World Woes Won't Change Until We Strike At The Roots

It's the 21st year of the 21st century. Time to reconcile that there can be no social justice or human rights without animal rights. When we choose to treat other beings with less than the right to exist for their own sake, we forfeit our own rights. This is not merely a call to veganism, though that would constitute a demonstrably huge step in the right direction. It is an awakening. A consciousness that informs, that is the bedrock of, ALL social justice. Until we can look into the eyes of other beings, great and small, from elephants and whales to ants and spiders, and honestly, humbly see ourselves looking back at us, we cannot call ourselves religious, empathetic or godly. It is impossible to love God while cherry-picking for whom we have mercy. When we witness tax funded police absolved of murdering and terrorizing people of color and feel outrage, we should also feel pain and grief for all the imprisoned, shackled, lynched, slain, impaled, hunted, chased-down, commodified and profited-off-of other beings.

I recently read the true story of "Blossom The Wild Ambassador of Tewksbury." Blossom, a dying fawn rescued by a suburban New Jersey woman, whose story was featured in the Hidden Life of Deer Nat Geo documentary a few years ago, showed the world that deer are every bit as loyal, protective, affectionate and emotional as any human, or dog. You wouldn't think it's ok to shoot a dog with an arrow, right? Blossom protected her human Mom from hateful hunters when the two were caught unawares in Blossom's bedding down area. Blossom chewed a huge piece of wood off an archer's arrow sticking out of her suffering buck friend, Boomer. And she cried out in grief when Boomer, who wore the unmistakable collar and adornments of a tame deer, was slaughtered by a dominion-crazed sociopath who thought it'd be funny to place his blood-soaked collar in the mailbox of the compassionate human who twice rescued Boomer.

Perhaps if we heard their screams, we would think and feel differently about these excruciatingly sensitive creatures whose lives -- through hunting and wildlife "management" propaganda we buy into them as "nuisances" -- and not DARE have blithely voted in 2016 to allow bow hunting in our communities, or tolerate mass slaughter in OUR taxpayer-funded parks. We would do well to watch and learn from deer. And not just because their matriarchal social order works for the whole herd. For so long, I tried showing, via statistics, public records, metadata, science, and exposing the grotesque underbelly of the unholy alliance of game agencies, park systems, politicians and so-called conservation groups, that lethal measures aren't just cruel but don't actually reduce deer populations the way haters demand and hunters claim. But I did not get through.  What will?

Currently, the Metroparks is being pressured to use a humane, protein-based chemical birth control vaccine on deer instead of sharpshooting hundreds annually. Will they? Let us not expect social justice for humans without consciously advocating for the rights of all beings first. Let's begin with deer. They are SO misunderstood and persecuted. Make 2021 the year when we really turn everything around for all of us.

Lucy McKernan

Animals first

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Volume 13, Issue 2, Posted 8:52 AM, 02.01.2021