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Born Free USA Blog

Born Free USA Blog

Who are the REAL savages?

Published 11/14/08
By Susan Trout, Program Assistant

So many of the old western films constantly depicted Indians — the true native Americans, as “savages.” Webster’s Dictionary gives several definitions of the word “savage”, but for the purpose of this dialog, this one works best: lacking the restraints normal to civilized human beings.

It pains me to think that the “white man” frequently viewed Indians as brutes and uncivilized. Native Americans respected and depended on the land and all the animals that shared his existence. In truth, the American Indian was more spiritual and civilized than “white man” in many ways.

Not long ago, I read a magazine article that left me numb. It was a journey through rage, shock, disbelief, and sadness. It was written about a “varmint” hunter who was prairie dog hunting with a buddy. He humorously spoke about the way his rifle “exploded” those little creatures.

Though it may come as a shock to you, many states permit varmint hunts under the guise of predator and nuisance wildlife control. Read this article and ask yourself: “Who are the real savages?”

What makes these people tick? Just how depraved must one be to point a high-powered rifle at a defenseless colony of prairie dogs — benign little creatures that play important roles in our ecosystem — and fire round after round until the area is littered with blood, body parts, and fur? This is sport? This is fun? No, it’s savage.

Though hunting and trapping are considered acceptable practices in our society, the acts themselves rouse serious ethical questions about how we view and treat members of the animal kingdom. The American Indian hunted to survive. Killing for trophies, bounties, pelts, and — in the case of the varmint hunters — fun, compels one to question such pitiless, brutal slaughter.

When the Indians watched helplessly as the “white man” senselessly slaughtered millions of buffalo, could they have asked the question, “Who are the real savages?”

If your state sanctions “varmint” hunts, write to your wildlife commission and let its members know they must stop. Help us to end our nation’s misguided war on wildlife.

We’re committed to ending cruel trapping and the fur trade. To learn more, click here.

Keep fighting the good fight!

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