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Creating a culture of life for our children

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There has been another shocking school shooting in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. More death and horror for our young people to have to endure. More precious life lost at the hands of our youth.

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Perhaps though, part of the blame lies with us adults. Whether it be a video game promoting death, another violent movie, or a cable television program about big game hunting we are allowing a culture of death to be established in our society and in the lives of our children.

As an Outdoor Examiner, I am witness to the frequent horrible treatment of our wildlife and environment. I have recently reported on an alarming number of deer wandering the woods with arrows lodged in their bodies. Reports and pictures of young children standing smiling beside animals trapped in cruel steel traps are on the increase. Cable television shows about the slaughter of the magnificent and endangered animals of Africa are gaining in popularity.

I wonder if the cure for the culture of death might be found just outside of our homes, away from the television and the video games and the movie theaters. A cure found in the culture of life present in the solitude and quiet of the wilderness. Instead of promoting death and violence, maybe we should be promoting some time spent out in the forest learning to understand and appreciate our wildlife and our environment. I know for myself, when I am on my frequent hikes in the woods, my own problems melt away and a joy permeates my spirit as I watch the little critters and listen to the birds and the breeze in the pine trees.

Maybe the answer lies in taking the kids on some field trips to the mountains and the wildlife sanctuaries. An appreciation for life could come from assisting with the rehabilitation of the unfortunate creatures that have been injured by hunters and trappers. Maybe the kiss of a wolf at the Wolf Center could change a life. It was Arthur Schopenhauer who said, “Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.”. Perhaps men and women of good character can be developed from an appreciation for our four footed furry friends. Whatever it takes, it is clear that change is needed in our society and the change can begin with the way we view our precious wildlife.



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