Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Stag Party"

From our roving reporter, Miss Moggs Tigerpaw

Now I am not all "Beatrix Potter" and "Disney" over animals. I live in the country.

Sure, I do love cute kittens and puppies, but I don’t get all dewy eyed over a fox or imagine they are little furry people, maybe in waistcoats.

If we are to co-exist with animals then they sometimes need to be managed, even the wild, or feral ones and that includes deer. Too many deer are a nuisance.

Now I know when deer get old their teeth wear down, so eventually they can’t get proper nutrition and get ill and feeble. Slow unpleasant death. In a “natural” setting there would be predators who would hunt and eat them before they got too far down that road.

They have no natural predators in the UK any more, except for the odd escaped big cat, so humans need to manage them, and part of that is doing the job of a predator and culling the ones who’s lives are getting to the stage where they would be easy pickings.

So you see I am not too soppy over animals, or particularly anti-hunting.

Now there was a news story I heard lately that I was quite upset to hear.

There is or maybe was a deer sometimes known as the ‘Exmoor Emperor’
. Said to be the biggest stag on Exmoor, which is in the UK’s west country. Nine feet tall and 300 lb. A real “Monarch of the Glen” type awesome looking stag still in his mature prime.

The report was that he had been shot dead near the side of the road in the middle of the mating season. There was talk it was done “legally” by a wealthy foreign hunter who paid plenty to do it.

A red deer stag

Then there was spin about how one of the Stag's off-spring was maybe stepping into his place.. so that was alright then. Also there were talking heads saying how deer need to be culled when they got old.

Now there is deer management and legitimate culling, but we are talking about a creature in its prime here. It didn’t need to be culled, and taking such an obviously superior creature out of the gene pool during mating season can only harm the species and just stinks anyhow.

Then there was a suggestion that
.. The story seems to have faded pretty quickly. Did Bobby Ewing Dream it maybe?

So was it a real story, spun out of existence to cover for some powerful foreign prince or oligarch, or just some “urban” rumour that presses buttons and got out of hand and suited some pressure groups? Is this just me being all conspiracy theory paranoia-ish?

Whatever - it surely brings up the question of what exactly should our relationship with the world, the environment, and the creatures in it be. Yet again!

One way of looking at it can be found in the bible, in Genesis 1:26, where it says mankind is made in God’s image, and because of that has “dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth ~ and over, every, creeping, thing, that creeps on the earth.

Well what is this dominion thing? Really it is governing, controlling, having authority over, but how are we actually supposed to go about doing that?

Well in the best selling sequel to the Old Testament I think Jesus gives as good an example as any, in Matthew 25:14-30. The parable of the Talents.

You probably know it. It is about the man who gave his servants gold coins to look after for him. One servant got only one, the second was given two and the third five. The master went away for a long time.

The servant with one coin buried it to keep it safe. The other two used them to work and trade and invest, doubling the stakes they had been given.

When he got back the man was pleased with what the two servants had done, even tho one made much less, he started out with less too. He was so not pleased with the one who never tried.

The story doesn’t cover what would have happened if one of them had lost it all on the stock market ^_^ but I figure he would have been annoyed with that servant too, but maybe not as annoyed as he was with the one who just buried the coin.

Basically I think it tells us the things we are given “dominion” over ( by God or chance, depending on how you look at it) are not ours to just trash if we choose to, we get only to look after them for a while. We should keep them vital and manage them, so we are in a position to hand back (or hand on to our children, if you prefer) as more, and better, than we were ever given.

The thing about this way of seeing the world is I think it makes sense and works if you are religious or not. Not so much in the short sighted short term, but for sure in the long term, If you care about your children and your children’s children...


jmb said...

Well I certainly hope that this beautiful animal is still around Miss Moggs. I hate hunting for sport. It's unbelievable cruel in my opinion.

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

JMB, I think we should be against killing things, people or animals, unless we really have to. I won't kill spiders in my home ^_^. But I don't think I would hesitate to kill even a person if they were going to harm family or friends.

I don't approve of hunting just for sport but I do think hunting is ok, providing the hunter does it with repect, skill, cleanly and a person eats what they hunt and they avoid waste.

I don't see too much difference between that and breaking a chicken's neck to make a family meal.

It probably sounds silly, but even snipping leaves off my bay tree for cooking I quietly tell it "thank you".

I also think sometimes it is necesary to put animals out of their misery, I also think I wouldn't mind that option for me, just in case I ever needed it.

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