Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Bambi Problem

"It’s been said that Bambi and his cousins are the most dangerous animals in America today, causing a million accidents (31 in Weston) that kill 200 people each year.

"Deer kill more people than grizzlies, but no one screams when they see a one. Instead, we just say, “Awwww.” Most people responding to Weston’s survey on deer said they enjoy seeing them around town; they just don’t want them atop their cars or nibbling in their gardens. But deer are “very nice, but stupid” creatures, as a magpie observes in Salten’s “Bambi.” They care nothing about zoning laws. If a community decides it has too many deer, it has two choices: relocate or kill. And Massachusetts (being very nice, but stupid) generally prohibits the relocation of most kinds of wildlife.

"In his book The Mindful Carnivore, Tovar Cerulli makes the case that intentional harm by humans can be kinder than natural death. The writer, a vegan-turned-hunter who has used both bow and gun, details an evolution in thinking that culminates with his first deliberate kill. Ironically, soon after, he accidentally hits a deer with his car. The collision was an existential postcard making clear that existence of any kind will always mean the obliteration of others. We’re all in the Hunger Games, whether we like it or not. We need to learn, like a certain Disney deer did, to come to grips with death that doesn’t occur offscreen.”

From “In Weston, Bambi image gets in the way of culling deer," Boston Globe, July 2, 2012.