Originally posted on Howling For Justice:
April 21, 2014
View original 3 more words
This type of willful ignorance does not bode well for the animals or the Earth. If most people don’t “believe in” evolution or climate change, how long will it take to convince them that we are animals and we must curb greenhouse gasses?
Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they express bigger doubts as concepts that scientists consider to be truths get further from our own experiences and the present time, an Associated Press-GfK poll found.
Americans have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 billion years ago.
Rather than quizzing scientific knowledge, the survey asked people to rate their confidence in several statements about science and medicine.
On some, there’s broad acceptance. Just 4 percent doubt that smoking causes cancer, 6 percent question whether mental illness is a medical condition that affects the brain and 8 percent are skeptical there’s a genetic code inside our cells. More — 15 percent — have doubts about the safety and efficacy of childhood vaccines.
About 4 in 10 say they are not too confident or outright disbelieve that the earth is warming, mostly a result of man-made heat-trapping gases, that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old or that life on Earth evolved through a process of natural selection, though most were at least somewhat confident in each of those concepts. But a narrow majority — 51 percent — questions the Big Bang theory.
Those results depress and upset some of America’s top scientists, including several Nobel Prize winners, who vouched for the science in the statements tested, calling them settled scientific facts.
“Science ignorance is pervasive in our society, and these attitudes are reinforced when some of our leaders are openly antagonistic to established facts,” said 2013 Nobel Prize in medicine winner Randy Schekman of the University of California, Berkeley.
The poll highlights “the iron triangle of science, religion and politics,” said Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.
And scientists know they’ve got the shakiest leg in the triangle.
To the public “most often values and beliefs trump science” when they conflict, said Alan Leshner, chief executive of the world’s largest scientific society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
“Science ignorance is pervasive in our society, and these attitudes are reinforced when some of our leaders are openly antagonistic to established facts.”
Political values were closely tied to views on science in the poll, with Democrats more apt than Republicans to express confidence in evolution, the Big Bang, the age of the Earth and climate change.
Religious values are similarly important.
Confidence in evolution, the Big Bang, the age of the Earth and climate change decline sharply as faith in a supreme being rises, according to the poll. Likewise, those who regularly attend religious services or are evangelical Christians express much greater doubts about scientific concepts they may see as contradictory to their faith.
“When you are putting up facts against faith, facts can’t argue against faith,” said 2012 Nobel Prize winning biochemistry professor Robert Lefkowitz of Duke University. “It makes sense now that science would have made no headway because faith is untestable.”
But evolution, the age of the Earth and the Big Bang are all compatible with God, except to Bible literalists, said Francisco Ayala, a former priest and professor of biology, philosophy and logic at the University of California, Irvine. And Darrel Falk, a biology professor at Point Loma Nazarene University and an evangelical Christian, agreed, adding: “The story of the cosmos and the Big Bang of creation is not inconsistent with the message of Genesis 1, and there is much profound biblical scholarship to demonstrate this.”
Beyond religious belief, views on science may be tied to what we see with our own eyes. The closer an issue is to our bodies and the less complicated, the easier it is for people to believe, said John Staudenmaier, a Jesuit priest and historian of technology at the University of Detroit Mercy.
Marsha Brooks, a 59-year-old nanny who lives in Washington, D.C., said she’s certain smoking causes cancer because she saw her mother, aunts and uncles, all smokers, die of cancer. But when it comes to the universe beginning with a Big Bang or the Earth being about 4.5 billion years old, she has doubts. She explained: “It could be a lack of knowledge. It seems so far” away.
Jorge Delarosa, a 39-year-old architect from Bridgewater, N.J., pointed to a warm 2012 without a winter and said, “I feel the change. There must be a reason.” But when it came to Earth’s beginnings 4.5 billion years ago, he has doubts simply because “I wasn’t there.”
Experience and faith aren’t the only things affecting people’s views on science. Duke University’s Lefkowitz sees “the force of concerted campaigns to discredit scientific fact” as a more striking factor, citing significant interest groups — political, business and religious — campaigning against scientific truths on vaccines, climate change and evolution.
Yale’s Leiserowitz agreed but noted sometimes science wins out even against well-financed and loud opposition, as with smoking.
Widespread belief that smoking causes cancer “has come about because of very public, very focused public health campaigns,” AAAS’s Leshner said. A former acting director of the National Institute of Mental Health, Leshner said he was encouraged by the public’s acceptance that mental illness is a brain disease, something few believed 25 years ago, before just such a campaign.
That gives Leiserowitz hope for a greater public acceptance of climate change. But he fears it may be too late to do anything about it.
The AP-GfK Poll was conducted March 20-24, 2014, using KnowledgePanel, GfK’s probability-based online panel designed to be representative of the U.S. population. It involved online interviews with 1,012 adults and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points for all respondents.
Respondents were first selected randomly using phone or mail survey methods and were later interviewed online. People selected for KnowledgePanel who didn’t otherwise have access to the Internet were provided with the ability to access the Internet at no cost to them.
— Seth Borenstein and Jennifer Agiesta, The Associated Press
I understand and agree with much of what this article is saying, but as hunters are fond of reminding us, don’t judge us all because of the acts (or words) of a few “bad eggs.” I too am disgusted by some of the comments from a few passionate folks who are reacting to acts of animal cruelty. Apparently some of them haven’t heard of setting examples. At the same time, though, I’m continually amazed by some of the intelligent, spot on points that people make. The vile comments just diminish the impact of profound comments, making us all sound like a bunch of hypocritical wackos by association.
Originally posted on Animal Blawg:
Kathleen Stachowski Other Nations
One woman (sporting a Safari Club International cap), one gun, one dead giraffe. One pump-my-ego photo posted and then shared hundreds of times on animal rights Facebook pages, generating thousands of sad or angry comments.
Many–distressingly many–of the responses to these vile, celebratory trophy photos are vile and violent themselves. When the killer is a woman, the comments can also be terribly misogynistic: “Stupid brainless b*tch!” “This fat ugly b*tch should be shot!” “Shoot this b*tch!”
View original 601 more words
by Kathleen Stahowski April 21, 2014
One woman (sporting a Safari Club International cap), one gun, one dead giraffe. One pump-my-ego photo posted and then shared hundreds of times on animal rights Facebook pages, generating thousands of sad or angry comments.
Many–distressingly many–of the responses to these vile, celebratory trophy photos are vile and violent themselves. When the killer is a woman, the comments can also be terribly misogynistic: ”Stupid brainless b*tch!” “This fat ugly b*tch should be shot!” “Shoot this b*tch!”
Another woman, another gun, another dead giraffe. Another ain’t-I-somethin’-special photo–this time, she’s grinning from atop her trophy’s body. Thousands of Facebook shares and more than 14,000 comments: “I hope someone puts a bullet in her head the weak pathetic b*tch!” “…the dirty tramp!” “Hope she dies by gang giraffe rape!” Other comments included epithets so vulgar and repugnant that I won’t even hint at them with missing letters.
What’s going on here? I mean, I get it: I’m as revolted by the gratuitous killing of animals as anyone, and I, too, struggle with feelings of contempt for these conscienceless, ego-driven killers. But responding to violence with still more violence–even if it’s just rhetorical–proves only that animal advocates can sink to a shamefully base level themselves. As for responding to speciesism with sexism–I’m at a loss. Yes, I’ve seen the comments that call into question the manhood of male trophy hunters, comments suggesting that their big, powerful guns are stand-ins for their own minuscule personal endowment. But I’m aghast at the misogynist, verbal violence directed toward women: gang giraffe rape?!? OMG.
I don’t fault the animal rights Facebook pages dedicated to posting trophy photos–they graphically remind us that callous indifference to animals is a strong, wide current running through our ocean of humanity; that people with enough money and little enough conscience are eager to lay waste to the lives of sentient others–aided and abetted by safari and hunt providers pursuing their own trophy–the cash cow. Pages like Stop Trophy Hunting Now! and Animal Shame (and probably many more) remind us that we have so much work to do combatting speciesism, and inspire us to get a move on because animals are dying.
But other than considerable Facebook traffic and abundant ill will vigorously expressed in feeding frenzies of anger, what is gained by the commentary of outrage? Preliminary research offers some indication:
One study assessed whether individuals felt calmer or angrier after ranting on an Internet site, and whether people who frequent rant-sites are more likely to have problems related to anger. The second study evaluated how people reacted emotionally to reading and writing rants online—whether they became more or less happy or angry.
“The two studies seem to indicate that both reading and writing on rant-sites tend to be unhealthy practices, suggesting persons with maladaptive expression styles”… ~from Science Daily
It appears that not much of value is gained–neither for animals nor our own emotional well-being.
I don’t typically peruse these commentary threads–they’re too distressing and life’s too short. But as a relative Facebook newbie (just over six months–late to the party again!) who just recently stumbled upon these two trophy photos via Facebook, I’m discovering the depth of malice that members of my own species are willing to express toward others. I find that I actually don’t know how to end this post because I don’t know where to go with sentiments like, “Hope she dies by giraffe gang rape!”
But here’s what I hope: I hope for more than an onslaught of online words from the multiple thousands who express their public sorrow at an animal’s death or spew their anger at the killer. I hope these many animal defenders are also acting constructively for animals–no matter how small or large those actions might be. Imagine the difference we could make! From simply speaking up for justice when the opportunity arises to going vegan–and everything in between–actions speak so much louder than words, no matter how vehemently those words are delivered.
Speciesism will be vanquished not by impassioned quips posted to photos, but by passionate acts of conscience and courage.
A marmot (Alias, “Rock Chuck.”), on the lookout for evil in the form of “derby” hunters.
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PHOENIX — State lawmakers voted Wednesday to let ranchers shoot the Mexican gray wolves being reintroduced to the Southwest despite their listing under federal law as endangered.
On a 16-12 vote the Senate approved legislation that allows a livestock operator or agent to kill a wolf on public lands if it in self defense or the defense of others. The only requirement under HB2699 is that the act must be reported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In separate action, the House gave final approval to SB1211. Its permission to kill wolves on public lands is broader, extending to any animal engaged in killing, wounding or biting livestock. And it also allows dogs that guard livestock to kill wolves.
The 37-22 vote came over the objections of Rep. Victoria Steele, D-Tucson.
“We nearly destroyed the buffalo years ago,” she told colleagues, evoking the image of herds of animals shot and left to rot on the plains.
“We’re about to do this to the Mexican wolves,” Steele continued. “We don’t have to keep repeating the tragic mistakes of history.”
And Rep. Jonathan Larkin, D-Phoenix, said there are “more humane” alternatives to having ranchers kill the wolves. He said that New Mexico, for example, has set up a fund to reimburse ranchers for lost livestock.
That actually is part of HB2699, though there are no actual funds to do that. Instead, the legislation tells the attorney general to seek funds from the federal government to pay the ranchers for their losses. But it also says that if the federal government doesn’t come up with the cash, the Legislature will consider a measure to require that Mexican wolves be restricted to federally controlled lands and removed from state and private lands.
Much of the debate concerns whether wolves, which everyone admits were here until at least 1930, should be reintroduced to Arizona.
Sen. Gail Griffin, R-Hereford, who has been at the forefront of fighting the federal program, said the prey for the animals in her corner of the state are “cattle, a few whitetail, pets and our children.” And Griffin, sponsor of SB1211, told colleagues during committee debate earlier in the session about individuals in Arizona and New Mexico who have been stalked by the animals.
And HB2699 actually contains language that says the federal recovery program “introduces a brand new population of dangerous alpha-level predators and varmints into vast areas of land that have not seen wolves since the 1930s.”
That is based on the argument that the wolves have been bred and raised by humans and therefore, unlike wild wolves, “have displayed little or no fear of humans, have congregated near human dwellings and have mated with domestic dogs.” And tha,t the legislation says, makes these wolves “more unpredictable and dangerous.”
But Sierra Club lobbyist Sandy Bahr said this kind of legislation “creates this big bad wolf idea we need to get past.”
Steele, in an effort to block SB1211, drew on her Seneca heritage and beliefs.
“We are related to the trees and the dogs and the cats and the wolves,” she said.
“This may not be your religious view,” Steele continued. “But it is indeed mine.”
SB1211 now goes to the governor. HB2699 needs final House approval of the Senate changes.
by Barry Kent MacKay,
Senior Program Associate
Born Free USA’s Canadian Representative
The Canadian government fantasy is just not that widely shared
You may wonder why I, a long time opponent of Canada’s east coast commercial seal hunt, would offer advice to those who fight people like me: the Canadian government. No fear. Anything not fitting the current Canadian government’s ideology is ignored, and yet I live in hope. Call it Canadian pride, or what is left of it, but I hate how we’re increasingly considered to be so backward and regressive on issues pertaining to the environment and animal welfare by so much of the rest of the world—including the European Union (EU), whose ban on the import of products from the east coast commercial seal hunt is opposed by Member of the Canadian Parliament, Gail Shea.
Recently, she was quoted as blaming the “the animal rights movement” for China’s apparent reticence to import products, claiming that we had “put a lot of pressure” on the Chinese. Think how that sounds in Europe or China. The so-called “animal rights movement,” whatever she thinks that may be, is supported by volunteered donations (not taxes), and has its hands full with multitudes of humanitarian and environmental concerns in China—from imports of endangered species through dwindling habitat for its own endangered fauna; to horrific zoo, fur, and livestock farm conditions; to a lack of laws providing animal protection; to the live skinning of dogs, cats, or other meat animals in street markets; to shark fin soup; to killer pollution that has caused birds to drop from the sky and marine life to go extinct; to there being virtually no local NGO (non-governmental organization) of its own dedicated to animal protection. And, compared to the resources available to the Government of Canada, what “pressure” do you think humanitarians have? Trade sanctions? Travel restrictions? Call in the ambassador? Mobilize military assets?
So, my first piece of advice to Shea and her colleagues: get real if you want the Europeans to take Canada seriously when it fights to lift the ban on products from the east coast commercial hunt. And to be fair, China is moving forward on environmental and animal protection issues, yes—but no western NGO influences China’s government policy.
Shea is fully in her right to claim that no “baby” seals are killed, but she should understand that, for it to be a truthful statement, a seal has to suddenly stop being a baby at about three weeks of age. But, redefining words does not change their meaning for the rest of the world.
The federal government (dominated by a party most Canadians did not vote for) has continually disgraced itself on many fronts, including the recently-announced (and ironically named) Fair Elections Act, which, if passed, will reduce the number of votes cast by citizens. (But, most foreigners don’t know about that sort of domestic issue.) However, because the issue is of global significance, they do know that former Minister of Natural Resources, Joe Oliver, referred to “environmental and other radical groups” as threatening “to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda.” Oh, the irony, coming from a government that has systematically cut funding to research that demonstrates the risk of over-fishing or global climate change. I’ve been a Canadian longer than the Prime Minister and have never seen a more ideological government—and part of the ideology is to ignore facts or expert opinion. It’s no wonder that the Conference Board of Canada ranked our environmental record 15th out of 17 industrial countries, with, a year later, Simon Frazer University ranking us 24th out of 25 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development nations on environmental performance.
It is hard to reconcile the Canadian decision to contemptuously close, without a trace of consultation with the scientists affected, more than a dozen science libraries run by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and Environment Canada, including the then-newly refurbished, century-old St. Andrews Biological Station in New Brunswick—literally throwing hundreds of thousands of documents, including unpublished material with irretrievable baseline data, into dumpsters!
Just recently, Shea has made moves to reduce protection of breeding habitat of various fish stocks, and to ignore utterly scientific advice in order to support west coast salmon farming that puts native stocks at serious risk. In fact, there is a long history of bad decisions by a succession of fisheries ministers for both parties that have formed governments, resulting in numerous losses of valued fish stocks (but nothing like the anti-environmental fanaticism we now see). With such contempt for science, is it any wonder that claims that the commercial seal hunt is supported by “science” are taken with more than a grain of salt in Europe? People can judge for themselves by viewing video online, to which the government has responded by tabling a bill that would prevent observers from getting close enough to sealers to film how they do it. That’s just so typical. Never have I seen such opacity, such secrecy, and such contempt for openness and accountability as is displayed by this government.
In addressing the World Trade Organization, Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment (who once asked us to celebrate the killing of a polar bear), was miffed that the EU imported seals from Greenland. That’s because it’s an aboriginal hunt… but so is the hunt for seals in northern Canada, and products from it are also not banned: a point Canada ignores, to the detriment of northern “subsistence” sealers’ interests. They have a monopoly. Subsistence, yes, but Europeans know that trade with them is a function of European colonization. The real irony is that the Canadian government has continually ignored warnings about climate change that so profoundly puts northern traditions at risk from melting permafrost and diminishing ice, including the sea ice so essential to seals and polar bears.
It is ironic, too, that—again ignoring any science that shows that gray seals are not proved to be a threat to commercial fisheries (and could help them in their role as apex predators)—Canada claims that they should be culled, and claims that no seal is wasted, when there is no market. Again, the Europeans are informed on such matters.
Canada loves to mention foie gras, bullfights, and fox hunting as examples of European traditions equal to the seal hunt in cruelty. But, to compassionate (and logical) Europeans, two wrongs don’t make a right, and the fact is that the EU is far ahead of Canada in trying to set standards for increasingly humane treatment of animals. As the recent trial of Maple Lodge, our largest chicken producer, shows, we have a very long way to go. Meanwhile, the humane movement also fights these “traditions,” success dependent on public support. The trajectory, in Europe and many other regions, is forward, toward ever more animal welfare. Not so, sadly, here in Canada.
[Enough said? Now, how many do trophy hunters kill compared to wolves?]
>But he said if predators were killing as many game animals as poachers do, people would take action. “Holy buckets, we would be setting budgets aside,” Cummings said. “We would develop a group to figure out what it was and we would develop a plan to deal with it, but we won’t even talk about what impact this has on wildlife.”<
LEWISTON – Poachers are likely killing far more game animals than wolves are, state wildlife officials in North Idaho say.
Officials told the Lewiston Tribune that last year in North Idaho they confirmed poaching of 30 elk, four moose, 13 mule deer and 57 whitetail deer, the newspaper reported Friday.
Officials say a realistic detection rate is 5 percent, meaning poachers are likely killing about 600 elk, 80 moose, 260 mule deer and 1,000 whitetail annually.
“It’s real easy for people to blow a gasket about wolf predation,” said Idaho Fish and Game District Conservation Officer George Fischer. “They are very passionate about it, they are very irate about it and they are livid about it. Yet there is a two-legged wolf out there that is probably killing as many or more than wolves. Wolves are causing an impact, there is no doubt about it; I don’t want to downplay that at all, but two-legged wolves are probably killing more or stealing more game than wolves. That is the shock-and-awe message.”
Barry Cummings, an Idaho Fish and Game conservation officer, said many people don’t report wildlife crimes because they don’t consider it a crime against them. The fine in Idaho for illegally killing an elk is $750, while the fine for illegally killing a moose is $10,000.
But he said if predators were killing as many game animals as poachers do, people would take action.
Mark Hill, a senior conservation officer for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game at Lewiston, said it’s not completely clear why people who are aware of poaching don’t turn lawbreakers in.
“I don’t know if it’s because they almost look at themselves in the mirror and say, ‘If I turn in so and so, I’m going to be reflecting on some of the things I do and they will turn me in,’ ” Hill said.
While it’s too bad about Hannah losing her battle with cancer 6 years ago, why do hundreds of innocent yellow-bellied marmots (ignorantly referred to as “rock chucks”) have to pay with their lives for four years afterwards? The event already includes a motorcycle run, a walk/run and an auction, so why kill marmots at all? Hasn’t there been enough death?
Rock Chuck Derby in Bliss Raises $300,000
April 27, 2013
BLISS • Holding the lifeless rock chuck by the tail, Jeff Huber dumped the bundle of fur into a five-gallon bucket, put it on a scale and waited for the results.
Huber was hoping for a high number, but the weight failed short of the 16.8 pound world record.
“It’s OK, I’ll just go out again for another one,” he said. “It’s a three-day event. I have time to get a bigger one.”
Huber was one of the 300 hunters registered in the sixth annual Hannah Bates Memorial Rock Chuck Derby.
The event includes a motorcycle run, a walk/run and auction, but the main goal is to shoot the biggest rock chuck and bring it back to the saloon where it can be weighed by judges. The winner will be announced Sunday and will receive a gun as a prize.
Hunters gather from all over the nation to participate, said Sandee Bates, Hannah’s mom.
The derby became dedicated in Hannah’s honor after the 20-year-old lost her battle with cancer in 2008. Ever since, the event raised more than $300,000, Bates said.
The money has gone to school athletic programs, local nonprofits and children’s cancer support groups.
“Every year it amazes me how many people show up to show their support,” Bates said. “People are so generous every year.”
As the event continues to grow, more people get to learn Hannah’s story and leave knowing they are supporting a good cause, said Carol Wood, one of the event planners and who knew Hannah.
“A little bit of Hannah touches of them,” she said.
Huber said in years past, he normally just participates in the motorcycle ride. This year, he and his son, Kameron McGarity, 14, decided to try hunting.
“We’ll be back,” he said. “We can get a bigger one.”
|Rockchuck Derby Starts In:|
RULES AND REGULATIONS
Five Day Hunt: Wednesday, May 14 – Sunday, May 18, 2014
Location: Outlaws & Angels
- Outlaws & Angels – Bliss, Idaho
- Cal’s Log Tavern** – Twin Falls, Idaho
- TJ’s Lounge** – Buhl, Idaho
*Registration at these locations ends May 10
Weigh In Times:
Wednesday, May 14: 2PM – 7PM
Thursday, May 15: 2PM – 7PM
Friday, May 16: 2PM – 7PM
Saturday, May 17: 2PM – 7PM
Sunday, May 18: 10AM – 1PM
All State of Idaho Hunting Regulations will apply and hunters must have a valid hunting license, or hunter education number.