An incident wherein a Santa Fe veterinarian set out beef-basted rat poison to kill a coyote that ate an outdoor cat -- and bragged about it on Facebook -- raises issues about ethics, values, biology, and our ability to co-exist with coyotes.
Less than one percent of the American cattle inventory was lost to native carnivores in 2010. This calls into question the tens of millions per year taxpayers spend on lethal control of native carnivores.
We've laid down the law that entertaining ourselves by pitting one animal against another in bloody combat is cruel and unethical. However, few Americans are aware that there is "entertainment" even nastier than dog or cockfighting.
Greater understanding of the ecological importance of native carnivores and increasing public opposition to lethal "control" have led to growing demand for humane and ecologically sound conservation practices. But there's always more work to do.
Recently in the backcountry near my home, I saw a Coyote wearing a backpack sporting a bumper sticker that said, "Coexist." That is when I knew for certain that the Coyote had never gone to Business School.
Texas Governor Rick Perry is boasting about cutting down a coyote with a single shot. The coyote got crosswise of the Guv because he stared a bit too long. This is a new one to me: the crime of staring.
It's time again for society to stand up, and shout a collective NO to another cruel, unethical and dangerous blood sport. Our shock and outrage can help relegate coyote and fox pens to their rightful place in America's dark past.
To evolve our relationship with large carnivores and other wild animals in North America we could start by placing greater emphasis on examining the ethics and morality of the very concept of hunting for sport and entertainment.