Mason County News
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The Religion of Intolerance
Wednesday, October 22, 2008 • Posted October 22, 2008

The town of Randolph, Iowa had a serious feral cat problem, so the city council placed a five-dollar bounty on the wild felines to encourage residents to trap them. The bounty had to be rescinded when animal rights groups protested.

Three boys in Delaware County, Indiana were arrested for animal abuse. The squirrel they allegedly mistreated was already dead at the time. The boys did not kill it.

Gray wolves have become so abundant in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming they have been taken off the Endangered Species list. When state fish and game agencies planned limited hunts to control the wolves, Earthjustice, along with 12 other local and national environmental groups, filed suit against the federal government in protest.

Coyotes have become so prevalent and fearless in southern California they are attacking children in parks and backyards. The reason for this, according to animal ‘experts,’ scientists, and wildlife officials, is either urban sprawl or pet food left outside. Skyrocketing coyote populations due to lack of hunting pressure has not been considered.

The list could go on and on. Today’s newspapers are full of similar stories. Common sense has been beaten to death with the caustic whip of political correctness. We have become a society held prisoner by the opinions of the minority. The concept that civilization precludes predator control is relegating our children to a low rung on the food chain.

What is wrong with catching feral cats in live traps and euthanizing them? How is kicking a roadkill squirrel animal abuse? Why do wolves and coyotes have the right to kill and eat pets and children, while parents are prohibited to intervene? When are we going to wake up and load the shotgun?

Part of the problem is that, for many misinformed Americans, the issue of animal rights has become a religion. A religion is not something people want, it’s something they need, or believe they do. The goal of these people, that of stopping the killing of any animal, anywhere, anytime, is not something they think would be nice, it’s something they feel is absolutely necessary.

When something is not optional but necessary, all other considerations are put aside. The coyote problem in California is a good example. Since the animal rights advocates think coyotes absolutely need protection, even the fact they’re attacking children will not change their minds. The attacks are blamed on humans, who have left dog food on the back porch, or encroached on the coyotes’ territory, or left their children unattended outside the home. Anything except the real problem: there are too many coyotes.

Granted, urban sprawl spills into wildlife habitat. The solution is for the coyotes to move, and if their new home is already full of coyotes, the population should be thinned to a sustainable level. If nature doesn’t handle the scale, people with guns should. End of problem.

Stopping urban sprawl is not a logical answer. Americans have the right to buy property, build a house on it, and live there, regardless of the animals already in residence. And human rights should always take precedence over animal rights. Always.

The position that the critters were there first is a valid one, and easily dealt with. Anyone who feels that we should not encroach where someone or something was already there should go back where his or her ancestors came from. Even the so-called ‘native Americans’ are not native to America; they reportedly got here via a land bridge from Siberia.

Our nation was founded on Christian principals, one of which is that we are all equal in the sight of God, and should be allowed to worship Him, or not, in any way we choose. Intolerance of any stripe is not to be condoned. We are all, theoretically, free from denigration by our fellowman.

This concept works fine as long as all parties observe it equally. Major problems would arise, for instance, if the Baptists decided the Lutherans and Methodists must all become Baptists. And we would not tolerate such an assertion.

Why, then, do we tolerate the claim by anti-hunters that none of us should hunt? Why do we allow such people freedom to spread their rhetoric among our children? What we are allowing is intolerance.

The environmentalists and animal rights activists are relentless in their efforts to control us. Their claim is that we should bow to their wishes on the grounds that our sacrifice would benefit everyone. This is a lie, but if it were true it would negate their opposition to one of the basic principals of conservation. Hunting, while fatal to certain individual animals, is beneficial to the rest of the herd. You can’t have your cake and not eat venison, too.

If we continue to allow these deviates to propagate their self-invented religion of intolerance, we will have only ourselves to blame when America’s favorite sports, hunting and fishing, are legally declared un-American. Most of the votes on that bill will probably be cast by coyotes.

Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who is very intolerant of coyotes. Write to him at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or

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