The New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance (NJARA) reported that approximately fifty people attended the demo in Vernon last Saturday. Comparing that with the demos I have attended against Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus, fifty people is a pretty good turnout. I reckon people are getting sick of non-violent bears getting murdered. According to NJARA, people drove by the demo honking their horns in support. If you haven't tried your hand at public demonstration, I can tell you that those horns are music to the ears. When complete strangers give you a sign of support, that is very reassuring. I am sorry that I had to be at work that day.
This last bear was reported to be walking the neighborhood, enticed into someone's yard, treed, tranquilized, and then executed by a combined force of Vernon police and the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Pretty nasty stuff that would make you wonder who is the real beast. Wildlife are not just animals flying through, swimming along, or walking around. They are our natural heritage. For heaven's sake, we even name sport teams after them. Authority in the hands of people who have no compassion for animals is reckless and irresponsible. Saving a bear's life should be the first option, killing it the last.
NJARA wants us to do a few things:
1) Please take a moment to send a short note of thanks to Pastor Alec of the Vernon United Methodist Church, 303 Route 94, PO Box 345, Vernon, NJ 07462 for the use of the church's parking lot. We may need to use the lot again and it would be nice if he got lots of letters from us.
2) Please write to Mayor Austin Carew, 21 Church Street, PO Box 340, Vernon, NJ 07462, asking him to use his power as Mayor to stop the police from killing bears.
3) We are also considering attending upcoming Vernon Township Council meetings to let our voices be heard. The Vernon schedule is as follows: http://vernontwp.com/egov/apps/events/calendar.egov Please let us know if you would be interested in joining us.
4) Please feel free to write letters to your local papers. One such letter was printed in the Daily Record today. One such letter was printed in the Daily Record today. See below:
August 4, 2009
It is still summer, but those seeking a bear hunt are inciting the public to kill. It doesn't get enough press in Morris County, but two bears were executed in Vernon last week. They hadn't killed sheep and they hadn't chased children. At least for one of them, the crime was attacking bait (food) placed on his property by a Vernon resident. This hunter then proceeded to chase the poor creature until he/she was treed. The State's Fish and Wildlife representatives then tranquilized the frightened creature ... so that the heroic Vernon police could kill him/her. Why? Yes, I'm anti-hunting and participated in the protest against these killings held Saturday in Vernon. But this is beyond a question of hunting. Did this resident bait (illegal) the creature? Why has the state not enforced the bear feeding ban law? Who is enforcing the trash containment program in Vernon? Not the Vernon police. Were the Vernon police justified in killing this defenseless (tranquilized) creature? All of these questions (and more) need to be answered in a public forum. Municipal and state funds are being expended on these actions and their repercussions. Was there a better and, yes, more humane way for Vernon to handle the situation?
HERB SKOVRONEK, Morris Plains