Owls and Such, Taking the Sunset Limited

Today I received an email from Care 2 action Alerts soliciting my signature on a petition to seek punishment for a soccer player from Panama who apparently kicked the live owl mascot of the opposing team from Colombia. The owl died a few hours later. I resisted even opening this message, as I have had enough lately of the cruelty of humans. Eventually I opened it anyway, and my spirits sank as I considered what this man had done.

Some will say it was just an owl. I say, it was a living, sentient being. Now, we humans as a species, whatever we may have been in the past, are at the end of the food chain. We are the predators par excellence, at least as predatory as the strange beast in the film “Predator.” We are accustomed to eating other animals virtually every day. Humans consider themselves special, especially Christians, but others as well. Anything non-human is essentially of no import, put on the Earth by God (pick one, any one) for us to do with as we please.

I cannot and will not argue with the apparent scheme of things, however it may have arisen. There is a natural order of things. There is indeed a food chain. Unacknowledged is the simple truth that the terminal elements in this chain are not large predators, but rather vanishingly small microbes. But humans are the creatures that routinely kill gratuitously, or what amounts to the same thing, for trivial and indulgent reasons. Surely, we are an evolutionary blind alley. Or perhaps we are the Apocalypse, those beings that will bring the world to an end. Ridiculous, you say? Hear me out, and then believe what you will, but hear me out.

In the same batch of email I learned that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has declared the Eastern Mountain Lion extinct. This may be so, but my neighbor a few miles down the road and a little further into the wild claims to have seen catamounts at the edge of her farm. The chief result of this declaration from the Fish and Wildlife Service is that the big cats have been removed from the Endangered Species List. How one can remove something that supposedly doesn’t exist from a list of presumably extant creatures tests my sense of logic to the extreme. One might suppose this “Service” exists at least in part to protect wild species. The more operative function is to serve the needs of ranchers, “sportsmen,” and hunters. In the American West, all predators capable of taking animals large enough to be of monetary interest are, if you’ll pardon the expression, fair game. In the twenty first century, follow the money.

It has been a recurring theme in these blog posts that in modern society, money trumps everything. Well, more accurately, money and power. The urge to accumulate more things seems endemic to human societies all around the world. More later.

1 comment to Owls and Such, Taking the Sunset Limited

  • I must confess I have struck my dog violently in anger. (I have anger management issues). My dad was a violent drunk. He beat my mom, not us kids. Or he would bust things. These are things I experienced third hand at a very young age. We have a friend who killed her mother. Her mother was psychotic and had abused our friend in many ways throughout her childhood. She was so co-dependent still at age 32 that the only release she found was to hit her mother with a hammer. She became our friend when we offered her our home as a half-way house during her re-entry after her release from prison. Many of my prison students are men who did not lead a life of crime, but committed a violent act of rage once in their life that changed everything. Statistically most homicides are committed by people who were not criminals until rage lead them to one tragic act of crime. I think many of the crimes in our society are not committed by individuals. We all share the same place of rage at the base of our brain. When we abuse, betray and provoke a person or a group of people badly enough we share the blame for their reaction, even if they displace their anger against some other person, creature or thing. But we don’t get punished for causing it. We even get to feel confirmed by the additional punishment of our victims for acting out. So I don’t know how to feel about this guy who struck out in angry bad sportsmanship and killed the mascot. Maybe he’s an animal abuser. More likely he is immature and has anger issues. I can identify, though God may care as much for the Owl.

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