Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I'm an idealistic sap

My husband and I took a little trip to Hot Springs yesterday to have a soak, some wine, and dinner. Beautiful day. It was very relaxing.

While we were waiting on our meal, a couple of local guys came in talking about some beavers that they had trapped. We were invited to go take a gander at the bodies in the rear of his pick-up truck. My husband asked which of the guys killed them and one of them responded that "they drowned".

I find that so upsetting. I'd rather hear that the beavers had been shot. I mean, you're a beaver, and water is your thing; almost a part of you, and suddenly you find yourself inexplicably drowning in it despite your strength and agility.

We peered over the edge of the truck in the dusk and saw our first up-close beavers (no sniggering please). One of them was massive; probably about 30 pounds. We got to see the big flat paddle tail, the super sturdy front paws and scoopy claws and the huge chipped teeth. They really were incredible. I hate that there are two quiet beaver homes tonight.

The guys told us that the beavers breed like crazy and are causing trees to fall down along the river on their property nearly every day. This is how they're taking care of it. I can see their concerns, but I just wish that drowning them wasn't the method of eradication.

I ideally wish humans had chosen a path that allowed for equal space for everything on this planet instead of seeing wildlife as something that's in the way or sport.

I have a friend who is a big-time big game hunter. He spends thousand of dollars to travel around the world and mess with critters who are just minding their own business. He then spends thousands of dollars to have them stuffed and shipped home.

He quoted something to me once from a poem? or essay which intimated that hunters are the biggest lovers of nature there are. I guess what he was getting at, is that hunters choose to appreciate wildlife for what it is in it's own habitat, not anthropomorphized or idealized. I guess that's something like what he meant? Two of God's creatures, out in the wild, facing-off, sizing up each other as opponents. Except one has a gun.

I'll never get it. To see something you agree is magnificent and beautiful and wild and occupying it's own habitat and to not want to rest until it's dead.

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