So I ask, What have we become? Consider these few examples:
- A gunman opens fire in a movie theater in Louisiana, killing two women.
- A white supremacist walks into a Bible study group in South Carolina and murders nine people.
- A man opens fire on two military recruiting stations in Tennessee, killing four Marines and a sailor.
- An 8-year-old girl in California is kidnapped, raped and murdered by a 15-year-old neighbor.
- A Memphis police officer is murdered during a traffic stop when he interrupts a drug deal involving fewer than two grams of marijuana.
- A young man in Albuquerque visiting friends in a quiet neighborhood watched his friends playing cards in the kitchen. He was sitting on the counter. Suddenly a bullet tore through the wall, killing him. He was a good student, a member of his high school football and wrestling teams, and he would have been a senior this year. One of his friends frantically called 911. The emergency dispatcher hung up on her.
- A rookie cop opens fire on a suspected burglar, killing him. The suspect was an unarmed 19-year-old who was seen on security video damaging cars and driving through the front doors of an auto dealership. The officer was fired.
- According to the Buffalo Field Campaign, 7,825 Yellowstone bison have been killed since 1985. Of these, 735 wild buffalo from the Yellowstone ecosystem were killed under pressure from the livestock industry between November 2014 and June 2015
- African lion populations have fallen almost 60 percent over the past three decades, and as few as 32,000 of them remain in the wild, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
- The population of African elephants has plummeted from an estimated 3 million to 5 million at the beginning of the 20th century, to approximately 500,000 today, according to the World Wildlife Fund.Back in the early part of the 20th century, there may have been as many as 3-5 million African elephants. But there are now around 500,000. - See more at: http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/elephants/african_elephants/#sthash.V8BlvNCT.dpuf
- 'Big game hunter' Walter Palmer paid more than $50,000 to kill a male lion in Zimbabwe. But first, he and his guides tied an animal carcass to the vehicle to lure the animal from the national park where it lived. Then he shot the lion -- a well-known and beloved lion known as Cecil -- with a crossbow. Of course, since this occurred under cover of darkness, the mighty hunter wasn't able -- or was too scared -- to track the injured animal. Cecil suffered for 40 hours before being shot with a gun by the big brave hunter, then he was skinned and beheaded. His body was left to rot. Cecil was wearing a radio collar as part of an Oxford University study on the effects of poaching on the park's animals.
- The government of British Columbia plans to slaughter 200 wolves to 'save' caribou. The real culprit isn't wolves. Caribou populations are declining because of destruction of habitat and human encroachment. But it's easier to blame the wolves. And the BC government says this 'culling' will go on for 5 years. Disgraceful.
- Two vendors in China were caught on video sawing into a LIVE whale shark while others watched and snapped photographs.
- Some bimbo in Florida posted a photo of herself on Facebook sitting atop an endangered sea turtle.
- Another story reported that a couple was seen laughing hysterically as they drove their car over five plainly marked sea turtle nests, pursued by people trying to get them to stop.
- Workers with the Environmental Protection Agency mistakenly open a dam holding back highly contaminated water in a closed Colorado gold mine, sending 3 million gallons of orange water filled with arsenic, lead, cadmium and other toxins into the Animas and San Juan rivers.
We as human beings, regardless of race or nationality, must come together to stop destroying each other, the planet and the animals trying to do nothing more than live their lives. We need to help each other, support and watch out for each other. It's no wonder that I look forward to daily reruns of 'The Waltons' television show, about the hard but love-filled life of a Virginia family in the post-Depression years. I love seeing how people back then helped each other, neighbors and strangers alike.
I suppose it's pollyana-ish to even think of a return to the values and morals of those times. But maybe if enough people make an effort, as through the random-acts-of-kineness movement, we can at least start to make a difference.