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My Turn

January 25, 2010

My Turn: Hunters Helping the Hungry is a self-serving endeavor

(Continued)

But the wonder, beauty and innocence that reside within an animal lives in all animals _ tame or feral. It is wrong to violate that innocence whether by hunting or on factory farms or on fur farms.

The hunting industry protests that it is necessary to kill wildlife because of animal over-population and related problems. But wildlife populations can be relocated and reduced in size by several methods, like putting down taste and odor-based repellants, planting less palatable plants and setting out auditory and visual deterrents (automated noisemakers, whistles, scarecrows, flashing lights, etc.).

Fencing is also effective, and fertility controls can be employed including nonsurgical sterilization of males. Many non-lethal programs have been highly successful in controlling animal populations.

One final point needs to be addressed. Congressman Murphy says that "venison is a highly nutritious, lean-protein source and can have an important impact in the fight against hunger."

But venison is over 20 percent higher in cholesterol than beef or pork. Every single government and private health care agency recommends reducing meat and dairy consumption in order to lower the risk of heart disease and strokes caused by high cholesterol.

Increasing evidence also indicates that these products are cancer-causing agents. If we are to truly help the hungry, we should provide them with nutritious, plant-based foods that reduce, not increase, the risk of these diseases.

The legislature should reject Congressman Murphy's proposal.

Irving can be reached at dgirving@earthlink.net.

To write for "My turn," contact Daily Star Publisher Tanya Shalor at tshalor@thedailystar.com or 432-1000, ext. 214. More "My Turn" columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/myturn.

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