Predator Control Measures Assault Alaskan's Common Sense of Ethics

Letters to the Editor / Anchorage Daily News / June 1, 2003


A majority of informed Alaskans, not Outsiders, have repeatedly expressed opposition to predator control via state ballot measures. Why have we voted this way? Having grown up in a hunting family, spent my life recreating in and reading about the outdoors, and having been married to a hunter for over 17 years now, perhaps I can comment. I believe this opposition stems from a shared code of ethics. If the majority believe as I do, they believe that high-speed mechanized pursuit and shooting of predators is grossly unfair and therefore unethical.

I do not belong to any animal rights group nor have I ever engaged in animal rights activities. I am not ignorant of predator-prey population cycles, the ravages of starvation, the savageness with which predators dispatch their prey, or their impact on prey populations. I understand the rewards and risks of a subsistence lifestyle and realize that the hunter is not guaranteed his food any more than any other person is guaranteed his or her chosen livelihood.

I, for one, am not willing to bankrupt our societal value system by letting a whining minority gain government sanction or support to pursue unethical practices. Recently proposed predator control measures assault our common sense of ethics and fairness to such a degree that they cannot be justified through economics, practicality or even science.

-- Cecily Fritz / Palmer, Alaska

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