Let’s just get this out of the way right in the beginning. I am an animal advocate. I do not support this cull. I think it’s inhumane and unnecessary. I do support sterilization, if it’s needed for population control.
That said, I was so glad to see so many like-minded friends at the peaceful No Cull Rally & Demonstration yesterday. I walked up and the first person I saw leading the charge from the Hook Windmill was Dan’s Papers head guy Dan Rattiner. He was talking to someone who jokingly suggested that the whole parade of protesters show up at the house of East Hampton Mayor Paul Rickenbach, who approved the controversial cull, calling it a “necessary first step” in interviews.
Lots and lots of people were carrying signs. Things like, “”Are The Swans Next?” “Count Before Cull,” “Kill the Cull,” “Sterilize Do Not Shoot” and “Kill The Plan, Not The Deer.” Many brought their dogs.
As I walked against the flow, taking as many photos as I could and trying not to be too overcome with emotion, I happened upon Alec Baldwin–who was in his car driving along and had stopped to talk to a friend participating in the anti-cull rally. Oh, how I wanted to ask him what his thoughts were but I didn’t want to be obnoxious. Had he been IN the line of protesters, that would’ve been a different story but since he was just driving by, I didn’t want to be ‘that guy’ figuratively speaking. Instead, I said hello and walked on.
Though I can’t speak for him, obviously, I’m guessing that the man who founded East Hampton Conservators and lends his support to The Group for the East End would also be anti deer slay. Hoped to see something on his Twitter feed but yesterday’s posts were about the SAG Awards and a cute photo of HIlaria, Carmen and the couple’s two dogs in bed. But I digress.
At the very end of the line were about 10 hunters. Only one sign. It read “Hunters Are Here To Stay.”
The bottom line, in my opinion, is that many will profess that the deer need to be culled because they are overpopulated. I think it actually has to do with the deer eating their plants. Honestly, how can we blame the deer when we’ve nearly completely eradicated their natural habitat.
For those who argue that the deer cause accidents, I say SLOW THE HELL DOWN! Most of these crashes (and needless deaths and injuries) could be avoided if people drove the speed limit.
Lastly, people cite Lyme Disease. Hey, I feel ya. I’m terrified of getting it and it’s a real problem and serious health hazard. BUT murdering the deer because they are carriers (and sufferers!) doesn’t make sense either. I’ve yet to hear someone say we should take grandpa (perhaps just as vulnerable as the poor deer) out to the back yard and shoot him because he passed on the flu virus to the family. Yes, I know that was incendiary. But come on people!
Every local news organization was there to document the walk from Hook Mill to Herrick Park. I’m hoping that all the media attention will shed light on this important topic. To learn more, visit http://www.easthamptongroupforwildlife.org.
*Photo by me at yesterday’s protest.