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.