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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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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

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Leaked emails show hunters want to wipe out Wisconsin wolves

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“There is no need to hunt wolves. Their populations are self-limiting.” ~ Randy Jurewicz, retired DNR wolf biologist

With the ascension of Donald Trump and the Republicans to power at the national level and in many states, and with Sens. Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin campaigning for wolves to be delisted from Endangered Species Act protection, it’s almost certain that next year Wisconsin’s wolves will be back under the control of the state Department of Natural Resources. And the DNR will undoubtedly give hunters the green light for a killing spree.

An email between Wisconsin Conservation Congress Wolf Committee member Dick Krawze, chair of the Forest County Congress delegation, and Earl Stahl of Neenah was recently shared with me. Neither man is a wolf biologist.

Krawze: “There is no reason to set a Wolf Goal of over 350 or less. … If the Wolf Plan that is being worked on is anything but the above it could very well be another nail in the coffin of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress. The credibility of the Congress is already at a low point.”

Stahl: “It has been proved that in order to contain wolf populations to a proscribed number, 40 to 70% of their population must be removed during the first year of hunting, trapping, and culling. Further, every year thereafter, the population must be reduced by a minimum of 30% in order to maintain the proscribed number. Although we have had hunting, trapping, and culling prior to 2015/16, when delisting has been approved next year, we will be virtually starting over. Therefore, I sincerely believe that the harvest goal for the 2017/18 season should be no less than 500 and preferably 700 wolves. If Wisconsin wants to continue to be a state that values deer hunting and livestock production, it has to get serious about reducing wolf numbers.”

The Wisconsin Conservation Congress has never represented the interests of all Wisconsin citizens, and remains a hunting lobby.

Carter Niemeyer is a trapper who turned wolf advocate after participating in the introduction of Yellowstone wolves. In an interview with Outdoor Idaho, Niemeyer said: “As long as these cheap-shot bills are introduced into legislatures, trying to take wolves totally under state management and tell the government to go away and to just make these severe polarized decisions about how to manage wolves, that’s what prolongs the agony and keeps this whole thing in court.”

Miraculously and inexplicably, after killing over 1,100 wolves in three years of trapping, shooting, chasing with dogs, agricultural tags, and illegal killing, the DNR claims through an elaborate shell game that wolves have rebounded in two years to number between 829 and 860. It took 38 years for wolves to reach a population of 850 but now they have supposedly rebounded in two!

Niemeyer warns, “It’s not clear that the states have good methods of counting the wolves … so that makes it hard to determine how much of a dent wolf hunts may be putting on the population. “

A look at independent science gives insight and understanding of the real impact of wolves on livestock and deer and what works for the benefit of nature, wolves, and a healthy environment for all Wisconsin citizens.

The real devastation comes from animal agriculture, not natural predators like wolves. Livestock production is responsible for massive biodiversity destruction and is a major cause of global warming. Meat is simply bad for human and planetary well-being. See James Cameron/Arnold Schwarzenegger short films “The Future of Climate Is on Your Plate.”

Wolves are balancers, creating trophic cascades of regeneration of wildlife. They could keep deer herds healthy and strong.

When Stahl talks of protecting the deer hunt and livestock production, he must not know that CWD and cars take out more deer than a thousand wolves would. Wolf predation on cattle is almost nonexistent — they cause 2/10ths of a percent of cattle deaths before they are sent to slaughter.

Adrian Treves, a scientist who runs the Carnivore Co-Existence Lab for UW-Madison’s Nelson Institute, created a short video called “Predator Control Should Not Be a Shot in the Dark.”

Treves argues that killing wolves as a remedy to livestock predation has not been subjected to rigorous tests using the “gold standard.”

Regarding the predation of wolves on livestock, Treve finds that “non-lethal methods were more effective than lethal methods in preventing carnivore predation on livestock generally” and that “at least two lethal methods (government culling or regulated public hunting) were followed by increases in predation on livestock,” while no studies showed that nonlethal methods increased wolf predation.

Importantly, he comes to the conclusion: “We recommend suspending lethal predator control methods that do not currently have rigorous evidence for functional effectiveness in preventing livestock loss until gold-standard tests are completed.”

With 60 percent of large predators on earth threatened with extinction now, we either reverse course, or likely allow wolves to be destroyed in Wisconsin next year.

Wolves are the canary in the coal mine of hunting excess. Let’s keep the wolves and destroy the coal mines.

Sign the petition to Save Yellowstone Wolves here.

This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on December 18, 2016.

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Fight back against the global carnage of Trump regime

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Donald Trump’s son big game hunting

“Everybody got this broken feeling. Like their father or their dog just died.” ~ Leonard Cohen (R.I.P.)

Mark Halperin, managing editor of Bloomberg Politics, was a guest on Steven Colbert’s election night coverage. As it became apparent that Trump would win the Electoral College, he said that this outcome is as devastating as World War I, World War II, and 9/11.

We are now at all-out war with a bigoted, patriarchal regime, fighting for survival of life on earth, including human life.

Climate activist Bill McKibben says we cannot afford to go backward for four years of a Trump presidency. We must pull life back from the brink of extinction now. People are asking what they can do. Here are some ideas.

Step out of your comfort zone. It no longer exists. Wake up and make radical changes.

Get involved. Build coalitions. Women, people of color, immigrants, the LGBT community, animal activists (people who love wolves or dogs, cats or bobcats), millennials fighting college debt must join together to stand for life. This is not a reality TV show. It is not a trial run.

Most importantly, prioritize what you can do as an individual. Move to a plant-based diet.

On behalf of WildAid, Arnold Schwarzenegger has paired with film-maker James Cameron to do a series of films aimed at the Chinese that advocate cutting meat and dairy consumption by more than half.

This is the most important immediate action we can take as individuals.

The WildAid website states, “With low levels of public awareness on the climate impact of diet, the PSAs aim to empower Chinese consumers to make everyday choices that can help curb climate change.”

“With climate deniers now running the show, it’s more important than ever for people of conscience to fight climate change by doing everything we can as individuals,” Cameron states on the website. “One of the most powerful things we can do is to stop eating meat, dairy and other animal foods. Animal agriculture produces more greenhouse warming than transportation — more than all cars, trucks, planes, trains and ships combined. We don’t have to bemoan the inaction of a denier government — we can solve this ourselves.

The website continues: “According to articles published by Chatham House and in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the current level of meat consumption is not sustainable and has a tremendous impact on societal health and the environment. By 2050, global consumption of meat and dairy products are expected to rise 76 percent and 65 percent respectively. Several studies confirm that current agricultural practices are a hugely inefficient use of land and water, driving deforestation, biodiversity loss and many other environmental crises.”

WildAid has created five short films entitled “The Future of Climate Is on Your Plate”:

• The Precipice

• Don’t Buy It

• Behind the Scenes

• Less Meat Less Heat

• Eating for Tomorrow

For information and inspiration, follow Thom Hartmann on television, radio, computer or smart phone. Hartmann has talk shows four hours daily on Free Speech TV (satellite, not cable) and is doing daily readings from his books. Lately he has been reading from “The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight,” “The Crash of 2016,” and “The Last Hours of Humanity.” He is a progressive educator and historian.

Study the site Hartmann set up with Leonardo Di Caprio: Green World Rising. It has films and actions to take. You can sign up at the bottom of the page for updates.

Hartmann had Bernie Sanders on his show every Friday for 11 years in a “Brunch With Bernie” series. Now Hartmann is advocating a pathway to power for we the people to take back our country:

1. The progressive wing must take over the Democratic Party. To that end, he and Bernie Sanders are supporting Keith Ellison to become chair of the Democratic National Committee. You can sign a petition here.

2. Take a page from the successful Republican playbook and get involved locally. Specifically, go to Democratic Party meetings and tell them you want to be a precinct committee member. Precinct leaders decide who runs for office. They have tremendous power. We especially need young talent to fight for free college, universal health care, climate justice, appreciation of racial diversity, equality, and respect for all life.

3. Attend town hall meetings and volunteer or run for county boards. Participate in your city council meetings and run for office.

4. Stay in constant contact with your representatives at the state and federal levels. Educate them and stand up for wildlife and a progressive agenda. Letters are much more effective than emails, which are bundled and receive form letter responses. Calls are the most effective. The staff runs the ground game for Congress.

5. Hartmann and others are advocating another page from the Republican playbook: Filibuster everything that the Trump administration does, including any Supreme Court appointment that is toxic to this country.

Republicans met on the day that President Obama was inaugurated and pledged to block everything good he would try to do — even if they had proposed it prior to his election. We must fight fire with fire.

Trump and his trophy-hunting sons are a major threat to all of us and life on this planet at just the wrong time. His appointments and supporters are climate deniers, KKK white nationalists, NRA supporters, oil and coal barons, and nature and wildlife destroyers.

All is at risk.

“And everybody knows that it’s now or never… And everybody knows that the Plague is coming.

Everybody knows that it’s moving fast.” ~ Leonard Cohen

1. Tell President Obama to take Arctic and Atlantic drilling off Trump’s agenda for good.

2. Sign and network a petition to the Wisconsin legislature to end the use of dogs on our wildlife.

3. Stand in solidarity with water protectors against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on November 20, 2016.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Republicans for Extinction Inc.

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Stuart Carlson, September 2, 2016

Gocomics.com

“If the 99% vote, the 1% will not matter.” — bumper sticker

The Humane Society of the United States Legislative Fund (not associated with the independent Wisconsin Humane Society) is supporting Russ Feingold against Ron Johnson in the race for U.S. Senate. Watch the ad here. It is a smart endorsement citing both the wildlife and pets championed by Feingold.

True leadership in politics requires, well, leading. It requires a vision and understanding of the world in order to guide constituents to sane policy. Good policy is often not the prevailing law, as evidenced by life on earth being destroyed so rapidly. I am speaking of the unsustainable abuse of “the other” 99.9999 percent of planetary life by humans.

This state particularly needs legislators who understand the science of the extinction of biodiversity and climate change and who act swiftly with policy to adjust to the crisis. We need them in this election. They are not the Republicans. We have a chance of pushing Democrats to act with urgency. Vote for Democrats across the board so we can move somewhere instead of obstruction and stagnation. Citizenship requires self-education and then educating your representatives, and most importantly, holding them accountable or voting them out. It requires educated, persistent voting.

“Since 1970, there has already been a 58% overall decline in the numbers of fish, mammals, birds and reptiles worldwide,” CNN reported about the World Wildlife Fund’s latest Living Planet Report. The report predicts two-thirds of nonhuman life on earth likely will be destroyed by 2020. Extinction is accelerating as species cannot find what they need to survive and climate change advances too rapidly for species to adjust. Human overpopulation and increasing consumption per capita, animal agriculture, deforestation to feed slaughterhouse animals, and increased hunting, trapping and poaching are all driving forces. With 60 percent of large carnivores threatened with extinction by trophy hunters and being exterminated in service to animal agricultural ranching interests, the balance of life is now so degraded that we are warned that the human species may not survive this trajectory — and our extinction could happen soon.

And still the federal government spends $100 million a year to slaughter our wildlife (so-called “services”), a kill every 12 seconds. We need legislators to end this massive, indiscriminate killing.

Do you love birds? A recent article in the Canadian Press is titled “Silent Skies: North America Has Lost 1.5 Billion Birds Since 1970s.” It says: “The report says birds are crucial indicators of overall ecosystem health. Healthy forests and prairies need healthy bird populations…”

As a friend of mine responded, “This is a panic.”

So what universe do Republicans live in? Evidently it is a universe where their extremely important political platform is promoting the destruction of endangered species like wolves and denying human-accelerated climate change.

The Republican-held Legislature in Wisconsin has enabled the running of packs of dogs on all public lands, unlicensed (no clue how many dog packs are run), to kill coyotes, bears, bobcats and any unlucky animal. The animals are run to exhaustion for the “fun” of killing. Republicans have authorized compensating bear hounders from the Endangered Species Fund for risking their dogs in the recreational killing of 4,750 bears annually, at $2,500 per dog killed. It is a profitable side bonus to a head on wall. With 37 dogs killed in this year’s dog-fighting free for all, that is $92,500 paid out from taxpayer donations to the Endangered Species Fund.

Sen. Ron Johnson thinks his support for killing wolves is important and politically advantageous. Speaking in Rhinelander Oct. 28, Johnson boasted: “I’m the leader in terms in delist of the gray wolf so we can stop harassing dairy and cattle herds and the deer population…”

According to the Department of of Agriculture, wolves are 2/10ths of 1 percent the cause of death of cattle before slaughter. Humans are the primary predator on hundreds of thousands of deer, with herds kept artificially high for hunter satisfaction.

Facts should matter.

Johnson has authored legislation to de-list wolves and is even running a petition to rally the wolf haters to support his wolf-killing agenda. But a 2013 Mason-Dixon poll showed that eight out of nine Wisconsin citizens support protecting wolves.

Do Republicans pay any attention to the plebs in their districts?

With the United States waging war in the Middle East, immigration reform obstructed, the Supreme Court nomination obstructed by Republicans, obstruction of renewable energy that could help address climate change, obstruction of infrastructure repair to create new jobs, and a planet in mass extinction crisis, incumbent Sen. Johnson, state Sen. Tom Tiffany and state Rep. Adam Jarchow all act as though killing wolves is of prime importance.

I listened to Russ Feingold’s rousing speech at Fighting Bob Fest. When he spoke of the beauty and peace of the northern woods, I waited to hand him a flyer about the killing of 4,750 black bears over packs of dogs and bait, which was ongoing as he spoke. I said, “The north woods are not peaceful.” He shot back, “They should be,” and promised to read the flyer.

A report in Current Biology documenting “catastrophic declines in wilderness areas” concludes: “Our findings underscore an immediate need for international policies to recognize the vital values of wilderness and the unprecedented threats they face and to underscore urgent large-scale, multifaceted actions needed to maintain them.”

There is an immediate need for urgent, large-scale actions.

Vote as though our lives and so many non-human lives depend on it.

Please sign and network a petition to the next president to take comprehensive action on two-thirds of wildlife destroyed on earth and helping our life support system survive.

This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on November 6, 2016.

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: 60% of large wild animal species threatened with extinction

 

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Wolf pup and mother

“Perhaps the biggest threat for many species is direct hunting driven by a demand for meat, pets, and body parts for traditional medicines and ornaments.” ~ Dr. Elizabeth Bennett, Wildlife Conservation Society’s vice president of species conservation

We need massive transformational change in human consciousness. We are out of balance. Like Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, we have acted like abusive teenagers, grabbing what we want on an increasingly fragile planet. It is urgent that we get real and grow up.

Fast-accelerating extinctions are endangering our human species and we may not survive the mass extinction we are forcing. Our sense of entitlement reflects a psychopathic way of being in this world — psychopathy defined as lack of empathy and remorse.

A July 2016 report in Science Daily, authored by the Wildlife Conservation Society, is headlined: “60% of Large Wild Animal Species Threatened With Extinction.” It says:

“Approximately 59 percent of the world’s biggest mammalian carnivore species — including the tiger — and 60 percent of the largest herbivores are now listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species as threatened with extinction.

“‘Perhaps the biggest threat for many species is direct hunting driven by a demand for meat, pets, and body parts for traditional medicines and ornaments,’ said Dr. Elizabeth Bennett, WCS’s Vice President of Species Conservation and a co-author on the study. ‘Only a massive commitment from the international community will stop this rampant destruction of so many animal populations.’”

Hunting and trapping for the elite few can no longer be tolerated. Only we the majority can push legislators to act now.

All of these species work critical roles in their ecosystems. William Ripple, professor of ecology at Oregon State University and lead author of the study, warns us yet again in the report: “The more I look at the trends facing the world’s largest terrestrial mammals, the more concerned I am we could lose these animals just as science is discovering how important they are to ecosystems and to the services they provide for people.”

The punishment for little old short-sighted, self-centered us is built in. A glimpse of the cost can be seen on one extinction web site, where you can access the articles below, among hundreds of others:

MASS EXTINCTION CONFIRMED, WITH MANY SPECIES — INCLUDING HUMANS — LABELLED “THE WALKING DEAD” (U.K. Independent/American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2015)

UN: ACCELERATING BIODIVERSITY LOSS A “FUNDAMENTAL THREAT” TO “SURVIVAL OF HUMANKIND” (U.N./IPBES, 2013)

HUMAN ACTIVITY HAS PUSHED EARTH BEYOND 4 OF 9 “PLANETARY BOUNDARIES” INCLUDING SPECIES EXTINCTION RATE (Washington Post, 2015)

EARTH HAS LOST 50% OF ITS WILDLIFE IN PAST 40 YEARS (WWF, 2014)

POPULATION OF AFRICAN ELEPHANTS CRASHES 30% IN JUST SEVEN YEARS, 2007-2014 (Washington Post, 2016)

POPULATION OF EASTERN GORILLA HAS CRASHED 70% IN LAST 20 YEARS (U.K. Guardian, 2016)

WORLD’S SEABIRD POPULATIONS PLUMMET 70% IN 60 YEARS (U.K. Guardian, 2015)

SALT-WATER FISH EXTINCTION SEEN BY 2048 (Science Magazine. 2014) (DEAD OCEANS)

E.O. WILSON, HARVARD: CURRENT RATE OF HUMAN ACTIVITY WILL RESULT IN 50% OF ALL SPECIES EXTINCT BY 2100. “I DON’T THINK THE WORLD CAN SUSTAIN THIS. DON’T SAVE THE BIOSPHERE AND WE’RE DOOMING OURSELVES.” (U.K. Times, 2014),

UN: EARTH’S ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS PUSHED TO BIOPHYSICAL LIMITS — SUDDEN, IRREVERSIBLE, POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC CHANGES LOOMING (CBS/United Nations, 2012)

SCIENTISTS WARN EARTH’S ENTIRE BIOSPHERE NEARING CATASTROPHIC “TIPPING POINT” (Nature, 2012)

OCEAN ACIDIFICATION AT HIGHEST LEVELS IN 300 MILLION YEARS — MASS EXTINCTION “MAY BE INEVITABLE” (U.K. Guardian, 2013)

ONE-FIFTH OF ALL INVERTEBRATE SPECIES FACING EXTINCTION: “EXTINCTION OF HUMANS COULD SOON FOLLOW” (IUCN/Zoological Society of London, 2012)

MORE THAN A THIRD OF NORTH AMERICAN BIRD SPECIES FACE EXTINCTION RISK (Washington Post, 2016)

ONE QUARTER OF WORLD’S MARINE SPECIES IN DANGER OF EXTINCTION (U.K. Independent, 2015)

HALF OF ALL TREE SPECIES IN AMAZON FACE EXTINCTION (BBC, 2015)

WORLD’S ECOSYSTEMS AT RISK OF COLLAPSE — TIPPING POINTS NEAR (United Nations, 2010)

IUCN RED LIST ANALYSIS: “LIFE ON EARTH IS UNDER SERIOUS THREAT” (IUCN, 2009)

The state of Wisconsin is accelerating has-been traditions of animal agriculture, dairy farming, hunting and trapping — all part of the wanton destruction threatening us all. We are being called to become compassionate and fair in our dealings with other beings.

Here is where the wisdom of the wolf can guide us.

Wolves are balancers.

We need more than a token wolf population on the land to balance the out-of-control number of “livestock” being fed with slashed rain forests, razed biodiversity and barren monocultures. Wolves need our support to mitigate humans ranching cattle on public lands, depleting ancient aquifers, farming for artificially high deer populations, and diverting rivers to irrigate crops to feed animals. Wolves even change rivers.

Humans “predate” on livestock. Farmers are compensated for lost profits if a wolf kills livestock, but wolves are killed for conducting real survival hunting with their ancient skills and instincts — providing for themselves and their families. It is cattle and “livestock,” hoarded and suffering, that are forced to be an unnatural major cause of climate change (52 percent of the cause, according to intensive studies by Worldwatch Institute.)

Increasingly militaristic, over-populated, competitive and domineering, human beings have overstepped the bounds of ecological sanity into a netherworld of wanting more and having less to take — and taking more anyway. Human biases, casually accepted massive cruelty, and ignorance are destroying our only home.

We who know the scope of this grieve the harm done.

The ground has shifted rapidly under our feet and we are slow to realize that we are not rulers, but subjects of the natural world we are rapidly destroying. It is we who depend upon the integrity of a world in balance. It means finally growing up to respect and care tenderly for all animal lives — their bodies, their cultures, their contributions and their way of life intact. Let them be. They weave the world together for us.

What a joy that world could be.

Let’s work to make our public lands trap free by signing these petitions:

Wild Earth Guardians

Animal Petitions

Anti-Fur Society International

The Wolf Army USA

Help us fight for your health and democratic rights.

This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on October 23, 2016

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2017 in Uncategorized