“Is he mentally ill?” asked Fox-News anchor Julie Banderas. She was quizzing an “expert” about the black bear that attacked campers in Tennessee’s Cherokee National Forest earlier this year. The animal killed a six-year-old girl and mauled her mother and brother. To listen to Banderas and her “expert,” the bear acted out of character. Looking to do what his kind usually do—have a Teddy Bear’s Picnic—he was seized by an illogical urge to rip into flesh with his pointy teeth and sharp claws. Naturally, Banderas reached for the therapeutic idiom to divine Teddy’s terrible conduct.
When crocodiles devoured a number of young Floridian women back in May, naturalist Maria Thomson was also ready with a cross-species adaptation of liberal root-causes thinking. “The alligator isn’t the problem. It’s humans,” she snipped. “We’re pushing them to the limit.” Time magazine opted to describe the Florida feeding frenzy as “a ghastly coincidence.”
That’s right: a prehistoric killing machine attacks easy prey—humans—and the “experts” blame its victims (or their remains), while assuring the potential prey that the beast’s behavior is abnormal. “Every so often, [animals] push back.” After all, they are being forced “to share territory that humans [mistakenly, obviously] consider their own,” Time vaporized.
Roald Dahl’s children’s story, “The Enormous Crocodile,” is an infinitely better Guide For the Perplexed than the croc experts. Ditto Steven Spielberg’s magnificent thriller Jaws with respect to sharks. When two teens were attacked last year in the Florida Panhandle by these killer critters, shark seers treated us to the same brand of anthropomorphism. They insisted that, if presented with a menu, sharks will choose fish over folks. (“Too tough and chewy,” confirmed a spokesfish for the shark community.)
Dare I say that the alleged culinary preferences of sharks are because there are more fish in the sea than people? If the oceans were peopled more plentifully, sharks would adapt their refined taste buds to human flesh in a flash. A witness—a brave surfer who paddled to the rescue—confirmed that Sharky didn’t seem remotely put off, and was doing what powerful, flesh-eating animals with sharp teeth do: tucking in.
Apparently, the bears and the sharks haven’t had the benefit of liberal expert propaganda. Neither has the robust cougar population. The managerial state and its wildlife emissaries may be responsible for breeding out healthy human habits—self-preservation—but they’ve failed to achieve similar results with the wild animal population, now out of control. The proverbial wolf doesn’t yet dwell with the lamb nor the leopard lie down with the kid.
While Western man works to rid himself of the most basic ethical instincts, like defending his kinfolk, animals remain true to their nature. Wild beasts intuit that their teeth and talons are meant for tearing flesh—any flesh, the easier the better. It makes perfect animal sense to attack a thing that is docile, slow, and passive, like the not-so sapient Homo sapiens.
It has been decades since animals were aggressively repelled from human habitat, and they now brazenly make themselves at home in manicured suburbs. It used to be that men killed and hunted encroaching creatures. Thanks to decades of cultural and legal emasculation, they no longer have the urge or license to protect home and hearth. Instead, they robotically intone the Sierra Club’s subliminal propaganda: animals are the true homesteaders of the planet.
The handful of honest experts left admit that attacks are up because politically correct policies have bred fearless critters. The Pavlovian response to aversive treatment has been bred out of the wild animal population. Mary Zeiss Stange, author of Woman the Hunter, says that hunting ultimately has less to do with killing than with instilling fear in animals that have placed us on their menu. If animal rights activists possessed a dog’s smarts, they’d understand the perils of such a program, for an unafraid animal is a dangerous animal; an unafraid human an endangered fool.
And so, the casualties of animal attacks are shrugged off. The only lessons learned, usually elicited on Oprah or Larry King, are a victim’s lessons of survival: plaudits to you for living to tell how you lost half your face to a puma. What a hero you are for curling up in the fetal position and pretending to be a porcupine! You punched Ursus Americanus with your powder puff?! You go girl! A real man who greets a bear on the balcony, guns blazing, is investigated. Did he Mirandize the bear? Was it a justified “homicide”?
This wildlife worship is thoroughly antediluvian, down to its human sacrifice component. Human beings should care for and be kind to animals. That’s ethical (if not compulsory). But people’s safety and survival must always trump that of animals. A society that reverses this ethical order is philosophically primitive, base, and ultimately immoral.
“Arm yourself with knowledge when you go out into the wilderness,” advised one guru, following yet another perennial, ritual, human sacrifice to the Goddess Gaia. Wrong: apply your knowledge and arm yourself!
© By Ilana Mercer
December 6, 2006