I'm all for open, honest discourse, and I can always appreciate a respectful argument even when I disagree. I understand that there will always be people who just can't understand trapping or appreciate why we do it. That said, nothing makes my blood boil more than lies told openly to poison the public and prop up a weak political agenda. Take for example the "Born Free USA" website (I'm not going to provide them the dignity of a link, but they can be found with a Google search). I was not even aware of this organization until recently, but this characterization of trapping on their website made my jaw drop:
"Once an animal is caught she may remain in the trap for several days before starving or slowly strangling to death. If the animal is still alive when the trapper comes to check the trap she will be beaten over the head or shot. In addition to the desired animals, trappers also catch non-target animals, called "trash." Non-target animals include deer, birds, squirrels, endangered species, cats, and dogs."
First of all, is every animal caught a female? Why use "she" when the masculine pronoun has always been the accepted generic reference in the English language? I know why. It's because....oh, never mind. What about animals in traps for several days? I guess they have no clue about mandatory check periods. I have never come upon a "starved" animal in any of my traps when checking them daily, which I must do by law. And really, do trappers want to starve animals? I'm sure that would make their pelts look great. And, according to this article, if starving doesn't work then the next best thing is to beat or shoot the animal. What world do these people live in? I'm sure it is a sanitized suburban existence wherein the thought never crossed their minds that mankind (excuse me, womankind) has always relied on harvesting animals for our sustenance. They make it sound like a newly invented, twisted pastime to go out and "beat and shoot" animals. And "trash" animals! I have been around many trappers and I don't ever remember one of them calling their non-targets "trash." Is there some secret trapper's slang dictionary that these people got hold of? Ah yes, and finally, the DEER that always get caught in my raccoon sets! Those trashy deer! So, imagine this: according to this article it seems to be a regular occurrence that female deer get caught in foothold traps and are left to starve!
These people need to be answered. Write them (I did) and tell them how misinformed they are, and therefore how ridiculous they sound. It might not do much good but at least they will know there are some people out there who will hold them to account for their misinformation. More importantly, join the National Trappers Association and your state organization to help defend trapper's rights. Also, get this video out to all of your friends on the internet:
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