Sunday, September 5, 2010

Don’t Feed the Squirrels?

Most municipalities in North America have enacted bylaws against feeding squirrels. The reasoning is that doing so, as with any wild animal, deprives them of their natural ability to fend for themselves.

In fact, a Montreal man was fined $50 for doing what many people, including myself have done for years while growing up. What is disturbing is the response of the prosecutor in this case.  We are not talking here about a major crime. Nor even a minor crime of any sort. Of course, the law is the law. But in some cases, and increasingly so, it seems, the law is not only unjust but foolish and inhumane. This is one of these cases.

Feeding the Squirrels: This innocent pastime is against municipal by-laws in most parts of North America.
Photo CreditWikipedia Commons

How we treat the less fortunate, including animals, says a lot about the mores of our society, says one of the world's foremost spiritual leaders,  Mahatma Gandhi, who pointed out: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the ways its animals are treated.”

I hate to use the slippery slope argument here, but it is appropriate in this case. If we think that small animals have to fend for themselves, then perhaps humans will have to do the same, one day soon.  Particularly the poor, the weak, the voiceless.

I hope that day never comes.

Note: I would like to hear your stories and views on the economic crisis. Many of us are going through very difficult economic and trying times. The Poor, the working poor, the struggling family should not be stigmatized. You can help make a change and a difference in society. Everyone should be able to live life with dignity. I love to hear your stories.

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