Sunday, September 25, 2005

Random quasi-related ramblings

There's a little bit of excitement on my normally quiet country road tonight. A couple of police cars are stopped down the road, flashers a-flashing. Someone hit a deer. That's the second time this year that it has happened on this stretch of the road. As my road has become busier and busier, I doubt that it will be the last such incident. It appears that only the deer has been injured. I believe that the wolves at Thompson Park Zoo will be dining on venison tomorrow.

The people involved can consider themselves fortunate. According to this article, there are more than 1.5 million crashes involving deer every year, resulting in over 10,000 human injuries and 150 deaths. I heard somewhere - NPR perhaps - that there are more car versus deer-related deaths every year than there are deaths due to sharks, snakes, dogs and bears combined.

Which leads me to my first rant. My friend Christi is in the process of finding a new hairdresser. (Don't get whiplash, I will get to my point directly.) At her last appointment, Christi encountered a most unpleasant aroma in the home/salon of her stylist. "Don't mind the smell," said the lady with the scissors. "My husband is tanning some coyote hides right now." Umm, that's the last thing you want to say to a vegetarian if you wish to keep her business. It seems that it is literally open season on coyotes in New York state, with no limit on the number which can be killed by anyone with a license and a firearm. Given the problems we already face with an overpopulation of deer, it seems rather stupid to kill off their natural predators, no? Why the f@#k does anyone need to go out and kill scores of coyotes? So they can get a whopping two bucks for each hide? Who the hell wears fur these days anyway? Don't give me that crap about it being c-c-cold in upstate NY. Buy a Columbia parka and let the coyotes keep their own fur coats.

Next rant: people who don't put their children into proper car seats. A few weeks ago, my son and I were invited to a lovely dinner at our friends' house, about a mile up the road from us. Another family was also there. Amongst the topics discussed that evening was food safety. The other mom proclaimed, "my children are forbidden to eat raw cookie dough. I know too much. I can't risk their getting salmonella." A valid point, to be sure. Now, I rarely make cookies, but William is allowed to lick the beaters on those rare occasions that they are used. Miraculously, he has survived these certain brushes with doughy death. This same security mom was gobsmacked when, at the end of the evening, William hopped up into his booster seat and I buckled him in. "But, you're only going a mile!" she marvelled. "It's so strange to put him in the back seat when you're only going a mile!" Mmmm-hmmmm - no cookie dough for your kids, but travelling unsecured at 55 mph on an unlit deer-laden road is okay with you. Riiiiiight.


aecullin said...

You grew up and survived not being properly restrained in a vehicle. As a metter of fact you survived two minor car accidents. Never the less I agree with you.

Yes coyotes are natural predators for deer. However they also predate on sheep and calves. Therefore farmers have no love for them.

Rose said...

Yes, Dad, but the instant that Ontario made seat belts mandatory, no one in any of our vehicles rode unrestrained. Ever. I've even reached for a seatbelt when I've sat down in the dentist's chair. That's how deeply ingrained the habit is.

Jenny E said...

Coyotes: here in New Mexico, we don't need a license to shoot coyotes. We shoot them if we EVER see them, because, like aecullin said, they are predators to calves. They are predators to DOGS. I have, with my own eyes, watched as one coyote came right up to my house so that the dog would see him, give chase, and then as soon as they got out to the pasture, 4 other coyotes jumped my dog! Needless to say, I got the rifle out and managed to get two of them and my dog was uninjured.

When cows are a good chunk of your income, you do anything to protect them.

We like to shoot the coyotes, then drape the bodies over the barb wire fence, as a warning to the other coyotes, LOL! (or to show off how good our aim is, unsure which actually wins).

Rose said...

There is undoubtedly a time to kill coyotes, and protecting livestock is a legitimate use of ammunition. But that is vastly different from killing scores of coyotes simply for the thrill or bloodlust of it.

unixlinux said...

Nice blog. Check out my cat art blog.