Good question

Last year our city created a limited wildlife feeding ban to curb the rat and turkey population downtown.  

Did you know turkeys also eat rodents? The hoopla about turkeys and rats taking over downtown created a poorly thought-out feeding ban to help solve the rat problem. Ridiculous. Rats are a byproduct of an increase in the density of city life and an increase in transient and homeless population who leave their trash behind. I empathize with the plight of the homeless, but we do sadly have garbage left behind everywhere. Turkeys also do more for us than keep the rat and mouse population in check.

There is a well-known verse that is repeated in various holy books and metaphysical writings across the world. It says (paraphrasing) that “man was given dominion over the Earth and was given power to care for the earth and all its inhabitants.” 

The reality is that animals have become victims to the horrific leadership or lack of it demonstrated on their behalf. Until we have leadership in place that values creatures (I was going to say as much as they value people — but that is a problem too, isn’t it?) we can rest assured that nature includes us — we as humans are not other than nature, we have it in our DNA.  

It makes me feel a sense of joy to talk to people who are aware and sensitive to our wildlife that literally, I think, put up with us. I am a senior and always hold up hope that an unstoppable young leader will rise up, who will radically change the way our culture views animals as something other than ourselves — someone who will fight for them and pass laws to take care of them rather than create ordinances against them — and begin by caring for people, everyone! 

Until then, cheers to those of you who have feeders, provide water, appreciate and care for the animals who live in our midst. All you have to do is look into their eyes or watch the birds happily fly through the sprays as you water your plants and you just know and they know, too. Ordinances are often clearly created “for us” by officials who value their own power over what is true.

Arwen Strider


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