The killing of a hunter by a grizzly bear in Montana has been in the news for the last two weeks. I am glad to say that readers' comments have been overwhelmingly sympathetic to the bear. People argued that anyone who ventures into wild territory is putting his life on the line. If he loses it, then it's all fair and just. I agree, but I must stress that the hunters go in with a huge, if not decisive, advantage with their high power guns, camouflaged gear, scents, and the element of surprise or ambush. The animal only has its natural instincts to rely on; it isn't even out to kill a human but to look for sustenance. Essentially, it all boils down to limped-dick, small-minded ignorami out to refill their macho dreams at the expense of an animal.
Unfortunately, my schadenfreude was short-lived with today's news that the hunter, 39-yr old Steve Stevenson from Winnemucca, Nevada, was actually killed by his partner's errant shots and not by the bear. Nevertheless, it sounded like the bear made one last heroic struggle to survive by getting at the people who shot it and stalked it.
In one of the earlier reports, a relative praised the deceased as a hero who tried to distract the bear from his partner. Please, let's not add to the dumbing of America. "Hero" is one of those words whose true meaning have been blurred and degraded to mean anyone who committed an act of desperation. Stop the dumbing of America. If you want heroism, think Iraq, Afghanistan, or 9/11.
As an animal rights proponent, I'll take what I can get. One dead hunter is better than none.
If you don't like what you're reading, you can go on, surf the web, and land on one of those hunting forums that talk about the latest in gun technology and where they glorify the killing of animals for sport. You'd be happy there, but I am glad that I am not you.
And finally, no one is allowed to kill a grizzly bear in the lower 48 states. For these reportedly seasoned hunters to mistake a grizzly bear for a black bear, that's all baloney. You cannot mistake a grizzly bear for a black bear. That's what the authorities should be investigating with a fine-toothed comb. Why did they shoot the grizzly bear in the first place?
Here's the report:
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Friday, September 09, 2011
How come the dogs of homeless people are so well-behaved? I saw one on 42nd street and it just sat there with the imperturbability of a statue, receptive to its owner but not to the maddening crowd that trudges endlessly by them. The stoics from ancient Greece would be proud, and the renaissance painters who include dogs in their paintings to signify loyalty to the crown would have them as the perfect models. Maybe the dogs sense their precarious lives, make no trouble, and conform with the mendicant ways of their masters.
Sunday, September 04, 2011
I arrived early at the shelter this morning, and the none of the people entrusted with a key weren't there yet. So, I walked back to the parking lot to finish my coffee in the comfort of my car when I came face to face with a doe right where my car was. We spent two minutes studying each other, standing still, each very curious of the other, with approximately one hundred feet between us. I felt the urge to approach her, but I suspected she'd bolt and that would be the end of it. I, certainly, wouldn't entice her with some food. That could result in her death; she'd trust someone like me in the future, and wham!
Finally, she turned and leisurely walked up the hill behind the bushes, into the woods. I followed and only with some effort did I spot her again, this time with a buck. There was no hurry. They walked with ease, like they were camels, with one eye on me, until they were gone from sight. That was certainly the highlight of my Sunday.