FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Deer Hunting in Virginia While the World Burns

“Managing Virginia’s wildlife to maintain optimum populations of all species to serve the needs of the Commonwealth”;

– Mission Statement, website of Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF).

“Humans have killed off about half the world’s nonhuman vertebrate animal population since 1970” 

– World Wildlife Fund report, “Living Planet Index, September 2014.

Recent alarming developments and reports concerning our environment, climate change and a faster and more dangerous warming of the planet, as well as a 40-year overall die-off of the majority of wild animals on the planet, have had most thoughtful citizens feeling understandably anxious and alarmed over the expanding prospects for a very insecure and uncomfortable future on the planet for their children, grandchildren, and the animal kingdom.

Many of these concerned Americans are merely anxious and hoping, others working actively and politically, some loudly demanding in the streets of New York City (see 300,000 attend Climate March, NYC Sept 2014), that governments, corporations, and business communities respond far faster and deeper in forming sane agreements and binding commitments to try and limit and lessen any further destruction to their world.

But, should you choose to turn to the state of Virginia’s primary wildlife conservation agency, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), for guidance on these dire issues, you’ll be sadly disappointed. I turned to their website for some pertinent, up-to-date, information about global warming and about how these massive die-offs of wildlife fit in with this alarming trend. I came up totally empty handed.  Not a single word, line, or paragraph could I find on these literally burning current environmental topics. Nor will you detect any sense of alarm coming from these orange-vested “conservationists” of Richmond.

Honestly I was not surprised. I know why traditional “game” wardens are not out in front on these crises. The answer is that they’re too busy promoting hunting, trapping, and fishing. In particular, they’re keeping deer hunters very happy.

The old notion of having a proverbial “Elephant sitting in the room” has been VDGIF’s modus operandi in the Dominion State of Virginia on environmental issues probably since the first Earth Day in 1970.  Oh but the good boys in camouflage have been killing it, if you’ll excuse the pun, for a hundred years performing their version of “conservation”. And their website reveals this.

VDGIF’s priority has always been and remains to propagate game animals for the gun. Everything this stodgy old game agency does is about hunting, and fishing to lesser degree. They are about manipulating a handful of popular hunted species into overpopulation for hunters, such as their annual bread and butter crop of deer. They do this in spite of the dire state of world, and to the detriment of the environment and the other 99% of wild animals, simply to satisfy their very vocal and demanding (and hunting license buying) constituent group, sport and trophy hunters.

While the highest profile environmental news stories of recorded human history stream “24/7” across all our screens and front-page headlines for weeks, concerning the literal survivability of a living planet and the decimated state of our beleaguered wild animal populations, the state agency tasked by the state assembly with protecting and preserving ALL wildlife species and their habitats is literally MIA (Missing In Action).

Enter the elephant sitting mutely in the corner of our room (hint; he’s wearing camouflage and holding a hunting rifle): The VDGIF’s annual war on wildlife, commonly known as hunting season.

A major report released last week done by the prestigious ecology group, World Wildlife Fund, along with Zoological Society of London and other groups, found since the year 1970 more than half of the world’s vertebrate species have vanished from the face of the planet. An estimated 52% of animal life on the Earth has been killed off by human beings during the last forty years.

Hello, VDGIF?

WWF’s exhaustive report cited the primary drivers for the jaw-dropping loss of animal life were “exploitation from overhunting and overfishing, as well as habitat degradation, and the atmosphere-changing effects of climate change from increasing carbon consumption – the burning of fossil fuels – leading to a warming planet. Reported by the Washington Post, A section, 10/1, “Humans have killed off half the world’s animals”, the study laid out in compelling detail how species’ declines are almost exclusively caused by humans’ ever-increasing footprint on the planet. According to the report, “Humanity currently needs the regenerative capacity of 1.5 Earths to provide the ecological goods and services we use each year”.

VDGIF? Chirp chirp.

It’s past time concerned citizens of Virginia call their governor, congressional representatives, and state senators, and apply pressure. Tell them that our state and our world need a real wildlife protection agency out in the forefront of change, rather than an outdated hunting club conducting business as usual.

You might also want to express your disdain for recreational killing of animals while the world burns.

Glenn A. Kirk lives in Boston, Virginia. He is a member of  EARTH: Environmentalists Against Recreational and Trophy Hunting.

 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
April 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not
Conn Hallinan
The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
Howard Lisnoff
How James Comey Became the Strange New Hero of the Liberals
William Blum
Anti-Empire Report: Unseen Persons
Lawrence Davidson
Missiles Over Damascus
Patrick Cockburn
The Plight of the Yazidi of Afrin
Pete Dolack
Fooled Again? Trump Trade Policy Elevates Corporate Power
Stan Cox
For Climate Mobilization, Look to 1960s Vietnam Before Turning to 1940s America
William Hawes
Global Weirding
Dan Glazebrook
World War is Still in the Cards
Nick Pemberton
In Defense of Cardi B: Beyond Bourgeois PC Culture
Ishmael Reed
Hollywood’s Last Days?
Peter Certo
There Was Nothing Humanitarian About Our Strikes on Syria
Dean Baker
China’s “Currency Devaluation Game”
Ann Garrison
Why Don’t We All Vote to Commit International Crimes?
LEJ Rachell
The Baddest Black Power Artist You Never Heard Of
Lawrence Ware
All Hell Broke Out in Oklahoma
Franklin Lamb
Tehran’s Syria: Lebanon Colonization Project is Collapsing
Donny Swanson
Janus v. AFSCME: What’s It All About?
Will Podmore
Brexit and the Windrush Britons
Brian Saady
Boehner’s Marijuana Lobbying is Symptomatic of Special-Interest Problem
Julian Vigo
Google’s Delisting and Censorship of Information
Patrick Walker
Political Dynamite: Poor People’s Campaign and the Movement for a People’s Party
Fred Gardner
Medical Board to MDs: Emphasize Dangers of Marijuana
Rob Seimetz
We Must Stand In Solidarity With Eric Reid
Missy Comley Beattie
Remembering Barbara Bush
Wim Laven
Teaching Peace in a Time of Hate
Thomas Knapp
Freedom is Winning in the Encryption Arms Race
Mir Alikhan
There Won’t be Peace in Afghanistan Until There’s Peace in Kashmir
Robert Koehler
Playing War in Syria
Tamara Pearson
US Shootings: Gun Industry Killing More People Overseas
John Feffer
Trump’s Trade War is About Trump Not China
Morris Pearl
Why the Census Shouldn’t Ask About Citizenship
Ralph Nader
Bill Curry on the Move against Public Corruption
Josh Hoxie
Five Tax Myths Debunked
Leslie Mullin
Democratic Space in Adverse Times: Milestone at Haiti’s University of the Aristide Foundation
Louis Proyect
Syria and Neo-McCarthyism
Dean Baker
Finance 202 Meets Economics 101
Abel Cohen
Forget Gun Control, Try Bullet Control
Robert Fantina
“Damascus Time:” An Iranian Movie
David Yearsley
Bach and Taxes
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail