by Stephen Capra
Just before the holidays I happened to notice a Facebook post. It described a 4 year old basset hound that lived in Clovis, NM, the same place we have fought over the years to rescue and relocate prairie dogs. The story was painfully familiar: Dexter the basset hound was used as fodder in a dog fighting battle, an act of cruelty that can only be comprehended by a sub-human culture that deserves death for their actions. At 45 pounds, Dexter was abandoned by his family and spent the holidays in a hospital, his head so swollen and cut that he was unrecognizable.
I called the rescue group to ask about his condition and made clear that my aunt might have interest in adopting. When I heard of Dexter, I was reminded of this subhuman part of our society and how they like to use terms like “Culture” to make their case for dogfighting, or coyote killing or trapping of wolves. Here is a reality check-this is not culture.
No it is a sickness not just of the mind, but perhaps more accurately- a sickness of the soul.
At a time when violence and Jihad dominate the airwaves there are some people that feel they need more, they need real blood on their hands, and must enjoy an alcohol infusion, perhaps music to get in the mood to kill an innocent and important species to a healthy and sustainable environment.
But increasingly we see those who kill coyotes or wolves in contests for cash or prizes. Game and Fish Departments often support such activities, as do many in the sportsmen community who fear the so-called “slippery-slope” should any restrictions be placed on the wanton killing of wildlife.
Last week we posted an image of a beautiful wolf, killed by a real bastard. His prize? A pitcher of beer. Once again life is meaningless for this group of angry white men and women; these bored sub-humans lack a vision, and steal the energy of life from animals far wiser than they ever could dream of being. They laugh, take photos of their actions, make fun of the animal and get drunk. They call it “Culture,” it is nothing but criminal, making it worse they continue to indoctrinate their children into this madness. It is a sickness that must be stopped and it’s a crime that must be enforced, not protected. Societal morals change over time and there is no room for such ignorance.
Violence is becoming engrained in our modern world, but it must stop in our animal world, at least where humans are concerned. We have a responsibility to share the earth, killing for fun, for laughs, for prize money is not sportsmanship- it is cruelty and a sickness that goes beyond those actions. If a child goes with his father to a coyote killing contest, what might he do when a squirrel crosses his yard, how about a neighborhood cat, or a robin. What might he do as he matures to a wife or girlfriend?
The answers while not consistent, speak volumes. But it should not need to connect to what-if with people. It is the killing of an animal which is wild and free, an animal that is part of a family unit. A species that’s role in nature is vital. Yet, for a select group of people, none of this matter’s, what is important that they can use new technology to “Call in” an animal and then slaughter them for fun, it gets boiled into the second amendment delusions that dominate the airwaves. They even have TV shows to glorify their violence that becomes must watch TV in some rural enclaves.
In the weeks and months ahead we have an opportunity to change this. Here in New Mexico, Bold Visions has continued over the past year to work with State Representative Jeff Steinborn who will introduce legislation to end all killing contests.
Perhaps more important is that we will travel to Washington the first week of February, to meet with our delegation and with the heads of the BLM and Forest Service to make the case that the President can use his Executive Powers to ban Animal Killing Contests on all federal public lands! He can and he must! We will be there to make the case! We also will set it up so you can e-mail the President directly.
Let me be clear, we will make our case with the thoughts of the animals close to our hearts and the chance, the mission, to vindicate their suffering.
Today after many weeks of waiting for a small and beautiful dog to leave the hospital, we picked up Dexter. We took him to the mountains for a long and wondrous hike under sunny skies. I took him off his leash and watched him run and smell, and jump up with joy as he played with my dogs and showed the magic that comes with love and the security of family. He has found his forever home, one filled with love and security. His head has large scars, but his heart seems to be unfazed.
We want something very basic. We want all animals in the wild to feel safe, secure. If love is too strong a word, then let’s say we want the violence and the culture that glamorizes it jailed, embarrassed and shunned by a society that continues to grow and evolve and is beginning to realize the power and importance of all wild creatures in the very sanity of this planet we call earth.
Before this can happen, we must be strong and we must be vocal!
Of all the places I have ever visited—Madagascar is the best! It is the most exotic of all places I have ever visited. Madagascar is the Eight Continent, the one separate from nearby areas in Africa and nowhere like anything else. So how did I get there?
A few years ago my wife and I visited a travel agent and a person over the phone who gave us the scoop. He could guarantee that we could get to Paris but then we had to take the train to south of France and catch another plain there. Then we could get to Madagascar. After dealing with him for some time, we went to Thailand. But Madagascar was still on my mind.
Four years later we signed up with a group that was making a grand tour of Madagascar. And was it ever worth it! I do not know where to start. Was it the lemurs dancing for us at Berenty? Was it the whales breaching the water’s surface on the south coast? Was it seeing five new families of birds, birds found nowhere else in the world (and getting every member of each family except the vangas?)?
Was it seeing the fantastic multi-colored chameleons or the large unicolored ones, blending in so well? Was it seeing the kids who loved to pose for photographs? Was it seeing over 100 species of birds found nowhere else in the world except in Madagascar? Or was it just being at the ends of the earth?
We spent over 3 weeks in Madagascar, going from the north and gradually working our way south. We saw virtually every habitat possible except some of the far north. Our trip will fulfill virtually everything we did in 2011. We will visit the dry forests in the northwest, then the dry woodlands in the far south, then the wet woodlands in the middle. We will be assisted by Fano, our local guide who has put together a great itinerary for us. Fano speaks English well in addition to the local language (Malagasy), his native tongue. We will learn a lot about conservation issues while we rest in the evening, waiting for a supper that is remarkable.
I hope you will consider taking this tour with Bold Visions. If you have any questions, please contact me at email@example.com. I also have lists of the species seen on the 2011 tour and will be happy to share that with anyone.
Bold Visions Conservation