Since animals are individuals, when we attempt to listen to their point of view we should also open ourselves to the possibility that different individuals have different points of view. If you were a victim of New Jersey’s lethal bear management, how would you feel, and how would you express those feelings?
Wildlife conservation in North America treats animals as renewable natural resources, and allocates them between different human “user” groups, assuming that they belong to people. This is not just spectacularly arrogant. It also ignores the science proving that animals are sentient individuals whose lives matter to them, and who have emotions much like ours.
America’s state wildlife agencies have proposed a “Blue Ribbon” funding reform that would tie them to the oil and gas industries. The plan is being sold as a way for all Americans to “invest” in wildlife conservation. In truth, it has much more to do with the protection of corporate profits from the Endangered Species Act, and the protection of wildlife managers from a public they do not respect.
Florida’s decision not to hunt black bears in 2016 came after an exhausting public battle with an agency that had seemed completely oblivious to popular uproar. But the war may not be over. We analyze the FWC’s decision and find three distinct blocs of opinion, the balancing of which will determine the fate of Florida’s bears in 2017 and beyond.
On June 22, 2016, Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will decide whether to hunt bears again this year. We review the four options that have been presented by FWC staff, exploring their meaning through the eyes of the special interest groups with the most weight in the policy-making process.
This letter was delivered to the Commissioners and Executive Director of the FWC in advance of the June, 2016 Commission meeting at which bear hunting was on the agenda. On behalf of the people of Florida, the letter holds the FWC to account under the principles of the Public Trust Doctrine and finds the Commission wanting across every dimension of the analysis.
Why is Wayne Pacelle, the CEO and President of the Humane Society of the United States, endorsing the Environment Chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership when so many other environmental groups have opposed it? The answer to this question may change your view of the Humane Society forever.
In America’s ongoing war against wildlife, the cries of the victims are seldom heard. This is just the way the ruling elite likes it. But thanks to the work of a Florida videographer, all the world can now hear what wildlife “management” sounds like when our forests are turned into battlefields.
What if American humans were “managed” in the same way as American wildlife? Given the depravity of America’s track record at home and abroad, this question is only far-fetched for those who believe the evil will never extend to them. This essay combines existing ingredients into an alternate American reality.
We are told that we must not anthropomorphize animals, yet heeding this misguided advice deprives us of the opportunity to perceive reality through the eyes of the other living things with which we share this world. After a year of exceptional brutality toward our animals, take a journey with them through the State of Florida, across space, time, and the range of emotions that we all feel, whether we wish to acknowledge it or not.
Millions of Floridians were shocked by the FWC’s decision to allow bear hunting in 2015. Its 2012 Bear Management Plan appeared to have denied that hunting and conservation were compatible. But the length of the Plan discouraged perception of the many ways in which it anticipated hunting and thereby betrayed the trust of the people who value wild animals as individuals with a right to life that can not be managed away.
The true extent of the suffering inflicted by man on the rest of nature is almost unimaginably vast. A continuation of current human behavior will crown that suffering with mass extinction and ecological collapse. We look at two ways to avert that catastrophe: traumatic knowledge, and a recalculation of human happiness.
Less than a week after Florida’s bear hunt, and one day before Halloween, FWC Chairman Brian Yablonski told the people that the killers he had just unleashed on the state’s iconic wild animals are actually better conservationists than everyone else. Inadvertently, he made a compelling case for reform of wildlife management.
This essay is a eulogy written for the Black Bear Memorial Service at Lake Eola Park, Orlando, Florida on November 1, 2015. Although not delivered there due to time constraints, we offer it here for those who attended and those who could only be there in spirit.
The viciousness of Florida’s war on its iconic black bears deserves to live in infamy. In this photo-essay, we document the brutality for all the world to see, so that this will never be allowed to happen again. Readers are warned that the content is extremely graphic.
Florida’s impending black bear hunt, instigated by an arrogant and depraved ruling class, is a moral abomination, an ecological catastrophe, and an affront to democracy. As contemptible as the hunters may be, the real killers sit on the Fish and Wildlife Commission, and their ideology is the most lethal weapon of all.
As citrus greening spreads throughout Florida, the GMO juggernaut has been welcomed into the state by a corporate media that is more than happy to regurgitate biotech-industry talking points. Both newspapers and food contain ingredients that may be damaging to our health.
At the behest of the immensely powerful livestock lobby, USDA’s Wildlife Services agency engages in an expensive, secretive, brutal, and terribly misguided campaign against America’s wild animals. Its reflection of the American character is no less outrageous.
In response to the Yosemite Rim Fire, Congress is considering radical salvage logging bills that would be almost as devastating to our democracy as to the Sierra Nevada ecosystem. In the pursuit of profit for a few, America’s best places and best ideas could all go up in smoke.
Barack Obama’s USDA is poised to turn regulation of meat and poultry processors over to the industry itself. Sacrificing public and worker safety on the altar of corporate profits, the president demonstrates the real meaning of America’s exceptional morality.