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D.E.C CHARGED WITH PRO-HUNTING BIAS

October 25, 2010 | Deer

Deer Advocates Demand End of Long Island Bow-Hunting Season

CONTACT: Edita Birnkrant, NY Director, Friends of Animals. 917.940.2725; EMAIL
MEET AT: 50 Circle Drive, off Nicolls Rd, near the stadium on the SUNY/Stony Brook campus; DIRECTIONS.

New York City--Animal advocates will hold a press conference Friday, October 29, at 11 am outside the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regional headquarters in Stony Brook, Long Island to call an end to Long Island's hunting season on deer.

Most people perceive the DEC as a neutral, scientific body, the event's organizers say. "It's time that the public learned the facts," says Edita Birnkrant, New York Director of Friends of Animals.

"Hunting and habitat manipulation for hunting on public lands, in parks, sanctuaries and refuges, is a violation of public trust," said Birnkrant.

Hunting and managing deer and other animals is increasingly being tagged by scientist for putting "evolution in reverse." It makes smaller and weaker animals more likely to survive. Moreover, it causes deer populations to rebound increase in a cyclical reaction to us. Thus the deer-management paradox: The more you hunt, the more deer you get.

"The DEC urges hunters to recruit new hunters, especially children, and its officials glorify hunting," says Bill Crain, president of the East Hampton Group for Wildlife.

In the DEC booklet "Hunting and Trapping: 2010-2011 Official Guide to Laws and Regulation", Patricia Riexiner, Director of the DEC's Division of Fish, Wildlife & Marine Resources, urges hunters to become mentors to potential young hunters and writes that bagging her own first turkey was "the intoxicating, set-the-hook kind of success that can turn a beginner into a smitten hunter." The Guide also is filled with ads for rifles and hunting equipment.

Organizations and individuals at the press conference will include Friends of Animals, the East Hampton Group for Wildlife, Wildlife Watch, Virginia Frati, pioneering wildlife rescuer, and Ron Delsener, a legendary manager in the pop music scene. People for the End of Animal Cruelty and Exploitation are among the supporters of the event.

The event's organizers observe that the DEC receives over half its funding from hunting licenses and fees and excise taxes on gun, ammo, and archery sales.

"The DEC wants to expand hunting to keep its jobs. The State must change the funding arrangement if the DEC is to be a truly independent body that looks out for all life in our environment," states Ellen Crain, Secretary-Treasurer of the East Hampton Group for Wildlife.

Advocates slammed the DEC's decision to begin the Long Island deer bow-hunting season on the first of October--a month earlier than last year. Bow hunting often results in leaving deer to die slow and painful deaths," says Edita Birnkrant, NY Director of Friends of Animals.

In the case of pheasants, the DEC's wish to expand hunting has interfered with its mission of wildlife conservation. The DEC recognizes that pheasant populations are very low, but instead of focusing on their renewal in the wild, the DEC concentrates on stocking the birds for hunters to shoot. In the case of turkey hunting, the DEC's pro-hunting attitude interferes with human health concerns. The DEC has added wild turkey hunting on Long Island despite the fact that turkeys are a major predator of ticks that carry Lyme disease.

Friends of Animals insists that our wildlife refuges be restored as inviolate sanctuaries which allow every species there to undergo the test of nature to guarantee its survival over time. The group opposes hunting and pharmaceutical manipulation of fertility in free-living animals.

Educational pamphlets about hunting, published by Friends of Animals, will be provided to the press and public.

Comments

Kody, I agree humans are animals, but our anatomy more closely resembles herbivores than either omnivores or carnivores. If our evolution was based on eating other animals, we'd have more in common with nonhuman predators. That humans can digest the flesh doesn't mean we need to eat it. The theory of "Man the Hunter" has been debunked by fossil evidence that shows early humans were actually prey to other animals for millions of years. If you're interested, you might read "Man the Hunted" by Donna Hart and Robert Sussman. In the natural world, hunting is based on abject survival. Most humans hunt by choice, which isn't comparable. The farmers in North Dakota also had a choice. They could have chosen non-lethal ways to keep free-living animals out of their soy fields, but instead they chose to kill them. As Bob Orabona explained, most soy is grown to feed cattle, and not eating animal products will reduce the number of farm animals who will be killed. I'm glad a growing number of crop farmers are choosing vegan organic methods.

Ellie, Your statement "hunting is an act against nature" is laughable. Humans are animals, and part of nature, and have been hunting, the same as every other predator/carnivore/omnivore in nature has done since we evolved. That's an evolutionary fact that no amount of tofu you want to consume will ever change. Hunting is not an act against nature. It's part of it. Many animals in nature hunt to survive. And as has been said, we're animals that are part of nature. Whether you want to believe it or not. Hunting has far less of an impact on nature, than the pollution man causes. Pollution like that which comes out of the exhaust pipe of the cars you drove up to the Regional office in. I saw some pictures posted of your demonstration at the Regional office today. I have to say, I respect your organizations right to protest what you don't like. And you guys appeared to be mutually respectful of the other people around you. I can always respectfully disagree with another person/group. I don't respect your use of lies and propoganda to try and garner support, but for the 10 or so of you that showed up, it looks like not too many people are drinking your "kool-aide" anyway. P.S. I just got back from a week long trip of hunting in the soy bean fields of North Dakota. Soy beans, the things your to-fu is made from. Soy beasn, which the farmers grow using pesticides and hunting to kill the animals that would otherwise eat/damage their crops. So by eating tofu, you're supporting farming, which supports the killing of animals. Thanks!

Perhaps this subtlety is easily missed by a hunter, but humans hunting with modern day weapons and gear is an act against nature in the same way that using an atomic bomb against humanity is. The big word “Evolution” is not about the evolution of a single species, but the co-evolution of all species. In nature, animals and plants cannot evolve at the same rate as human technological growth. So, they cannot develop natural defenses against technological change. Instead, they are largely defenseless. And there you have it – the not-so-brave hunter killing largely defenseless animals. As most of the soybeans grown in the US are grown to feed cattle, not eating their flesh or drinking their milk means fewer animals killed to protect the crop and of course fewer cattle killed as well. Humans do have a need to feed themselves. It’s just that hunting is not needed to accomplish it.

Bob Orabona, I don't think anyone is saying that hunting is necessary. What we are saying is that it is a right that we should have as human beings. If you do not like hunting or do not want to hunt, than that is fine. But I, on the other hand, do. I don't think most hunters are trying to shove hunting down people's throats, so why do people like you try to shove your beliefs down ours? And Ellie Maldonado: Quoting an ignorant fool does not impress me. I am sure you are a very smart well educated person. Why not have your own opinions about things? I am actually quite disgusted by that comment. Bringing rape into this discussion is utterly despicable. I am an avid hunter as my father and father's father was before me. They taught me to respect the creatures of the forest. Yes, I have harvested (or killed as you people like to call it) many animals, but many of those same species, I have also sat and watched in their natural state (without a weapon in my hand) out of awe for God's beautiful creation. I have nursed orphaned opossums, raccoons, and even an owl back to health simply because I care for them and respect them. Killing an animal is not what makes hunting fun; in fact, I have even shed a tear after making a kill. What makes hunting rewarding is feeling that you are part of nature and not just a bystander. Though many of us have become detached from our natural environment due to urban living (such as New York City), I grew up on a dead end of a dirt road, miles upon miles from any large city. Maybe if people like you would take some time and have a hunter take you out for an evening or morning hunt, you then could experience what we do and feel what we feel. If you still do not like it, then I am perfectly fine with that. However, I still don't believe forcing your opinions and will on others is right. You may argue that is exactly what we are doing to the animals we hunt; forcing our wills upon them. I would have to agree with that, but that's why they are animals and we are humans. In my eyes (and I am sure you will disagree) animals and humans are very different. To put it into perspective, I believe that plants and animals are far more similar than humans are to animals. Humans have a brain (and a soul, but we aren't talking spiritual) far more superior than animals. We have self awareness, something that animals do not have. Animals work more like robots. They do what simply comes natural to them and cannot speak in words or compile information for use in later years. Their brains are built to survive and produce offspring and that is about it. Plants, a different form of life works the same way an animal does. It is programmed to survive and produce offspring for the future. I believe that harvesting (or killing) an animal is the same as harvesting a plant when you get right down to it. With that said, I will like to say that I believe we all share the same ultimate passion. We all love, respect, and cherish the natural world and the plants and animals within it. We should come together in our similarities to try and make the world a cleaner place, free of pollution and waste.

Bob, Id like to see your facts. My math figures livestock consumes only about 30% of the soybean harvest. To make it easy for you. 2000 lbs in 1 ton. 2.8 billion bushels= 168 billion lbs... 60lbs in a bushel 168 billion lbs= 84 mill tons. therefore, 30mill tons is a tad more than 30% So 70% remains for human use! From the EPA's website: Soybeans: Approximately 2.8 billion bushels of soybeans were harvested from almost 73 million acres of cropland in the U.S. in 2000. This acreage is roughly equivalent to that of corn grown for grain. Over 350,000 farms in the United States produce soybeans, accounting for over 50% of the world’s soybean production and $6.66 billion in soybean and product exports in 2000. Soybeans represented 56 percent of world oilseed production in 2000. Soybeans are used to create a variety of products, the most basic of which are soybean oil, meal, and hulls. According to the United Soybean Board, soybean oil, used in both food manufacturing and frying and sautéing, represents approximately 79 percent of all edible oil consumed in the United States. Soybean oil also makes its way into products ranging from anti-corrosion agents to Soy Diesel fuel to waterproof cement. Over 30 million tons of soybean meal are consumed as livestock feed in a year. Even the hulls are used as a component of cattle feed rations.

"Humans with modern day weapons and gear is an act against nature." Bob, ancient caveman, with stone spear points and bows and arrows were "modern day weapons" at one time. Man has evolved to use tools to our advantage. We've always had that over other animals. And animals have adapted sharper senses to avoid or detect humans because of it. Man hunts today with arrows the similarly to when it was first developed in prehistoric times. "Humans do have a need to feed themselves. It's just that hunting is not needed to accomplish it." Have you ever visited a cattle ranch or slaughter house? I have. I feel much more morally justified in harvesting an animal myself that has had a chance to live, breed, and avoid me, wild in nature, quickly and relatively painlessly, rather than pay a farmer to raise an animal on a mass production farm, transport it to a slaughter house to stand in line waiting to be slaughtered and wrapped in a neat package so that modern civilization can remove itself from the realities of life. Steaks don't grow on trees. And while the majority of soybeans may be grown to feed the cattle, those that are grown to make your tofu, are still grown using pesticides to kill animals, and potentially contaminate the environment. Harvesting and eating wild game requires no pesticide use and causes no contamination to the environment. Huh, look at that. My carbon footprint is less than that of a vegitarian. . . some additional thoughts about saying man's evolved technological advantages over our game are not fair, why not criticize the whales that hunt the disadvantaged herring with sonar, or the sea otter that uses rocks to smash abolone to death before eating them. And for those that think the harvesting of an animal instantly, or within minutes, by arrow or bullet is a cruel. Have any of you ever watched a pack of killer whales spend hours drowning a baby grey whale while it's mother struggles to push it up to breath, just to eat the calf's tounge and let the rest fall to the ocean floor? Or Komoto dragon that bites a water buffalo on the leg and allows it to suffer and die weeks later from infection, as the lizards swarm around it, waiting for it succumb? What about a pride of lions that take down and kill a wildebeast and as one lion chokes it to death, others begin to disembowl it, and eat it alive? And finally, what about our closest kin, the monkeys that war with each other, and troops attack each other, and bash each other with rocks, or tear off genitals and let the victim bleed to death? You think the relatively instant harvesting an animal for food with a modern weapon is "an act against nature" but have no problems with these other far more brutal acts OF NATURE?

I agree with Edita completely. The DEC has indeed betrayed the public trust. Hunting is an act against nature, not a part of it. That understood, Ryan and Kody, you're promoting a naturalistic fallacy, an invalid assumption that what's natural is therefore good. Further, that we can dominate others doesn't mean we should. Our exploitation of other species has caused the misery and death of billions of living beings -- and with that it has destroyed natural resources, and become a major factor in global warming. The conditions we've created by dominating other animals will in turn dominate us. It makes no sense to blame deer for auto accidents when there are effective ways to prevent them. That far more accidents and fatalities are caused by drunk driving, shows blaming deer is exaggerated and misplaced. As for hunters loving animals, to quote Tom Regan, "Hunters love animals like rapists love their victims".

I couldn't agree with you more Ginger. Thanks so much for your input. You are 100% right. We should be coming together to make this place healthier and cleaner for all. That is our responsibilty. We may have differing opinions on how some things should be done, but we shouldn't be trying to do away with the other. There are very different opinions and beliefs on this subject out there. We may never be able to meet in the middle as a compromise because they are so different, but we can definitly work together where we have things in common. Thanks again for your input. God Bless

Do the animals even *want* friends?

I am a "medicare grandma" so i've been around the block a few times, on foot and horseback. What I have learned over the years is that it is neither wise nor productive to lump everyone not in lock step with any given organization an "enemy." I know many fishermen and hunters that care deeply about our environment both plant and animal. They are not the enemy. Shake hands with them and you will see that your differences are not insurmountable. Yes, there are idiots on both side who would rather spit in your eye than shake your hand, but they are ineffective. And I do put my money where my mouth is, I have for many many years been a strong financial supporter of individual parks as well as the NPCA. Oh and by the way - did you ever ask yourself why is is not safe to eat fish caught in many PA waterways? The poisoners of the water - they are the enemy.

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