Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Friend of a Friend of Mine was Killed Today


Haudenosaunee hunters in Short Hills. Note the deer in the back of the truck

Let’s say you’ve noticed that a stray cat has been hanging around your backyard. You love animals – who doesn’t? – and you want to help him out if you can. Maybe he’s a feral cat and you’ve tried getting close to him but he’s just too clever for that.

Still, over time, and because you’re putting out food for him, he’s become used to your presence. He tolerates you. You’re kind of like his guardian angel, and naturally you look forward to seeing him out there every day. Regardless of what he thinks about you, you’re his friend.

So how would you feel to learn, upon coming home one night, that your friend, this stray cat who calls your backyard home, was shot through the head, killed by a neighbour who perhaps didn’t share your love of cats, or just enjoyed killing animals?

This happened today to a friend of mine. Only the victim wasn’t a cat. It was a whitetail deer. He was killed in Short Hills Provincial Park during the first day of the now semi-annual First Nations deer hunt. My friend, protesting at the gates of the park, instantly recognized the antlers sticking out of the back of one of the hunter’s trucks as it left the park tonight.

The buck, with his incredibly massive and unusual looking rack, was a frequent visitor to my friend’s backyard, which borders the park in the south end.  In fact, my friend had showed me pictures of this magnificent animal only a few days earlier. Now he was dead, because someone else saw him as a THING to eat.

Had this been a cat or dog, the public would be up in arms and demanding the killer be charged with animal cruelty. But because it’s a deer, the law says it’s okay. How is this okay? How is a deer any different than a cat or dog? Aren’t they all mammals and, given the choice, would rather live than die?

What kind of world do we live in where someone can kill someone else’s friend and get away with it? Why is it someone’s “right” to end another’s life?

A friend of a friend of mine was killed today. The killers are celebrating the death of this animal even as I write these words but as far as I’m concerned, this is a sad day for humanity.

P.S. To my friend, I’m sorry for your loss.

5 comments:

Robin said...

Thank you Dan, nicely written, I don't know what else to say. Just thank you

veganelder said...

I'm sorry too.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry....

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Dan, us as humans should respect animals, but then again it is the food chain

Daniel Wilson said...

The "food chain" argument is an arbitrary one. If you're going to use "survival of the fittest" and "that's what they're here for" scenarios as justification for killing, then why do we have laws against killing cats and dogs? If I was to kill them for food, who can say that what I was doing was wrong? And why shouldn't I be able to kill humans that are weaker than me, if I can justify it as benefiting me in some way? Because we don't live in that kind of world, that's why. We've been conditioned to think that killing some animals is wrong, and others is okay. Killing someone else should never be "okay".