Sunday, December 3, 2017

Nearing the end of a state horror: black bear hunts

Man, n. An animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what he thinks he is as to overlook what he indubitably ought to be. His chief occupation is extermination of other animals and his own species, which, however, multiplies with such insistent rapidity as to infect the whole habitable earth. . . . 
--Ambrose Bierce

There may not be a body count for the bears slaughtered during NJ Gov. Chris Christie’s tenure, but it’s a safe bet that (needlessly) dead black bears number in the thousands, thanks to this (finally) outgoing governor and his (hunting) cronies.  Bad cess to all of them. And fervent hopes that incoming governor Phil Murphy will stick to his pledge of no more bear hunts.

This month has the dubious distinction of marking the last of this term’s bear hunts, as well as the last of Christie – two causes for celebration.  Could the next administration possibly investigate and end the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s slanted stand on bears in New Jersey?

Hunters comprise such a tiny percentage of our population, yet their rabid pursuit of innocent animals is fostered in countless ways and often with peripheral tragedy besides – first, the family dog in New Jersey, then the woman in New York State: both killed by hunters this year.

And that “I thought it was a deer” excuse is insultingly way too little, way too late.

Further, these years of Christie bear hunts have been horribly costly for those fighting to end the hunts.  Person-power, time and financial outlays are only the beginning. Just play back the campaigns, mailings, billboards, protests and court costs involved.  And the meetings, brainstorming sessions, personal confrontations, letters to the editor and phone calls to the governor’s office – all in vain: bears must die and hunters must have their trophies.

2014 State House demo 
Too bad about the great majority of NJ residents who are against bear hunts, as well as the legislators who framed bills to protect both bears and people.
All of which is why the Bear Education and Resource Program ( with the Animal Protection League of NJ (  will sponsor two "Sacred Promise”  Protests this coming week. (Please see specs in the image here.)  For more info about the protests, phone 973-513-3219 or go to;

Remembering Felicette

A reader has shared a sad story about a cat in space.  It happened in 1963 that Felicette, the (unlucky) “Astrocat,” was selected from among 14 felines to stand in for humans on a space flight. Think only about lab animals today, including all of those used to test products ultimately meant for people, and realize that nothing has changed.

The cat came into it when the effects of weightlessness were unknown – so an innocent non-human animal was used to find out.  After a rigorous training program, Felicette took off on a brief flight and returned safely.  She lived for a few months after that, until she was “sadly put to sleep” so that electrodes implanted in her brain could be studied.

“Can you imagine the poor thing going through that space trip alone and feeling so scared and confused?”  the reader asked.  No.  Neither that nor being euthanized afterward for her pains.  (Oh, by the way, thanks for your involuntary suffering and death, disposable sentient creature. Easy come, easy go. . . !)


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  1. OMG, Pat. Never knew the story about the cat. Thanks for educating everyone. Thanks also for spreading the word about bears.

  2. Just hoping tomorrow's turn out is huge; same w/ Saturday's. Thanks for your comment.