January 29, 2023

Blind Ignorance and Eating Bear Meat

National Public Radio presents and article written by David Sommerstein about eating bear meat. The article, as a whole, is interesting and probably many people would enjoy reading it. I did. I would, however, like to take issue with a comment that was written in the article that made me shake my head in exasperation over why writers sometimes write things that can spoil their entire piece by exposing lack of depth in thinking, and exposing their ignorance of a subject. This writer might know something about cooking and eating bear meat, but he should leave issues about bears living in the woods and how they survive to others.

Here’s my beef. The author writes: “”There’s more sprawl. There’s more people living in bear habitat,” says big game biologist Steve Heerkens with New York state’s department of environmental conservation. Yet fewer, if any, natural predators are still around to keep the bears in check.”

Obviously, the first part of this quote from the article, is a quote from a “big game biologist” who says, “There’s more sprawl. There’s more people living in bear habitat.” This comes right after a statement that says bear populations are growing. Therefore, isn’t a more logical and accurate description to say that there a more bears now living in human habitat? But this really isn’t my point.

The author follows this up with, “Yet fewer, if any, natural predators are still around to keep the bears in check.” Maybe the author should have taken a little bit of time to educate his readers and tell us what “natural predators” aren’t around anymore to keep bear numbers in check. I’ll wait.

On second thought, I can’t wait for ever. Isn’t it obvious that this article is telling us that man is not consider either natural or a predator? There really are no “natural predators” of bears, except man. First let me make a possible exception to this. Perhaps if New York, or any other state, imported wolves, maybe 4 or 5 cubs would be yanked out of their dens in mid winter and gobbled up by a pack of hungry wolves. Other than that, man is about the only “natural predator” of the bear.’

Consider, if you will, that New York is the third most populous state with about 20 million people. Now there is 20,000,000 NATURAL PREDATORS of the bear and yet any thoughts of man being a natural predator to “keep the bears in check” are often poo-pooed as unnatural and inhumane.

It just kind of makes me angry when the tone of a statement leads people to think that when it comes to wildlife, man somehow is always the bad guy in the room.