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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Animal Rights

             I just finished skinning my Uncle's bobcat.  What a gorgeous animal!  It took me 4 and 1/2 hours and my skinning around the face was flawless.  Couldn't have done better!  I didn't even pop a claw.  I should mention that I was fighting wasps and filth flies, mostly yellow jackets. 
            As soon as the cat began to thaw out the wasps began to arrive. I watched the first one with great amazement as it chewed out a chunk of flesh with it's jaws and then carried it off to it's nest.  I probably shouldn't have let it fly away because it brought the whole nest back with it half an hour later.  There were probably...oh, forty wasps attacking that cat by the time I was ready to bury the carcass.  Notice this post isn't illustrated.  I'd hate to be accused of disturbing images.  Yeah, it is gross.  I don't really want to post pictures of skinned animals anyway. 

          So before I could even salt the hide I had wasps landing on my shirt, my hair, one crawling on my arm, one crawling up my leg, and twenty others flying around and trying to get to the skin.  The one crawling up my leg was harmless because I had separated it from it's stinger with the skinning knife and dispatched twelve others who bit my latex glove whenever my hand got in their way.  "Hey, guys,- back off!"  I told them.  "It's my carcass. You can have it when I'm done."   Within those four hours they probably carried off about twelve ounces of flesh- not a bad amount for forty little wasps. 

          One term I run across every time I go surfing for taxidermy supplies and tips is this one:  Animal Rights.  "They have as much right to live and eat as we do.  After all, they were on planet earth for billions of years before we were!"  
         "If you say so."
       As far as Animal Rights go, Animals have all the same right we humans do and I can prove it.  They live in climate controlled houses, are fed three regular meals a day, and even have companionship.  They all receive paid medical care and they even have special little cemeteries just for their kind.  Alot of animals work for their keep, especially in other countries.  In America, alot of Animals are on welfare.  You probably own one or two.  I own a cockatiel who has been on welfare for 15 years of his happy little life.  He doesn't cost alot to upkeep though.  

       If Animal Rights extended so far that animals were eligible for some new-age Mammal social-security number and if one was murdered by a homo-sapien  the homo-sapien could face capital punishment we'd all be living on a diet of vegetables and our brain cells would be starving from lack of animal fat.  If this were life in the late 21st Century there would be daycares for the next generations of all those little critters who were destined for the slaughterhouse.  We, the humans, would be serving the animals. 

         And yes, slaughter yards can be inhumane and the animals can be unhealthy, but if Animals had equal rights with humans, we would be servant to them.  And you can't make their rights equal with wild animal rights.  After all, that butcher hog lived in a pen all his life.  Bambi got to roam a hundred acres for at least two years of his life  and eat whatever he wanted before he became a seasoned supper.   

       So- Animal Rights... what about insect rights?  Or...Rodent's Rights?  We termite treat out houses, and set up traps for rodents.  We exterminate all kinds of ...pests.  But rats show a great deal more intelligence than the neighbor's Maltese which runs into the street everytime a truck is coming.  Where would it stop? 

        I think those country rats and termites that consume pines in National parks have a far better life than any Animal Rights activist.  Maybe I should do a study of how smog on the brain can affect reasoning. 

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