Ask Uncle Joe – Spring 2015

Dear Uncle Joe:

I along with many hunters support animal rights and many charities. Your website is not devoted to protecting animals, you are a hate group who thinks you are better than everyone else. I really hope that you change your opinion about hunting and hunters.

Mike,
Binghamton, NY

Dear Mike:

Thanks for writing (really!). You don’t seem to understand what animal rights is so I’ll try to make it clear and concise. Animal rights is the recognition that animals should live their lives without being harmed, used, or otherwise exploited by people for reasons that are not absolutely necessary for one’s own survival. Hunters like yourself are not hunting to stave off an imminent death, and that makes you a sport hunter (whether or not you eat parts of the animals you kill is pretty much irrelevant since you don’t have to kill those animals in the first place). Sport Hunting is an atrocity that has no ethical defense.

As for our being a hate group that thinks we’re better than everyone else, we beg to differ. C.A.S.H. recognizes the differences between species, but we do not feel superior to any. Ok – I think, in general, humans are more important than loa loa (a parasitic worm that lives in the eyes of people and other mammals), and I am not a fan of botflies either, but we’ve got no right to breed and kill wildlife for the purpose of providing ourselves entertainment.

Kind regards,
Joe


Dear Uncle Joe –

Why was the bill to ban coyote hunting contests in New Mexico defeated? You had been working on that issue and when you and I spoke you told me the bill had bi-partisan support? Is the hunting lobby in New Mexico that strong? California recently banned hunting contests and I was looking forward us following their lead.

Alicia,
Belen, NM

Hi Alicia:

Yes the bill was defeated but it was not the hunting lobby that killed it – it was the special interests aligned with the state’s agriculture industry that pressured key officials into defeating the bill. Spokespeople for the state’s ranching industry argued that coyote killing contests (where the Neanderthal who kills the most coyotes during the contest period wins a prize – usually a shotgun or something else with which to kill animals) are useful in protecting livestock. I found it ironic that these ranchers were so concerned with “protecting” livestock, given that ranchers are often cited for animal cruelty in this state and others.

While the bill did have bipartisan support (wildlife issues can sometimes form strange alliances), the livestock lobby got its job done. Many local activists pointed out that if animal advocates didn’t eat meat the livestock lobby wouldn’t have so much power. We’re not a vegan organization, but we clearly recognize the truth in that statement.

What’s next? We’re not sure. We’re talking with one of the supporters of the defeated bill to see what can be done and we’re encouraging NM voters to form a League of Humane Voters chapter. Visit: www.lohv.org
Peace,
Uncle Joe


Dear Uncle Joe:

I LOVE!!!!!! your (Facebook) page! You guys post so much useful and helpful information and i appreciate the hard work that must go into ur research that u do to find that stuff. I have two questions and I hope u can reply I know ur busy.… You posted an article about not having a limit on how many bucks a hunter can kill (in South Carolina)! My friends say hunting is from science so why would they allow unlimited buck hunting??? Also, whats the best thing i can do for the deer. I’m in high school and myself and two friends really want to help. I just got my license but I don’t have a car yet. Thanks for ur hard work! I love animals and I love that you guys are around!!!!

LindseyAnn,
Greenville, SC

Dear LindseyAnn:

Thanks for writing! Your first question is very easy to answer. Anyone who understands deer biology will tell you that the easiest way to increase the deer population is to kill off the males. When a high percentage of male deer are killed, the females remaining will have more access to habitat and food. This allows them to grow stronger, and strong, healthy does often give birth to twins and triplets. This increases the population so hunters have an easier time killing animals next season. Think about it, how is it possible that hunters otherwise would have a continuing supply of deer to kill? This management strategy (to increase the deer population) also causes more deer to enter residential areas where they come into conflict with people who are annoyed when their flowers and ornamental plants are eaten by deer. In situations like this, it is easy for hunters to step in and portray themselves as heroes for “thinning the herd.” Those who do not understand the workings of state wildlife agencies side with the hunters out of the belief that “something needs to be done” and that “a quick death is better than cruel nature,” consequently, the hunting culture thrives. Remember: nearly everything a state wildlife agency does regarding species that have a hunting season on them is to enhance the hunting experience – the agencies work for hunters, not wildlife.

There is a lot you can do for wildlife, and thanks for wanting to get involved. Be sure to speak up whenever you hear someone talking about hunting or wildlife. If a classmate or friend is talking about how much fun his hunting trip was, speak up and tell him that there’s no excuse for killing harmless animals. Voice your displeasure and stand your ground. You’ll likely be hit with a barrage of excuses that you may or may not be able to answer, but if you stick to the point that hunting is always unnecessary violence, and violence against wildlife is never a good thing, you’ll always be right. If you need more help, give us a call or send us a Facebook message and we’ll be happy to help.

Another thing you can do is to grab a couple of friends and offer to post property with “No Hunting” signs. They are inexpensive (one of the largest online retailers sells a roll of 100 Tyvek signs for less than $30.00), lightweight, and easy to post with a staple gun. Raising enough money for this project shouldn’t be difficult – offer to post property for free and ask if they can make a donation to help you purchase supplies. Set a date for when you can show up to post their property and be sure to be there on time. Before you show up determine how far apart the signs need to be (by law) and know the boundaries of the property you’re posting. Remember – we cannot post someone’s property without their permission (as much as we’d like to!). Let us know how it goes.

That’s something simple someone can do to protect wildlife from hunters.

Thanks!
Uncle Joe

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Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting / C.A.S.H.
P.O. Box 562
New Paltz, NY 12561
845/256-1400