Hunters gleefully torture wolves since Idaho removed federal protection »
This is Forest Service employee Josh Bransford happily posing with a wolf he trapped in Idaho. The wolf wasn’t just trapped; when some passing motorists saw the limping animal, they thought it’d be super fun to non-fatally shoot the trapped wolf a few times. Bransford posted some pics online and people were positively giddy. Awesome.
People make me so sick sometimes. This is exactly what people opposed to the de-listing were worried about. This isn’t just an animal who’s threatened by habitat loss or something, hunters and farmers hate wolves. They are in competition with them. It’s not like a few will be killed now, these dudes are out for blood.
According to Environment News Service, people are calling for Bransford to be fired. Though you’re allowed to kill wolves now, there are actually rules about it:
Idaho state law makes it a crime for a person who “causes or procures any animal to be cruelly treated, or who, having the charge or custody of any animal either as owner or otherwise, subjects any animal to cruelty.” The law also requires that “destruction of animals for population control,” the stated reason for wolf trapping, be carried out humanely.
Removal of Endangered Species Act protection for the wolf was based on the assurances of state game agencies that they would manage wolves to ensure survival of the species and approval of state wolf management plans by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Idaho has since abandoned the targets of its state plan and instead said it will seek to reduce the population from roughly 1,000 wolves to as low as 150 wolves. Since the delisting, 375 wolves have been reported killed in Idaho. Idaho’s wolf hunt remains open in portions of the state.
As you know, wolves were removed from the federal protection list last year in Idaho and Montana. Since then:
By late March some 117 Idaho wolves had been killed in traps and snares, and another 251 shot. Montana saw 166 killed, for a total of 534 wolves out of an estimated 1150 in the two states. Although Montana’s season ended in February, Idaho is not quite done. Both states have announced plans for increased hunting in the 2012-2013, and discussions are underway among hunting groups and state officials to allow private donations to establish wolf bounties.
Wolf bounties? They aren’t criminals—they’re animals just trying to live! This is so absurd. As you can see, it’s not like there a gagillion wolves walking around. This animal that was nearly wiped off the earth has rebounded to a little more than a thousand in those areas. How does an animal go from federal protection to being legally culled by half? There needs to be national intervention. States shouldn’t be able to just do whatever they want with regard to their environment and wildlife. This is bullshit. I’m angry!
Save the wolves! Keep them protected! »
This whole budget business is messy as my room. All these goddamn riders! One such rider is the de-listing of wolves as an endangered species in Idaho and Montana. This is utter bullshit and really sad. From Earthjustice via the LA Times: “For the first time in history, Congress is removing a species…from the Endangered Species Act based on political, rather than biological, judgments.” Like I explained last week, wolves are being attacked for eating livestock and competing for “game” with hunters.
I don’t really sympathize with livestock farmers but that’s a better reason than that of the hunters; at least it’s like about their livelihood (as animal abusers). It’s like I’m sorry the wolves are making it more difficult for you guys to hunt but isn’t that part of the point? If you want easy, go to the damn grocery store. De-listing an endangered species so you have an easier time hunting is just depraved thinking and sneaking it into the budget agreement is so slimy.
From Friends of Animals, here’s how you can help:
Listed below are the phone numbers and contact info for the Senate. Please call not only your own senators, but every Senate Democrat as many times as you can. Please also pass this information along to other animal advocates. Wolves need every voice possible.
Capital Switchboard Numbers: give the name of the senator and you will be transferred to their office. You will then either speak to a staff member, or to voice mail on the weekend.
When possible ask to speak to each senator’s environmental aide. This will give you a better chance to get your message across because you will be talking to someone who is familiar with the issue.
The delisting language must be stripped out of the final bill:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
522 Hart Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224.3542
Toll-free for Nevadans: (866) 736.7343
INDIVIDUAL LIST OF SENATORS:
Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)
Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.)
Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.)
Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.)
Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.)
Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)
Tom Udall (D-N.M.)
Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
Comments: (202) 456.1111
Switchboard: (202) 456.1414
Another important thing to note is that this isn’t just about wolves: “as [Josh Mogerman, spokesman for the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, D.C.] said the rider could mean threats to additional species in the future. ‘There’s a process in place for dealing with these issues in the courts. But by Congress acting, it’s just a completely different animal,’ he said. ‘You look down the [Endangered Species Act], you see critter after critter and plant after plant that are probably inconvenient to special interests all over the country. And what [they] have done is opened the door to removing plants and animals from the ESA by whim, rather than science.’”
[Cartoon by me, photo from Living With Wolves]
Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday! »
You guys, it’s been a rough couple of weeks. Between having to finish my last-ever (and incidentally most comprehensive) presentation for school and cracking a filling because I was chewing gum too hard, I have been barely able to stand. Then as soon as I was a little bit less overwhelmed, I started running a fever. Isn’t that just the worst? I mean I appreciate that my body is a complex and sophisticated system that recognizes when it is safer for me to turn the stress I have been feeling into an amazing bout with the flu/cold/plague, but it doesn’t really do anything to make me feel better. As soon as I’m done getting gray hair from every single project I have to do and think that I can settle in for some serious knitting/a Golden Girls marathon, my body turns against me and makes it so that I am either too hot or too cold or that my muscles get so sore that I can’t sit in one place for a long period of time. This is war! Fortunately for my body, the only way I know how to go to war on it is by consuming large amounts of Parma, which I put on everything (to Allen’s extreme chagrin, because he is delusional and does not enjoy it!), and swigging bottle after bottle of ginger ale. “Man,” you must be thinking, “Mark is pretty sick so he is probably not going to take us on a tour of horrors that he has found on the internet.” WRONG! I am miserable, so you will be miserable. Buckle in and let’s see what horrible things are happening this week.
Modern science has discovered that animals, specifically chickens, can feel pain. I did not realize that this needed scientific testing, but I suppose not everyone is as trusting as I am. Not only can chickens feel pain, but they can show empathy for the pain of other chickens. NO DOY, but good for you, science. Because I am trusting, I am going to imagine that these experiments were mostly harmless and that the chickens have now been found wonderful sanctuary homes. What I am less than pleased with is that since this news has come out, people have been showing how awesome it is to write cruel things on the internet.
What is it with people? I mean, as soon as you write anything about animals feeling pain they come out to talk about how delicious the animals are or leave comments like “I am going to have a chicken bacon sandwich later today. UMAD?” Just google anything about “chickens feeling pain” and you will find that the comments run from the classic “Humans are meant to eat meat!” to the perplexing “If I can’t have meat, what am I going to eat?” to the sensitive “Chickens feeling pain just makes them more delicious.” I don’t get it. It’s not like the news of the study says “DO NOT EAT CHICKEN!” but many people seem to immediately see anything that describes of evidence of animals feeling pain to a direct attack on their precious need to murder and swallow animals that are not human/adorable. Why? If you’re going to get that angry about an article like this, then perhaps you should check out your own food and guilt issues. In addition, I would suggest you not fuck with chickens because they are related to the T. Rex, and the T. Rex used to fuck some shit up, OK?
The next two stories come to us from Tim, who sends me links all the time, and who I presume is incredibly handsome and intelligent. In fact, he’s even got Allen jealous. Allen never sends me links. Anyway, the theme here is: PEOPLE SUCK. A LOT. Consider this: Dozens of sick and dead animals were found in the condemned home of an elderly disabled woman living in Long Island. There’s no mention of how authorities found out about what was going on (I imagine the condemned part had a lot to do with it), but the house was filthy, malodorous, and stuffed with suffering animals. Here’s my question, though: This woman is elderly, disabled, and living in a condemned house. Why was no one checking on her? I get that what she did was horrible, but people don’t hoard animals for fun, it is a psychological illness. I am outraged at the fact that there are dead and suffering animals, of course, but why are the authorities choosing to charge (and possibly jail) this woman as well as make her pay for the clean-up. If she is elderly, disabled, and living in a condemned home, I highly doubt that she is going to be able to come up with the cash. What are we going to do then? Force her to take a job or pay it off in jail? I just wish that we would look at this on a larger level and start thinking about prevention as opposed to punishment. What kind of group could be formed to assist people in such situations? Perhaps an animal rights organization could start a project that included home visits? I’m the first person to want repercussions, but this woman isn’t Michael Vick, and she certainly isn’t Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer.
Brian Schweitzer, you may be thinking, who is he? Well wonder, no more. This charmer wants to go against the Endangered Species Act and shoot whole packs of wolves in order to help citizens, “to protect their property and to continue to enjoy Montana’s cherished wildlife heritage and traditions.” I apologize for being dense, but aren’t wolves wildlife? How would shooting the wildlife help Montana’s citizens enjoy the wildlife? It seems really counter-intuitive to me. You can’t really enjoy wildlife if the wildlife is actually just the corpses of said wildlife. I dislike Brian Schweitzer for many reasons, and one of them is definitely the fact that I have just used the word wildlife about a million times. Another is that he wants to kill the wolves that eat elk because they are taking the elk (which they are eating for SURVIVAL REASONS) from the hunters who would otherwise be shooting them. How does this even make sense? How is this person in any position of power? Can anyone answer these questions?
That’s it for me. I’m going back to bed and see if I can sleep this cold/flu/plague off. Send me links for next week and have a happy Wednesday!
Vegans vote 2010: November election results! »
A mixed bag, you guys. We are really, really happy that Arizonans failed Prop. 109 and that Missourians passed Prop. B; it is pretty depressing that the three other constitutional amendments to guarantee the RIGHT to KILL STUFF passed, and with such high margins; it’s much more depressing that you can still shoot animals in a damn pen in North Dakota. What kind of a jerk are you, you won’t even make an effort to kill an animal like an adult? You are the kind of person who absolutely should not have a hunting license, if you won’t even put yourself in any discomfort or risk missing. Disgusting.
Wag of the finger to your Vegansaurus’ state, whose voters failed Prop. 21 because they hate protected wilderness or something. Extra high-fives to Montana voters for finally getting this initiative passed 20 years after the first attempt. We’re really sad about Nancy Pelosi, you guys. That weepy orange puppet of the tobacco companies is just The Worst and we can’t imagine having to stomach even more of his gross face for the next two years. Happy elections, everyone.
Arizona: Prop. 109 - Failed!
Prop. 110 - Failed.
Prop. 301 - Failed!
With 37 of 39 precincts reporting, Prop. 110 failed by 5,000 votes. Not much! Still, Prop. 109 was much more important, and you clobbered it. Excellent work!
North Dakota: Measure 2 - Failed.
Back to the shootin’ pen with you, North Dakotan wildlife, so the rich spoiled people can feel good about what skilled “hunters” they are. Cass, Grand Forks, and Sioux Counties: you’re still cool.
South Carolina: Amendment 1 - Passed.
Oh South Carolina. Passed with nearly 89 percent of the vote. At least North Dakota had the grace to fail the “no more shooting at caged animals” measure at 43.5 percent to 56.5 percent. You all just swept this “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of squirrels with my .22” amendment on through.
Tennessee: Constitutional Amendment - Passed.
You’re the worst, 90 percent of Tennessee voters. Nearly 1.3 million of you all thought, My goodness, you know what we need? The right to bear arms AND use them to shoot bears, in Tennessee, forever. Seriously, was this Basil Marceaux dot com’s scheme? That man does seem to like a gun.
Your Vegansaurus November 2010 ballot measure voting guide! »
Have you voted yet today? If not, your Vegansaurus has compiled a list of the animal-rights-related legislation on the ballots this election, with advice on how we would vote on each question along with a brief explanation. The pink dinosaur is a helpful dinosaur.
The pink dinosaur is a politically active dinosaur, too! You had better vote today, friends—your two valid excuses are that you have already voted by absentee ballot, or are prohibited for legal reasons (underage, felon, are actually a very clever non-human animal, etc.). We used Ballotpedia to get the basic information for all the measures; you can also look at your local secretary of state’s site, or google a bit for more comprehensive voting guides. Now: read this, get out, and vote.
Arizona: Prop. 109 - NO!
Why: The Humane Society calls it a “power grab to grab to block future wildlife protection ballot initiatives.” Also we think amending any state’s constitution to add “the right to hunt stuff” sort of cheapens the idea of a constitution (not to mention, hunting is gross).
Prop. 110 - YES!
Why: Would you rather have state trust land secretly sold at massive discounts, or have its use put to a vote, as it belongs to you, the citizens of Arizona?
Prop. 301 - NO!
Why: You don’t want the “leftover” money in your state’s land conservation fund thrown into your general fund, do you? Unless you don’t like public land.
Arkansas: Issue 1 - NO!
Why: This is another proposed state constitutional amendment guaranteeing citizens—of Arkansas this time, duh—the right to hunt. Yuck. Better, the National Rifle Association says that the amendment would give Arkansans the “strongest right to hunt and fish in the United States.” Shut it down.
California: Prop. 21 - YES!
Why: It creates a source of funding for our state parks that doesn’t rely on state funds, which do tend to fluctuate. All the wildlife and nature preservation organizations are for it.
Iowa: Measure 1 - YES!
Why: First, permanent revenue for your state parks, soil and water restoration, and the other lovely projects is good, and it’s supported by nature and wildlife preservation organizations. Second, it’s sort of vaguely opposed by the Iowa Farm Bureau and no one else.
Missouri: Prop. B - YES!
Why: We’ve mentioned Prop. B a bit; HSUS talks about it much more often; here’s a little article in the NY Times, too. If you don’t vote for the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, then you hate puppies, and what kind of person hates puppies?
Montana: I-161 - YES!
Why: Yes it’s odd that your Vegansaurus is advising a “yes” vote on a hunting initiative, but this one is different: It increases the costs of licenses for out-of-state hunters, allows for future adjustment of these costs for inflation, and some of the new income would go to preserving and restoring habitat. If your state allows hunting, why not get something positive out of it?
North Dakota: Measure 2 - YES!
Why: What kind of soulless jerk “hunts” by shooting “big-game” animals in a pen? Sometimes they’re even TAME? Oh right, people like this killer. Anyway, Measure 2 makes it illegal to set it up, profit from it, or do the shooting—what kind of “thrill of the chase” hunting bullshit is it if you aren’t even chasing? Jesus. Please vote “yes.”
Oregon: Measure 76 - YES!
Why: It extends the “15 percent of state lottery profits fund natural resources” plan. No one in Oregon has registered any official arguments against it. So.
South Carolina: Amendment 1 - NO!
Why: This is the third—alphabetically speaking—state constitutional amendment that would make it a right of every South Carolina citizen to hunt and fish. Obviously as vegans we find that disgusting, but as U.S. citizens we find “hunting and fishing” to be significantly less important than, say, “universal suffrage.”
Tennessee: Constitutional Amendment: NO!
Why: How insecure are you in the existing laws that you feel it necessary to amend your state constitution to guarantee your rights to hunt and fish forever and ever? Someday, Arizona, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Tennessee, you’ll look at these amendments with the same chagrin as the nation does the 18th Amendment. Maybe you want to avoid that by not doing any amending in the first place.
Hello friends, it’s WTF Wednesday! »
Hello and welcome to “WTF Wednesdays,” an exciting new Vegansaurus feature. Notice that I did not spell out the F word because I want this post to be classy and family-friendly. Kind of like Hooters, but without the chicken wings. Or the girls in tight-fitting uniforms. Or the deep-fried pickles, which are, admittedly, the best part of the Hooters experience. Here is how you can make them! See, we are learning already!
Now, let’s jump right into the fuckery (oops!) going on this week!
First up, we have a bear who got killed for being a bear. The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) officials said that the black bear and her cubs were “causing trouble,” so they “euthanized” her for committing her “third offense.” Oh, OK. I didn’t know you could communicate with bears, Montana FWP. I’m sure this was a difficult decision for you and I’m also sure that you read the bear her fucking rights after arresting her for her last offense, in which she TURNED OVER SOME GARBAGE CANS with her cubs. The bears had already been caught once during the summer and relocated to another part of Montana, but surprise, they returned to their home in the Helena Valley. An FWP game warden in Helena is curious how the bears found their way home and suggests that they “have some kind of homing device.” NO SHIT, idiot. I know where I live, too. And I bet if you were kidnapped for doing what you do, taken to a different part of the state, and let out into the wild, you would find your way back to your home, too. How are animals different? Because they can’t talk? What is wrong with you?
Even worse, the article reports that “residents…know to keep their garbage cans and pet food indoors,” because the bears are around. That’s right; bears scavenge from garbage cans sometimes. Sometimes they kill chickens, too. You people were told to keep your shit inside, but because you chose not to be responsible for your garbage, a mother bear was murdered—so now you’re responsible for the death of one bear, and the lives of her two orphaned cubs.
OK, what’s next? It’s a woman who shot an alligator. Oh, but it’s not just any alligator. It is her first alligator! It weighed 1,025 pounds! And killing it was apparently “the hunt of a lifetime!” Congratulations on being a horrible person, Maryellen Mara-Christion of Fitchburg, Mass.! Did you guys know that it is illegal to shoot a free-swimming alligator in South Carolina, where Maryellen killed this one? For a second, I thought this woman would get into trouble, but no, it’s legal to shoot an alligator once you have used “large snatch-hooks” to prevent it from swimming. Then you can shoot the alligator with a gun, or harpoon—hunter’s choice!
Unfortunately, Maryellen’s gun was not of sufficient strength to kill the alligator which, after two hours, she had hooked to the side of her boat, so when she discovered that shooting the alligator wasn’t going to finish it, Maryellen decided to attack the problem more directly, BY PLUNGING A KNIFE INTO THE ALLIGATOR AND SEVERING ITS SPINE! Charming! Equally charming is Maryellen’s description of the killing: “It was just shake, shake, shake,” she said. “I was shaking for a long time after, but that happens when you hunt.”
Maryellen says that each animal she hunts is a “unique experience” and that she is not “afraid of the alligators.” Seriously? YOU HAVE GUNS AND HARPOONS! What about an alligator is frightening to you and your arsenal? Oh, and you’ve hunted black bear before, too, have you? AWESOME! Maybe you got the chance to orphan some cubs, just like the Montana FWP!
So that’s all for this week. I am hoping to make “WTF Wednesday” a weekly thing, and I hope you will help me! If you happen to come across something amazing/fucked-up/dramatic that pertains to vegans, vegetarians, adorable animals, animals singing, or anything else that is SUPER-AWESOME during your travels on the information super-highway, please send me a link at my brand-new email address, email@example.com. If sending me an email is too much commitment (I know, we’ve only just met! But I’ve never felt this way about anyone else!), please link things in the comments!
Have a great Hump Day!