San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Animals First, Humans Second

My good friend Walt Bonora of Lakewood wrote a letter to the editor of the Denver Post a couple of weeks ago to express his disgust with the free market.  Walt wants civil government to make it illegal for people to move to the area where he already lives and he hates the fact that the free market continues to develop land in his neighborhood.  But don't take my word for it.  Here, in its entirety, is what Walt wrote:
"I was deeply saddened by Colorado Parks and Wildlife's recent decisions to kill two bears and two mountain lions, in the name of protecting people's safety.  What about the safety of the animals we are disturbing? The older I get the more disgusted I get with people.  We overdevelop, encroach, and tear down natural habitats to build more suburbs and golf courses and then get angry when an animal is doing what it has been genetically predisposed to do for millions of years.  One solution is to stop over development.  We don't need another strip mall.  Stop building near wild natural places.  The bears and mountains lions are searching for food. We don't have a population of a billion people in the US. There is plenty of room in this country, but far too many Americans are too accustomed to excesses, and that is a sad statement on our culture."
Well there you have it.  Walt loves animals, especially bears and lions, and hates people, especially people who do things he does not want them to do like building new housing communities and strip malls.  Walt feels free to speak for me every time he uses the word "we."  I don't know who his "we" consists of but it most certainly does not include me.  In fact, I disagree with everything Walt wrote.  Let me dissect Walt's arguments here today.
The policy of the state government is to kill any large wild animal that consistently interacts with humans.  It is true that in many cases it is the fault of the humans that the animal needs to be killed.  Ignorant people who want to have their own personal zoo put out food to attract bears and lions so they can watch them from their back windows.  Unfortunately for the animals, once they become accustomed to the presence of humans their life spans become very short.  I would agree with Walt if he was asking people to allow wild animals to remain wild and not make any attempts to feed them or help them in any way.  But that is not what Walt is asking.  Walt wants human beings to relinquish their real estate holdings so animals can live there in our place.
"We" overdevelop, encroach and tear down natural habitats, according to Walt.  I don't know who makes up the "we" he writes about but I have never developed, torn down or encroached upon the thing he calls a natural habitat.  Or at least I think I haven't.  I did buy a new home once.  That home was built for me and located on a place that did not have any home on it before.  In the course of building that home, which was in the city limits, I suspect spiders, maybe some snakes and possibly some prairie dogs were killed.  My guess is that Walt does not care about that.  My guess is that Walt only cares about prime mountain property when he accuses me of developing, tearing down and encroaching upon land that he evidently believes is owned by animals like lions and bears.
Entrepreneurs operating within the free market build the hated suburbs, including the golf courses that I like to play and that Walt writes about, in response to consumer demand.  If consumers did not want homes in the suburbs and golf courses they would not be built.  If blame needs to be placed upon someone for encroaching, tearing down and developing land allegedly owned by bears and lions then it should be placed squarely on the shoulders of consumers.  I guess that is who Walt's "we" is. I wonder if Walt is a consumer.  I would bet a pretty penny that Walt spends more money on consumption than I do.  We will have to discuss that sometime.
Walt says the solution to the problem that does not exist is to stop building strip malls.  Although he does not say it outright, I believe Walt wants the government to make a law to force developers to stop developing. The problem is people want strip malls, otherwise they would not be built.  So in essence what Walt is saying is that he disagrees with people who want strip malls and, quite importantly, he considers himself to be morally superior because he does not want any more strip malls to be built.  Walt believes that strip malls are being built in places where bears and lions are searching for food.  His solution is to have evil, profit seeking developers build strip malls in the middle of BLM land in the outer reaches of southern Wyoming.  There are no bears or lions in that part of the country.  The problem is no humans live their either.
Walt's argument is an interesting one and that is why I decided to comment upon it today.  Walt believes, if I am reading his letter accurately, that prime real estate should remain undeveloped because it belongs to lions and bears and human beings should be segregated, consolidated and isolated upon waste lands that nobody wants.  Walt really takes the "animals first" position to the extreme.  Walt believes new housing developments, strip malls and golf courses should be constructed in the middle of the Nevada desert where nobody wants to live so as to preserve prime mountain lands for the animals that live there today.  Walt believes that it is a "sad statement" about our "culture" that human beings prefer to live in nice places, the same nice places where Walt's favorite animals live.  I wonder where Walt lives?
Walt believes that animals should not be removed from places where humans decide to live because evolution has designed them to live in those areas.  It seems rather clear that Walt believes in at least some of the tenets of the religion of evolution.  The doctrine he clearly does not believe in is the survival of the fittest.  Human beings are more fit to survive, thanks to Walt's evolution, than lions and bears.  The dispassionate and amoral scales of evolution have spoken and human beings have won.  That means that a practitioner of the religion of evolution should rejoice in the fact that human beings are raping and pillaging the planet, including the animals we come into contact with.  But Walt is not happy.  He is sad.
Walt needs to become a big boy and realize that human beings are on the top of the food chain.  He also needs to realize that the free market is the greatest thing to ever happen to the people who populate this immoral country.  The free market has provided material goods in abundance rarely seen throughout human history.  We live in great comfort and security thanks to the free market.  I, for one, appreciate that fact.  I do not want to go back to the days when grizzly bears would attack my wagon train and kill half my animals.  I like it when animals run from me in fear.  I must disagree with Walt.  I believe human beings must always be put first and animals must be put second.  Although Walt says he would rather put animals first I suspect that his complaining is really more related to the fact that he has a nice home in Colorado and he doe not want anyone else to move here.  I wish he would just come out and say that rather than confuse the issue by writing about lions and bears. 


  1. I hope I don't catch too much flak but I can agree with Walt to a certain degree. I don't have a problem with the free market (at least I don't think I do) but "Walt's We" must stop over indulging in the "necessities" in life: McDonald's Starbucks, Strip Malls in stone’s throw from each other, etc... In my opinion that is just common sense.

    Maybe I am getting older and putting things into different perspective of how I see things in today’s age because they are most certainly different from when I was a child (70's-80's) and I am sure you have seen even more change than I have. I currently live in North Fort Worth, Texas in the Gateway-Alliance Corridor, there is a Hobby Lobby on the east side of I-35W and now they are building another Hobby Lobby on the west side of I35W, maybe 1/4 mile drive from one another. This sort of non-sense is happening all over the country. Are we as a population becoming that lazy where we can’t cross a street to go to a store; I am leaning towards yes. The movie WALL-E comes to mind when I see this sort of behavior occurring. You stated it before, we cater to the majority, the majority of the people want to be lazy useless slugs so we accommodate their mission.

    I enjoy reading you and will continue to read your blog but there seems to be (what I think) some disconnect in this current blog:
    You used to be a hunter but gave it up because you lost interest in killing things and turned to mountain climbing, kudos to you my friend. When free-market is moving into Walt’s area, they are killing that same wildlife either at that time or as morons attract wildlife by setting feed troughs for the morons to watch from their back windows and then complain when it becomes out of control.

    There is also another post, I can’t seem find it in your archive but (and I am going off of memory which might not be the smartest thing to do) alluded to that SDA will overtake a country and it infrastructure to impose the SDA “values” on that country. How is this any different than a free- market?

    Keep up the good fight my friend

    1. Mr. JB:
      Well you sure fooled me. I had two people in mind that I thought might be you and you end up being someone I don't know. I didn't think anyone I don't know reads this blog. As Gomer Pyle used to say, "Surprise! Surprise!"
      Let me begin by saying that you will not catch any flak from me. You have proven yourself to be far to much of a gentlemen to deserve any of the nasty treatment I give to so many others who dare to post a comment to my blog. Furthermore, I don't expect everyone to agree with me. I readily acknowledge that I have been wrong in the past, will be wrong in the future and am probably wrong right now as I write these blog posts. So your disagreement with me is likely nothing more than further proof that I am still shy of being an omniscient being.
      I can't disagree with your assessment that, "the majority of the people want to be lazy useless slugs so we accommodate their mission," but my low view of humankind does not predispose me to believe I have the right to attempt to control the behavior of those slugs by means of government programs or zoning laws. Even slugs have the right to be free.
      I am shocked that you remember some of my previous posts. I forget them a day or two after I write them. You are correct that I abandoned hunting because I no longer had the stomach for it but I also believe that free men have the right to hunt if they wish to do so. I would make no effort to stop their attempts to kill wild animals.
      You conclude with a question that I would like to answer since I believe my answer is consistent with the point I was attempting to make. You wrote, "(you) alluded to (the fact) that (the)SDA will overtake a country and its infrastructure to impose the SDA 'values' on that country. How is this any different than a free- market (imposition of values)?" (I added a few words to make the question a bit smoother without, I hope, destroying the content of your question.) The difference, my friend, is that the SDA military imposes its will upon foreign lands and peoples by hegemonic and coercive power whereas the profit seeking business voluntarily serves the desires of the consumers, regardless of how stupid, meaningless, banal, materialistic or distasteful those desires might be to me and others of my sensibilities. One action is forcefully imposed upon an unwilling subject, the other is an example of a voluntary agreement that is executed to the satisfaction of both parties involved. I believe in freedom and that is why I wrote the post you have commented upon.
      Thank you for your comment, I enjoyed reading it.