Letters to the Editor

Sad display

February 12, 2009


To the editor:

With regard to the Tonganoxie squirrel hunt story in the Feb. 6 edition of the paper, I must ask: So some people see killing 2,000 or more squirrels in a single day as good, old-fashioned fun? And not just any squirrels either, but the heaviest and healthiest, those best able to survive and keep the genes of the species healthy? So this is how some of us introduce our children to nature and ecology now?

No wonder the natural world is in trouble, let alone the state of humanity. Compassion begets compassion, and cruelty grows as you feed it. Yes, cruelty. It is cruel to harm something weaker than yourself simply because you can. It is cruel to kill something simply for your own pleasure.

There are those of us sickened by this “hunt” because of how it affects the animals alone. We feel that their lives and place on the planet are important and should be respected, but I realize some people only care about human life and are not troubled by this unnecessary slaughter. To them I just say, remember that contempt for the life of a vulnerable animal can quite easily lead to contempt for the welfare of weaker humans.

As Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” The people who participated in this bit of cruelty in Tonganoxie on Saturday made us all poorer in spirit.

Adonia David,


storm 9 years, 4 months ago

Hunting dogs can type. Down, boy, down.

crow 9 years, 4 months ago

To DGCountyScks - I think something to consider on this letter -necessary hunts for food or population control are one thing. The squirrel hunt as presented in the paper sounded more like it was for fun - a good way to hang out with the kids and have them enjoy nature. One thought for you - most people have big enough hearts they can care for animals and people. I think that is what the Ghandi quote means - if people care for the animals, they care for the people. Most people who get on animal lovers are doing nothing to help. Most people who help animals help people too that I've known. Are you helping anyone or anything right now yourself?

Jason Bailey 9 years, 4 months ago

Adonia: Have you ever swatted a fly buzzing around your home? How about sprayed a nest of wasps that have setup shop next to your garage door? Ever set traps for mice that are rummaging around in your pantry?

If you're going to apply this "holier than thou" logic to some hunters all in the name of respecting animals and their place in the world, you have to apply it to yourself across the board. Something tells me there's a hypocrite writing this LTE.

salad 9 years, 4 months ago

A group hunt for sport is pretty inconsistent with "real" hunting. It's a pointless exercise in barbarism, much like english fox hunting and the rattle snake roundup. Real hunters are all in favor of protecting the environment, love the outdoors, kill only what they need, and use what they kill. The best hunters don't need a gun either: bow, spear, knife, or bare hands. Acme of skill.

"The more humans we save the beter the planet and world as a whole is." Clearly this is as flawed as logic comes. Sorry pal, go sell your "crazy" some place else, we're all stocked up here.

crow 9 years, 4 months ago

Has anyone heard of vegetarians or vegans here? Some people actually don't use animal products - or try very hard not to.

Maddy Griffin 9 years, 4 months ago

I understand the use of guns in controlling animal populations. Understand it, but don't necessarily agree with it. I just don't understand how hunting is a sport. To me it's like a Super Bowl game where one team has all the protective gear AND the ball while the other team is just there. There's nothing sporting about it. Let's level the playing field a little. No more hunting licenses issued for guns, only bows and arrows. It's not really a sport when you sit in a tree all day waiting for some poor defenseless animal to walk into your sight. This world belongs to all God's creatures and we would be well served by making adjustments for them instead of forcing them to adjust to ours.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 4 months ago

I saw the headline & thought this was about Pelosi & Reid. Never mind.

Kyle Reed 9 years, 4 months ago

Hey look, is that a dead horse? Quick! Grab my stick!

Bullwinkle 9 years, 4 months ago

the squirrel scramble is a fun activity for kids who are old enough to shoot a .22, but we need something for the littler ones. how about a wingless fly competition for preschoolers? it could be scheduled during the summer to cut down on the fly population. the boys and girls who pull the most wings off flies win. those little bugs are so funny when they have to walk. it would be great!

disgustedagain 9 years, 4 months ago

"Millions dying in Africa because misguided 'environmentalists' banned DDT. And you people are worried about a few squirrels? Sheesh. Get a life."

what, we are only supposed to concern ourselves with other countries, "big" moral issues and humans? seems like parents ought to be teaching respect for life in any form, regardless of location (why do you people always reference africa or asia as monolithic?) or species (only humans are important I guess?).

what is it with squirrels? so many people treat them like cockroaches. i guess familiarity and quantity breeds contempt. i find hunting squirrels for fun thoroughly disgusting. the behavior of the human species is often pretty disgusting.

Elmer_Fudd 9 years, 4 months ago

Adonia Dawling,

Does this mean you won't be joining me fo a womantic meal of woast squiwwel with cawwots, followed by wed wosey wine on squiwwel skin wugs by the fiah?

I will be all alone this Valentine's. You've made me a vewy vewy sad man. Thank heavens I've got intewnet pown.

Linda Aikins 9 years, 4 months ago

I'm widin' in your caw, you tuwn on the wadio You're puwwin' me cwose, I just say no I say I don't wike it, but you know I'm a wiar 'Cause when we kiss, ooh, fiwa

Happy Valentine's Day Elmer!

Hoots 9 years, 4 months ago

I don't see nearly as many squirrel's as I did as a kid. I have to wonder why we are killing so many when fewer are around. I'm not against hunting but this event troubled me.

Hoots 9 years, 4 months ago

It's not hard to notice something missing. If I haven't seen some of my friends in weeks I know it. It's called the power of observation. Taking 2000 squirrels at one time seems excessive. Do you sit down and eat 50 candy bars all in one sitting? I don't have a problem with hunting. I realize it is needed to keep disease at bay and to keep balance in some animal populations. I like a good piece of Deer now and then.

gogoplata 9 years, 4 months ago

Somebody kill this discussion please. I think we can all agree that would be the humande thing to do.


notajayhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

Squirrels are rodents, and from what I understand overpopulated in the area where this took place. Would you rather they starved to death? And do you get upset when a mouse or rat dies in a trap in your attic?

WhiteDog 9 years, 4 months ago

I've really never understood the arguments that it's good family fun to hunt, and that those who oppose the hunt are hypocrites if they eat meat or use other animal products.

Does this mean that you all take your kids to the slaughterhouse on the weekends for a fun family outing?

It amazes me just how steeped in violence some are that they can't see how over-the-top this is. This isn't teaching your kid how to hunt for meat, this is animal slaughter for fun. Very, very different things.

1029 9 years, 4 months ago

I'm sure at least a couple of those squirrel huntin' young'ins will grow up to rape and/or mutilate animals in addition to whatever other psychological disorders they develop because their backwards family encouraged squirrel huntin' as a fun old family tradition.

I don't know what's worse: if the young hunter just throws his sack of squirrels out with the garbage or if his momma turns them into stew and school clothes. On one hand, at least they ate the animals, which is what hunting is supposed to be about. On the other hand, the already-present trashiness of the family sinks to a new low because they just had squirrel stew for dinner. Oh, well, poor kids....

yankeelady 9 years, 4 months ago

I don't have anything against hunting, I just don't think this qualifies. And I really have a problem with the earlier statement about being out with the kids and enjoying nature. Why kill it to enjoy it? Even if it is "just squirrels."

atdavid 9 years, 4 months ago

I wrote the letter - I wasn't planning on posting here as I didn't want to start a back and forth or anything, so I promise I won't post again here - but there's one thing I wanted to clear up just because it was such a common misconception about me and seemed to inform a lot of posts - I am actually a vegetarian, bordering on vegan. I try very hard not to wear animal products and am working on cutting dairy out of my diet - I do actually hate the meat aisle of the store - yes, farm animals have it bad bad. I go out of my way not to kill creatures that invade my home - I try very hard to catch them and release them - yes, even the flies. And I'd never kill a mouse or rat - I have pet rats actually and they're wonderful little things. I have many many faults, but in this one instance I'm not quite the hypocrite people assumed I am - although I'm far from perfect too.

But even if this were not the case and I was a total hypocrite, someone - I think it was Andrew Livey? - wrote once about this sort of thing that it is better to be compassionate sometimes than never. I think that's true - if we do the best we can with our knowledge and resources, it grows. No need to refuse to try to live more compassionately just because you aren't doing it perfectly.

Anyway - thanks for the patience of reading my defense of that one aspect of myself. I appreciate it.

I wish you all the best.


bluecollar2 9 years, 4 months ago

I can't believe this is even a discussion.

Are you people picturing little rodents sleeping on the branches? Taking a nap during the "big kill"? I don't know about the squirrels in your trees, but the ones in mine are in constant motion! That is why we call HYPER PEOPLE --SQUIRRELS!!!!

There are thousands more, in a 20 mile area, where those 2000 came from. Is it sick and warped that the children are taught to do such a thing? Not at all. These kids will be the ones some of you will turn to if that one book is true. You know the one, it says something to the effect of a days wages for a loaf of bread. Seems that this world is heading in that direction at a high rate of speed!

Not to mention, if you can shoot something that small, moving that speed through the trees, you just might be able to kill the 200 pound thug that just broke into your grandma's house as you are visiting her.

Besides, your just jealous that you'll never know how good a tree rat taste in the ol' pressure cooker. Peace to mankind, eat the animal!

bluecollar2 9 years, 4 months ago

Oh, and concidering some of the minds I'm dealing with, I guess I need to correct my last statement.

Peace to mankind, eat the 4 legged critters, and the 2 legged fowl!

farva 9 years, 4 months ago

I guarantee 2000 squirrels were not shot. I thought I read that 138 teams entered @ people per team=276 people. Statewide law limits each hunter to 5 squirrels/day. 276x5=1380. For anyone who has ever hunted squirrels, if you can shoot 2-3 per day you're doing good. Wild squirrels are not tame like city bird-feeder squirrels. So 276 people times an average of 2.5 squirrels/hunter equals 690. That is 690 squirrels harvested over a huge region...anywhere is KS and MO was legal for this event. Regardless if they were signed up or not, they probably would have been out hunting on their own. If anyone has ever spent time in the woods, stopped and remained quiet, you'd see how many squirrels are around. They just hide as soon as they hear anything move! There's probably close to 1,000 animals PER SQUARE MILE (pure estimate) in many areas in NE KS. PLUS squirrels are prolific breeders with multiple breedings/year. They aren't in threat!

The author needs to take a basic biology class. "And not just any squirrels either, but the heaviest and healthiest, those best able to survive and keep the genes of the species healthy?" This is the exact OPPOSITE of everything science has ever proved!

Nothing more annoying than liberal junkies making an uproar over something they aren't even educated over!

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