Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bargain, Bear, Burger

There are several things that happened recently that got me thinking and my anger on a roll.

But that aside, I'd like your opinion on them even if it's different from mine because there are always other ways to view a situation.

1) I was listening to an interview with a corporate CEO the day after Black Friday. He was asked about the increasingly early hours stores now open on that day. He replied that the change in the hours are in response t0 what the public wants. Going by what I saw in interviews and clips on the news it would seem that he was correct. Many people camped out for an incredible amount of time, cutting short their Thanksgiving meals and missing time with "loved ones" to get big discounts.

But I have would have asked him, if the stores offered typical every day sales on Black Friday would the shoppers still rush to the businesses at these God forsaken times? I think not.

How do you feel about Black Friday? Do you go shopping on that day and at what time do you start?

2) New Jersey is once again having a bear hunt starting tomorrow, December 5. New Jersey black bears, which were considered wiped out in the 1970's, made a tremendous comeback in the last few decades - enough to have three hunts conducted in the last decade: 2003, 2005 and 2010. The last hunt set a record for 592 bears killed.

My question is what has happened in the forty + years to cause this tremendous reversal in numbers? I can't seem to find the reason on the sites. Are the numbers correct? There is some controversy about that. I know NJ's population hasn't gone down and has probably extended itself into the surrounding forests. With people come easier meals for a foraging bear who'd not think twice of going into trash cans, dumps and farm fields for some morsel. Could humans have been a large part of the cause? Could they have created dangerous Yogis who are looking for a pic-a-nic basket and not their harder to obtain natural venue?

3)The horse meat inspection ban was lifted this past week. The Huffingtonpost reported "But pro-slaughter activists say the ban had unintended consequences, including an increase in neglect and the abandonment of horses, and that they are scrambling to get a plant going – possibly in Wyoming, North Dakota, Nebraska or Missouri. They estimate a slaughterhouse could open in 30 to 90 days with state approval and eventually as many as 200,000 horses a year could be slaughtered for human consumption. Most of the meat would be shipped to countries in Europe and Asia, including France and Japan".

Maybe it's my romanticized idealism that has me upset with this. Visions of Mr. Ed, Trigger, Flicka and Black Beauty burst into my mind. The thought of slaughtering a horse for food unless there's nothing else to eat just turns my gut. You can't tell me France and Japan can't afford anything better than horse meat.

I can see how the economy could produce more neglected and abandoned horses but to the extent that it helps legitimize the butchering of horses? I doubt it. But that's not the only excuse being used. Sue Wallis, a Wyoming state lawmaker who's the vice president of United Horsemen, said ranchers used to be able to sell horses that were too old or unfit for work to slaughterhouses but now they have to ship them to butchers in Canada and Mexico, where they fetch less than half the price. Wild horses are also captured and sold in order to control herd populations.

The Humane Society has worked hard to protect all horses but the lift was inserted into a spending bill signed by President Obama. I was taught when you take in an animal, no matter what it is, it's your responsibility to take care of it the best you can for the life of that animal. If you can't provide good care you find someone who can. You don't sell it for it's meat, fur, skin or to a breeding mill. But that's me. How do you feel?


  1. Goodness, the whole business seems entirely barbaric if you ask me! Wouldn't be surprise if there was some validity to you conspiracy theory about the bears. I'm all for living in remote areas but not at the expense of Nature :(

  2. I have to agree with you, nature is always paying for what we do and we never learn from our mistakes.

  3. And people are scared of Aliens. I assure you, I'm much more frightened of humans. Next you will see me tied to the top of a truck.