Save The Tigers, Eat An Idiotic Person


Calvin: Do you believe in the Devil? You know, a supreme evil being dedicated to the temptation, corruption, and destruction of man?

Hobbes: I’m not sure man needs the help.

~from “The Days Are Just Packed”

Did you hear the one about Sartre and Kierkegaard walking into a bar?

I have, in my closet, an entire box of address labels, holiday cards, and tote bags sent to me unsolicited from charities. This stash of (mostly) useless stuff perplexes me, and most of it comes from animal-centric groups. The way I look at it, if these people really wanted to help the animals, they’d spend less money on cheap trinkets and more on Kibbles ‘n Bits or cat litter.  But that would, you know, be efficient and responsible.

Speaking of efficiency and responsibility, I get all in a tizzy whenever I hear news stories like the past week’s sordid tale of the idiot in Ohio who let his hoard of exotic animals loose before killing himself. I’d rant and rave about it enough but this Cleveland Plain-Dealer does a much better job making the argument:

http://www.cleveland.com/brett/blog/index.ssf/2011/10/exotic_animals_dont_belong_in.html

Shere Khan does not approve

There are ways humans can help endangered animals. Keeping these fierce predators like domestic pets is not the answer. The saddest part of this Ohio story is how all but six of the escapees lost their lives, gunned down because they were a danger to humans. The same humans, for the most part, that would keep them abused and caged and humiliated for “amusement.”

Before all the accusations fly that I’m one of “those PETA people” or a loony animal rights activist, I’m really not. I think there is a way humans and animals can live happily in this beautiful world we all share. Whether you believe in traditional creationism, scientific Darwinism, or anything in between, every animal, including humans, is here for a reason. Where one is cut out of an elaborate food web, it may or may not be replaced. Large land predators such as wolves or tigers have their place too. It shouldn’t matter that they are a threat to humans or their domestic pets or livestock. After all, they had no say in their hunting grounds growing ever smaller year by year. They have to eat too, and they are only acting upon instincts that have kept their species alive for millions of years.

There is a way for humankind to co-exist with predator species. One of my old friends’ daughters is working with such a program in Namibia (cheetah.org), bringing back the local cheetah population from near-oblivion. Progressive zoos and animal parks around the world, including the San Diego Zoo and even my local zoo in Nashville, are protecting the big cats. Literally hundreds of groups have gotten in on the effort, some of which can be found here:

http://www.forevertigers.com/organizations.htm

The economic reality of things has been hard on everyone, including these rescue groups and sanctuaries. From personal experience, I recommend giving to groups that have a low overhead and which work on a local, grassroots level. That is to say, no cutesy address labels or tote bags. Check with the BBB or smartgivers.org; a reputable charity won’t hesistate to disclose exactly where their donations go.

I don’t mean to sound like a starry-eyed idealist, but I believe there is a way for people and predator species to co-exist even in the 21st century. It might not be easy but the conservation of these animals is worthwhile. And if you think you can’t help, try skipping your $5 Starbucks latte or a trip to the movies and send the money to one of these causes instead. The animals might not be able to thank you, but you might be helping save their lives.

To me, that’s much more satisfying than a Venti chai latte could ever be.

Note to readers: Despite last night’s WS setback, I’m sticking with the Rangers in 7, though the Cardinals put on quite a show. Look for some short takes this week as I plan to take a much-needed weekend trip and make the last push towards NaNoWriMo. I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and comment on P&Q. Be sure, if you haven’t already, to subscribe to P&Q and click “Like” if you enjoyed this post.

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on October 23, 2011.

5 Responses to “Save The Tigers, Eat An Idiotic Person”

  1. It is quite the shame that all those animals had to lose their lives for being what they naturally are, just put into a difficult situation. There should have been a better way.

    Oh and I watched the game last night too. What an awesome one it was !

  2. I needed another course to take in law school, and the only thing that fit into my schedule was “Animals and the Law”. When I saw that the first reading was called “Consider the Lobster”, I knew I was in for an interesting experience…

  3. I watched a movie called “The Elephant in the Room” and it’s about exotic pets in people’s homes, most notably, a man with pet lions. Ohio is the biggest state for this exotic pets for some reason. A man with a mustache has been doing his best though to stop people from getting this pets that they cannot take care of. Check it out, it’s real good for animal lovers.

  4. Excellent post. Yes, keep the totebags, t-shirts, and coffee mugs and push the savings back to where they need to go! It drives me crazy when I read the percentages of where my money goes with charities.

  5. Well said. I always feel that way about things that charities send out. Put it on the web for free, and send me an email to tell me it’s there rather than waste the paper, the stamp, and the time to send it to me in the mail!

    I had no idea you were a Rangers fan until the WS. I was born in Arkansas and have been a Cardinals fan since birth. I’m hoping for a win tonight; however, I can’t help but say that it’s been an excellent series so far. May the best team win (in seven)!

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