We Should Be Ashamed

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I have more kittens in my bathroom. I had decided that I’d done my moral duty on saving cats and kittens. But after what happened in Zansville Ohio a couple nights ago, I couldn’t stand seeing those kittens go wild. Humans are very bad sometimes. This was the case here. Some redneck Sheriff decided to let his guys go on a shooting rampage and they ended killing 49 animals. And 18 of those were Bengal tigers.

I’ve looked a few places and there are somewhere between 1500 and 5000 tigers total left on this planet. And these guys just killed 18 of them. He did this in the name of human safety. Wow. This is an example of how primitive this country is in solving immediate problems intellectually. And the reason that we don’t let local sheriffs make huge decisions on our futures.

Okay, you’re going to say “What if your child got eaten by one of those ferocious cats or bears?” That would be horrible, for sure. But there were lots of better ways to control the situation than go on a wild game hunting spree throughout the night. It isn’t as if this was Jurassic Park and a bunch of Velociraptors are running around killing every moving thing in site. If the sheriff was really trying to control the situation properly, he would of made sure that every human in the surrounding area was apprised of the situation. Then he should have brought in the resources to properly contain the animals. The statement that the dead owner sabotaged the cages so they couldn’t use them to contain the animals if they were caught is a joke.

I personally don’t think a human’s life is more valuable than any one of those animals that are laid out in that compound. Especially considering how few of these tigers exist and how many of us. There are 6,000,000,000 of us humans. That is 1,200,000 people on the planet for each tiger, assuming the 5000 number is correct. 4 million people for each tiger if the 1500 number is closer.

We, as a country, as people on this planet, should have handled this situation in a much better manner. We should be ashamed.

An atrocity.

Our guys this morning at breakfast.

They don't like me much at very first.

They clean up great. These guys are so soft and lovable.

39 thoughts on “We Should Be Ashamed

  1. jp

    I’m just sitting here shaking my head, I wonder what Jane Goodall is thinking, there were so many ways that disaster could have been handled differently, but it is impossible to go back in time now. Its just so disturbing on too many levels that can even be describe. I can’t believe that zoo guy thats always on like lettermen and night shows like that even bought into the hysteria and took the side of the common white man and the thought of the “precious” children. If anyone encounter a situation with one of the innocent magnificant creatures they would obviously have deserved it out of pure stupidity. I have a feeling the likelyhood would not have been real high since the animals quite possibly may have been more freaked out then anyone, and possibly the last thing on their minds would have been eating weird things they wouldn’t think of as a normal food source like a human. Anyway, again I am glad you wrote what you wrote, it just confirms I don’t hate all people because luckily there are some out there that aren’t idiots.

  2. jp

    Oh not sure where all the baby cats are coming from but here in NJ I have had lots of kitties fixed by getting a pretty good discount through Friends of Animals. org, not sure if that is a national organization or up in this area only. You can check out the site, or maybe you programs in your area.

  3. Rad Renner

    My heart is filled with sadness and rage at the idiocy of the needless slaughter of these beautiful animals. Obviously, private citizens should not be permitted to have such dangerous animals, but couldn’t they have at least “tried” to capture them. Honestly, sometimes I think cops just wanna shoot something.

  4. Rad Renner

    My heart is filled with sadness and rage at the idiocy of the needless slaughter of these beautiful animals. Obviously, private citizens should not be permitted to have such dangerous animals, but couldn’t some agency have at least “tried” to capture them? Honestly, sometimes I think cops just wanna shoot something.

  5. Steve Wathke

    As Bob Barker says” please have your cats and dogs spayed or nuetered.”
    The sheriffs responsibility is to protect the public, not the animals. He was just doing what he had to do. I’m sure they’re not equipped with tranquilizers guns especially for that amount of wild animals.
    Try being mad at the crazy person who took care of these animals and then decided to commit this terrible act.
    Most humans care about animals and shouldn’t be ashamed because of the acts of a few crazies.
    I agree with Rod Lakes statement too. A persons life is more important than an animals life.

  6. mark

    Extremely upsetting. That guy NEVER should have been allowed to have those animals in the first place. Those animals shouldn’t have been killed. Unfortunately the resources simply didn’t exist locally to handle the situation the right way. They should have shut that place down long ago and placed those animals in zoo’s where they have resources to take care of them.

  7. davidA

    Very sad, classic example of 2 wrongs not making a right….it was wrong for that nutcase to have those animals and it was wrong for the way the local police force reacted.

  8. trey h.

    Capture them and then what? Zoos are already cash-strapped to the breaking point. The facilities to house big cats at an AZA institution are astronomically expensive. I actually think shooting them was the humane thing to do (as opposed to keeping them prisoner for the rest of their lives). We discussed the wild tiger population in my classes today. Concensus # is ~3500 wild tigers, a staggering decline from the 100,000 that were left a generation ago. Population fragmentation has nuked gene flow, the pocketed habitat they inhabit is surrounded by a sea of humans, their habitats are cleared for farming (to feed the aforementioned humans) and their penises (penis’? penes?) and other body parts bring giant $$$ for traditional (voodoo?) medicine. Combine that with their ‘top-predator’ wiring, which leads to lots of conflicts, and it’s the perfect storm. Makes me want to cry, or puke, or something like that.
    BTW- we “officially” hit 7,000,000,000 humans on Halloween this year.

  9. bob

    As someone else mentioned the sheriff’s first responsibility is to protect the public. that is his job.
    You say make sure every one is aware of the situation? How exactly do u do that? Go door to door ? Sound the air raid siren?
    Guess what in the real world there will always be a couple of kids sneeking down the creek when they told their parents they were going to a friends house. I find it disgusting that so many people are looking in hindsight at an emergency situation and criticisizing.
    Steve you always seem to have contempt for authority, ie police, officials, maybe you need to look inward and think why? If you yourself treated all people the way you wish animals to be treated maybe you would be a little happier in life.
    Just as a footnote they did attempt to use tranquilizers on one animal and it made the situation worse.
    Other animal experts have come forward and said tranquilizing animals is hard enough in daytime but impossible at night.
    But you always know better and authorities are always in the wrong because they do not do things the way you would like.
    You want rule & law but only when it benefits your point of view…. Put animal life before human, of course if someone you loved was hurt you would be first in line to sue the police for negligence

  10. tilford97 Post author

    Bob-You’re getting a little personal here.

    I don’t think you know me well enough, or maybe not at all, to be trying to tell me why I think the way I do or what I’d do it any given situation.

    I’m just writing some stuff down here that is meaningful to me. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with any of it. That’s fine.

    And, Bob, I’m pretty happy in life. But, I’ll take your advice under consideration.

  11. bob

    Steve i am honestly trying to get you to understand how your mind works, the comments you make may seem innocuous to you but they are like a light shining into who you are.
    Look , most successful athletes are driven and somewhat self centered individuals. Your comments and actions support that.
    You make decisions every day about which lives are more important. When you intervene an save cats when you step back and look at it you are making a decision to that upsets the natural balance of the planet. How many cats are there in the world? How many quail will die because you intervened and played God?
    Nature is cruel maybe one of thoseanimals you saved would have kept a different animal alive or able to feed its young. However you made a decision to take it upon yourself to do something however admirable your intentions and decide that those animals would be taken out of the food chain.
    So you DO decide some lives are more
    important .
    and sometime when you or a loved one is sitting in an emergency room in a life & death situation i hope you will remember then that an ER physician trying to save THAT life is not as important to you as a tiger.
    If you want to criticize people(usually in positions of authority, see a pattern there? i do)
    expect that some people might see things differently. And some of us rather than just moving on, think the world might be a better place if people understood each other better.
    And to do that we need to understand ourselves.
    Sometimes that takes a contrary perspective.
    Sometimes our actions and those of others have consequences beyond what we believe.
    Before you criticisize others just take a moment and ask yourself if you are not guilty of the same behavior in a different way? Ask yourself if there might be reason why someone might do something you do not understand?
    or you can continue to be disappointed in the actions of others

  12. tilford97 Post author

    Bob- I stated it above and I’ll state it again here-

    Random human, random tiger, I choose tiger.

    Sorry, but that’s how my mind works.

  13. Phil

    I’m with the human-lovers here. How anyone could choose a tiger or ANY other animal over a human life is beyond me. It’s so obvious that you don’t have kids Steve. Not that there’s anything wrong with that (although it is kind of selfish in my opinion). If you did have children of your own you’d look at this story 100% differently. We have 2 dogs and 8 chickens roaming around in our back yard, so we love animals too, but when I see pictures of multiple cats sitting in your kitchen, eating on your table like that, it makes me almost sick. Gross. If the sheriff in Ohio just decided to let the tigers roam free for a day or two longer, while they tried to round up enough cages to catch them all, I bet more than a few human lives would have been lost. Would that have been the better choice in this situation? Sheesh.

  14. Eric Roche

    To Phil…..” Steve is kind of selfish” for not having children? I am sorry. Being a parent is a choice, not an obligation. That is a ridiculous and ignorant statement. Not to mention the gross assumption that those who do not have children haven’t tried but are sadly enable to one way or another. I am a parent and have much respect for people who recognize the delicate nature of parenting and choose not to for their own reasons. To many people are bringing children in this world that should not be.

  15. Rod Lake

    Steve, I’m really struggling with the “random human, random tiger” choice. Where then do people rank on that scale? So, tigers clearly above humans. What about birds, turtles, crickets, fire ants? I honestly was hoping you’d back off that comment. I was surprised to read you double down. Please don’t view this as an attack. Just trying to get my head around it.

  16. chad

    How is not having kids selfish? I have a child and when my wife and I talk about having more we wonder if we are being selfish for wanting more. Study the population growth and see where we are headed.

    Steve do you eat meat?

  17. Noah

    None of the animals killed would hesitate for a second to kill a human that they felt was threatening them or their young (or if they were just hungry). Murder and violence is disturbing, but is also part of the fabric of nature.

  18. John

    Have you studied much Philosophy Steve? I have a degree in Philosophy although don’t use it in my profession. It’s a very common scenario when looking at the “value” of life and animal rights or moral worth.

    A scenario that I have a hard time saying the random human is worth more than the random tiger. It’s an important discussion for the worth of human life and animal rights.

  19. rab

    “Selfish” for NOT having kids? Doesn’t necessarily make a lot of sense to me.

    Having kids is arguably the more selfish decision. There is certainly no greater need requiring human reproduction with the population where it stands…if anything the argument would be for population reduction.
    Having kids for your own joy, to continue a family name, pass on a bloodline…that is pretty selfish really. And not necessarily horribly wrong, we are inherently programmed to be selfish to survive and make ourselves happy.

    Want to impress me as UNSELFISH? Go adopt a kid or two that is already living, needs love and a home. Not an easy thing to do in many ways, for many reasons.

    In the US, if you have kids, you can get bigger tax deductions than the childless, a good chunk of which goes into education and building the infrastructure that your children will someday use. So hold the childless=selfish rhetoric please.

  20. Rad Renner

    The point I think that many of the “shoot first” crowd are missing is that these animals were shot like ducks in a pond. There is no f-ing way that a bunch of cops can kill 48 animals that quickly if it weren’t obscenely easy. How can I be so certain? These were large animals that require pretty high powered weapons and good marksmanship to put down with only 1-2 rounds. The police don’t have these types of weapons in their squad cars, but they do have shotguns, which are lethal only at very close range. So, these “super dangerous” animals were shot by cops at less than 35 yards, and probably 6-7 times each, given their large size. These cops probably spent more time re-loading than actually shooting. All the while, the “super dangerous” animals are doing what? Devouring people? Running away? No, they didn’t, because if those animals really wanted to run away, then there’s no f-ing way that these lazy amateurs would have been able to track down and kill 48 large carnivores in so short a time. My point is that they COULD HAVE AT LEAST TRIED to save the animals. Call in some trained professionals, anything. It seems to me that cops are always shooting wild animals unnecessarily and I am sick of it. The cops in Lincoln shot a bull elk in the suburbs yesterday. Why? Maybe just let it f-ing leave on it’s own accord? No, they hafta shoot it. Cops have shot like 3 cougars near Omaha in the past 5 years or so. Why? We have a goddamn world-famous zoo here. Maybe call them and let them handle it. This stuff happens all the time and it’s retarded. I’m with Steve; too many people, not enough animals. And, yeah, that is our fault. And whoever thinks that not having kids is selfish is just being moronic. This planet doesn’t need one more human.

  21. Rich

    I am not going to have children, so I guess I am selfish also. By the way, your children are not special to anyone but yourself. If you would take killing some endangered animals over some random guy in the backwoods of Ohio, then you really need to re-evaluate your priorities. I live in China, and that is the kind of mentality I expect to find from the uneducated here.

  22. Jim

    Basically, the humans didn’t even try to save the animals because, you know, they thought eh, humans are more important than animals and we have have 7 billion of us so that makes animals even less so. Unfortunately it was a political kill decision as animals don’t pay taxes.

    If the consensus among humans, with their very large brains and conscience, whose first impulse isn’t to try for a win-win situation then we’re utter failures as a species.

    But that’s ok as long as we can afford the new SUV.

  23. elyse

    thank you, steve.

    I pick random tiger over random human any day.

    people cause me more grief than any animal every has. unfortunately, I’m duty-bound to be nice to everybody until I get disgusted and reaffirm my distrust of humankind in general for the millionth time. I don’t like being told I should place a human life above an animal’s when *lots* of humans prove to me *every day* that my own life means less to them than their desire to get to their destination faster while driving, with me commuting by bike. these are random humans. I’d be a forgettable grease-spot to most people anyway, so why should I feel bad about not wanting to align with the humans? until people prove unselfishness and compassion with their actions, I say phooey.

    (I’m vegan and childless. I want to foster. to the commenter who didn’t like cats at the dining table: I get an inward shudder when I visit the houses of families with small children. sorry, I imagine surfaces covered with saliva, unwashed bathroom hands, and boogers. I know the children’s parents cherish said saliva, unwashed bathroom hands, and boogers, but I don’t. I’ll take dog slobber, cat paws, and bird feathers. each to his/her own germy paradise.)

  24. Rod Lake

    So for all you who say you would favor the random animal over a random human, here’s a test: You have a choice. You must save either an abandoned kitty placed at your doorstep, or an abandoned baby. Which do you choose to save?

  25. Phil

    Amen Rod! Well said. Rich-since you live in China, you basically live in a society devoid of any human quality anyway. I can see why you’d think the way you do. And Elyse-since you choose not to have kids I see your point. I just don’t see the point of living a life without bringing up a new life and seeing him or her grow up. Going through life with nothing but your career or your hobbies to look forward to is sad, really sad. No purpose. But hey-have fun!

  26. Jim

    Hey Phil,
    I believe you said this:
    “Rich-since you live in China, you basically live in a society devoid of any human quality anyway.”

    I could said something like, “What part of Buttfuck MO are you from?” but will just let your ignorant statement stand. You may have a big mouth big evidently not much intelligence behind it.

    And you’re going to “teach” your child to think like this. Incredible.

  27. tilford97 Post author

    Pretty divisive subject, huh guys. I like Rod’s question. Thought provoking, as Rod usually is.

    The problem with it – it’s not random. I said random human, random tiger. Plus, a kitten isn’t a Bengal tiger unless it’s a tiger kitten of course.

  28. Rad Renner

    Phil, since you’re so fond of attacking people here, allow me to return the favor: you are retarded. 7 billion people on a planet with ever-shrinking resources and we need MORE? Please go away.

  29. John

    To rephrase Rod’s question, suppose there is only 1 male tiger left on earth. It is about to be shot by a hunter. At the same time a child just got pushed into a river (by the hunter if you wish) and you don’t know if they can swim. You are the only other person around and you can guarantee you save one. Which do you save?

    Looking at moral value and weight, the tiger bears the weight of the entire species. Saving him you could save the species. Saving the child and you save village child but tigers will no longer exist.

    The line is drawn where you have some people that “assign” moral weight and value to sentient beings (not just humans and not all human are sentient just because their body is alive remember). To a point that value of the sentient being can exceed that of humans depending upon the circumstances. The other side is people that believe any human life is more valuable than any being, period, regardless of the situation. It’s very difficult to get the other side to buy into what the other side is saying because it’s such a core foundation that will makeup your own personal moral code whether you realize it or not. And those things don’t change easily.

    Anyone more interested on the issue read the book by Peter Singer, Animal Liberation and you’ll at least come to see the logic some of us are using to say take random tiger over random human. For the take the human always perspective read the book Life, Liberty, and the Defense of Dignity by Leon Kass. And if you want a copy of either Steve, email me.

  30. H Luce

    If Vladimir Putin can shoot a wild 5-year-old female tiger on foot with a compound bow with a tranquilizer dart, sheriff’s deputies can (or should) be able to pull off the same trick with a rifle from a longer distance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hkt5G0uHO0g

    the slaughter in Ohio was despicable and totally unnecessary. To shoot and kill a tiger, you’re looking at a clean shot – bullet placement is your first concern, because if you just wound it, you’ve got a really dangerous situation and just a blood trail to follow. Whereas you can hit the tiger with a tranquilizer dart anywhere, and the drug gets delivered and slows down, hit it twice and the cat goes down, still alive. Both shots, bullets and darts, require good lighting and a good sight picture, you can’t do this at night with night vision scopes – and if you try it at night you’ve got a better chance at getting a good result with a tranquilizer round or two, because, as I said above, it doesn’t matter where you hit the tiger.

  31. Marc

    Great post Steve. I don’t want to fan the flames here, but if you want to save animals, the easiest place to start is to not eat them. American farmers killed 32 million cattle last year so we could all eat cheap burgers.

  32. Andrea Ratkovic

    Poor poor Phil. What makes you think your gene pool is so special as to procreate? Obviously, most of the people who posted here don’t believe it’s special at all.

    How do you feel about yourself saying, “Going through life with nothing but your career or your hobbies to look forward to is sad, really sad. No purpose. But hey-have fun!

    YOU are the one with no purpose other than to egotistically and selfishly bring someone from your seed into this world and rear it the way you see fit. THAT is your ONLY purpose. Wow, how well-rounded you must feel.

    The rest of us who choose not to have children like Oprah and many other important people have much more of our time to help those who are in need unlike people who spend every waking minute thinking about their kids.

    And if my mom and dad chose not to have me it would have been ok. I wouldn’t have known the difference, and life would go on. But see, unselfishly, I get it. I understand that the world is NOT all about ME. There is greater purpose in this life and in the next.

    And sorry if I sound mean. You just really pissed me off. Having kids is easy; it’s the expected thing to do, and I’m sure it’s very rewarding for you. Being different is harder and sometimes more rewarding for everyone else.


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