Day: August 20, 2018

Views of a vacation.

I’ve never been to South America, and I did not want to fly there.
Some acquaintances had promised me that they had a colony of native monkeys in their garden, so I was immediately curious.
The house was ca. 50 kilometers outside of Sao Paulo, which means for the South American standards, a pure odyssey this journey.
I waited two days for the monkeys, but there were only occasional sporadic appearances of them.
And then … on my mobile phone I got the message of a good friend who lives in the neighboring country of Paraguay, that in his mother’s house a large roaring monkey colony had formed, with more than 10 animals, young and old.

It should be the howler monkeys that live only in Paraguay.

Caraya_Schwarz

The trip to Brazil was over, I came to Paraguay on the third day.
Again with a travel odyssey of more than 60 kilometers drive outside the capital, Asuncion.
The friend’s mother was 82, and came from the area. She had three cats, two of which were emaciated, and had eye infections and illnesses.
She fed her with food leftovers, which is normal for the prevailing mentality.

The monkey colony was big, indeed!
The animals came to the trees only when it was warm, and they came out very often, because that winter had very pleasant temperatures there.

Beobachtend

I spent a lot of time rehearsing our ancestors, I found everyone very interesting.
The locals had already noticed the animals, but the only interest in them was whether they could eat the animals.
The colony consisted of 10 people, small, medium and large.
The boss was a black man with a dominant voice and statue who all threatened to come close to the family.
Some female monkeys had recently been recruited and therefore did not come down.
In the garden there were plenty of bananas, mangos, passion fruit, oranges … it was a beautiful garden. I have not offered any animal any of this. They should stay on top of the trees, and not come into direct contact with the other monkeys the “Naked Monkeys”.

Blondes_Affenbaby

Playing together was the most important part of their life. They used their tail as a hedge around the branches, and could hang like that for minutes while eating some fruit at the same time.
I did not manage to trick anybody until the last day.
I hid between the bamboos to take pictures of them, but they discovered me immediately, and the reward was an outstretched tongue!! I came from the back to take pictures of the whole family but the boss immediately put his fists to his chest and said, “Huh, huh, huh ..” signals that I should leave his family alone.
In the country you can see many dogs and cats, they are free and do not belong to anyone.
They live with humans, but not together with humans.
The only difference I could see with other countries was, that the animals in Paraguay are not directly mistreated, like in Spain or Greece (where I was).
They feed them with scraps of food when they have them, and the animals sleep next to the road, or in some stable. Nobody cares about them when they get sick. But nowhere have I observed a direct mistreatment of pets.

The only animals that live tethered in Paraguay are the cows. In the sun, in the rain, in the wind. All cows that are in the meadows are tethered. In the evening they are moved, the owners bring them to the stable. I asked why they do it this way: “otherwise they will be stolen, and we need our cows, they are our capital,” was the answer.
I started from the first day with the treatment of domestic cats. One had to get antibiotics, the other worming cure, and both eye drops. The old woman (and owner of the cats) could not understand that. She did not help, she did not want to know why I did it.
We were separated with universes in our principles and empathy about animals.

Schwarzer_Chef

I discovered a dirty chicken coop late, at the end of the property, where there were two specially bred chickens. For meat.
They could not walk, they had no feather around half the body and both had signs of cannibalism at the back of their heads.
When I asked the woman, “why don`t you let them out? You have 2 hectares of land here”. She replied,” I’m scared that the neighbors will steal them from me. ”
“But everyone has chickens here, and even free,” I said.
“Yes, but these are special chickens, they have good meat,” she said.
“And who slaughters them?” I asked.
“Myself” !!!

One hour before I left, I left the door of the chicken coop open. And a note on it saying, “Un regalo para tus prisioneros, segnora” (A poison for your prisoners, segnora).

I will remember for a long time my short friendship with the monkeys, with the three cats, with the two captive chickens …
I’m very worried about how they are.
Today and here I think: we have no right to claim that we have evolved when when we treat animals like slaves.
The fact that we are no longer living on the trees does not make us a better race and does not prove any development in the morale and logic of our species. We have remained arrogant, cruel and brutal about living together with other beings.
We are just the “nude monkeys” and nothing more.

With my best regards to all, Venus

https://flic.kr/s/aHskGySy99

 

USA (Alaska): Guns and Wolves: How Hunting Culture Has Plundered America’s Last Wild Frontier.

USA

 

Guns and Wolves: How Hunting Culture Has Plundered America’s Last Wild Frontier.

 

guns and wolves

By Denise Boehler

Grey wolves. Grizzly bears, black bears, brown bears. All are living in ecosystems on more than 95 million acres of Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuges (funded by American taxpayers) and Denali National Park, wandering, romping and bearing young on the last wild frontier.

It’s a magical place: the mere mention of Alaska evokes imagery of wild wolves and majestic bears. At one time, people visited and relocated there just to be in their midst. That’s been changing, however, since the early 1990s, when the Alaska Board of Game (Board) began implementing aggressive predator policies that blame predators for only doing what nature intended. By taking as many predators out of the ecosystem as is arguably sustainable through increasingly efficient and often unfair hunting practices, the Board aims to boost moose and caribou populations for indigenous and out-of-state trophy hunters, bringing millions of dollars into the state. These policies are much debated; conservationists see other explanations than over-predation for reduced prey populations. In the meantime, Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuges are becoming game farms, in the words of Alaskan biologist Francis Mauer.

Alaska received statehood in 1958. At the time, the federal government created a mandate for conservation of wildlife as its highest priority through the passage of the Alaska National Interests Land Conservation Act (ANILCA). Alaskan governors, the Board and out-of-state trophy hunters have had a different priority: Economics. Disregard for the federal mandate and moves toward state control have given rise to not only the question of states’ rights versus federal authority, but a mentality of treating some of the last of this country’s apex predators as an inexhaustible resource. The adoption of these policies is an ongoing controversy, replete with politics and indigenous rights issues, legal arguments and conservation challenges. In the meantime, apex predators are in the literal crosshairs each time a governor appoints a Board member, a Board resolution is signed or a policy enacted.

It can be disheartening to realize that the Board itself is comprised of hunters and those with vested hunting interests. At least one of the members, Vice-Chair Nate Turner, is an owner of an outfitting company directly profiting each time a decision is made to increase bag limits, allow aerial hunting or look the other way when wolf pups are lethally removed from dens. While these specific practices may not bring in direct revenue for Mr. Turner’s company, they are part and parcel of the domination of economics over conservation.

Turner is joined by Chairman Ted Spraker, lifetime NRA member and member of Safari Club International, a proud sponsor of HJRes 69 (a measure stripping Alaska’s right to manage fish and wildlife on federal refuges). Many Alaskans feel that the consumptive makeup of the Board is directly responsible for the increasingly aggressive predator control policies. With none of its members coming from the ecotourism industry that reveres animals as sentient beings, this constitution treats Alaska’s apex predators as animals to be consumed, not conserved. All of its seven members appointed by the governor adhere to this philosophy.

Must Alaska resort to consuming its wildlife to survive? One need only point to the $2 billion annual income in the ecotourism industry, nearly twice the revenue generated from the trophy hunting industry, to answer in the negative. Why, then, do they not support the viewing of wolves and bears from tour buses and the revenue derived from tourism and honor the federal mandate of conservation?

Again, the answer for some Alaskans is simple: The Board consists of hunters. Their philosophies (and conflicts of interest) supersede the conservation priority. Grizzly bears, black bears, brown bears, grey wolves, are resources. Wealthy trophy hunters pay outfitters handsome sums to take the life of a grizzly (wolves are free, if they are trotting through a hunter’s crosshairs).

Vice-Chairman Turner’s company, Turners Alaskan Adventures, enjoys receiving $6,000 to $14,500 for the life of a grizzly bear, depending upon if it is alone or in the company of a moose. For the lives of three black bears, one can expect to pay $14,500. For the life of a brown bear, checks are written from $23,500 – $29,000, depending upon the days out in the bush.

All of the Board members’ terms remain active, which means that for now, Alaska’s apex predators will continue to be held in the crosshairs and in peril. While these aggressive predator control policies persist, it is not unsurprising to see individuals acting out this philosophy for all to witness. This past winter, in a malicious act of violence, a disturbing image made public of a clearly triumphant masked man with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle held high over his head, posing behind the carcasses of ten grey wolves gunned down just outside Denali National Park. It begs the question, was this man acting on his own volition, or was he supported by Alaska’s aggressive anti-predator culture at large?