Pennsylvania Hunter Takes Massive Black Bear

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David Price of Cresco Pennsylvania shot a 875 pound black bear with a crossbow last week. Mr. Price was hunting with his brothers and cousins and reportedly had been after the bear for a few years. The Times-Tribune of Scranton PA, has a write up about the bear, the hunter and the hunt.

The bear apparently had a history with the state Game Commission and was known as "Bozo" by locals. According to this this op-ed piece over at the Pocono Record, Bozo was fed for years by Leroy Lewis, for which Mr. Lewis was cited.

Regardless of the history of the bear it appears that the record weight will stand and it is just a matter of waiting for the required drying period to see exactly how the skull measures up.

Despite the bear's neighborhood notoriety, Mr. Schweitzer [Pennsylvania State Game Commission] said Mr. Price's kill holds up.

"This particular bear was out on public hunting ground on national park service land and was considered fair game," Mr. Schweitzer said. "We did take a look at that, but we're not substantiating anything, so unless something else comes up, we're considering it good."

Comments

stay on topic

Ok guys, this blog thread has gone way off topic. If you want to discuss rights, global warming, nature lovers, whatever... start a new topic in the forum and you can discuss and argue to your heart's content.

Good hunt or Shennanigans??

There seems to be some gaps in this story.  Who really knows the real deal, other than the parties involved?  Huge bear, a great trophy if it was hunted and shot legally.  Do I believe Mr Lewis got off easy or was innocent its tuuf to say without knowing the whole story.  Was he feeding the bear out of just sure fondness of the beast with no underlying scheme, then yeah simple fine would be ok by me.  If he were intentionally feeding the bear with a long term plan of growing his own trophy as some people do with their own bass ponds.  Then he got off with a easy penalty.  But I cant say for sure. I can only give my 2 cents worth, and thats about all its worth. 

CVC's picture

Lewis fed the bear since it

Lewis fed the bear since it was a cub starting 17 years ago.  Price didn't feed the bear and he was the one that shot it.  The question that remains unanswered is if Price knew about the feeding and targeted the bear knowing that it was the town's mascot and Lewis' "pet."

Questions of the Hunt

Hello all.....

I would like to introduce myself as an avid hunter, who seeks fair game and would like to comment on the the Pa. Bear that was shot over the 2010 Pa. bear archery season. Although it was stated that David Price took the bear legally there are many questions unanswered regarding ethical hunting practices..... and I believe that is why this topic is still of interest and  in conversation today, two weeks ago today.... over this mammoth bear...

With a web search of the hunt there are many things posted in print and is on the record.... One thing that is not on the record is the hunter David Price trying to clear his name or giving details of the hunt..... Thru research it is posted that Mr. price new nothing of this bear but yet hunted this bear for three years.... It was posted that the bears name was Bozo, and that the hunting party actually called out Bozo during the Hunt...... It was posted that there was a diabetic on the hunt that brought along soda, open the soda and was taking a sip when the bear was sited, then shot the bear , chased the bear and the bear actually came back to the same spot where the hunter was standing and bleed upon the open can of soda left by the hunter.....It was posted that the hunters wife worked at the Fernwood Resort where the bear frequently visited for meals...... Yet David Price did go on the record stating he new nothing of the bear , but also stated he hunted the bear for three years.....?

 The Bear was shot behind Mr. Leroy Lewis home, on state land. Leroy Lewis employed by Fernwood Resort, raised and feed the bear for 17 years. The Pa. Game Commission stepped in in October and sited Mr. Lewis for feeding this bear , named Bozo by Mr. Lewis. Pennsylvania game law states the area where there was bait or feeding is to be shut down for 30 days and this was not enforced..... When Mr. Lewis was cited by Pa. game commission is being investigated. If the citation was within the 30 day window a clarification of the law will have to be determined, of why this was not enforced .....

The record bear was tagged in New Jersey but never by the Pa. Game Commission..... It was stated that while in New Jersey the Pa. record bear actually tried mating with a female bear trapped by New Jersey game Commission, and had to be subdued, to not hurt the female.... The Pa. record bear in fact had to swim the Delaware river to gain access to New Jersey....

While it is stated the Black bears home range may contain 40 Sq miles ... this bear was shot in the close proximity of Mr. Leroy Lewis Residence and the resort where this bear always frequented.

Ethical hunting Practices By Mr. Price ? Fair chase ? Awesome Bear , but the hunt was Tainted…

 

bearlover's picture

Thank You

Thank You.

CVC's picture

Here is a link to an inteview

Here is a link to an inteview with Leroy the guy that kept feeding Bozo.  Apparently, Leroy started feeding Bozo as a cub and kept it up for 17 years.  The interview shows photos of Leroy and Bozo playfully interacting.  Yes, Bozo was a wild animal, but he definitely lost the fear of humans.

http://www.wnep.com/news/countybycounty/wnep-pike-bozo-the-bear,0,5193938.story

hawkeye270's picture

CVC: I think there is a

CVC: I think there is a pretty big difference between hunting white tailed deer over a food plot and hunting a bear that has been fed by a human for that many years. White tailed deer are not becoming habituated to human presence because they use a food plot. If you twitch in your tree stand the wrong way when you are sitting over a food plot than you will find out pretty quick that they are not habituated to humans due to this food source. They aren't losing their fear or normal behaviors in relation to humans. This bear had to lose his normal behaviors dealing with humans in order to be able to have been fed for that long. That bear became habituated and therefore was not alarmed by the presence of humans; to the contrary, he related humans with easily attainable food.

That is why I question whether or not he should be proud of taking it or not. But Like I have said, I do not know if he patterned the bear or not. If he just had a chance encounter with it than that is a different thing entirely.

bearlover's picture

Not a chance encounter...

Hawkeye,

To follow up a bit.  According to the Pocono Record newspaper, Mr. Price claims that he knew of this bear for several years.  He was at work, when his 3 brothers, 1 other relative and a friend called him to tell him that they spotted this particular bear (I guess it's hard to miss a 875lb bear).  So this was certainly NOT a chance encounter.

I would be saddened, just the same, but in this case, Mr. Price knowingly went after this bear.

CVC's picture

Hawkeye, I've been thinking

Hawkeye, I've been thinking about this since it was first posted and found more information on the hunter and the bear.

It was reported in a paper that the bear would knock on the door of a restaurant when it was hungry and they would feed it.  The bear had become a mascot for the town and tourist.  It came to visit the night before Price killed it.

It was also reported that Price said he was tracking the bear for three years.  And supposedly, is nephew posted on an internet forum that it took three hunters and nine arrows to kill the bear.

Based on this information, I agree that patterning the bear was not like hunting over a food plot.  He obviously lost his fear of man and was tamed to a degree.  I say tamed to a degree because a wild bear can never  be completely tamed, but this bear had been coming to town to eat for 17 years.

I would not have targeted the bear and I would not have killed it.  Also, if I was just out hunting bear and came upon him and recognized him, I would not have killed him either.

Now I say I...I am not saying Price should not have done it.  We all have to make decisions for ourselves when we are acting legally.

I would not have killed it because not only did the bear lose his fear of man, but he was the town's mascot.  You have to consider other people when you make a decision.  I would take into consideration how this might affect people who regarded the animal (right or wrong) with great affection. 

I could not be proud of killing a "tamed" bear and one who was the town's mascot.

Again, I am responsible for my actions and this is how I would act.  I make no judgement on Price as he acted legally.

hawkeye270's picture

Squirrelzuky: You are

Squirrelzuky: You are absolutely wrong about wild animals not being able to lose thier "wild instincts". That is what habituation is. And bears are one of the most easily habituated big game animals. We deal with many habituated bears every year here in Colorado as do most states that have them. The degree of habituation can vary and I will not disagree with you that most bears have not lost all of thier instincts from getting into human food that has been left out on accident or by negligence like trash, bird feeders and bbq grills. Yes, these bears are still cagey and are still hard to hunt. But when a bear gets fed directly by a human for over a decade than the degree of habituation is on a whole different level. Like I have said, I do not know the specifics of how Price scouted out how to hunt the bear or if he even hunted for this bear specifically. If he patterned the bear on the way to being fed than he has no right being proud of it. If he was out bear hunting and this freak walked out in front of him... than that is a different story I guess.

squirrelzuky's picture

All that said, you people

All that said, you people need to get a life! Congrats to the Hunter that is a great Trophy and I would also be proud of it too! I live a 1/2 hour from there and have seen alot of big bear in eastern Pa. The fact that the bear was hand fed isnt any different than putting barrels of chocolate and donuts out every day for years to bait like most other states do, or if this was a bear that was killing your cattle for 10 years, anyone that new about it would do the same thing. What would you do if you were camping with your children and a bear attacked  some one in the campsite  next to you just after you hand fed it and learn to find out that someone has been trying to domesticate it for 17 years! I think you would want it shot !

A wild animal is still wild "Instinct" will always be there.  The only think I see here is "Jealousy" that he got something that any hunter would be proud of!

bearlover's picture

Jealousy???

I am not a hunter.  I am certainly NOT jealous of Mr. Price.

You put a lot of "ifs" in you comment.  The FACTS are that this bear was tame and seemed to have lost his fear of humans.  He did cross between NJ and PA, along the Kittatinny Ridge area, so he was wild enough to survive in the wild.  However, WE all KNOW that black bears are opportunistic feeders.  He was also tagged by NJ DFW, so there is no record of him killing cattle or people.  We also KNOW that black bears, generally, are very timid and avoid conflict.  Therefore...

This was an aged/overweight tamed bear.  Killing it is like killing your neighbor's dog.

And the fact that your fellow hunters seem to question this kill (at least they are debating it enough for it to show that's it's not a black/white issue), supports the idea that you are wrong.

Sorry, I cannot respect Mr Price for this "trophy".

hawkeye270's picture

If Price knew that this bear

If Price knew that this bear was habituated and then patterned its movements so that he could intercept it on the trail that it used to access Leroy's property or something like that... than I agree with reddog that the hunter does not have anything to be proud of. Thier is nothing to be proud of if you take advantage of the fact that some other idiot feeds bears and thus habituates them to human presence in order to kill that tame bear.

I do not think that our new member is worth the hassle of debating. They are obviously driven by only emotion and not an ounce of fact. Anyone that claims that bears can not be dangerous is an absolute imbecile! A yearling doe can be dangerous... and you are telling me that a black bear can not be. And please stop calling us "Mr." this and "Mr." that. You do not see us making assumptions about your gender and since you like to stereotype, isn't it people like you (anti-hunters) that are so proud of being politically correct. Our country is filled with huntresses and although its bad news for you and your cause... there are more and more ladies joining this tradition day after day.

Have fun with your toothpicks and sows with cubs.

CVC's picture

Your point about intercepting

Your point about intercepting the bear on the way to Leroy's house is well-taken, but it is something that i am struggling with.  I posted the question about whether or not you would take Bozo.  I definitely would if I was hunting black bear and stumbled across him, but I am waffling about whether or not I would pattern him.

As I said, i hear you about patterning the bear on the way to Leroy's but let me pose this question.  What is the difference with planting a food plot to attract an animal and killing it on its way to the food plot and intercepting it on the way to Leroy's?

Part of the reason deer are so big in the midwest is because they have access to good food sources.  Now, I realize this is a bit different, but not that different.

My point to the anti's who come on here is that there is no need for name calling and attacks.  Calling some one who disagrees with you names is counter productive not only to the discussion but to the fabric of this nation.

I think we should disagree and dissent, but keep the name calling out of it.  People generally resort to name calling when their argument is weak or based simply on emotion.

 

CVC's picture

I went back and read the

I went back and read the online comments.  I am not surprised this has generated so much interest.  People do get attached to animals, even wild ones, but the fact is the hunter acted legally and that should be the end of the discussion.

We really need to stop attacking one another in this country simply because my values are different than your values or my way of life is not your way of life.  We should all strive for tolerance by being tolerant.

bearlover's picture

Tolerance...Good Word

Dear CVC

You are correct that we should be tolerant.  But we should extend that to other species, not just humans.  You told me in one of your posts that you are open.  So be open.

In this particular case, Mr Price knew of this bear.  He says so in the Pocono Record newspaper.  Like I said, the fact that this bear lived for 17 years and was so enormous is amazing.  Mr Price should have been tolerant (or decent) and let this bear live.  It would have been great to see how long this bear would have survived naturally.  I understand that that's not even accurate because the bear was "domesticated".  Nevertheless, he was still an amazing bear and it would have been nice if Mr Price and other hunters "tolerated" him, letting him live.

 

CVC's picture

Bearlover, this is where you

Bearlover, this is where you and I will have to agree to disagree.  I do not hold animals on the same level as humans.  We must care for those animals that we have chosen to make our pets or those that we domesticate for food and other purposes, but they are animals and not human. 

There is no crime in killing an animal (within the law).  Animals may not be abused or otherwise mistreated, but they may be hunted.

Based on the information you provided, I can better understand the emotion this story has stirred.  I wonder though, if those that condemn Mr. Price's killing of the animal are also as outspoken against Leroy feeding the bear or were the people in the area supportive of his feeding the bear?

bearlover's picture

Bear Feeding...

CVC:

I do not know if anyone was against Leroy feeding the bear.  To me, it does not matter.  Hunters bait bears (maybe not you, but it is done) and trash unofficially feeds bears daily

We can agree to disagree.  I am against hunting and, especially, black bear hunting.  My brother is a hunter and we get along fine.

In this particular incident, I find it a travesty that Mr Price made the decision to leave work early just so he could kill this bear.  I understand that nothing illegal was done, but sometimes, we have to look past man-made law.  Again, this bear was amazing to have survived for so long and grown so large.  You even said in one of your posts, that bears like this are seen in Canada.  You said that you are "open".  So be open to the idea that Mr Price made a mistake by taking the life of this bear.

Have a nice Thanksgiving.  I am going to enjoy a meatless one.

CVC's picture

I am open minded, but being

I am open minded, but being open minded about an issue doesn't mean you have to end up changing your mind.

I do not understand what leaving work has to do with the issue?  If he worked the full day and then killed the bear would you be less upset?

The issue, as I see it, is that the bear had become a mascot for some people in the area.  And the killing of the bear was like the killing of a pet to those people. 

I have posted that I am not sure if i would have targeted the bear myself or not.  I am still mulling this over in my mind.

You're right in the sense that you can do something legal, but still not do the right thing.  Does this apply to this situation?  I don't know.  I have heard your side, but not Mr. Price's.

I can only speak for myself.  If I knew the bear was the town pet, I would not have specifically targeted it; that is, I would not have set out to kill that specific bear.  Now, if I was in an area hunting bear and that bear came in would I have killed it?  Maybe, maybe not.

My family, except for me, had a meatless Thanksgiving too.  They don't hunt and they don't eat meat, but we co-exist.

 

bearlover's picture

I mention that Mr Price left

I mention that Mr Price left work early (according to what I read in the Pocono Record newspaper) because, again, it's that leap that hunters (in general) seem to make which I cannot understand.  Here is a guy at his job and he actually leaves early just to kill something.  I don't get it.  Honestly, I find it to be somewhat insane behavior.  That's all.

Maybe a poor analogy, but in regards to trophy hunting, it's like seeing a new car you like, getting excited about it and buying it.  But the only reason you buy it is so that you can take it on the road and totally destroy it by wrecking it.  Then saying:  Man, what an awesome car.  I completely trashed it.  It was great.  Here's the steering wheel on my wall!.

When I am lucky enough to see a bear, I can watch for hours.  I've been out raking my yard and had bears walk past me passing through my yard.  It's truly amazing.  I am completely aware that this animal could destroy me in seconds without any effort.  Yet, sometimes, they will walk right past me at a distance of 10ft or so.  Funny thing is, we both stare at eachother as if to say:  "You're cool, right?  I'm cool".  And I never have the thought that this I would like to kill this animal or that it'd look great on my wall.

In fact, I've gotten between bears and my road so as to avoid them possibly getting hit by cars.  I've chased them back into the woods behind my house.  The idea of killing them (hunting, car accidents, etc) saddens me.   

As I said, in this particular case, I find the killing of this 17 year old, 875lb bear to be something remorsed over, not praised.

 Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.  Ha Ha.  That's funny to hear that your family does not eat meat. 

CVC's picture

The reason he left work early

The reason he left work early is because he enjoys hunting.  No different than someone leaving work early to go shopping, hear a lecture or some other activity they enjoy.  Hunting doesn't always wait for the weekend or for the work day to end so you have to make time for it. And, if one enjoys it, they will take time off from work to go.  I've done it and most people I know have taken off work to hunt.

In some parts of the country, schools and businesses shut down on opening day of deer season.  It is a way of life for some people.  I realize that this is probably hard for you to understand and accept, but it is true for some people.

I think there are very few true "trophy" hunters and most states (varies some depending on species) have rules against wasting the meat so generally, the meat is not wasted (not sure on the rules in PA regarding bears).  So, some hunters will shoot the first animal they see because they just want the meat.

Others want the meat, but will hold out for a "trophy" animal and then as the season draws to an end, take an animal to fill the freezer.  I eat everything I kill including when I killed a bear.  I eat every bit of the animal as I would guess most hunters do.

Now, some don't and they are just concerned with the hunt and the size of the animal.  But, the meat from the animal doesn't go to waste.  It usually goes either to friends or to organizations that feed the hungry.

Yes, I don't have to hunt to eat, but I prefer to eat wild game over domestic meat.  It truly is organic, range free and antibiotic free.  It is also leaner and there is a certain satisfaction that I get from consuming food that I hunted and killed myself.

I understand that this is foreign and probably "disgusting" to you.  As I mentioned, I live with vegetarians who don't eat meat because they don't want animals killed, so i have an understanding of who you are and how you probably think.

Have a good day.

bearlover's picture

Leaving Work Early Makes No Sense...

Sorry to belabor this point, but in THIS particular case, Mr Price was at his job.  He was working without plans to leave early to go hunting.  According to what he told the Pocono Record, his 5 brothers/friends saw this bear (which they knew of) and called him at work to tell him.  That's when he decided to leave work.   And, like I said, there's the "leap".

He did not already plan to be going hunting.  He was not already planning to leave work early.  So, again, I find it somewhat irrational behavior to pack up early from work in order to go kill something.

Also, in regards to what you wrote, I obviously don't hunt, but I think that if I was a hunter and I was going to go hunting on a "work" day, I'd just take the day off.  It seems like an all day affair:  packing gear, driving to the place, hiking (hunting) for several hours or setting up a tree stand and waiting in it, making your kill, taking the kill back to your car (maybe a weight station as well) and going home.  So, I'd have to say that a hunter that has the idea of going into work before hunting seems very unrealistic.  I can be at work and go shopping on my lunch hour.  I'm only pointing this out because, honestly (and I may be 100% wrong), I cannot imagine any hunter going into the office for a few hours before going out to hunt.  Yes, on paper it can be done.  But TRUTHFULLY, I do not believe it.

CVC's picture

It all depends where you hunt

It all depends where you hunt and its proximity to your work on whether or not it is feasible to work part of the day and then go hunting.  I have on multiple occassions worked in the morning and took the afternoon off to go deer hunting.  I pack my gear in my truck along with a change of clothes and off I go.

I have friend that frequently hunts in the morning, then goes into work.  It definitely can be an all day event, but it doesn't have to be when you're hunting close to home or work.  I bet if you polled the hunters on this site if they have ever left work early to go hunting most would answer in the affirmative.

bearlover's picture

Still Can't Understand It...

OK.  I get it.  But, again, as mentioned in the Pocono Record, Mr. Price was at work with no intention of going hunting but hastened off when he received word from his brothers, cousin and friend that they found the  875 lb bear.  So, again, I don't get it.  How someone can make that leap to have to rush off and kill something in the middle of the day while at work, makes no sense.

I feel dirty

Can't believe I am siding with an anti hunter on this one, but it is disgusting the fact that he would shoot a bear (whether you want to call it tame or habitualized) that could be hand fed and petted. Really, great hunter the fact that you figured out his travel route on way to be petted by Leroy and get a pack of twinkies. I am at a loss for words that any hunter would think that this is something to be proud of. I mean hell just go shoot a bear in the zoo, because that is where this bear belonged, not in the wild.

 

Like I said I feel dirty for agreeing with an anti-hunter, please excuse me while I go take a scalding shower and gouge my eyes out.

CVC's picture

Really?  You're a hunter and

Really?  You're a hunter and you just joined today to post on here about this topic?  How do you know the hunter that killed the bear knew it was the one fed by Leroy?  Should all bears be off limits because one is being fed?

If you have more information then share it with us.

Seems to me that you should be upset with Leroy and not the hunter.  Leroy is the one that broke the law and fed the bear thus creating the situation where the bear may have lost some of its natural instincts.

I can't believe you're advocating shooting a bear in the zoo.  That is sick and illegal and should not even be suggested in jest if you were just kidding.

bearlover's picture

Obviously he was not

Obviously he was not advocating killing a bear in a zoo.  He was simply making a point.  Althoug it does bring up another hunting issue, which I will not get into, but am interested in your thoughts:  canned hunting???  That, to me, is exactly the same as killing an animal in a zoo and should be illegal.  But anyway...

Actually, Mr Price comments in the Pocono Record newspaper that he knew about this particular bear.  In fact, the residents of the area knew of this bear.  They seemed to all know that he was a fed bear and "domesticated".

Feeding bears is an interesting issue.  There are ordinances prohibiting the feeding of wild animals (deer, bears, etc), in many towns.  Yet, I know from personal experience, that no town considers garbage to be a food source (IT IS!) and they do not enforce trash securing (i.e. bear proof garbage cans).  So, yes, technically, Leroy broke the law.  He has been given summonses for it.  But the truth is, when humans move into wooded areas, particularly bear areas.  They take no responsibility for the indirect feeding through garbage.  I can tell you from personal experience, black bears raid my neighbors trash almost weekly, especially now when they are foraging for their hibernation.  Yet for some reason, it goes ignored as a feeding source.

The only difference is that Leroy fed this bear directly.  Otherwise, every resident and business with a dumpster feeds black bears.  Again, it's all misdirection and untruths.  The bottom line is that humans take zero responsibility when it comes to coexisting with wildlife.

Feeding this bear is not the issue.  This bear had been tagged by NJ Div of Fish and Wildlife.  He had roamed between the two states.  So even though he was hand fed and "domesticated", he still survived in the wild. 

Killing this particular bear is the issue!  And it is an atrocity!!

CVC's picture

Canned hunts are legal - I

Canned hunts are legal - I prefer more challenging hunts, but not everyone is me and that is okay.

bearlover's picture

Legal...

Yes.  You are correct.  Canned hunts are legal.  But, honestly, it is almost the same thing as shooting an animal in a zoo - that was my point.  This issue is one of semantics, for do we really consider this to be "hunting"?  Also, as I mentioned in another post, there are man-made laws and there are natural laws.  Canned hunting (in my opinion) violates natural law and is unethical.  To call it "hunting" is a black-eye to hunters and hunting.  You state that you prefer more challenging hunts.  The truth is that there is virtually no challenge at all to canned-hunting.

Although I am against hunting, I would think that any true hunter would agree with me.  In fact, I'm surprised that animal rights people and hunters have not gotten together on this issue.  It's probably the only issue we can agree on.   By reading some of posts by other hunters in regards to Mr. Price's "tainted" kill, I think many hunters would support the eradication of canned hunting.  It's a horrible act of cruelty.

It's like I said:  Men of the world have committed and continue to commit atrocities against other living beings.  Maybe someday canned-hunting will go the way of slavery, when we as human beings can open ourselves up the truth of this particular act of cruelty.

As Mahatma Ghandi said:  "The greatness of a nation and it's moral progress can be judged by the way it's animals are treated".

bearlover's picture

Disgusting!

The fact that anyone would congratulate Mr. Price on this shameful murder of a harmless, innocent and domesticated black bear is disgusting.  Mr. Price is no hero.  He is an exploiter and a murderer.  Shame on him and anyone that supports this sad kill of Bozo.  

As for Mr. GooseHunter Jr:  I cannot understand how you would actually feel threatened by this black bear or any bear.  If you were a real "outdoorsman" (isn't that the new euphemism for HUNTER?), you would know that black bears are, in fact, hardly dangerous no matter what their size.  They are timid.  They do not like conflict and will turn and run 99.9% of the time in a bear/human interaction.  The truth, Mr. GooseHunter Jr., is that a crossbow is overkill when you are around a black bear.  In fact, a toothpick is probably too much.  So shame on you too for applauding Mr. Price and for displaying such ignorance.

ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING!!!

CVC's picture

You obviously have

You obviously have anti-hunting views and certainly are entitled to them so i won't try to convince you that hunting is a good thing, but I will encourage you to do a little research on black bear attacks.  By no means do they happen on a regular basis, but you will find people who were non-hunters and who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time who were killed by black bears.

For example, in 2000 a young 24 year old woman on a training run was killed by a black bear.  Now, I cite this not as justification to hunt.  I don't need to justify hunting, but to make sure you understand that black bears and other wild animals can and do kill humans.  So, love the bears, but be careful and do not underestimate their danger to you or others.

We do not see eye to eye on hunting, but I hope you recognize that loving bears is best done from a safe distance. 

bearlover's picture

Hunting Kills Humans Too...

Dear CVC,

Yes.  I do have strong feelings for bears because I am, actually, educated about them.  I have done a lot of research on black bear attacks and black bear behavior, so your advice is not necessary.  In fact, I encourage you to do some research.  Citing a 10 year old bear attack does not do much to support your case.  But I understand, you have to dig deep because the truth is that there are very few fatalities by black bears. 

Living in the woods of NE PA, I have enjoyed seeing black bears often and sometimes daily.  I have walked into mother's with cubs and guess what, I'm alive to talk about it!  No scars.  No missing limbs!  I can state from personal experience that most black bears are virtually harmless.  By this I mean that they do not want conflict and will turn and run in most cases, even if it's a mother with cubs (that's a HUGE myth, by the way!).  I am not saying that they are not wild and cannot kill people.  They have.  However...

Last year, there were 170 hunting accidents in the USA.  I will put that number against black bear attacks any day.  Hunters are far more hazardous to humans than any black bear (including a mother with cubs!!!).  According the NJ Outdoor Alliance (a hunting group, or should I say "sportsman's" group?), in the past 130 years, there have been 50 fatalities in North America by black bears.  That means that less than one person is killed every 2 years by a black bear in our entire continent.  The population of the USA alone in 2008 was 530 million.  That means you have a better chance of winning the lottery AND getting shot by a hunter than getting killed by a black bear.  Also important to note, those 130 fatalities are not limited to wildlife, but include captured bears, such as the woman killed by her husband's "pet" black bear on Oct 5, 2009 in Ross Twnp, PA.  

I do not think hunters (oops, "sportsmen") can compare to these numbers.

You are correct.  We do not see eye to eye on hunting.  I enjoy the outdoors and feel safe in the outdoors.  I do not need to make up stories to cause fear and confusion about animals and their behavior in order to justify killing them for sport, like Mr. Goosehunter Jr.

The sad truth is that hunters are far more a danger to society than any black bear could ever be.

You are correct yet again, you do not need to justify hunting to me.  You have a better chance of justifying the Holocaust.  Mr. Price is the perfect example.  It took him and five other men to kill what was basically an overweight 17 year old dog.  How can you possibly justify that Mr. CVC?  To even attempt it would be almost as much an atrocity as the act itself!  

As I said, what Mr. Price did is shameful and disgusting.  I fear him more than any bear.  He is the true animal.

CVC's picture

You'll note that I

You'll note that I acknowledged in my post that black bear or any bear attacks do not happen frequently.  My point was simply to provide a word of caution about thinking that a black bear can be tamed like a dog.  It cannot and it can and will hurt someone.  I made the point because despite our differences, I would not want you or anyone else to be lulled into a false sense of security around bears just because they have been fed.

Yes, I don't have to justify hunting to you or anyone else.  I am a hunter and I hunt as often as I can.  I am also a tolerant person and one with an open mind.  I realize that there are people in this world who do not think or believe as I do, but that is okay; we do not all have to be alike in this world.

There are people who I do not understand and their actions are counter to my beliefs and mores, but I would not think to call the disgusting.  I am not God and I do not judge.  As long as their actions are legal then they have a right to be who they are and engage in whatever legal activitiy they want without me attacking them.

Your attack on the hunter in this forum reminds me of the Baptist preacher who hates gays and goes to funerals to protest.  He enters their world and calls them disgusting for no other reason than to be hateful. 

Why did you come to a hunting forum to call a hunter disgusting?  Are you as intolerant as the preacher that hates gays?

Or do you believe that we should be accepting of others even when their legal actions offend our sensibilities? 

You can't condemn those that attack gays, minorities or other groups when you too attack those that you disagree with.  Think about tolerance for a moment - it is not selective.

And on a final note,  there is no need to fear Mr. Price.  I am sure he is a law abiding citizen and will not harm you.  As for him being an animal, yes he is, we all are animals.  The only difference is some of us are at the top of the food chain.

bearlover's picture

You missread what I wrote...

CVC: 

You have missread what I said.  I am not calling Mr. Price "disgusting".  I called his act of killing a beautiful and harmless black bear "disgusting".  Those are two different things.  I do not know Mr. Price.  I can only assume that he is law abiding or he'd be in jail.  Legally, he did nothing wrong by killing this almost 900 pound black bear.  Nevertheless, I am against what he did, not who he is.

I am completely against hunting.  But I have not mentioned that at all in any of my posts.  I commented only on Mr Price's bear kill.  I do not agree with your anology that I am a preacher showing up to funeral to protest.  A funeral is a personal sacred moment in which we say goodby to loved ones.  A hunting post site is hardly that.  As I said, Mr Price's kill is not anything note worthy.  That's why I posted here.  I am not doing anything illegal by doing so.

Although I am against hunting, I am especially against black bear hunting because (in most cases) it's simply a trophy hunt.  In most cases, it is not done for food.  I live among black bears and know their true nature.  I talk (politely) with hunters all the time about this and find them to always tell untruths about black bears.  It is very frustrating.  In fact, most Division of Fish and Wildlife rangers also promote misinformation about black bears.  Maybe you can explain that to me???

You are in correct about black bears.  Yes, they are wild.  Yes, they cannot be tamed like a dog, but that does not mean that they will hurt you.  That is untrue.  Bozo, the bear that Mr. Price killed, was 17 years old.  He was "domesticated" when he was a cub by a local resident who fed him.  We can argue if that's right or wrong, but the point is that in 17 years, Bozo never attacked the resident.  In 17 years, it was Mr. Price that killed an overweight aged "dog".

As for fearing Mr. Price, you incorrect.  You missread what I said about him.  As I stated, hunters kill more people each year than black bears.  So I have good reason to fear Mr. Price as a hunter.  The statistics prove it.     

I am a tolerant and open person as well.  But I will not tolerate misinformation about black bears.  I cannot applaud killing this particular bear.  I cannot understand how hunters, who also seem to consider themselves "outdoorsmen", would want to kill this amazing bear.  It was 17 years old, which is an amazing life span for a black bear.  It was enormous!  It was a beautiful animal.  So where do you make the leap from appreciating the fact that this guy has managed to survive for so long and get so big, to wanting to take his life???  You lose me on that one.

According to the paper, Mr. Price was at work, when his 5 other brothers/friends called him and told him they saw the bear.  He left work to meet them (that's six grown men!) and go kill this particular bear.  He left his job in the middle of the day to kill a bear!  I do not get that at all.  I would love to see a 900 pound bear.  The only difference is that I would ony be interested in shooting it with a camera.

CVC's picture

I am not sure if I misread

I am not sure if I misread what you wrote or just misunderstood it - just semantics, I know.  Anyway, I do appreciate you taking the time to clarify your intent and meaning of your posts.  By no means did I mean to suggest that you posting here was illegal or even unwelcome.

I welcome a discussion with you on this subject and any other hunting or non-hunting ones.  I have tried to be polite and respectful to you and you have done the same.  A polite dialogue between people of differing viewpoints can only be positve. 

I am not sure if I would have killed Bozo based on the information you provided, but I don't share the same harsh view of the act as you do.  And while you are right you didn't call Mr. Price disgusting, you were not very clear that the use of the word disgusting was directed to the action and not Mr. Price.  You also called him a murderer which is not a correct or accurate statement and very inflammatory.

You will find that while we have our differences, many of us here share the same love of wildlife as you do.   I also like to hunt animals and for that I make no apologies.

I am not sure where you got the idea that hunters are to be called outdoorsman.  Some hunters are outdoorsman, but not all hunters are just as not all outdoorsman are hunters.

As far as I am concerned you are welcome here and will read your posts with an open mind.  I know and you know that I will never convert you to believing that hunting is a good thing and you'll never convert me to believe it is not. 

Happy Thanksgiving.

bearlover's picture

Thanks...

 

CVC:

I appreciate you being polite.  I try to also.  I mentioned in one of my posts above, that I talk with hunters often and usually, everyone is polite.  I see no reason to get malicious. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you too.

 

Ca_Vermonster's picture

You gotta be kidding me. 

You gotta be kidding me.  Comparing hunting to the holocaust?  Get real.  Whether you believe in God, or you believe in science, the animals are here for us to do with as we see fit.  That may sound arrogant to you, but it's a fact.  Humans are omnivores.  We evolved over the years to fend for ourselves, and that means being hunters and gatherers.  We learned how to farm, what seasons produced the best crops, etc.  We also learned to make tools, to assist us in taking wild animals to feed our tribe/family/clan.  Just because we can buy everything now at a supermarlket, does not mean we have to.  Some of us still choose to practice what thousands of years worth of ancestors have done prior.

The only reason that these animals are "tame" are usually because of people like you, who decide that it's a good thing to feed wildlife, or to go "live" with the bears.  You do way more damage than anyone has ever done as a hunter.  You are the ones that get them accustomed to human presence.

Here's another great example of what hunters do.  And yes, i have also had many, many years of research in this area, so I too am pretty knowledgeable in this.  In the state of California, 95%, yes that's 95% of all wetlands that are preserved for waterfowl are paid for by HUNTERS donations and feew on hunting licenses.  That leaves only 5% that is made up by the government and other animal lovers.  Sure, we may take some more ducks during the season as a result, but EVERY LIVING THING benefits because of what we give.  I donate to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, and numerous other groups dedicated to the preservation of animals and their habitat.  I have hunted for a quarter of a century, and only taken 4 deer.  Yet, I have given THOUSANDS of my dollars and my time.

You have a strictly one sided view based on some twisted ideology.  Almost every non-biased scientist will tell you that a balanced harvest and conservation plan is the best thing for a species.  Our forefathers 150 years ago almost wiped out the buffalo, elk, and a few other species, but we, as hunters and conservationists, learned from our mistakes.  It is only through OUR efforts that these animals have thrived and are at extremely healthy population levels today.

If you want to have a logical, scientific discussion, then I am all for it.  If not, well you can go preach to some other choir.  We're obviously not singing the same tune.  By the way, what did you do that led you to sign up here. Do a Google search and see who was discussing the legal harvest of a black bear?  Geez.

bearlover's picture

One Week Later...

Let's see, it's almost a week since Mr "Science" CA_Vermonster asked if I wanted to have a "logical, scientific discussion" in regards to hunting.  I responded to his request by asking him to support all of his "facts" with science.  

Still no "scientific" data from the CA_Vermonster Laboratory.  That's OK.  I figured as much...

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Just to let you know, some of

Just to let you know, some of us actually have a life.  I was gone for 4 days due to the holiday.  Let me read your posts, and I will get back to you. Also, what "fact" would you like me to support with science?  The only thing I stated that can possibly be questioned without "science" would be the 95% donation comment.  other than that, it's all accepted "science".

bearlover's picture

What don't you understand...

Is this the part of the discussion where you start backpedalling?  After that will you go on to insult my "twisted" ideology (again) before concluding that I misread what you wrote???  I am confused.

How can you possibly have any question about what I asked you to prove?  In your initial post (You gotta be kidding me), you stated that it is a "fact" that "animals are here for us to do with as we see fit".  In my response (Science??? Really???), I clearly asked you to support your "fact".  I then went on to (clearly) show that your idea of "facts" are simply the commonly accepted ideology of the time (i.e. slavery, women's suffrage and animal rights).  You are obviously a man of science, so prove to me (with science) that "animals are here for us to do with as we see fit".

As I stated, white men historically seem to justified their acts of atrocity towards other living beings.  I am sure you will not disappoint me on this.  However, it is only when we open our minds and hearts to see the truth of those atrocities that we make changes in society (evolve) and look back with disgust on the horror which we allowed to occur.

By the way, I am glad you have life.  I too have a life.  In fact, I appreciate life (mine and others) such that I do not feel the need to take them from another living being.  You should try it.

CVC's picture

"As I stated, white men

"As I stated, white men historically seem to justified their acts of atrocity towards other living beings.  I am sure you will not disappoint me on this.  However, it is only when we open our minds and hearts to see the truth of those atrocities that we make changes in society (evolve) and look back with disgust on the horror which we allowed to occur."

Bearlover, from your previous posts I suppose I expected better from you.  This is a racist comment and I cannot let it go without comment and condemnation.  You could have said, "man" but you chose to inject race and to attack white men.

Have terrible acts been committed by men who were white?  Of course, but their race has nothting to do with it. Terrible acts have been committed by men of all races, Ghengis Khan, the Japanese during WWII, the North Koreans today, Idi Amin, Kadafi just to name a few. 

So, please stop with the racism.  Debate the issue, not a person's skin color.   

bearlover's picture

This issue is DOMINANCE not race

CVC

You are over interpreting my comment.  I was merely making a point in regards to Dominance, not race.

Yes, I said "white men" because in this country, it is the white men who have committed the acts that I specifically mentioned.  I AM a white man, so I feel that I have the right to comment in that manner.  I did not want to get into the atrocities committed by men worldwide.  They are numerous and this is not a history lesson.  It is not an attack on white men, it is the truth in regards to the issues that I listed.

However, since you gave more examples, OK, you are correct:  Romans, Germans, etc.  You only strengthen my point.  Yes, men of the world have committed and continue to commit atrocities against others, whom they regard as less them themselves.  They always justify it in some manner.  Nevertheless,  it is only when we open our minds and hearts to see the truth of those atrocities that we make changes in society (evolve) and look back with disgust on the horror which we allowed to occur.

My point was not meant to be racist.  I appreciate your comment but your interjection does not change my point or the issue.  

CVC's picture

I am not arguing the point

I am not arguing the point that man has done some horrible things in the past, but you felt the need to bring race into it as if somehow citing the race of one group of people strengthened your argument when it merely made it a racist comment.

Look at the Incas, they sacrificed humans.  Other non-white groups committed genocide and even at their enemy.  Race has nothing to do with committing horrible acts based on a variety of reasons unless you're talking about the human race.

Doesn't matter that you're white, it was still a comment meant to unfairly portray one race in a negative light.  Perhaps you just misspoke.

bearlover's picture

OK

OK.  I retract the "white" part of my comment.  I feel that you are needlessly arguing the wrong point.  I explained that my "white" comment was based on the issues that I mentioned regarding the history of the U.S.A.   In this country, white men enslaved Africans.  It's history, not slander. 

I also used the word "men", it does not mean that I am making a sexist comment.

Nevertheless, I understand your point.  That is why I am respectfully retracting the "white" part of white men.  I will portray all mankind in a negative light.

It does not change the point that I was trying to make - this is a DOMINANCE issue, not a racist issue.

bearlover's picture

Science??? Really???

I always find it interesting when people say that animals were put here on Earth for us to do with as we see fit.  You state that this is a "fact".  Really?  Facts are supported by truth and evidence, so I challenge you to prove it to me.  It's interesting, white men used the same logic about 100 years ago when we had slavery.  White men always have good reasons for committing acts of atrocity against other living things. 

You see there's this thing called Evolution.  It's when we change or grow...we evolve.  Sometimes it's a mental evolution.  That's why we, as a society, finally realized how cruel it was to have slavery and we abolished it.  Women also used to have very few rights.  But again, we evolved and realized that they deserved equal rights.  Animals used to have no rights, now we have animal cruelty laws (ask Michael Vick!).

As far as feeding bears or any wildlife.  I believe it's illegal to feed bears but yet it's not illegal for hunters to "bait".  It's just semantics, but you guys feed bears, dear, etc. then sit up in a tree stand waiting.  To me it's the same thing - feeding wildlife.  Shame on you!

You call my ideology "twisted" yet you have not disproved anything I have stated.  You claim to want to have a "scientific" disgussion, so OK. Prove to me, through science, that animals were put on this planet for "us to do with as we see fit".  Because it wasn't science that created slavery, kept women supressed or made animals lives worthless.  But it was TRUTH and people supporting and fighting for the truth against the history of ignorance that changed the perception of those issues and caused Evolution!

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Okay, here goes.  First of

Okay, here goes.  First of all, do not compare slavery and women's suffrage to animal rights.  They are not in the same universe.  Other animals, by "evolution", are a lesser species.  I did not decide this.  I did not decide to give humans a bigger brain and opposable thumbs.  Whatever side you are on, either God or science made it that way.

And by that same "evolution" we evolved to the top of the food chain.  Our incisors are present in our mouth to cut and tear flesh, and the molars are there to grind veggies, nuts, and seeds.  "Evolution" made us into the people we are today, Omnivores.  It is not a conspiracy by the white man to keep animals down.  We could leave them alone, and they would still be stepping in front of cars, looking into the lights, saying "Hey, what's that?", until they get run over and die.  That's Darwin selectively eliminating that one from the gene pool.  As humans, most of us know to get out of the way.

As for baiting of bears, I absolutely do not like that.  I have never hunted bears, and have no desire to do so over bait, or let's throw this in there, with dogs.  I think it's horrible to chase an animal with a pack of dogs until it trees itself.  HOWEVER, it is legal.  While I do not support it, it is their legal right to do so.  I would possibly shoot a bear under fair chase, if I just came across it and had a license, but I would not partake of these methods.

As for animal cruelty laws, again, I do not compare what I do to what Michael Vick does.  Your animal rights friends are fond of saying we are "thrill killers", or that it's a sport for us.  If you must know, I have never killed anything I didn't plan on eating.  The actual kill is about the smallest part of the hunt for me, and I do hope it goes very quickly and the animal does not suffer.  I love eating wild game, and I feel that it's my right by "science", "law", or "evolution" to do so.  Similarly, if a lion ate a person while they were on a safari, I would not fault the lion, as I believe he/she is just doing what they have done for millennia.  Michael Vick killed those dogs for sport and entertainment, period.  As a true hunter, I have never killed for sport or entertainment.

Let me say in closing, is that the difference between you and I is that I have tolerance for people on your side, while you have none for me.  If you do not want to hunt or eat animals, then I will 100% stand by your decision.  Heck, my wife does not necessarily like hunting, and does not eat the stuff I bring home.  But, she respects the fact that I do it.  However, I ask adn fully expect  the same thing in return.  That little rabbit that tastes good in my stew does not have the same standing in society.  But, as a conservationist and a true hunter, I am not out there trying to wipe out all rabbits from this earth.  We have laws to protect against that, and we learned from past mistakes and know how to selectively harvest, yet protect the species that need protection.

Your main fault is that you all like to lump all hunters together in a group, where you think we spend our weekends chasing animals around the woods with machine guns, killing everything that moves, rolling around in their blood.  The fact is, I have seen thousands and thousands of deer, and only shot 4.  Yep, only 4.  I love being in the woods, and aside from some doves and ducks, have not killed anything in 8 years. But it doesn't stop me, cause I love and respect nature.  Funny, the last time I went out, I spent 10 minutes taking photos of woodpeckers that were placing acorns in the tree.  And sorry to disprove your thoughts, but I didn't try to kill him. 

I will not insult you as a person, I am above that.  I do wish you well, and I do it with respect.  If you though I was agreeing with this specific harvest of this specific bear, then there was a misunderstanding.  I am just standing up for that guys rights, just as I would stand for yours.

Peace........

bearlover's picture

Where'd Everybody Go?

Well, it seems that everyone had a lot to say a few days ago.  I was getting responses at 5 and 6 in the morning.  Now they've all gone home because the TRUTH is out and SCIENCE cannot disupte it:  animals were NOT put on this planet for us to do with as we see fit. 

In fact, as Ghandi said:  The greatness of a nation and it's moral progress can be judged by the way it's animals are treated.

The truth of the matter is that it's about respecting LIFE.  We all have the right to lives we've been given.  That includes men, women, dogs, cats, cows, bears, fish, birds, etc.  When you let go of your instilled DOMINANCE and realize that your life is no more or less valuable than a bears, you will understand how the world can change.  Tolerance between races, religions, etc. all begins by seeing eachother as equals.  When you open your mind to the idea that all lives are equal, including other species, things change.  War would not be an issue and the world would be a better place.

 

CVC's picture

I will "play" some more.  Can

I will "play" some more.  Can you prove animals were not put on this planet for man?  No, you can't because it is a belief just as it is a belief that they were put here for man.

Animals are not man's equal and they do not have rights.

Let's take this to the extreme just to illustrate a point.  If an animal, as you say, has the same rights as we do and is our equal, then they have the same responsibilities as we do.  Thus, the bear that kills the deer is a murderer for the deer has a right to live and the bear has no right to kill it based on the assumption that all animals have rights.

The one area of agreement between you and those on this board is that animals deserve not to be abused, they do need to be protected through habitat preservation, and they are wonderful creatures.  Where we will differ is that we believe that man can hunt and kill animals and  raise them to slaughter. They are food for us not our equals.

bearlover's picture

Beliefs can change!

I cannot prove, by science, that animals WERE NOT put on this planet for us to do with as we see fit.  However, I'm not the one who claimed that I could support my theory with science.   My point is that it was not "science" that abolished slavery it was the change in human beings and their beliefs.  I have tried to show, logically, that society has evolved and changed their strong beliefs of similar ideas:  slavery, women's suffrage and even animal rights.

I have also tried to show, logically, that even science is imperfect and always changing.  So to even use science can be flawed because 10 years from now, what we consider to be scientifically "known", may change.  I used the example that science had to change it's definition of a human, because as they learned more about gorillas, they found that they made and used tools, which "science" initially claimed was an ability only used by man.  They were wrong.

I will also use an example of the Nazis.   The Nazis considered themselves a superior race and therefore felt they deserved to dominate all others.  I'm sure that Nazi scientists has some sort of "scientific" reason for extermination, as they wanted to keep their race "pure".  I am not well versed in history, so I am sure there are other issues as well.  But at that time, in that place, in order to keep the race "pure", "extermination" was used and probably justified "scientifically" (for how else would you maintain purity?).  We all now agree that the Holocaust was an atrocity and should never happen again.

Your comment that "animals are not man's equal and they do not have rights" is your belief.  It is not a fact and it is flawed.  My point is that their LIFE is equal to yours.  As I stated in an earlier part of this ongoing discussion, I agree animals did not build the pyramides or the Empire State Building.  However, that does not mean that their LIFE is less valuable than your or mine.

You are also incorrect because animals DO have rights.  That is why there are animal cruelty laws.  Watch Animal Planet, we actually have Animal Police in major cities.  Also, as far as wild animals are concerned, if they had no rights, there would be no defined hunting seasons or endangered species.  We have adopted these rules/laws because on a small level we acknowledge that to overhunt an animal into extinction is irresponsible.  It's a way of accepting that that species has the right to live. 

I have agreed that animals are not intelligently equal or physically equal to man.  They are operating on another level.  Therefore, that also makes your comment that "animals have the same responsibilites as we do" a flawed comment because by your arguement, we would have to impose the same "responsibilities" on children.  We do not.  We understand that children do not have the same cognitive intelligence as an adult.  It is for that reason that we protect our children in society and do not impose the same responsibilites as we do for adults.  It is the same for animals.

You are, however, correct in that the life of the bear and the life of the deer are equal.  Neither one is supperior to the other.  Again, as I stated in an earlier argument, just because the Europeans were able to overpower the Native Americans, it does not lessen the value of their life.  Two hundred years ago, most people would not have agreed with that statement.  Today, society in general has come to agree that Native Americans have the same rights to life as you and I. 

The Native American example is such a good one.  Just because in 2010, most people may agree with you that an animal's life is less valuable than a humans, does not make it correct.  It is just the most popular belief at the time.  But it is only a point of view.  It is not "science" and that seems to be where you are getting confused.  I have also used the term, man-made law, in our discussions because man-made laws do not always support natural law.  Man-made laws, inherently as they are man made, can be flawed.  Laws are initially created and possibly later changed, because society (MANKIND) comes to understand that a change (EVOLUTION) is needed.

I'm sorry but you have yet to justify "scientifically" or even logically that animals were put on this planet for us to do with as we see fit. 

CVC's picture

I wonder if you really read

I wonder if you really read what i write or if you just use it as an opportunity to get on your soapbox?

You wrote - I'm sorry but you have yet to justify "scientifically" or even logically that animals were put on this planet for us to do with as we see fit. 

I have not stated or implied that it was science that tells us that animals are put on this planet for our use.  I stated that it was a belief that could not be proved by science just as the belief that there were not put here is just that = a belief not based in science.

Animals do not have rights.  Man has enacted laws which protect animals under certain circumstances, but they do not have rights.  A right is absolute and animals do not have them. Show me any case law in this country that demonstrates that animals have rights then I'll admit I am wrong.

If animals did have rights, many of us would be guilty of murder, enslavement, forced sterilization, and so on.  Do you have pets?  If so, have you spayed or neutered them?  If you did, then perhaps you violated their rights?  We once made that decision for mentally impaired people, but have come to learn that it is wrong and yet people advocate sterilizing animals today.  How do you justify this practice if animals are your equal and have rights?

You like to state how you're right and I am wrong, as you do when you state that you are right about an animal's life being equal to mine, but let me point out the fallacy of that being a fact.  You may believe it and that is okay, but it is not a fact.  How you can state it is a fact when we are allowed by law to raise, slaughter and eat animals?  Can't do that to humans so under the current laws, an animals life is not the same as a humans.  Also, you can euthanize and animal, but you can't euthanize humans.  So, I contend under the current laws of this country they are not equal.

Wish it if you'd like and maybe someday (there is a move to make it so) that animals will have rights and be viewed as equals to man, but it is not the case today. 

You have your beliefs and I have mine.  You view animals as your equal and in your case, perhaps they are, but they are not mine on any level.