Dear Cape Cod Times:
Re: "Residents clash on hunting ban" (4/15/04) and the
follow-up article, "Most items approved" (4/16/04), Provincetown
has once again refused to ban hunting and trapping in the Cape Cod National
Provincetown, on its web site, calls itself "a community
of iconoclasts, one of the most cosmopolitan,
edgy, vibrant, creative places on earth," free of "small town minds." Provincetown
impressed me with these qualities when I visited, which is why this provincial,
reactionary decision is so dismaying.
The voice representing Provincetown's highest ideals,
environmental advocate Peter Souza, was ignored by the "small minds.".
Your article, "Setting the rabies trap" (4/18/04), fails
to mention who is responsible for the east coast's rabies outbreak -
and the answer is not raccoons. Biologists believe that HUNTERS caused
the spread of
rabies by releasing rabid raccoons from Florida into West Virginia in
the 1970's. Once established in West Virginia and Virginia, the disease
spread to MD, Washington D.C., DE, PA, NJ, throughout New England, and
as far west as OH and south into NC.
It must have been an oversight that the Provincetown's
Highland Fish & Game Club did not mention this unsavory bit of history
at the town meeting.
What does hunting contribute to society?
* Hunting is not needed for subsistence.
* Hunting does not lower animal populations (except when
it has caused threatened status or extinctions). Population number rebound
after a hunt, as surviving animals increase their reproduction. When left
alone, animals keep their numbers in balance with available resources.
* Hunting does not keep animal populations healthy. It
exacerbates starvation by increasing population and by forcing animals to
run off needed fat reserves. It removes the largest, healthiest animals from
the gene pool.
* Hunting is environmentally destructive. Native plants
are destroyed to grow plants that feed "game" animals and
to build access roads for hunters.
* Hunting has no positive impact on the incidence of Lyme
disease or rabies (and may increase both). It dramatically increases
animal/car collisions, as terrified animals escape onto roads.
* Hunters routinely maim and kill each other, innocent
members of the public, non-target animals, and companion animals, in
addition to the animals they target.
* Hunting bears as much relation to sport as does child
In a nutshell, hunting is ethically indefensible and
causes or exacerbates every problem it claims to solve.
Progressive, compassionate people all over the country are
battling the serial animal killers; the fish and game agencies representing
them (while ignoring the 96% of Americans who do not hunt), and the gun
lobby, to protect animals, our environment, and public safety. A progressive
community like Provincetown should be in the forefront of this fight for
To learn more about the cruelty of hunting, go to
Susan Gordon, Representative
The Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting