ads for livestock, etc, etc

Anthony W. Cynor acynor at
Thu Sep 17 16:50:10 EDT 1998

I think Sem must have touched a nerve here, comments regarding are below:

Doug Yanega wrote:

> >However birdkeeping, fishkeeping and other hobbies are also under attack by the
> >same forces & animal rights activists and greenies.
> >
> >The situation is that there is precious little to do as a hobby today because
> >of ever increasing encroachment on good wholesome productive activities.
> Politely put, this is a crock. I started collecting insects for a hobby
> when I was 5, and it eventually became a career. I *never* bought an
> insect, alive or dead, in the 32 years I've collected. You are dead wrong
> that being unable to buy insects prevents a person from enjoying the hobby.
> Bottom line.

You of course are a collector, an opportunity not available to everyone.  In
addition nowadays collectors are also harassed. There are ethics to collecting which
are also defiled by those who don't care.  Collecting wildlife and breeding them for
sale is illegal.  In the USA you can be harassed and thrown in jail for even taking
care of a sick wild bird.  Still want to collect?

>         And if you are so convinced that trade in live exotic species is
> "wholesome", can you tell us what is so wholesome about things like the
> Florida Everglades being packed with Oscars and other exotic fish that
> hobbyists released there, about the ecological damage being done by purple
> loosestrife and a truckload of other exotic pests that have wreaked havoc
> around the globe, and can be traced to people who thought they were doing
> something good, wholesome, and productive.

Killer Bees, Fire Ants well of course all research could be stopped.  Nature is
always changing which makes it so odd that humans who are a notorious agent of
change also try to stop nature from changing.

>         Think of it this way: if you had to sign a contract every time you
> bought a live exotic plant or animal, promising that you would pay your
> personal share if that species ever got loose and started incurring public
> costs, would you still take that risk? Would you continue with your
> "wholesome" activities if they had the possibility of putting YOU in the
> poorhouse, instead of the farmer next door, or of wiping out irreplaceable
> ecosystems, communities, or species?

Please do not give government officials any more ideas!

>         This is not about tree-hugging, warm fuzzies, animal rights,
> greenies, or any other such - this is about ETHICS - a matter of a few
> people taking enormous risks with the common heritage of mankind (case in
> point, the Florida Everglades) for which they would not have to suffer the
> consequences. YES, I recognize that habitat destruction is a bigger threat
> to most native species than the introduction of exotics

No one is suggesting such, why so sensitive?

> - but that doesn't
> mean we shouldn't guard against the possible introduction of more pests
> which just make things worse! YES, I recognize that some of these pests
> were brought in by government officials who should have known better, or
> private individuals looking to make a profit (a la Nutria) - but just
> because other people do stupid things doesn't justify anyone else following
> suit. YES, I recognize that there are really VERY few people (from a global
> perspective) buying and selling exotics, that not everyone buying exotics
> will have them in numbers where it is even *possible* for a fertile
> individual to escape, or be buying species which could possibly survive
> *if* they escaped, but in the end you still cannot deny the appalling
> potential for "harmless" hobbies to lead to ecological tragedies.

Can you point to any "harmless hobby" that has brought about an ecological tragedy.
Make sure it is a tragedy not a simple nuisance.

> It has
> happened before, it can happen again, simple as that. I don't like gambling
> when the stakes are so high.

Government officials bringing in stuff, why of course they always know what they are
doing don't they?

>         You, personally, might be the kind of responsible hobbyist who is
> aware of the risks and could be trusted not to do anything foolish,
> careless, or unethical (and, frankly, good for you if so), but can you also
> offer a guarantee that EVERY OTHER hobbyist out there is just as
> responsible as you are??

If one were to try to guarantee that any action one takes will not potentially have
a negative effect it would result in no one doing anything.  Life is always a risk.
If you stay in bed all day and try to do nothing even that would not be any
guarantee and think of the poor people that would eventually have to take your
neglected body somewhere.

> If you cannot offer such a guarantee, then why do
> you complain when someone suggests that something should be done to help
> avoid irresponsible and unethical activities?

To do so would involve setting up a totalitarian state and it would still not solve
the problem.

> You should be*cooperating*

A word seldom understood in government / citizen relationship.  Basically a citizens
relationship with law is adversarial.  Government has the right to hold the gun to
your head and also to pull the trigger.
It is because of the adversarial nature that there are courts and judges.  Well in
most countries anyway.

> to ensure that the activities you love are not put at risk due to
> OVER-regulation. If you, the hobbyists, cannot offer and promote concrete,
> *constructive* suggestions as to ways to minimize the risks associated with
> such activities, then you should not be surprised or offended when some
> institution like the USDA or USFWS takes a heavy-handed approach to the
> problem.

Something that has been tried time and time again but the opposition is just to well
funded to allow a change in legislation which is what it takes. Government
department officials  are not going to stick their necks out, the heavy handed
approach is just too easy.  Besides are you not contradicting some of your earlier

> Give them a better alternative if you can, but pretending there
> *IS* no problem is unrealistic; asking for *complete*

Where do you keep getting this complete freedom thing, the problem is no freedom.

> freedom to do what
> you want is TOO much. If you won't budge from that position, then you'll
> never be satisfied.
>         I can guess who are likely to submit the first three or four flame
> responses to this, and since they have evidently misunderstood most of what
> I've said in the past, I'll make this all explicit in hopes of avoiding
> such flames this time around:

Then why did you say all of the above?  The statement below would be adequate.

> I have NO PROBLEM with responsible trade in
> exotic reared material - but I also do not believe that *every* individual
> who is engaged in such trade *is* responsible, and accordingly the only
> proper thing to do is work to put safeguards in place that can permit the
> hobby to continue while minimizing the dangers. If the *only* thing you
> consider acceptable is total freedom, I will never agree with you; I would
> sooner see all trade (both commercial and private) banned than accept that
> - we are driving enough things to extinction as is, without doing things to
> compound the problem. But, that being said, I would *vastly* prefer
> properly controlled trade to a total ban. Do you understand now? There has
> to be a compromise possible between complete freedom and complete
> suppression, and if you are convinced that I am pro-suppression, simply
> because I don't believe that total freedom is a viable alternative, then
> you haven't been paying attention.

It is unfortunate then that people holding your viewpoint are not in charge.




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