Thursday, October 1, 2009

Home construction encroachment into wildlife habitats displaces animals and puts people and pets in danger.

Transcript of personal comment from this episode of The Web-DVM:

My personal comment tonight has to do with the abduction of Jessica Simpson's dog by a coyote, an occurrence that is becoming increasingly common in California. In addition to California, we are seeing attacks by wild predators to pets and small children in residential neighborhoods all over the country. Here in my home state of Florida, we regularly hear of attacks from bobcats, wild boars, alligators, and black bears.

Of course when this occurs to a beloved pet or child, our first natural reaction is severe anger and even violence toward the animal that perpetrated an attack. However, when one really thinks about it, is neither rational nor reasonable to blame wild animals for what they instinctively do: seek out prey in order to feed themselves and their young.

As we humans continue to expand into their natural habitats as we extend our settlements building ever further into their hunting territories, we risk paying the consequences.

To continue to build into the natural habitats of our wildlife, however, we do more than just place our pets and children in danger, we displace thousands of wild animals who are often killed as they encroach into what was once their hunting grounds.

To indiscriminately build residential neighborhoods in old forests and/or ever closer to wildlife preserves, places the future human inhabitants and their pets in danger, but also tragically displaces thousands of wildlife species, many of which are not even predators that are dangerous to man or pet.

So we should not aim our vitriol toward the coyotes, bobcats, black bears, or wild boars when these incidents occur. We should instead advocate for common sense home building that provides the housing needs of a growing population, while remaining sensitive to avoiding wildlife rich woods and forests.

Why anyone is building new homes right now is beyond me anyway. With a foreclosure market that has rendered our homes virtually worthless, what is the economical sense in BUlLDING MORE HOMES? Yet it is happening right here in my local jurisdiction with prominent developers currently making a pitch to our town council to build more houses in an area rich in wildlife preserves - a beautiful treasure which brought many of us here in the first place and want to keep it that way!

A little common sense for our safety and regard for our nation's wildlife treasures can go a long way. Stay involved and informed with your local government, and make your voice heard when they choose to build irresponsibly close to or within wildlife areas.


pw1974 said...

I have a few comments. First, I like the presentation much better with you larger on teh screen. And I don't know if is was my computer or not, but wiht the other episodes with you smaller on the screen, your lips were a little off from your voice - now they aren't. Maybe it was my computer or maybe it was yoru broadcast - whatever it was, making you bigger seems to have fixed it.

Second, you should not apologize for your crudeness when you said that when it comes to justice in animal cruelty cases our system of justice "SUCKS!" It does far worse than that, but I will refrain from getting too upity so my comments don't get taken down. That creepy little punk that did that to that cat deserves far worse than even the maximum charges he faces - and you're right, he probably won't even get that! If it were up to me, I would have the little $h!t taped head to toe in duct tape and left to roam around helpless in the hot summer sun fo an entire day - just like he did to Sticky! Ugh, I have no tolerance for abuse of animals! It makes me seethe!!!

Finally, your personal comment was right on about encroaching into wildlife habitats. You mentioned the Jessica Simpon dog incident in California as an example, then you own state of Florida, but as urban sprawl spreads here in my home state of Pennsylvania, the same it going on - for us its black bears, and like you, I don;t blame the bears, but theh anuses that insist on building more, even during a time when we can;t even give our homes away.

Great episode Doc! I love you getting fiery!

callie79 said...

I agree that the presentation is much better Doc, if for nothing else, we can see that boyishly handsome face more clearly! LOL!

As far as the content, pw really said it all as far as I am concerned, agree with all his points.

I also agree that this was a great episode, the best as far as presentation in concerned, and perhaps the best as far as content is concerned. Way to go Doc, you are really starting to come into your own. I only regret that you spent so much time on radio - your good looks, passion, and charisma always belonged on TV!

Anonymous said...

Hey Doc,

Please try not to take this the wrong way, but I am quite surprised that you come off as a treehugger with this article. Most of us have sympathy and even regret when we displace wild animals for the sake of expansion of human settlement, but what else are we to do??

With an expansion of our population (our coutry has grown by 100 million in my lifetime) where do we put these people, but in unsettled areas, the current home of wildlife? Short of colonizing the moon, we need housing for a growing population, and unforunately wild animals will have to pay the price.

I love animals, but I am sorry, the needs of people come first. And if a coyote, a bear, or any other perdator come into my neighborhood and threatened my pet or my family, I would have no regret in shooting that animal.

That is where treehuggers go wrong, they are about animal rights, not animal welfare. Animal rights assumes that animals are to be considered on the same plain as people, whereas animal welfare advocates for respect for and humanity toward animals, protection to a certain degree, just not at the cost of human advancement.

We need to build homes, just as we need to drill for oil, just as we need to perform medical research. Many of us enjoy the natural beauty of nature and its magnificent creatures - but treehuggers take it too far. We should not take our society into the place where we put the needs of animals over our own species. I have enjoyed your writing and your shows, I mean no offense, but I hope that you are not going down the road to becoming a spokeperson for these types of people.

Roger L. Welton, DVM said...

Anonymous, thank you for your comments, and I take no offense. This is a forum for discussion and debate and opinions are welcomed even when in opposition to my or other's points of view. Of course, I do have a rebuttle to our statements.

I understand the need to build homes for a growing population, to drill to meet our energy needs, and the need for medical research. You are wrong in considering me in a rights based philosophy versus welfare based one - I have always been and continue to be welfare based.

Although we have these needs and some price unfortunately must be paid by animals, this does not mean that we cannot make both the effort and even scrifice a little expense to make our impact on them less.

If we need to build, it is actually quite within our capacity to do so and not encroach into densely wild habitats. Prairy lands, deserts, anf floodplains are perfectly suitable to build homes, provided people accept a little extra expense and effort to provide the engineering necessary provide irrigation and potable water supply to the former, and an effective drainage system for the latter. In the state of New York, rather than encroach on the few remaining vestiges of protected state parks, on Long Island, they have brilliantly engineered the sealing of landfills filled to their allowable capacity, and envronmentally friendly built beautiful hilltop, waterfront homes.

Decades ago, New Jersey managed to build a huge legendary sports complex (football stadium, basketball/hockey arena, and horse track) on formerly useless putrid swampland.

Currently, there is no need to build more homes - 14 of the 100 homes in my development are empty due to foreclosure - yet they are still doing it, and in environmentally sensitive areas. This is lunacy both for these developers devaluating my home further by adding mroe inventory to the housing market, and for encroaching on wild habitats when there is virtually zero demands for new homes.

Animal research is necessary, but there needs to be oversite that the most humane standards are applied, and that there are limits on how far sience is allowed to go, for example diallowing atrocities like vivisection to ever happen again.

We need oil right now for certain, but why not each of us do our part to conserve, drive hybrids, and recycle, esearch clean energy, rather than indiscriminately pollute our enironment and turn our entire nation into one huge drilling well.

Choosing the needs of aniamls over people is wrong, but the unchecked, unnecessary exploitation of our nation's greatest wildlife treasures is beyond wrong, but both lazy appalling. Being advocates for making the effort, accepting the expense and seeking the technology and ideas to solve our housing and energy needs while doing our very best to ptoect our our wildlife does not make us weaklings or wimpy men, "treahuggers" as you put it. It makes us members of this world that care for it as a whole.

The great Teddy Roosevelt, Mr. "speak softly and carry a big stick," leader of the famed Rough Riders and accomplished Safariman, pionered our National Park system and championed convervation. One of history's most wellknown manly of men would clearly be on my side were he alive today.

Jan said...

Sounds like Anonymous is one of those "compassionate conservatives."

Anonymous said...
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Kurt70 said...

I don't know when it became uncool or made one some kind of sissy to care about the environment and the planet, to have compassion for animals and even people for that matter. It is a sad commentary that the less callus, selfish, and dismissive of animals and our environment that someone is, the more there is this notion that they may be weaker.

Jan said...

I'll tell you when it became this way, when conservative media took hold in this country. The Rush Limbaughs Fox News anchors of the world struck a nerve by playing on innate human greed and selfishness and making it not just acceptable, but fashionable to be against ANYTHING that helps animals, the environment, and people. They made it not just cool to be completely self serving, but even viewed as a projection of strength and manliness.

The sad part is that it is not really their fault. If people did not listen, they would not be on the airways, but there is a growing minority of people that are swayed by them. And why not, they give them justification to put self first beyond anything and anyone! Unfortunately, this minority is always there, but tends to recruit new members and gets more of a voice when time are tough, as they are now.

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