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Sunday, November 22, 2015

I Am Tired

I am tired.

I am tired of wildlife being slaughtered in killing contests to see who can kill the most coyotes, wolves, foxes or whatever in a 2-day period.

I am tired of elephants being slaughtered by gun, spear, poison, snare or any other means so some Chinese can have ivory trinkets.

I am tired of trophy hunters killing bears, tigers, lions, zebra, giraffe, mountain lions and other 'trophy' animals for sport, to spread the hides on the floor or hang the heads on the wall of their 'man cave.'

I am tired of our government officials selling our public lands to the highest bidder so they can be raped and destroyed in the never-ending search for coal (that does little more than cause terrible air pollution), minerals, etc.

I am tired of ranchers being allowed to graze their sheep and cattle on public lands for next to nothing, and then destroying any predator that dares bother their herds or flocks.

I am tired of rhinoceros being driven to extinction so some Chinese or Vietnamese man can make himself feel virile by consuming ground-up rhino horn. Really? Come into the 21st century. Rhino horn just makes men who use it look like weak, pathetic losers. Rhino horn is made of keratin -- the same thing of which our fingernails are made. So go chew on your own finger nails and leave the rhino alone!

I am tired of the pangolin, a small, scaled mammal, being killed so, again, the Chinese can cure cancer with the scales. Grow up, people! Pangolin scales do not cure cancer. They are made of keratin, just like human fingernails. Your mumbo-jumbo, magic potions are a joke. And they are endangering the world's wildlife.

I am tired of our elected officials -- elected in theory to represent the people who elect them -- ignoring the wishes of the people, instead acting only to make their paymasters happy. Lobbyists, big oil and gas, ranchers -- they all have much more influence with elected officials than do we 'little people.' Case in point: In New Mexico, some 70 percent of citizens supports the reintroduction of the highly endangered Mexican gray wolf. But the state game and fish commission, packed by the governor with pro-hunting and pro-ranching shills -- does everything in its power to block such reintroduction efforts. Case in point: The vast majority of citizens oppose giving driver licenses to people in the state illegally. Yet year after year, the legislature refuses to either overturn this ill-conceived law or institute a two-tier system of licenses for those in the state legally and permits good only for driving (and not for use as identification). After all, we don't want to hurt the feelings of the illegals. 

I am tired of Congress refusing to do anything -- anything -- about the escalating gun violence in this country, all because most of the members are bought and paid for by the National Rifle Association.

I am tired of living in a country that has billions to spend on unwanted weapons, but 'no money' to provide health care and housing for thousands of American veterans. 

I am tired of reading about the billions of dollars in foreign aid we give to countries such as Israel, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan each year, while Americans go hungry every day, or live on the streets or in their cars.

I am tired of writing to my senators and getting a non-answer in response. Recently I wrote to ask that my senators work to defeat several pieces of legislation that seek to remove Endangered Species Act protections from America's wolves. I got no response from one senator. The other sent me a form letter highlighting the history of the Endangered Species Act. Nowhere did he respond to the specifics of my letter.

So yes, I am very tired. And I feel hopeless and disenfranchised. What I and others like me want is irrelevant. Big money is the only thing to which people listen. And sadly, we little people can't compete. Doing what is right isn't important as long as the decisions line someone's pockets.

I worry about the world my daughter and others of her generation will inherit. It is likely to be a world devoid of many species of animals, with denuded forests, polluted water, and national parks sold to the highest bidder for exploitation. 

I'm glad I won't  be around to see this new world, as I know it would break my heart. And what is especially sad is that we have the means to do so much better, but human greed wins out every time.