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Time to exterminate Grey Squirrels

category national | environment | opinion/analysis author Friday January 20, 2012 11:36author by Red Squirrel Report this post to the editors

Dwindling Red Squirrel population

Surely now the time is right for the removal of the grey squirrel from this island, our native red squirrel numbers are dropping at an alarming rate due to pressure from the more aggressive Grey Squirrel.

The bounty of 3euros per Grey Squirrel killed offered recently may keep their numbers in check but in effect should we be looking at a much wider approach with a national culling of this species in Ireland to allow the natural red to regain its numbers and become dominat species on these lands again.

Now to add to the red populations missery is the threat of disease from the invaders.

Related Link: http://www.rte.ie/news/av/2012/0119/media-3172866.html#
author by MadamCpublication date Fri Jan 20, 2012 14:09Report this post to the editors

Your article doesn't mention that red squirrels very often aren't actually red in colour. They range from almost black, to dark brown to chestnut to red. I am Irish living in Sweden. At first I thought my local squirrels were grey because they weren't "red" in colour. But I read up on the subject and realised they really were red squirrels. When the summer came around they displayed bright red fur.

If you offer money for dead grey squirrels (especially during a recession) you better be sure that everyone knows the difference. Good luck with that.

Related Link: http://www.scottishsquirrels.org.uk/docs/008__030__gene...7.pdf
author by Mike Novackpublication date Fri Jan 20, 2012 15:21Report this post to the editors

Well gray squirrels aren't necessarily gray either. Though it is possible that with the smaller genetic base beginning from those brought over to your island (WHY?) you haven't seen any of the other "phases". The most common variant you see over here is black (sable) and there are localities where all of the "gray" squirrels are this color.

However there is a very significant size difference so I can't really see people making a mistake which species.

The real problem (better face it) is that issues like this drive a wedge between the "animal rights" people and the "environmental" people. At least it does over here when proposals are made to kill off animals that are an invasive species.

You should perhaps note that in very rural or wild areas the grays will not eliminate the reds. They occupy similar but not identical niches. However in suburban and urban areas the grays will totally displace the reds. Precisely because their niches aren't identical and because of their much greater size, the grays can utilize some of the "rat" niche.

Out here in rural America the homeowner usually has more trouble with reds than with grays. Grays almost never invade houses but reds will, getting in lofts and in the walls and ripping up the insulation. Flying squirrels can be a problem too, but that's more in cabins and vacation homes that have only a sporadic human presence. For a flying squirel there is no place in the wild so wonderful to build a nest than a light fixture hanging down from the middle of the ceiling of a room. A "roof" to keep the rain off and no way a predator can get to the nest (the flying squirrel can jump/glide there from the top of a wall). The reds are moving in for similar reasons. They can get in through very small holes and have their food cache where a hungry bear can't dig it out.

author by MadamCpublication date Fri Jan 20, 2012 16:47Report this post to the editors

My mother was just telling me that the Irish red squirrel is facing a new threat from a disease that the greys are immune to.

author by Red Squirrelpublication date Fri Jan 20, 2012 17:42Report this post to the editors

The time for action is now, following on from the bounty on grey squirrels there should be a concerted effort to rid them from the island of Ireland. Our native species should not be allowed to be decimated to dangerous low levels, as for knowing the difference between a winter colored red and grey it's pretty obvious still. The grey squirrels all have white flecks through their tails and indeed the body size is also a good indicator. In the UK the private woods have been controlled well through trapping and this is something we should consider here. The unsuspecting red squirrel trapped in error can be released unharmed and any Greys dispatched quickly and as humanely as possible.

We don't want another scenario like the mink releases on our hands, and Ireland should start to take more control of its native species before they are destroyed.

author by Joe Coffinpublication date Fri Jan 20, 2012 19:22Report this post to the editors

When researching minks this expert I met told me that culling can often have the very opposite effect as killing females/males can have a disastrous effect, something to do with reduced male population become more effective in impregnating females as competition is eliminated, it's not as it seems, the research I refer to is new and relates to the mink experience in Ireland.

author by Jude Murphypublication date Sat Jan 21, 2012 00:14Report this post to the editors

I don't know how to begin expressing my disgust at what I have just read. You are advocating mass murder! Animals are not objects. They are sentient individuals who each have the right to live, whether they're red, grey or any other colour. Your attitude towards non-humans is absolutely sickening, and symptomatic of a morally decaying society. Any concern you have about saving red squirrels is based on pure objectification if you think killing the grey ones is an appropriate way to do it. The only individual whom one has any right to "exterminate" is oneself!

author by Red squirrelpublication date Sat Jan 21, 2012 09:24Report this post to the editors

Jude murder is when a human kills a human, you cannot murder an animal.

Yes I'm advocating the mass culling of a non native species to save a native one.

Don't go spouting the usual animal rights nonsense about sentinent creatures , I am simply saying a native species should be protected and If that means by eradication of a non native species so be it.

author by cropbeyepublication date Sat Jan 21, 2012 18:42Report this post to the editors



I agree with you Red Squriell

author by Mike Novackpublication date Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:57Report this post to the editors

This is one of the situations where "environmentalists" and "animal rights" folks find themselves on opposite sides of the fight.

The problem for both communities (which have a lot of overlap, people who are both) is how do they manage to work together on most of the other issues where they are on the same side in spite of the fact that they are enemies on this issue. Of course for the folks who are both, there is an internal problem wherre they just have to decide which of their values is most important to them.

author by Jude Murphypublication date Mon Jan 23, 2012 23:31Report this post to the editors

It's not nonsense that they're sentient creatures, it's the truth. Killing a squirrel is not any more acceptable than killing a human, and it is murder by the definition used by anyone with a conscience. If you don't want to use that word just because they're not human, then use whatever word you want, but it doesn't make the crime any less serious. You're behaving like a selfish coward and you seriously need to reconsider your disgusting attitude towards non-human animals.

author by Damien M - PWpublication date Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:22Report this post to the editors

...not squirrels obviously but maybe rabbits or pheasants purely for the pot but, now I face the shock that I am a murderer?

Maybe the red squirrels' time is merely up? It wouldn't be the first time in history that an animal has gone extinct without human causation.

By the way, absurd fallacy, to equate squirrels with humans or non-humans(good one that) or whatever terms you can think up. Daft given that many on the animal rights front regularly seem to, well try to, chastise me for my pro-life 'actual human' stance.

author by Mike Novackpublication date Tue Jan 24, 2012 13:24Report this post to the editors

The time of the red squirrels is not up and the gray squirrels will not displace them everywhere. The problem is that the gray squirrels will greatly reduce the range of the red squirrels. That is because their niches overlap somewhat and while red squirrels benefit little from the presence of humans* the gray squirrels do gain benefits. Also the niche of the gray squirrel overlaps somewhat with that of rats and that of the red squirrel doesn't.

Gray squirrels will displace much of the population of red squirrels but not drive them to extinction. They coexist here where gray squirrels are a native speices. But for example, while growing up in the suburbs I never saw a red squirrel. Where I live now there are at least as many reds as grays.

Important note to the animals rights folks --- the "environmentals" who propose killing off the invasive species do not believe that gray squirrels are not sentient, do not feel pain, etc. So a waste of your time trying to convince them of that. The problem is that they value "species" and "natural environment" even though these things are not living beings and do not suffer. Your differences with them aren't about any disagreements over "facts" but over what you do or do not value. It is normal in ethics that we have situations where values are in conflict and different people come to different conclusions because they differ on the relative values they assign. Don't bother trying to convince the "environmantals" that the individual lives of gray squirrels matter because they already believe that. Your disagreement with them is that they place an even higher value on the survival of the red squirrel as a species on its range and you place no value upon that.

* Perhaps little benefit in Ireland. But here we have bears, which if they can find them, will dig out and consume the hoard of a red squirrel. They can do that anyplace outdoors that a red squirrel has its hoard but not if the red squirrel has moved its residence inside a human house. It's not that bears never break into houses but that if they do they find much more interesting things to munch than a red squirrel hoard and besides, any bears with this habit are swiftly killed.

author by leftypublication date Wed Jan 25, 2012 07:35Report this post to the editors

"not squirrels obviously but maybe rabbits or pheasants purely for the pot but, now I face the shock that I am a murderer?"

maybe not a murderer as that term is referring to humans I think. However certainly a wanker for shooting beautiful wild birds like the pheasant with your "big man" gun when you could easily just eat something else. Go grow some organic vegetables or something instead you big bully.

author by Damien M - PWpublication date Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:46Report this post to the editors

..I haven't actually done anything yet!

But what is the difference between a hawk killing birds and a human? Both are higher up the food chain...

author by Mike Novackpublication date Wed Jan 25, 2012 14:36Report this post to the editors

Not that total consistency in ethics is necessarily possible. But this does depend on the underlying basis being used.

"But what is the difference between a hawk killing birds and a human?"

The usual response would be that "the human has a choice about it". That is OK as an arguement if/f the basis of the system of ethics depends upon intent as opposed to outcome. For those whose ethical basis is more dependent on a good outcome rather than a good intent (but possibly resulting in a very bad outcome) not so simple. Might even go so far as a disconnect from the natural world concluding that Nature is evil.

Is a human BETTER than a hawk?

We are at least getting a glimpse into why we are not in agreement.

author by nature loverpublication date Wed Jan 25, 2012 21:26Report this post to the editors

There is a hierarchy in the natural world. Humankind is at the apex, because of the ability to think, to invent and use tools, and to have a moral sense that can transcend instinct. In the nonhuman animal world the weak go to the wall and the fittest survive. Weaker species sometimes adapt and survive the unequal odds. Or, as in the age of enlightened ecology, weaker species can be helped to survive by means of culling or reintroduction of depleted or vanished species under controlled conditions. Thus the reintroduction of red squirrels into the Phoenix Park to counteract the ravages of the stronger grey squirrels is an example of reintroduction. In Glenveigh national park and elsewhere, the reintroduction of predator birds after a long absence is another example of trying to rebalance the natural odds. In Ireland during the 1950s and for some years after that decade there was a government campaign to reduce coarse fish species in the rivers and lakes so that trout and other species might have a better chance to thrive. Post Offices had posters inviting members of the public to present dead pike to their local garda station and get paid a bounty of a half crown (two-and-sixpence).

Extreme extermination of species can result in a bad balance of nature. In Mao Tse Tung's revolutionary China there was an anti-sparrow campaign which greatly reduced the number of wild birds that farmers believed were eating too much corn and other human food. However, the acute reduction in birds then led to an escalation in the numbers of flies and other insects - and the diseases and other consequences arising therefrom. Decisions to exterminate or massively cull certain species of animals should therefore be taken with forethought.

I disagree with any statement that says the culling of invasive species or other kinds of animals is murder. Murder is a crime that I apply only to the killing of humans by other humans. If one accepts the concept of divine creation of the world it is logical, indeed ethical, to respect all of nature, while accepting that there is a hierarchy in natural creation e.g. the placing of humankin (called Man by philosophers) at the apex of creation.

author by leftypublication date Thu Jan 26, 2012 08:34Report this post to the editors

Please don't bring god into this. For so long people have quoted a passage in a medievil storybook as a pathetic rationalisation for their boundless brutality and cruelty towards other animals.

This "hierarchy" is merely because we are currently the best and most ruthless and psychopathic killers currently on the planet mainly because of our use of ever more ingenious and destructive tools, whilst never bothering to use any of that technical ingenuity to repair a clearly banjaxed moral compass.

Humans have the ability and the luxury to choose actions that are more considerate over actions that are no better than the beasts they consider themselves superior to. If in spite of the choice they have, they still choose to act no better than beasts, then they are in fact morally even worse than the beasts who do not have the luxury of such choice.

It is only this ability to override our instincts and do the more considerate thing that differentiates us from beasts. if we choose to ignore this then it lessens us as human beings.

Taking a look at our progress across the planet decimating the planets resources and wiping out millions of wild species and each other violently as we go, breeding and killing millions upon millions of animals we keep in abominable conditions every day for our food, you could easily be forgiven for thinking that the humans are a very ugly species that chooses to plumb the depths of systematic savagery instead of striving to rise out of the mire of death and brutality and achieve our potential as ethical creatures. In short, from what I have observed, we are actually far worse than any hawks in my book.

Declan's free choice to kill wild pheasants for sport and for dinner unnecessarily with his rifle when he could easily grow some potatoes or breed some free range chickens for the eggs or buy a can of beans in the shop is merely yet another tiny example of the careless pissing away of human potential just for the brief savage thrill of dominating and killing a weaker creature who is also just trying to survive. If this is an example of great human superiority then there's little hope for us.

Not a murderer but certainly a big bully and a wanker with a gun. Declan, why not repent, sell your rifle and just get yourself a second hand xbox if you really have to shoot stuff. Leave the legions of wankers and bullies with guns for the path of enlightenment. There's still hope for you you know ;-)

As for culling grey squirrels, well it's just a shooters charter and a waste of taxpayers money encouraging these killers. Lets just let the squirrels sort it out among themselves. Introduce a few more red ones in certain places by all means if you want.

author by Mike Novackpublication date Thu Jan 26, 2012 13:54Report this post to the editors

Oh, so you consider yourself superior to the "beasts"? Morally superior to Nature?

Look, you criticize god worshippers but at least they aren't necessarily placing themselves as superior to everything else. I find your attitude at least as out of whack as theirs.

I do not seek to be "better" than any (other) animal.

And might I suggest you consider something when you imagine that they are bound by "instict" and you are not. HOW could you tell? Do you imagine that "instinct" means being blindly programmed to do each instinctive thing directly? That each instinct being evolved had to do the whole shebang, evolve each detail of the mechanism over and over? That's not impossible the usual way this sort of thing works is to reuse what already exists. That way a new instinct being evolved can just "latch on" to what is already in place.

We humans DO have instincts. But don't bother looking for acts we seem to do blindly for no reason becuase that is unlikely the way it would work. Instead you need to consider that we do our various instinctive behaviors because when we do so it "feels right", "feels good to do so", "feels natural to do so", etc. (that they are "latched" to something like that -- that way a great many different instinctive behaviors need only one reward-trigger, can all use the same one).

We are animals. We may differ in degree but not in kind. We, and our brains, are all properly eviolved for the niches we fill.

author by leftypublication date Thu Jan 26, 2012 13:56Report this post to the editors

This image and the stupid puns added to it show the callous disregard we have for hundreds of thousands of animals deaths going to waste. Each of those fish was alive and had a right to live its life out in its own way. This photo gives you a small idea of the volume of the unnecessary killing that goes on just to feed us with meat each day. Lorries like this are travelling up and down our roads each day filled with large numbers of chickens, cows,sheep,pigs etc etc that all were once living creatures. And this is just a small island of 4.5 million or so. Imagine the staggering number of deaths worldwide. Its a silent holocaust every day. And this is not even mentioning the horrific factory farming practices used to rear them during their brief and sorry lives. some of you may find this point of view funny. You're probably the same people who don't care about the brown people being bombed in Iraq or afghanistan. In my opinion people like that are morally far worse than the beasts they feel so superior to.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-16734597

_58114131_mackrel.jpg

author by leftypublication date Thu Jan 26, 2012 14:30Report this post to the editors

"Oh, so you consider yourself superior to the "beasts"? Morally superior to Nature? "

Mike, you have a habit of misrepresenting people and tilting at the resultant straw men. You paint me in such broad strokes. I never said I was superior to other animals. I am an animal just like every other. However I have the potential to construct an abstract ethical framework that allows me to make a conscious choice to live and let live and make daily choices to override my more violent instincts by virtue of my frontal cortex which is just a characteristic this particular animal happens to have. In my opinion, that is a better way to live than selfish remorseless killing of every other creature in sight because we feel like it or we are hungry. I consider them to have a point of view too and I have decided that ethically it is only right that one should take this into consideration.

Nature has no morality. It just is. I am part of nature. There is no ultimate right or wrong in a meaningless universe, but life seems to wish to continue and life abhors suffering so I arbitrarily choose to build a value system based on those two premises and it leads directly to where I am. I have arbitrarily and consciously have chosen to deviate a little from natures pattern. Live and let live, Give other life forms the best chance to live out their meaningless lives too and all that. Other humans consciously choose to be self absorbed animal killers or cheerleaders for same with no remorse. I reject that choice by my ethical system. thats all. No superiority to other animals. Just a little towards other humans who voluntarily choose to be "less than human" perhaps. But I'm not in a position to judge other species. What do I know about what it means to be a fish or hawk for example? I just try to leave them alone to do their thing if I can. But I am human and have been around for quite a few years now. so I consider that am in a position to judge other humans based on my ethical framework. And I choose to do so. And they are often bullies and wankers with little regard for other life forms, or indeed other humans, especially the brown poor ones.

author by Mike Novackpublication date Thu Jan 26, 2012 18:15Report this post to the editors

"I never said I was superior to other animals. I am an animal just like every other. However I have the potential to construct an abstract ethical framework that allows me to make a conscious choice to live and let live and make daily choices to override my more violent instincts by virtue of my frontal cortex which is just a characteristic this particular animal happens to have. In my opinion, that is a better way to live than selfish remorseless killing of every other creature in sight because we feel like it or we are hungry"

Please --- I am NOT saying that there is anything wrong with your feeling this way. But I disagree that this is not an expression of a belief that humans are, could be, or should be something higher or better than "just an animal" (of the human kind). You want to override your animal instincts? What precisely is wrong with them? Are they less a part of what we are as an animal than the instincts of any other animal are an expression of its sort of being? And yes, we can ponder our own existence, but that is unlikely to be something new for us. Probably at least hundreds of thousands of years old. Morality is not likely something new for us either. We have been social animals longer than we have been human.

So forget for a moment "other animals". Consider just humans from about 50,000 years ago. Even just 15,000 years ago. They would be in no way "less human", no less capable than us of making ethical judgements (what is or is not good), moral judgements, etc.

author by Fishermanpublication date Thu Jan 26, 2012 18:45Report this post to the editors

Dear Lefty

FFS get a grip. So a lorry load of fish overturned. Hardly a calamity or do you think a memorial service should be held and some sort of headstone put up there?

Quite what this picture has to do with foreigners killing other foreigners in far away places I dont know.

Perhaps you should get a life.

author by How topublication date Thu Jan 26, 2012 21:11Report this post to the editors

~ 3 squirrels, cut into serving pieces
~ flour
~ salt and pepper
~ 2 eggs, beaten
~ 3 – 4 pieces bacon, chopped
~ 1 medium onion, chopped
~ 1 can cream of mushroom soup
~ 1 pint milk

Season the flour to taste with salt and pepper. Place in a bowl. Beat the eggs in another bowl.

Heat some oil in a large skillet.

Dip the squirrel pieces in the egg and then the flour. Repeat if you want. Add to hot oil.

Fry until golden brown. Remove and drain fat. Return to skillet.

Cover with the bacon and onion.

Mix the soup and milk together and pour over meat.

Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.

Serve with mashed potatoes and dinner rolls.

Enjoy.

For more see link

Related Link: http://www.backwoodsbound.com/zsquir.html
author by leftypublication date Fri Jan 27, 2012 06:44Report this post to the editors

Mike:"Please --- I am NOT saying that there is anything wrong with your feeling this way. But I disagree that this is not an expression of a belief that humans are, could be, or should be something higher or better than "just an animal" (of the human kind)."

No, not "something higher" in a daft spiritual sense, it's just a better world all around for those living in it if humans are caring and empathetic rather than if we are a bunch of psychopathic killers and sadists (as we are now). Don't you think?

Mike:" You want to override your animal instincts? What precisely is wrong with them? Are they less a part of what we are as an animal than the instincts of any other animal are an expression of its sort of being? "

Our instincts are a part of us and this was fine when we lived like other animals in balance with nature and the other creatures around us. However today our instincts are no longer properly balanced by a limited ability to do harm as with most other creatures in nature. If we become ethically untethered and lose our link to nature then we can be very cruel or violent indeed and we have the tools to do so on a much greater scale than other creatures. our instincts were meant for when we lived in a troop in the plains with nothing but sticks and rocks as weapons.
So yes I believe there is a strong need for humans to be able to override some of their instincts, and for very good reason.

Mike:"So forget for a moment "other animals". Consider just humans from about 50,000 years ago. Even just 15,000 years ago. They would be in no way "less human", no less capable than us of making ethical judgements (what is or is not good), moral judgements, etc. "

Sure, They could internalise the same two premises I base my value system on from simple observation of nature. I'm sure many did as do to a greater or lesser extent. They were not "less human" but by my system, if they were capable of internalising these values but chose not to then they were "worse" cave men. But it didn't matter quite as much then as it does now as there were much less of them around and they didn't have anything but rocks and sticks.

Mike,
which would you prefer, a world populated by people adhering to my ethical framework or a bunch of people completely lacking in empathy somewhat like the previous poster who can seemingly write off the pointless deaths of hundreds of thousands of creatures without the slightest remorse or even a thought. in fact it's a joke to him.
Or mr recipe man who would probably be making up a nice recipe for your kids with equal relish if the food supply got tight
and whom I would recommend to eat his own nuts before he tucks into the squirrel!!! ;-)

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:46Report this post to the editors

As a former fisherman meself I think that headstone can be erected over fast-dying oceans...I'm an omnivore...but despise waste...and that i think is the primary issue to confront.

author by Mike Novackpublication date Fri Jan 27, 2012 13:56Report this post to the editors

"which would you prefer, a world populated by people adhering to my ethical framework or a bunch of people completely lacking in empathy somewhat like the previous poster who can seemingly write off the pointless deaths of hundreds of thousands of creatures without the slightest remorse or even a thought. in fact it's a joke to him.
Or mr recipe man who would probably be making up a nice recipe for your kids with equal relish if the food supply got tight
and whom I would recommend to eat his own nuts before he tucks into the squirrel!!! ;-)"

It is precisely because you are thinking that I persist.

It is NOT a case of "my way or the highway". There are NOT just two possibilities. The alternative to your preferred ehtihcal system is NOT behaving as you described. There are alternatives, plural.

The problem here is that you see people advocating eliminating the gray squirrels (introduced highly invasive species) as necessarily being "without remorse" for the taking of their lives. You presumably see people willing to kill animals in order to eat them similarly without remorse/respect. The problem is that you cannot visualize other ethical frameworks where these would be OK.

That's why I bother. On many issues those whose focus is like yours are on the same side as the "environmentalists" but very different ethical frameworks are involved so on some issues on opposite sides. HOW do we manage to cope with that? I am not going to try to describe my own ethical framework and in any case we "environmentals" aren't all using the same one. In any case not sure it would be of any use until you have first shown you can understand why what you said is silly.

"Or mr recipe man who would probably be making up a nice recipe for your kids with equal relish if the food supply got tight"

WHY do you imagine that? Perhaps YOUR reasons (according to your ethical framework) for refraining from an act like that would be the same as why you refrain from killing and eating any animal. So if YOU lacked one restraint you would lack the other. But you have no good reason to believe, in fact have good reasons to disbelieve that you and this person share an ethical framework. Not having the same ethical framework as yourself is does not mean having no ethical framework.

author by nature loverpublication date Fri Jan 27, 2012 16:00Report this post to the editors

Discussions about the ethics of eating animals, or culling aggressive animals that endanger other species, has certainly caused a mild form of emotional inflammation on this thread. I enjoy the contemplation of nature. I enjoy eating meat, but as a result of reading some literature about animal massacres I have reduced my intake of that form of protein, and enjoy tastily cooked vegetables. But I'll never become a vegetarian. I simply can't accept animals as the equals of humans. We should treat them kindly and reduce suffering in the dumb kingdom. And we should try to treat other humans kindly and justly.

I am in favour of efficient, humane methods of culling if it serves the balance of nature. In East and Central Africa government wildlife departments allow periodic culling of elephants and other heavy-eating grass eaters in order to allow weaker and lighter-eating animal species to thrive in the game parks that scientists and tourists want to visit.

Maybe the supervised culling of grey squirrels will benefit both grey and red squirrels, and bring joy to nature watchers.

author by leftypublication date Sat Jan 28, 2012 14:41Report this post to the editors

straw men again Mike

I asked you "which would you prefer".

I did not say that only two frameworks were possible. An infinite number of frameworks are possible.

I am only stating mine and pointing out that it, unlike many other frameworks, it only requires two simple premises (the bits we pluck out of our asses) that are both self evident truths from observation of living things.

That is how I claim it is "better" than other frameworks who require more premises, or less self evidently true ones

You make a value judgement that my system is "silly". Is it my two premises which are at fault in your opinion? or my logic proceeding from those to my views.

Please either posit a decent argument for this smear or retract it

author by nature loverpublication date Sat Jan 28, 2012 18:55Report this post to the editors

While mike, lefty and others slug it out over moral frameworks, premises and instincts the cute bushy squirrels of red, grey or black hues are swinging merrily on the trees above us and clambering down to terra firma to find, nibble and gnaw foodstuffs they find on forest floors. How happy for them not to have to fray their nerves or scramble their brains in distracted ideological argumentation.

author by Mike Novackpublication date Sun Jan 29, 2012 13:32Report this post to the editors

Nature Lover
My focus has NOT been about the abstract issues but asking HOW CAN WE WORK TOGETHER (when we are on the same side) when on an issue like this we are vehemently on opposite sides. I am NOT suggesting that the animal rights folks should come to support environmentals on an issue like this. But I am suggesting that they need to understand:
a) we will proceed to try to get rid of invasive species that disrupt the envirionment. we sill not stop becuase you choose to stand in our way.
b) we HOPE you recognize that this is simply a place where our moral bases put us on opposite sides and we can still work together on other issues.

Lefty
That's NOT what I said was "silly". I said the conclusion was silly. Up to you to decide whether that would be a fault of your stated premises or your logic but actually I don't think either were the reasons you concluded "somebody who felt it OK to kill and eat another animal must also feel it OK to kill and eat a human child". You can say all you want that you don't believe there is only a choice between your system and none when statements like that indicate otherwise. But I don't think that belief was derived from the moral premises you have so far expressed so don't acuse me of declaring THOSE silly.

Consider that statement and try to figure out why you said it. You may have a hidden premise you aren't conscious of having used, and upon reflection, might agree that one should be discarded as "silly".

Actually there is another possibility. Nature Lover forgive me for a moment because this one does get abstract. We all too often forget that when considering the motivations and actions of another person it is not OUR beliefs that matter so much as the beliefs of this other person EVEN IF THOSE ARE MISTAKEN. In other words, we might perhaps believe that or moral basis is the only valid moral basis and that all others are wrong BUT we should not jump from that to conclude that this other person is acting without any moral restraint (just because the moral system he/she believes in is false).

author by nature loverpublication date Sun Jan 29, 2012 13:49Report this post to the editors

I am not against culling of invasive species, provided it is done under controlled and legal conditions. I've mentioned, favourably, the bounty paid at garda stations during the '50s onwards on pike caught in rivers, and mentioned government-approved culling of elephants in African game parks.

Mike and friends can proceed to get the extermination (I'd prefer the word culling) of invasive species that harm indigenous species that gravely upset the balance of nature. I won't get in the way of any lawful activities related, say, to the culling of aggressive grey squirrels that threaten the continued existence of red squirrels.

I don't know how helpful the antagonism shown between Mike and Lefty on this thread helps to elucidate the species problem and its possible resolution(s).

author by leftypublication date Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:44Report this post to the editors

mike
again, another straw man attack. Yawn.
You take what was intended to be humourous relief in my post and act as if it was 100% serious!!

I was exaggerating the mindset in someone who thinks it funny to make squirrel recipies and joking for humourous effect that it was probably not a stretch that someone with that mindset would more likely be the sort of person first in line for a bit of cannabilism to save their own sorry ass if they were pushed.

Of course My ethical framework does not tell me that it is certainty that a twat on an internet forum will go from making fun of those with empathy towards animals to child cannabilism. Thats absurd. Its even more absurd (and underhand) to "pretend" it was perfectly serious. Just lightening the tone and having a (I thought) joking dig at the squirrel recipe troll

author by Mike Novackpublication date Mon Jan 30, 2012 16:12Report this post to the editors

OK, THAT might have been cultural.

My wife comes from a poor Midwest US rural background. You took the idea of recipes for squirrel as outrageous, perhaps because in Ireland unheard of to eat them? Not so here. One Thanksgiving while still with her ex , no money to buy food, that's what they had for the main course and she angry that he had drunk some of the money she had given him for ammo, only had a few rounds, so they didn't have enough of them for a proper spread.

Squirrel is what most boys learn to hunt on, usually with a .22 rimfire and good training because you want to head shoot them so as not to lose meat. I said boys, but the country girls learn to shoot too.

The part of the country where I now live isn't squirrel eating country, that's regional. Oh, and by the way, that would be gray squirrels. Hardly enough meat on the much smaller reds to be worth while for humans to hunt. When I "hunt" these it would be with traps and just to get them out of the house (they are very destructive, rip insulation to shreds) in preparation for finding and sealing off however they were getting in.

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