Monday, May 2, 2016

Kill the Bear

Here's an example of an animal rights petition I don't support. Facts: bears can and do kill humans, so the only justification for allowing bears to survive outside of a few high-walled and deep-moated wildlife preserves is to "farm" bears, systematically, in nature parks where hunters can harvest their eminently edible meat. (When chemical exposure makes people "sensitive" and "allergic" to almost everything else, what they can eat is bear.) And that means only a few bears, namely the ones with the most highly developed instinct to avoid humans, can be allowed to survive. I support bear hunting.

In fact, I support a 365-days-a-year open season on any bear, of any species, that's not separated from current or recent human habitations by a 30-foot cement wall on all sides.

The "bearskin" coat in which I was seen during the Big Freeze of 2010 was a sanitary modern product made from hypoallergenic, pleasant-smelling acrylic...but I'd even get behind a movement to bring back bearskin coats to call attention to the need to keep bear populations fully under control, which means, if you're not inside that cement wall around the nature preserve, and you see a bear, you either shoot it or call someone who will. (And if you don't, the penalty is that you may be locked inside the cement wall with the bears, and the rest of your short life may be used in educational videos about the nature of the genus Ursus.)

2015 saw Florida’s first state-sanctioned black bear hunt in 21 years. 304 mothers, cubs and adult males were killed in the name of population management.
The last of Florida’s wild land is being developed at astonishing rates. Because of human encroachment, bear-human conflict has risen. The answer, according to biologists, is to implement non-lethal techniques such as intelligent trash management and education. In fact, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC’s) own studies prove that trash management can reduce this conflict by as much as 95%. Yet, it was the FWC that greenlit this wholesale massacre, claiming it would help lower bears’ risks to people.
The FWC is now gathering 2015 data to determine whether to hold another hunt this year. We must urge them to the best interest of the fragile Florida black bear population. This means putting an end to all future hunts.
Even in cases of overpopulation...[h]unters act as “super­predators” by taking healthy adults in their prime reproductive years, leaving the surviving population weaker. This is the exact opposite of the selection process performed by natural predators, and adds a whole additional threat to the bears' long ­term viability.
Opinion polls have consistently shown that the Florida public prefers non-lethal management to hunting. The FWC pointed to an increase in bear “nuisance calls” as evidence that their populations were out of hand and that hunting was warranted... 
There is not a single biologist on the board at the FWC, but there are many hunters. One must wonder, then, what motives lay behind the FWC’s removal of black bears from the state Endangered Species List in 2012 and their reopening of the hunting season three years later.