Op-Ed: The problems with bear hunting in NH

Published in the Union Leader on September 14, 2020 — IN CELEBRATION of the start of hunting season, Andy Schafermeyer devoted his September 6 “Adventures Afield” column to advertising different ways to hunt black bears. Bear hunting season in New Hampshire began Sept. 1.

Of the various bear hunting methods covered, perhaps the most egregious is hunting with trained dogs, or “hounding.” Hounding, which Andy describes as “sometimes controversial,” involves using packs of dogs to pursue bears until the exhausted animals either seek refuge in a tree or turn to fight the hounds. (Hounding is also dangerous for the dogs, who can be injured or killed.)

Andy states that most of these “treed” bears are released unharmed (presupposing that the stress of being pursued and potentially separated from dependent young causes no harm), because while the bear is trapped overhead, the hunter has time to “pause and observe.” “A sow, especially one with cubs, can be passed over,” he writes, in an apparent appeal to ethics. But self-restraint is optional. Although the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department discourages killing a mother with cubs, it is not illegal.


Our Turn: Management of state’s native fish needs reform

For the Monitor — July 27, 2020

Aug. 1 is Respect for Fish Day, a national day of action to increase appreciation for fish as individuals and essential members of their aquatic ecosystem communities.

Over the past decade a large body of scientific evidence demonstrating that fish are sentient, cognitively complex animals has come forward, and according to the American Veterinary Medical Association fish “should be accorded the same considerations as terrestrial vertebrates in regard to relief from pain.”

Unfortunately, this scientific consensus isn’t reflected in public policy and the welfare and conservation of fish is often neglected. This problem is embodied in the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s management of our state’s wild fish populations, particularly its liberal hatchery stocking program and under-protection of native brook trout.


All Creation Groans

All Creation Groans is about the lives of factory farmed animals.

About the Author

Sr. LUCILLE C. THIBODEAU, p.m., Ph.D., is Writer-in-Residence at Rivier University. A Professor of English, she was President of Rivier from 1997-2001. She earned her Ph.D. from Harvard University in Comparative Literature and is a Fellow of the American Council on Education. A member of the New Hampshire Wildlife Coalition and a board member of Voices of Wildlife in New Hampshire, her current work focuses on ethical, political, and legal issues concerning the treatment of wildlife. She presented the current essay at a conference on the ethics of eating animals at the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics in July 2016.

This article is copyrighted 2017. The author retains the copyright.

Go Veganic… Gardening, That Is!

With northern New England summers being here and gone like a bird at a picked-over blueberry bush, Granite Staters rush outdoors to make the most of the beautiful weather. As more of us have become concerned about where our food comes from, we’ve taken to turning pieces of yard into vegetable gardens.

If you’d like your garden to be clean and cruelty-free (which I’m sure you do) then consider going veganic. Veganic gardening doesn’t use any slaughterhouse byproducts (blood, bone, fish meal, etc) or animal manures. Instead, plant-based nutrients (vegetable compost) and green manure cover crops such as alfalfa are used as the primary growing medium. It may seem like too much trouble at first, but it’s worth the effort for a couple of reasons.

Much of the animal manure available today comes from factory-farmed animals, and research has shown that the pesticide and steroid residues bio-accumulate in the animal’s waste. To spread that on an organic vegetable garden is contrary to common sense. Also, it’s important (and disturbing) to realize that much of the organic produce available at the supermarket are grown in manure that comes from animals that have been fed antibiotics and steroids.

As Ron Khosla, veganic farmer in New Paltz, NY, explains, “Historically -for thousands of years- farmers relied on green manures. No one had cows and chickens and pigs in the cramped concentrations they do now… And the transport of those waste products has only been made possible by use of heavy trucks and cheap oil for transporting it. The Chinese of thousands of years ago, ancient Romans, English (starting in the 1600s), and even the Hudson Valley farmers of the late 1800s all studied, actively wrote about, and relied heavily on what we now call “veganic” techniques.”

To sum up, the only way to know your vegetable garden is 100% “green” is to go veganic. To learn more, check out goveganic.net. Now go and make your garden grow, inch by inch, row by row, with fertile, plant-based ground!