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Letter: Speciesism on display

The photograph on the front page of the Jan. 24 Recorder was sad and disturbing. It shows a hunter placing decoys in a field with a caption that he was luring “some birds down for a shot.” Would The Recorder run a photo of the entrapment of humans in order to kill them without any indication of its importance? I doubt it. So, what accounts for this discrepancy?

I suggest the answer lies with speciesism, the self-declared superiority of humans resulting in the objectification, exploitation and killing of members of other species. Such prejudice, mistakenly accepted as fact, is slowly dissolving as our culture realizes that animals feel, think and have families and friends. In fact, one of the reasons geese land to join others on the ground is that they are social and loyal beings.

Geese choose a mate when they are about 3 and stay monogamous for life, raising a new family each year. If one dies, the other waits several years before choosing another or stays single. When a goose becomes sick or wounded, others drop out of formation to help. So when a hunter takes a shot, he is inflicting death on an individual, suffering on the part of his or her partner, and disrupting the flock itself.

Humans need to re-examine their prejudice and sense of entitlement toward animals, which make killing them so acceptable, so routine, that it can be presented as such on the front page of our local newspaper.

As George Bernard Shaw said, “The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them.” If we replace indifference with care, we can stop destroying ourselves and all the other magnificent beings sharing this planet with us.

MARIAN KELNER

Greenfield

Thank you for this important reflection drawing out human indifference to animal suffering and standing against the objectification of sentient life.

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