Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Good and Bad 

It is good for citizens to be conscious of the environment. It's excellent public relations too. But, there are downsides, as this story about sea lions attests. I don't know about you but we've had up to 14 deer at a time on our property in the middle of a suburb in Northern New Jersey. We also have a woodchuck who circulates the neighborhood, assorted raccoons, geese, ducks, skunks, opossum and turkeys. And, two weeks ago, a bear rambled through several towns next to us until it was shot in the middle of a city. I've read stories about foxes invading the UK and coyotes all across the US.

Deer are the worst problem. They eat everything and keeping a garden requires tall netting around every bit of it. A deer-resistant plant means deer only eat it when they are hungry, which they are all of the time.

So, while we have gained a better environment for animals, we live with the consequence of our decisions. There are some folks who understand balance and kill excess deer because it is good for the animals as well as humans. But in towns like ours, there is a "Bambi" crowd that cannot stand the thought of a poor little animal becoming dog food. They also are the ones who buy packaged meat in stores and never get near slaughter houses.

Wildlife has become a public relations issue for cities and counties across the US. In our town, citizens yell at the mayor to do something, but don't kill any creature. The mayor and city council have decided that doing nothing is better because there is no cost-effective way to control the problem other than thinning the herd with hunters. So, we live with the problem, and deer die of hunger each year. And, bear ramble through towns setting off panics. And geese leave their droppings all over lawns. And,...

PR and politics know the irrationality of humans.


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