The environmental movement is predominantly liberal, which means its thought process works backward. They start at the end with a wishful thought—“Don’t make this animal sad”—then promptly moonwalk off a cliff.
In San Francisco right now, PETA is fighting the awkwardly named Wonderful Opportunities for Occupants and Fidos (WOOF). The WOOF program pairs unwanted pets with homeless people in a desperate attempt to cheer up both. PETA, possibly acknowledging that most bums are wasted crazy people who can barely take care of themselves, has offered $10,000 to euthanize the WOOF program. PETA can afford to make such offers because they take in about $35 million a year. They can also afford to kill. PETA euthanizes 96% of the animals they takes in and last year they were reportedly only able to find homes for 24 pets.
Leftists don’t start at the beginning with the hand they’re dealt. They start at the end with a Royal Flush and when it doesn’t work out, they draw “10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace” on their cards with a Sharpie. WOOF may not be ideal but it’s the lesser of two evils. Even if the homeless person ate his new pet, both sides are better off.
Have you noticed how many socialist solutions involve death? Communism wiped out a good 100 million people in the name of mandatory happiness. The green movement opposes overpopulation and therefore discourages breeding. Euthanasia is one of their holy sacraments. They think aborting a baby should be as easy as taking out the trash, and they’d rather put a dog down than see it hang out with a hobo.
As PETA battles WOOF in the Southwest, here in the Northeast we have the Audubon Society fighting farmers. Like PETA, the bird lovers have started with a conclusion. They see grassland birds such as the meadowlark get chewed up by hay mowers twice a summer and find this situation morally unacceptable. They’ve decided to restrict the farmers and prevent them from mowing. This has become law in many small towns, but this backward thinking ends up exacerbating the problem. The reason grassland birds are there in the first place is because they thrive on farmland. These birds don’t do well in forests and without clearing, you can’t have clearings. And by restricting farmers from mowing hay, you are forcing them to switch to corn. We no longer have to worry about destroying the eggs because no eggs are being laid.
I know some bird nerds outside of my hometown of Ottawa, and one of them tells me he’s pulling his hair out trying to convince his fellow conservationists they are going down the wrong road. “You can’t tell farmers what to do even when you’re right,” he told me over the phone, “and in this case, we’re wrong.” His take was that his fellow volunteers are simply out of touch with the nature they adore. He said many of them are cat lovers who have no idea of the devastation their pet wreaks on the bird population. I was reminded of the Michael Pollan article “An Animal’s Place”:
The grain that the vegan eats is harvested with a combine that shreds field mice, while the farmer’s tractor crushes woodchucks in their burrows, and his pesticides drop songbirds from the sky.
If you really want to save an animal, stop trying to save it. While elephants are facing extinction all over Africa, Zimbabwe allowed elephants to be bought and sold in the free market. The result was a population boom drastically different from that in any other African country. I don’t think Mugabe is a libertarian. I believe that like Pinochet, he simply let the invisible hand solve the problem because his hands were busy strangling people. But whether dictators stumble into economic liberty or it happens democratically, the point is that meddling makes problems worse. Nature is no exception.
When cane toads were introduced into Australia to curb the cane beetle population, they took over the entire continent. After a Shakespeare fan thought it would be cute to bring British starlings to Central Park, this ruthless species is now bullying other birds out of their nests across North America.
Environmentalists squirm when they imagine hunters shooting an arrow into a deer’s tits, but hunters do a hell of a lot more to preserve nature than tree-huggers do. Trying to help out Mother Nature often does more harm than good. Leave her alone. Oh, and while you’re at it, leave the rest of us alone, too.
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