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sl-prokeys was born April 5, 1995


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On Thursday, August 21, 2003, at 2:45pm, my wife of 34 years, Rebecca, died in my arms in an emergency room.

The last words we spoke were in perfect synchronization: "I love you with all my heart."

 

 

Human and Animal Sports

Here are some thoughts and questions. 

How many sports and activities do you know of where humans and animals participate? 

Obviously, human - human sports are by far the most popular: football, basketball, the list is long, and it's not relative to this article. 

Let's consider the human - animal activities.

 

On our planet (currently) we have animals that swim, live on land, some amphibians, and animals that fly.

 

To make this brief and readable, here's a short list.  If anyone would like to add to it, I would be grateful.  Just email me, steve at sl-prokeys dot com and your additions will be included.  Thank you.

Pro bass fishing

Bass are caught, weighed, and released.  Death is fairly uncommon.  Tournament and state regulations apply.

Bird hunting

Birds, duck, winged animals are intentionally killed, very often for food.  Regulations apply in all states for many species.  Some species may be exempt from any regulation.

Game hunting

Deer, elk, cougar, bear, and other animals are intentionally killed.  Some are mounted as trophies, some used for food, sometimes, both.  Regulations apply in every state - ie; seasons, limits, mandatory permits, etc.

Varmint hunting

Raccoon, possum, groundhog, possibly rabbits, coyotes, and squirrels.  Each state has its own regulatory laws and definitions.  Ie; coyotes may be a protected species in one state but not a neighboring state.   

Salt water fishing

Game fish, of specific species, are caught and killed as trophies.  This applies to hook, lure, line, spear fishing, etc.  Some sports specify catch and release - ie; the fish is caught, weighed, measured, photographed, and released alive. 

Equestrian sports

Horse racing, jumping, agility courses, dressage, polo, etc.  Injuries, maiming, and deaths are relatively uncommon.

Greyhound racing

Dogs are raced in pursuit of a fake mechanical rabbit at state controlled and regulated tracks. 

Falconry

Birds of prey - ie; hawks, falcons, eagles, etc. are intentionally released to kill prey animals such as birds, rabbits, or other small to medium sized animals.

Pigeon racing

Trained homing pigeons are raced at various distances from their home loft against the clock.  Regulatory organizations oversee pigeon racing activities.  Pigeons are rated by how many yards they fly per minute from the release point to their home loft.

Fox hunting

Sport hunting of foxes has been banned in most places.  Scented lures are used in place of live foxes in modern times.  Trapping and killing of destructive foxes is commonplace, and death is typically immediate.  Foxes are protected species in some states.

Wildlife photography

In this sport, many species of animals and wildlife are included - above and below water.  The trophies and/or rewards are rolls of film or videotapes, which ultimately may be quite valuable to organizations such as National Geographic, etc.  Animals are typically not disturbed in any way by photographers.

Animal fighting

Most forms of animal fighting are prohibited by law in most states.  In addition to animal cruelty laws, several other state laws often apply, such as organized gambling and/or conspiracy.  I'm not a lawyer, so I'll ask for help here. 

Organized dog sports

These sports are quite varied, from "beauty shows" to agility sports, herding competitions, tracking, and various bite sports - even free style dancing!  Most of the dog sports have clearly printed rule books which are enforced by each parent organization for the specific sport.

I've listed several sports which immediately come to mind.  I didn't spend hours on this list - I'm sure I left out about as much as I've included.  Nowhere in the above list can I think of animals being forced to perform in any way. 

I can't see any type of cruelty in the legitimate, legal sports above.

That assumes that any form of killing is done as quickly and humanely as possible. 

Even in illegal sports, (dog and cockfighting), the participants seem willing and eager to fight, possibly because they are bred and conditioned exactly for this purpose.

Killing and Cruelty

How can I relate - personally - to the list above?  I'm unable to speak for other people, so how can I relate to killing for any reason other than to save my own life or the life of another? 

I suppose I can "relate" by confession. 

Well, I've loved bass fishing since about 1973.  I fished almost daily for several years. 

Many, many bass died because I enjoyed bass fishing.  Some were used as food, five are on my walls as trophies, most were released to swim away.

I've gone quail hunting plenty of times, shot about 500 shells, and probably killed 2 or 3 quail.  A good hunter I'm not.  I tried shooting clay pigeons a few times, and wasted about 500 more shotgun shells.  When it came to bird hunting, I think the birds just laughed at me as they flew away.

I never hunted game, such as deer or elk.  I never had any interest.

I went turkey hunting once.  I froze my ass off, and I think the nearest turkey was probably 300 miles away. 

I've killed some birds and squirrels as food for our grey fox.  When he learned to kill for himself, he did it, not me. 

I've only fished in salt water twice, both times I caught and released tarpon - they were not legally in season at that time. 

If they were legal, I'm not sure I would have brought them home for food - I don't know what they taste like. 

I've ridden horses several times, but I haven't engaged in any equestrian sports. 

I've watched greyhound racing 4 or 5 times, but never owned any racing dogs.  I didn't even place a bet - I just wanted to watch the dogs run. 

I once tamed ("manned") a red tail hawk, and took him out to hunt small game: rabbits, birds, rats, whatever. 

After about 10 months, he was set free. 

I raced pigeons for about one year.  The unusable pigeons in my loft were killed in a split second by snapping their necks. 

I offer no excuses or justifications.  I can state factually - you can't release racing pigeons after they have "homed" to your loft. 

They will return from almost anywhere.  "Anywhere" can mean over 1000 miles away, and that's the truth. 

We had a semi-wild grey fox for about 6 months. 

I would have defended him against any and all danger - exactly like I would defend our dogs - members of our family - our pack. 

I raised 6 cages full of mice - no less than 100 - for only one purpose: so the fox could kill and eat them. 

I'm not a wildlife photographer. 

I've never been involved in animal fighting.  I have seen TV news reports of several major arrests for pitbull fighting. 

I've been involved in dog training since 1976, and have competed in legitimate, organized dog competitions in the US and Germany.

I think the brief list above indicates several things.  Obviously, I have definitely killed animals. 

I've killed with intent, and done it willingly - nobody forced me.

I should include my snapping turtle hunts. 

These were done with a very, very powerful rifle, a .300 Winchester Magnum, and specifically small bullets (125 grain spitzer), which traveled at hydro-shock velocity. 

The bullets traveled at 3300-3400 feet per second.  The large snapping turtles (approximately 40-75 pounds) literally exploded before the sound of the rifle got to them. 

My reason for killing large snapping turtles? 

They were killing breeding largemouth bass and interfering with the bass breeding beds in areas which I fished. 

That's a flimsy excuse, and an honest one.

I've also killed numerous pitbulls, stray cats, and feral cats - here on my own training field and inside my own kennels. 

I also killed a pitbull on a nearby public street as he mutilated my client's Sheltie. 

Ask, and I'll supply honest answers.  I'm not proud or ashamed of these killings.

Many years ago, a nature preserve was created about 1,000 yards from my home.  Rats - very LARGE rats - arrived. 

After killing some in rat traps, I found an area where they were climbing down the corner of my office. 

I put a 5 gallon bucket there about half full of water.  Rats by the dozen drowned in the bucket.  I don't know if they suffered - maybe they did. 

No excuses - I did not want them on my property.  I was very concerned about contagious diseases which might infect my dogs. 

Do some research, and you'll discover they carry some very serious diseases.  My attitude was simply, "We don't want them here.  Kill 'em all."


Through my life I have killed.  No denials, no propaganda, and no sugar-coating. 

If it means anything - and it probably doesn't - I've killed as quickly as possible.  I don't, and never had, any interest in watching suffering. 

If you read any of my website pages, you'll learn that I have no interest in cruelty of any kind. 

 

Most of my own dogs were killed by my hands, with a needle and euthanasia solution. 

The obvious alternative - death in a veterinarian's clinic - was not acceptable. 

We had certain family traditions, and our dogs died here - at their home - with their own pack nearby.


Now, what do we say about the obvious cruelty, abuse, and death supported by the rodeos in the name of entertainment and profit?

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