There may now be slightly less bear-murdering in New York state.

NPR reports that New York state, which has allowed the hunting of black bears since governments started making laws regarding wild animal-killing, has just passed the very first regulations on the trade of black bear parts. Wildlife officials don’t want people killing black bears in neighboring states and selling them in New York; poaching bears “has been a problem nationwide for years,” which this law is designed to combat.

Now, anyone selling bear parts in New York must document that the bears whose bodies once held those parts—particularly gallbladders—were killed legally. That shouldn’t be too much of a problem in New York, where permitted hunters can kill black bears, easy peasy. See, they’re not mad about killing bears, they’re mad about killing bears illegally, only for the gallbladders and paws, for use in “Asian medicine.”

Yeah, “Asian medicine.” Remember how in some Asian countries, they farm bears for their bile, and it’s absolutely fucking disgusting? In the U.S., they poach wild bears, take their gallbladders, and leave their bodies. Man we are the BEST at animals, right, humanity?

Listen to the whole story, or read it at NPR. Obviously we hate all bear-killing, but if this law stops the murder of bears exclusively for a few of their parts, it’s not the most objectionable thing. Right?


Guest post: Black bears need your help in Connecticut!   »

Black bears are in trouble in Connecticut! I know what you’re thinking: “There are bears in Connecticut? I thought Connecticut was just full of old rich people sitting around counting their money.” And you’d be RIGHT; that part totally sucks. But we have bears, too! They are awesome! And right now the State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has asked the governor to allow permits to some idiots to go out and shoot black bears dead because apparently we have too many now, even though we have had approximately NONE for the past 150 years since they went extinct in the state around 1850. EXTINCT, guys.

The government is basing this assumption on complete hearsay, rather than any actual scientific evidence of the number of bears that currently exist in the state. I think we have too many old rich people in the state and maybe they should provide permits for broke folks like me to—I digress.

Over the past couple decades the black bear population has totally rebounded, because bears are hardcore like that, and now people are all upset: They’re seeing bears more often, and occasionally one gets in someone’s backyard and rummages through their smelly garbage. Look, if you don’t want to see animals in your backyard, don’t have a motherfucking backyard; animals lived there before you and probably don’t give a shit whether you think you own the grass or not. And also, maybe don’t have such smelly garbage, NASTY.

Meat consumption is responsible for more human deaths per year (45,000 on average) than black bears (1 on average), so if you’re really that scared of shit and A=B and A+B=C then maybe stop chowing down on the steaks instead of shooting beautiful harmless bears that are just moseying around. Black bears are like the most docile of all the bears!

They’ve already approved this malarkey in New Jersey, without any scientific evidence of increased bear sightings there. Significant errors were found in the tally of reports, and hunters went all murder-happy and started killing mother bears and cubs and see what happens when you give morons permission to shoot stuff?

This is my drawn-out way of asking you guys to join me in telling the governor to NOT allow black bear hunting in Connecticut. Kids, the bears need our help, and every signature counts, so do me the biggest favor ever and sign my petition. I will love you forever and also I promise I won’t come after you when they issue the rich people hunting permits. Unless you own a pink KitchenAid standing mixer, ‘cause goddamn I really want one. The end. Sign the petition.

Rachel Gary is from Connecticut, where she spends most of her time hiking, reading, tricking her family into eating delicious vegan baked goods, and avoiding doing laundry. As her responsible adult alter ego, she is an editor for an environmental and engineering firm.

[image, “Cub’s first look at the world,” courtesy the North American Bear Center]


To do: 1) Save 300 bears; 2) Start bear army!  »

Say it with me: BEARS RULE! Sadly, they’re always getting punished for, you know, being bears. The California Fish and Game Commission votes soon on expanding black bear hunting, but the silver lining to perpetuate bear awesomeness is that three out of four California citizens oppose it.

To get you amped up: Black bears are the smallest bears in North America. They power through bee stings for honey, swim for pleasure, and can make more than 20 sounds in eight different contexts to communicate. Also, black bears hardly attack humans, which is probably why the teddy bear was modeled after this breed (awwwww).

This expansion would increase the bear-hunting quota (there is a quota for how many bears must be killed in a year?!) from 1,700 to 2,000 bears. THREE HUNDRED MORE BEARS, people, being murdered by packs of dogs. That’s enough to start a bear army. I have a few choice words for the 17 percent of Californians who are assholes and support the increase: Majority (should) rule!

Here in California, we like to think we’ve got a leg up on civilized behavior. Why, then, are we one of only 18 states that still allow packs of dogs to chase the poor bears? This puts not just the bears, not just the dogs, but the entire forest at risk of serious harm.

So yeah, oppose that shit. Spam the hell out of your congressperson’s and the DFG's mailboxes; make 'em listen to their constituents. Then come with me, and we'll conquer the world with our bear army. Cuddle at your own risk.


Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday!  »

I usually stay away from new year’s resolutions because I always resolve to do more water aerobics and end up eating more cake, which isn’t really a problem for me because I love cake but it’s a problem for poor Allen who has a nervous breakdown when he opens the fridge only to be confronted with a dangerous amount of frosting and my mom spends every night over at our house chowing down on baked goods and talking with me about the old country. This year is going to be different, however.  I was going to be more positive and stop thinking bad thoughts about people, but NeNe Leakes took that one from me. Then I was going to drink more water and less soda, but Laura felt that she should handle that one this year and god help me if I share a resolution with anyone (SOCIAL SUICIDE). Then I had this amazing idea of being a better boyfriend and treating my significant other to luxury resorts and extravagant surprises, but Allen beat me to THAT, so I’ve decided to stick with something simple and unique—to swear less, and cause the grisly demise of fewer people.

The second part of my resolution is already proving super-hard* because there are people like the South Carolina State Coon Hunters Association trying to get oh-so-clever “coon hunters” license plates in order to show their pride of hunting raccoons (why?) and ensure their hunting rights are not infringed upon. There are concerns that these license plates are racist, but there seems to be very little concern that these people are proud of killing raccoons. I pose this question to you, associated coon hunters: What is the point? I know that there is some reason you want to shoot raccoons, but I just do not understand it. I read Where the Red Fern Grows in school and while I found it heart-warming, I did not understand the point of the hunting. I read it again during a horrible break-up and still didn’t understand it. You want to make yourself a hat? For what? You don’t need a hat. You need a conscience!

What is wrong with this world? Is it bear-hunting, specifically? I think it’s bear-hunting. Yes, friends, there is no way to better celebrate the season than by bagging your loved ones a bear. Just think of the joy on their faces when you present them with a bear carcass. Who wants an iPod or a DSi when you can make your own bear oil—it’s great for culinary use AND soap-making? If you agree with me, you should really sign up for 2011’s Black Bear Hunt I MEAN “HARVEST” EXTRAVAGANZA in New Jersey. Last year’s “harvest” of the state’s black bears was held from Dec. 6 to 11 and over 590 bears were successfully harvested by area hunters. A quick look at the FAQ provides one with delightful answers to all of the burning bear-harvesting questions you might have. For example, did you know that hunting (because seriously, “harvesting”?) a mother bear who is with her cubs is totally acceptable and encouraged? Hunters are supposed to take the first clear shot that comes their way so any one bear is fair game! Cubs, too? SURE! All classes and genders of black bear may be shot as long as you have the correct permit and will wait to quarter your bear until after you’ve checked it in! Wait, can I hunt the bears from an elevated position in order to give the Bears no time or means to defend themselves from my bullets? Are you an idiot? OF COURSE! As long as you buy the permit!

But that’s not enough! Let’s also subject bears to the same humiliations we subjected the other animals too during Halloween. Let’s stick a messed-up snowman in its cage at the zoo and see how happy it is!

Really? Does the look on this bear’s face not say it all? Is it not the saddest, most heart-breaking, “Oh, the humanity!” grimace that you have ever seen? Will I ever get a response to the question I ask every week: What is wrong with people?

Send me links for next week and have an awesome first Wednesday of the year!

[black bear cubs by beingmyself; cake by kizzzbeth; sad imprisoned bear by Getty via Gawker]


Dead bear found discarded outside strip mall, or What the fucking hell is your problem, Humans?  »

SFist reported that a dead bear was found abandoned outside a strip mall taqueria in San Leandro late Sunday evening. Apparently, the 300-pound bear had been shot somewhere else and then transported to the strip mall, where it was left. It is black bear hunting season right now (which in and of itself deserves a resounding What the Fuck), but authorities don’t seem to think a licensed hunter, the most responsible and reputable of humans, would simply dump a black bear carcass on a taqueria’s doorstep.

Now, I was raised to live in stupefying fear of bears, not shoot and discard them. Bears will fuck you up good and proper, and after reading this story, I honestly wonder why they don’t do it more often. I’m no fan of hunting—I think it’s a bullshit excuse to act like a macho asshole, and most of the time, the arguments that say we “need” hunters to keep populations in check seems about as legit as the Williamsburg caveman diet—but simply throwing away a dead animal is such a fucking disrespectful piece-of-shit thing to do, I just can’t even articulate how sad and fucked up it is.

Sorry, bears.

To avoid bumming everyone out completely and totally, please check out the American Bear Association and their bear sanctuary in Minnesota; maybe shoot ‘em a couple bucks, become a member, or even sponsor a bear. Also, check out this heartwarming tale of two blind bears who were rescued and taken to a sanctuary in Romania

[Image courtesy American Bear Association]

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