I wont post the photos here but you can see them at the links to the news coverage below. They reveal not just an indifference to suffering but a gleeful enjoyment of it that is nurtured by a certain element of American culture that would be right at home at a medieval spectacle of drawing and quartering.
Have we evolved at all since then?
Any instance of animal suffering is intolerable but coyotes are just wild cousins of the dogs we love and I cannot fathom how it is that a large sector of the U.S. population--including a taxpayer funded federal office, "Wildlife Services," formerly known by the less euphemistic name Animal Damage Control--wants to exterminate them and even see them suffer.
|Image courtesy of Predator Defense http://www.predatordefense.org/gallery.htm#thumb|
The particular photos at issue were posted on Facebook by Jamie Olson, a Wildlife Services trapper from Wyoming who says he was only trying to impress his father with how well trained his dog was (to rip apart a coyote who was held immobile in a leghold trap). Fortunately, activists found the photos and demanded an investigation, and the Sacramento Bee is continuing its extraordinary ongoing expose on Wildlife Services with coverage of the incident.
|Image from Project Coyote http://www.projectcoyote.org/|
The fact is that the vast majority of American people love wildlife, and Wildlife Services still exists only because most people don't know about it. I have wished since I first found out about this office for some way to get the word out about what it does and generate a vast tide of public sentiment toward its reform. Perhaps these photos, and what they reveal about the depravity of an agency that hires the sort of person who tortures for sport, will generate that long-overdue momentum.
And now that I have a blog and can post about it, and get all five of my readers to take action, well by jiminy change may be just around the corner!
I urge everyone to learn more and join efforts to defund and eliminate, or at least radically reform, this retrograde government subsidy to those who wish to destroy our natural heritage. WildEarth Guardians has a petition here and there is a Causes.com petition here, and the websites of WildEarth Guardians and Predator Defense offer more resources for getting involved.