There has been a news story brewing in the Canadian media the past few days about 3 men in Saskatchewan who blasted ducks with shotguns and posted the carnage on YouTube. The court case was Monday (see CBC story here) and they were appropriately fined and the men can not apply for hunting licences for 3 years...one wonders why they would even be allowed to pick up a weapon at all in the future. The sad part of all of this is one of the men has been telling the media that the whole thing has been blown out of proportion. See his words of wisdom here...
This morning I was reading the CBC news and there is a story out of Newfoundland about 3 boys on bicycles who chased a baby moose, hitting it with sticks, until it collapsed in exhaustion and had to be put down by wildlife officers. You can link to the story here.
I'm done my rant and am now at a loss for words. I know that these actions are by no means a localized phenomenon and people all over do stupid things. We live in a large and beautiful country where you don't always have to go to the wilderness to find nature. In fact nature encroaches into urban centres and can often be found right in our back yards. I think that the subjects of group mentality and animals cruelty have been explore many times in literature. An example of this is in ' Whale For the Killing' by Canadian author Farley Mowat. I can't recall if 'Lord of the Flies' by William Golding touched on animal cruelty, but it certainly dealt with the "mob mentallity" and how cruel boys could be to one another.
Those of us with children try hard to impart the importance of nature and how to appreciate it and the creatures that live within it. I suppose not all parents do this. Or perhaps some kids don't get the message. Or is there something "broken" inside these people? Are they de-sensitized to the point that they don't understand their actions? I guess there are no easy answers and as long as there have been people, there have been cruel and senseless actions against both man and beast. Sometimes the horror hits a little too close to home.