Talk Back: Eyes on Alaska and Hawaii

By on April 15, 2010 with 0 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

When you caught wind of a resolution to recognize cockfighting as a “cultural activity” in Hawaii, you were rightly outraged. Though the resolution unbelievably passed the House Committee on Tourism, Culture and International Affairs in late March, with a group of four lawmakers doing the bidding of the state’s cockfighting lawbreakers, the House of Representatives wisely responded by killing the bill the next day. Among your comments:

I find it incredible this man [Lloyd Marshall] has support in this criminal act of cruelty. Why is it that people who hide behind the excuse of culture enjoy seeing other innocents suffer for fun? Disgusting attitudes and I sincerely hope the Judiciary Committee has compassionate people to make the right decision. —Nancy Ball

Throughout history, there have been many horrible actions performed by societies that were considered to be part of their culture. In an enlightened society, we recognize that they're just plain wrong. Cockfighting may be part of a past culture, but now thinking people recognize this activity as brutal and cruel. —Sally Daggett

This is ridiculous. Especially the [man] who compares this to Japanese Bon Dancing. Being both Japanese and from Hawaii, I find this comment insulting. I am sure that if the Japanese Bon Dancers tied knives to their feet and kicked each other until their guts fell out (as in cockfighting), this too would be banned. —Dean Tomihama

Cockfighting is no different than dogfighting or any other type of conflict among animals encouraged by people for "entertainment" purposes. Call it whatever you want. It's animal abuse and should be outlawed. —BJ Wilt

When the animal rights bill was presented to the Virgin Islands legislature, they told the presenters to take cockfighting off the table because cockfighting is a cultural thing here and the bill would not pass with it in it. Disgusting, but true. So cockfighting is legal here! Please help stop this! —Cordelia Jones

Alaska was also on the humane radar. Among your responses to my blog about the state resuming its aerial wolf hunting program, killing off large numbers of wolves to inflate caribou and moose populations for sport hunting enthusiasts:

Wayne, I can't think of a more sickening oxymoron than "wildlife management." How wild are creatures that have to be managed? Treating ostensibly wild herds of caribou as profit producing livestock without regard to the natural life forces that govern the survivability of creatures and their habitat, not to mention the damage caused by human ingress, is absurd, selfish, and lacks any foundation of ethics. Killing for pleasure and vanity should not be sanctioned by a moral and progressive society. We have bigger fish to fry, if you'll pardon my metaphor. —Arden Allen

Ghandi said it and it can't be paraphrased enough. The moral character of a nation is in how it treats its animals. We get a "F"! We humans think we have the right to slaughter these beautiful creatures and call it "sport"! We will be judged for our actions and shame on the state of Alaska. —Lois Silvanovich

I will definitely be calling my elected officials and asking them to back H.R. 3381 [the Protect America’s Wildlife Act]. Thank you for defending the wolves and a healthy, natural ecology that doesn't cater to a human bureaucracy. —Susanne Coutts

This is absolutely one of the cruelest and most barbaric practices I have ever known. Videos of this hunt reveal many wolves are not killed immediately but suffer from severe and painful wounds until they die. How anyone can condone this is beyond my understanding. Unfortunately, the senators from my state have proved to be unsympathetic to my concerns on any wildlife issues. Therefore, they will not get my vote for reelection and I will do everything in my power as an individual to encourage their removal from office. I will, however, sign any petition and express my distaste in this hunt and have donated to the cause to stop this inhumane and cruel practice. —Theresa Strunk

What appalls me the most is that scientists/biologists worked hard to reintroduce the species into our national ecosystems. They tracked, followed and recorded the packs and their behaviors. Then the government opens fire on them. It makes no sense! —MA Moore

This war against wolves has gotten even worse since these wonderful animals were removed from the endangered species list. Despite the fact that they cause very little trouble for people the bloodthirsty villain stereotype still stands strong. … Wolves have been decimated from most of their range worldwide. They are hunted for simply trying to live the only way they can. If killing to survive makes them evil monsters then what does that make us? Wolves keep vegetation healthy and varied by hunting ungulates that strip plants bare and provide food for many other scavenging species. In these atrocious Alaskan wolf hunts pups in the den will either starve or be shot themselves after their parents are run to exhaustion and littered with bullets. It is time that we move on past the fairytale stereotypes into the modern age and give wolves the respect and protection that they truly deserve. We have become the monsters in this story and wolves the defenseless victims. —Anna C.

Although many groups are trying, there seems NO way to stop the wolf killing in Alaska. Perhaps all the groups that help wolves should combine their might and work one huge campaign. I would like to see it stopped in my lifetime! —Eloise Lanum

Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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