEDIA.ORG

White-tailed deer fawn

“Each and every animal on earth has as much right to be here as you and me.” ~ Anthony Douglas Williams

I have lived in the country north of Portage, on 72 mostly wooded, posted acres, since 2003. This year was the first that a shy buck appeared regularly at dusk with two does. I rarely see bucks at all unless they are fawns. He was the most timid of the three.

My tenants had taken a canoe in late summer down Neenah Creek. They described how magical it was to see a large buck sleeping peacefully on my property beside the creek. They said he was resting in the midst of six deer stands located on my boundary or just across the creek. My neighbors on all sides are hunters.

Neighbors can kill the deer that live on my property by luring them to feedlots, but I have no equal right to tag my deer friends to allow them to live. This is obviously undemocratic and unfair. For every deer a citizen kills forever, other citizens should have the equal right to tag a deer to live forever.

During this nine-day deer kill, a hunter illegally killed a rare white buck in Sauk County. Bryan Walsh, who had watched the deer grow up, said, “When I heard about it was a sickening feeling like your horse died or a family pet. … You can go out and shoot this monarch and pay a $303 fine and it is over and done with, but a $303 fine doesn’t bring the enjoyment 100 people had from seeing that white deer all the time.”

I have not seen my resident buck since the four-month deer kill season began in September, although the does still show up. I grieve with them.

In blatant violation of their own mantra, “Leave the Wild, Wild,” the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources applies an agricultural model to deer: Kill the bucks for their trophy heads and leave the does to produce fawns for the next kill. Animals are “harvested” just like crops. The agricultural model does not tolerate wolves or natural predation. Neither the DNR nor hunters respect the natural world as a holistic system of vital, sensitive and necessary relationships.

We have turned the world into our militarized slaughterhouse.

A friend visiting from Minnesota commented, “The hunters want wolves killed because they think they kill ‘their deer.’ I bet more deer are killed by cars than by wolves.”

She is right.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, “In 1978 and 1979, deer crashes accounted for only 5.1% and 4.7% of all crashes, respectively.”

“Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation says the number of people injured or killed in crashes with deer has been rising since the late 1970s. The Badger State logged nearly 20,000 (reported) collisions with deer during 2015, accounting for more than 16% of all vehicle accidents,” Bankrate notes.

State Farm insurance reports that the national average cost per claim for 2015-2016 was $3,995.08.” State Farm insurance reports that the national average cost per claim for 2015-2016 was $3,995.08.

That is nearly $80 million that Wisconsin citizens pay in higher insurance rates to cover deer/car collisions. In 2015, the DNR collected nearly $30 million in deer kill license fees. The citizens of Wisconsin pay almost 2.7 times as much for destruction to their cars as the DNR takes in in revenue. Add in doctor, hospital and funeral costs.

A search for “How many deer do wolves kill annually?” produced a hunting website, with tips on tracking bucks and “shot placement.” This site states: “The data on the subject might be a bit disappointing to whitetail hunters looking to blame low deer population numbers on wolves.

“A few hunters continue to kill wolves, believing that such actions will help the deer herd. It is important to place in perspective the impact of wolves feeding on deer. Each wolf kills about 18 deer per year….This appears as a fairly low (number) when compared to over 40,000 deer hit by cars each year, and about 450,000 deer shot annually by hunters.

“So next time you are in your stand and see a wolf, try to enjoy the view and watch a predator at work.”

According to my research, after three years of hunts and the resulting uptick in poaching, Wisconsin has few wolves left. But if 500 wolves survive in Wisconsin, their annual deer predation is about 9,000 — less than half the number killed by cars.

Next time you hit a deer, if you survive, remember that deer probably would not be there if not for biased DNR policy, farming deer for hunters — and you are paying plenty for it.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (608-264-5338) has joined Sen. Ron Johnson (608-310-2270) in petitioning for wolves to be de-listed from the Endangered Species List. Our wolves are extremely endangered, especially when the supposedly progressive Baldwin joins the Republican majority’s chorus for destruction.

Help white deer on the protectthewhitedeer.com website.]

This column was originally puablished in the Madison CapTimes on December 4, 2016

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2017 in Uncategorized