I Only Hurt You Because I Love You

Oh goodie – another one from the files of I Swear I’m Not Making This Up!

Headline in my local paper: Ranks of Hunters Show Signs of Sharp Decline

According to the Associated Press story, “Hunters remain a powerful force in American Society, as evidenced by the presidential candidates who routinely pay them homage, but their ranks are shrinking dramatically, and wildlife agencies worry increasingly about the ______________.”

Can you fill in the blank? My mind went to things like thinning herds, animal population control – the sorts of things a wildlife agency is charged with worrying about, and that hunting has been said to assist with over the years.

The answer? Here’s the end of the quote: “…and wildlife agencies worry increasingly about the loss of sorely needed license-fee revenue.”  The article goes on to say that “Most of the 50 state wildlife agencies rely on hunting and fishing license fees for the bulk of their revenue, and only a handful receive significant infusions from their state’s general fund.”

Now let me get this straight: Can it possibly be that we care so much about those animals that we bemoan there are not more people willing and able to kill them, to raise the money to care for them?

The topic of the book I have been holed away writing is “Why Nonprofits / NGOs Have Not Changed the World and How They Can.”  For months, I have been feverishly writing about what happens when we put greater value on the means than the end results – money over mission. I have been writing about what happens when we rationalize, using situational ethics (“If we don’t focus on money, we won’t be able to afford the mission.”)

And then this amazing gift falls right into my lap!!!!

Here is a quote from a representative of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies: “They’re trying to take care of all wildlife and all habitats on a shoestring budget.”

Hey, I’ve got an idea. If we value having incredible natural environments with a rich abundance of wildlife; if we think that is an asset we might want to, as a nation and a planet, cherish for posterity, so our grandchildren and their grandchildren will also have incredible natural environments to nurture their souls – what if we were to aim our policies at THAT?

I am tired of being told the only way for me to get good healthcare is to get bad healthcare (and go broke trying to get it.) I am tired of being told the only way for us to have peace is to have war. Now I can be equally tired of being told the only way we can have an abundance of wild creatures is to kill them.

Hey lawmakers – please, oh please, stop rationalizing the higher value you place on means over ends, and start aiming higher. Personally, I have higher expectations for what my country (and my planet) can be. Why don’t you?

Click here for 11 Ways to Focus on Ends Over Means

Photo credit: US Fish & Wildlife Digital Library

2 Responses to I Only Hurt You Because I Love You

  1. I can relate to this topic very well. I live in Northern Quebec, Canada and hunting is a very big deal, socially and economically. Hunting has been experiencing a downward spiral over past years and the tourism industry is bending over backwards encouraging American hunters (due to proximity) to remember the glory years of trophy hunts (glossing over the waste and ecological conundrums some hunters, from everywhere on the planet including here, leave behind) to bring in new money.

    I am very glad however, that at the regional level, collaborations with First Nations communities and the Hunting and Fishing Associations, are aimed at managing wildlife populations and that provincial quota policy is adapted yearly to these preoccupations. It isn’t perfect as a system but it does demonstrate a preoccupation with wildlife diversity and territorial sustainability as well as integrating traditional subsistence lifestyle preoccupations and`modern` outdoor sporting activities.

    This remote region constantly explains away community service paralysis due to budget cuts, conveniently forgetting that those same service providers were originally run by volunteers with whatever funds they had raised before government intervention sucked away community initiative.

    In an effort to create jobs in the past, government has looked to the non-profit sector and found many areas to replace volunteers with subsidized employees. Since what goes up eventually goes down, there are no longer any funds for these artificially created positions.

    Today’s challenge is encouraging the larger community to involve itself again in the funding and provision of the services that make for a vibrant, healthy community. Revitalising the community, what a grand adventure :)!

  2. It is indeed a grand adventure, Jo-Ann! And what more noble a goal? Thanks for sharing yet another example. HG