Letter to the Editor: Hunting season ‘disturbing’

South Dakota�s annual mountain lion killing season ended Feb. 21. Of the 47 cougars killed (which exceeded the established limit of 45), 26 were female and 21 male. Of the killed, five were ages 5 to 6 months, four of which were females weighing as little as 33 lbs. No statistics were available regarding the number of kittens possibly orphaned as a result of the killing of their mothers.

Aside from the ethics of killing the five innocent and inexperienced lions, one must wonder about the psychological makeup of their killers. How could anyone of sound mind derive pleasure by committing such a sickening deed? Particularly disturbing is that it wasn�t an isolated incident. Five different �sportsmen� made the premeditated decision that is was okay to shoot and kill each kitten. How sad.

Because of these gratuitous acts of human ugliness, sanctioned by the state, nature is now less beautiful, the ecosystem more fragile and humanity further diminished. Matthew Scully in his excellent book �DOMINION: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy,� surveys the dismal failure of mankind to responsibly coexist with animals and dissects the endless self serving justifications so blithely proffered.

If you, as so many others do, feel powerless as mankind devises ever increasing ways to exploit and abuse animals, please read Sculley�s compelling book. It will anger you, challenge you, and most importantly, empower you.

Isaiah Shiloh
Vermillion

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