Cruelty prevails in policy
By David Loken, The StarPhoenix July 9, 2010 Like many others, I grew up in rural Saskatchewan.
However, I wasn't on a farm but one of the town kids. Maybe this explained my attitude towards nature. I didn't randomly kill rodents and amphibians for sport or entertainment.
I blame the farm upbringing for this confrontational attitude toward nature. Anything that competes with the farm output is an enemy to be destroyed. This anti-nature attitude was prevalent in my youth and manifested itself in the cruel conduct of children.
I eventually moved to Toronto to work. When I returned to Saskatchewan years later, the province was more urban and a little more sophisticated.
Deer and other wildlife were becoming more plentiful. Hopefully, fewer kids were being raised to think of nature as the enemy. However, I still see this attitude in public policy: bounties on coyotes and other policies of extermination.
I walk from the Caswell area to work downtown. This spring I started crossing the railways tracks near 25th Street because I liked watching the small "gopher" community under the billboards by the go-cart track.
I thought these little guys might escape notice. After all, they were eating the overgrown weeds. Where they were, there was no park to mar, no danger of anyone tripping in the holes.
But I noticed signs last week warning that poison had been placed. By Tuesday, there were no live ground squirrels to be seen.
It seems that those cruel boys have grown up, moved to the big city, and are still killing helpless creatures for no reason. This sort of thing makes me ashamed to say I'm from Saskatchewan.