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On the first day of the killing, the bears were also subjected to a snark-drenched column by The Gothamist (includes photo; viewer discretion advised).
Bears – Co-existence vs. Killing
During the recent six-day bear hunt held by the State of New Jersey, the lives of at least 467 bears were cut short in the crosshairs of the hunters’ guns.
Although there has never been a single confirmed case of a human fatality or life-threatening injury caused by a black bear in the state, hunts such as this continue. Is the occasional attack on farm animals or pets a valid reason for this travesty? Breeding animals to be butchered and raising them on habitat taken from free-living animals is both unethical and environmentally irresponsible. As for pets, predation could be eliminated if these animals were carefully watched or kept on leashes when outdoors.
The number of human-bear encounters last year is hard to come by, lumped together as it is with attacks on farm animals and pets, and home entries (235 in all). It is apparent that the real reason for these hunts is found in those with a vested interest in continuing the slaughter: the state, which enjoys economic gain from the sale of hunting permits (6,400 in the year 2010) and seeks protection from possible lawsuits; politicians pressured by the hunting lobby, including its satellite industries; and finally, so-called sportsmen who gleefully slaughter these animals, each seeking their very own bear trophy. Of course, the bear population naturally increases after each killing spree, conveniently “necessitating” another hunt and then another.
All of these special interests heighten the perception that humans and human convenience take precedence over the lives of others, thereby enabling the killing on the grounds that bears are a threat to humans and human property. However, the rights of our human species are not supreme. The proof of one’s humanity lies not in taking, but in sharing; not in reveling in the blood one can shed, but in the good one can accomplish with a kind and generous heart.
- Maryanne Appel
Bernard Champa comments: the slaughter in PA was ten times worse with over 4000 killed. one has to wonder WHY At one time hunting had a functional purpose - to put food on the table. Now people seem to have an unfounded fear of the black bear and part of the justifcation for the slaughter is based on this fear. it implies, "we must keep the population down to some preconceived No or else there will be a bear lurking behind every tree just waiting to make a meal of our newborns or rape our vergins with impunity
DEB MICHALOWSKI comments: : Are all you bear hunters still thinking with your primitive ape brains?