Ashamed to be hu­man

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION -

Please al­low me space to com­ment on the cur­rent moose vendetta ap­par­ently afoot in this prov­ince. Moose are cat­e­go­rized as wild, dumb an­i­mals. These crea­tures have a right to feed, breed and roam free. They are not to blame.

Hu­mans, on the other hand, are ra­tio­nal be­ings with brains ca­pa­ble of mak­ing in­tel­li­gent de­ci­sions. Re­gard­ing ve­hi­cle/ moose col­li­sions on our high­ways and by­ways, as it is for chil­dren, the onus is on us to avoid them.

Some­times I can’t help but won­der ex­actly who the dumb ones are.

It is easy to blame na­ture. Na­ture makes no re­sponse, of­fers no de­fence. It qui­etly suf­fers the con­se­quences of de­ci­sions adopted and en­forced by hu­mans.

I am re­minded of the con­flict with seals. Peo­ple, in­clud­ing former fish­eries min­is­ter John Ef­ford once pro­claimed, “ The seals de­stroyed the cod. It was not us. They are to blame. Burn them all!” Blame na­ture. How cow­ardly. En­ter­tain the fact that seals and cod co-ex­isted in per­fect har­mony for eons prior to man’s in­ter­ven­tions with the in­ven­tions of side trawler up to and in­clud­ing fac­tory freezer trawlers, cou­pled with ageold unadul­ter­ated greed af­fixed firmly to an in­sa­tiable need to catch as much as is in­hu­manly pos­si­ble as quickly as pos­si­ble.

I pre­dict that with the present­day pres­sures placed on the moose pop­u­la­tions they may soon meet the same ends as the north­ern cod, the great Auk and the Beothuk.

The high­est moose pop­u­lated area of this prov­ince is the Great North­ern Penin­sula. Yet, very few moose-ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dents oc­cur be­cause res­i­dents are acutely aware of the dan­gers and ad­just their driv­ing habits ac­cord­ingly.

Those be­witch­ing hours at dusk, in the pre-dawn and dur­ing the night, es­pe­cially when it is rain­ing, are the most dan­ger­ous. To avoid en­coun­ters with moose, if at all pos­si­ble, don’t travel dur­ing these pe­ri­ods. If you must com­mute en­sure the wind­shield and head­lights are clean. Place what­ever you need close at hand. Leave early. Al­low plenty of time. Avoid dis­trac­tions. Turn off the tunes. Drive slowly and stay alert. Re­mem­ber, it is bet­ter to ar­rive late then as the late.

When trav­el­ling the TCH drive in the pass­ing lane. An­i­mals tend to ap­pear from the shoul­der of the high­way and driv­ing the cen­tre lane of­fers ex­tra room for ma­noeu­ver­abil­ity. Re­mem­ber, to miss by a hair is all that is re­quired.

Semi-trucks criss-cross the is­land con­stantly. If the op­por­tu­nity arises, tag along be­hind at a safe dis­tance and your ‘ front door’ will clear the road for you.

Moose are re­spon­si­ble for the most mem­o­rable and re­ward­ing hunt­ing ad­ven­tures within this prov­ince and they will be sorely missed when all that re­mains are mem­o­ries, sto­ries, pic­tures and videos. It is easy to blame na­ture. Easy to de­clare war against a crea­ture that can­not know that a war against them is wag­ing.

Some­times, I am ashamed to be hu­man. Michael J. Dwyer writes from Mar­ga­ree, on the prov­ince’s

south­west coast

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