Letter to the Editor: Time for a more humane squirrel hunting season

Letter to the Editor
Union Leader
August 25, 2020

Time for a more humane squirrel hunting season

New Hampshire Fish and Game is promoting the start of small game season on September 1st. That includes gray squirrels. What the department neglects to mention is that this is the time — as well for the second wave — of gray squirrel births this year.

Gray squirrel mothers are devoted and caring. If something happens to her, the babies will starve to death. Also, the babies can get fly larvae on them and the mother is not there to groom and keep that danger off. She is also not there to prevent other adult squirrels from entering the nest. When hunters kill mother squirrels, all of that happens. That is a fact.

I petitioned last year to change the date of the season to a later time so that the babies could at least fend for themselves if their mother was killed by hunters. I used the evidence of wildlife rehabbers saying they had dependent babies even coming to them still in October. The reply from Fish and Game was a flat denial and they cited some useless study from another state that was decades old.

I leave you with the words of a hunter that stopped hunting squirrels after an epiphany. He shot a squirrel’s head off, but the body was still there hanging on by the back legs and dangling. He shot the body again to get her down, looked at the squirrel on the ground and asked himself, “Now, why am I doing this?” Why indeed.

KRISTINA SNYDER
Chester

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

By LINDA DIONNE, JAMES GLOVER, JACK HURLEY and SHIMON SHUCHAT
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.

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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!