Stay With Me, Now

Photo by Jon Johnson

Photo by Jon Johnson

Dear Friends: Many, many people are deeply disturbed by the hunt planned for the day after tomorrow.  Many wonder what they can do, tell me they feel powerless.  Sometimes I do, too.

All I know is to stay engaged and keep talking.  Don’t go numb.  Call your local radio stations, TV stations, use your social networking skills.  Call your legislators, yet again. Call your minister, pastor, rabbi.  Ask them to speak from the pulpit. Send a letter to the editor.  Go to a protest.  If you are related to an employee of FWC, help them figure out how to stand up, truth to power.  Not to work at check stations.

Dig deep.  Do it for the bears.  DO NOT GIVE UP,

Here are my talking points.  I’m sure you have more.

  • Why I am opposed to the hunt? Because killing bears through recreational hunting is neither an effective management tool, nor more importantly, morally acceptable.
  • Florida black bears have:
  • –never killed a human being
  • –do not kill other wild animals or livestock
  • –are a vital native species of great ecological concern
  • –are sentient beings with rich emotional lives, and a purpose for being here on Earth that should not be subject to our whims.  These are animals who are primarily vegetarian, nurse their young, and stay with their cubs for more than two years, teaching them the ways of being a wild bear.

I am opposed to this hunt because black bears have only just recovered from their threatened status in the last 20 years. Moreover, we do not even have complete population estimates.

I am opposed to this hunt because it is a crude and brutal response to concerns about bears becoming “nuisances” by foraging in open dumpsters and garbage cans, birdfeeders, and coolers which are our responsibilities to secure.

I am opposed to this hunt, because, outrageously, the fish and wildlife commission clearly states that the death of these bears is not even expected to reduce human-bear conflicts.

I am opposed to this hunt because it overrides both science and compassion. This hunt appeals to the lowest and most ruthless of human instincts–to kill and maim another sentient being for blood sport.

I am not alone in opposing this hunt. 75% of 40,000 public comments to the FWC oppose it as well. We will NEVER forget that this genocide was initiated by governor Scott’s appointed commissioners.

  • What will this hunt mean for bears in Florida? At least 320, but probably many more individuals, will suffer horrific deaths. Many cubs will be orphaned and traumatized after watching their mothers die gruesome and painful deaths. The chances of those cubs surviving is low.
  • What will this hunt mean for humans in Florida? It will mean we have pandered to our most base, political instincts.
  • It will mean that once again, our political leaders at every level have refused to address the unsustainability of our increasing human population, to the detriment of our landscape, water and wildlife.
  • It means that all over the world, people will and are—rightfully–viewing our state as gravely immoral.


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Stay With Me, Now — 21 Comments

  1. Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission’s number is 850-487-3796 to get a message to the Commissioners who voted for this travesty. Despite it being the 11th hour, the huge influx of calls will allegedly get through to them.

  2. Just made the call and talked to Sabrina, the executive director’s assistant; I gave my name and asked that the director and commissioners be informed of my wholehearted opposition to the bear hunt. It’s a good idea to call. I don’t think they’re flooded with calls, as she answered my call within three rings. Let’s flood them.

  3. I just called and Emily picked up on the first ring. I let my disapproval be known in a very diplomatic way.

  4. Thank you Bill Stokes for the suggestion to call the FWC…I just did that on October 22nd at 4:32 pm and they were very receptive of my comments and logged them in. Thanks again! I will share with friends.

  5. I called the FWC office and gave my comments. The person taking down my comments said I was the first person from Leon County to call. I hope others in Leon will call and have a voice for the bears.

  6. I am so upset, saddened, and angry about the bear hunt. WHY are these creatures being killed? They are not harming anyone. They’ve only been off the endangered list for three years, and now we’re killing them? This makes no sense. I have signed every petition there is, and I’ve written to lawmakers. I know that the majority of Floridians is against the bear hunt. And yet our politicians are letting it go forward. My disgust, disappointment, and sadness are unfathomable.

  7. Got through to Emily at the FFWC on my second try. Will sign the petition started by Karen B. above. Grief and outrage co-exist as my predominant emotions today.

  8. This is so very disturbing it makes me ashamed to be a Floridian…it needs to stop killing is not the answer…what about the baby Cubs they are going to be left to be Orphans?? are they going to kill them too??!

  9. I just called and spoke to Linda at FFWC. She took my name, ph no, and my comments about why I am opposed to the slaughter. She told me several others from Volusia county had called this a.m. Friday 10/23…let’s keep calling..

  10. I just called the number Bill shared and talked to Linda who took my comments. Just shared the number on my FB page.

  11. Susan and all who are expressing their outrage, i am with you. I just spoke to the FWC office and left my message of outrage and plea to stop this madness. The talking points that you wrote Susan were helpful. When i asked the person on the phone if there was anything that would stop the hunt tomorrow, she replied that she did not believe so, that it was on as scheduled. I am praying for the bears and our humanity.

  12. They’re SUPPOSED to take your & number & comments – it’s to make you feel better & like you id something (which you did) – but all in all, Scott’s lackeys & minions could care less how it makes you feel or what you think. At least that’s what I think & choose to believe. Just saying…

    I think that everyone who can, in every part of the state that’s allowing the hunt who has a 4-wheel drive vehicle or suitable 2-wheel drive), should drive all through their local hunting areas with their horns blasting non-stop to scare off the bears, you know – direct action. Wish someone would have organized something like that over the past few weeks.

  13. the FWC and FL politicians are corrupt as a majority & will not respond… no matter the science nor public outcry… but, the federal govt will respond if enough people contact them in protest… starting with the dept of the interior… the threat of cutting off federal funding to a corrupted system would be a real way to get things going… what they are doing has to be criminal… even the way these ‘commissioners’ are selected!

  14. We need ideas! Come on people! An old man once said. “Don’t come to me with a problem. Come to me with a solution to the problem.” Make some noise. Don’t just sit there and complain!! Do you have a solution?

  15. Please get everyone you know to join the League of Humane Voters, whether you are a Florida resident or not. This will be so important, to be able to draw from the database:

    Also, tell VisitFlorida that you intend to boycott Florida or have your out-of-state friends do so:

    Keep putting pressure on the FWC and Gov. Rick Scott. If you can, attend the FWC commission meeting November 18-19. Let’s make some noise! There are enough of us to make a difference. We can’t let this happen again next year.

  16. Thank you Alexis, these are terrific ideas. I will help spread. I’m going to the PC FWC meeting even though I don’t want to! Hope to meet many of you there….