Jack Hanna and Sheriff debrief

Big news this week is Terry Thompson and his exotic animal farm.  For those of you who haven’t heard, Terry Thompson, owner of an exotic animal farm in Zanesville Ohio, released all of his animals on October 18th before committing suicide.  Within the next 24 hours 49 of his 56 animals were hunted and killed by 50 deputies from the Sheriff’s office in Zanesville.

Among these rare animals were 18 Bengal tigers, two wolves, eight lionesses, six black bears, and one baboon.  As of yesterday there was only one monkey missing, but deputies have announced that he was eaten by one of the loose tigers.

Thompson had a history with the police department including complaints from neighbors, animal cruelty, fines for loose animals, and a term in prison after being found with illegal weapons.  There is speculation that his actions stemmed from his wife recently leaving him.

Photos from Zanesville are hard to stomach.  Rare animals slaughtered in a mass hunt.  Even so, representatives from the Humane Society and even Jack Hanna have said that deputies were not wrong in their actions.  Concerned with their own safety and the safety of residents, deputies were forced to act.  Many deputies have voiced their sadness at being put in such a position.

Jack Hanna, who drove up to aid deputies and to transport the captured animals to the Columbus Zoo, has voiced his dismay at the Ohio laws that allow civilians to own exotic animals at their homes.  The County Sheriff and Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, have also voiced outrage about this incident in reference to loose state policy where exotic animals are concerned.

What makes it green?  The destruction of these exotic animals is a horrific incident.  Sustainable treatment of this planets treasure’s and resources doesn’t include the mistreatment of animals. The fact that Terry Thompson’s actions could lead to the death of 49 exotic animals is disturbing.  I’m interested to see what happens in the future.  This event has given the Ohio state legislature something to consider and activists a new cause.








Lead Bullets

Most people are aware by now that lead is poisonous, however, this was not always known. Lead paint used to be primarily used in house paint, ceramic paints, and even children’s toys before its hazards were made known. Lead is most toxic to children; causing metal learning disabilities from extended exposure to it.

Now the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is getting a wiff of the toxic fumes. The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), is proposing a bill that would ban the production of lead bullets, lead shot, and lead sinkers. The CBD is citing the Toxic Substance Control Act to bring validity to their bill, yet those in support of the Second Amendment are saying that the EPA does not have the authority to ban the production of lead-based hunting products.

First, what is the Toxic Substance Control Act? The Toxic Substance Control Act was initiated in 1976 by the EPA to record, report, and test for certain chemicals and mixtures that may hazardous to the environment. The EPA already regulates lead-based paint, by placing restrictions and regulations concerning when and how the paint can be used. Given that the dangers of lead based paint are known, you would think that it would be banned, but it’s not.  It is regulated. There are stringent standards that homebuilders and product manufacturers must follow if they are using lead-based paint.

The endangered condor, victim of the lead bullet.

Second, what is the Second Amendment? The Second Amendment protects the right of the American people to hold and bear arms (weapons).

The Center for Biological Diversity has claimed that consuming lead bullets in Arizona caused the deaths of three condors found last January. By eating lead bullets the bird’s digestive systems shut down causing them to starve to death. The condor is endangered, yet since 1997 their have been 18 condor deaths in California due to lead poisoning and 15 others in Arizona who met the same fate “Biting the bullet,”

Condors are scavengers; they ingest bullets accidentally by consuming bullet-ridden corpses. Fish are also killed by lead found in sinkers when the fish unintentionally ingests them.

The CBD is calling for an amendment to the Toxic Substance Control Act that would implement a full ban on lead-based bullets, shots, and sinkers.

Hunters are using the Second Amendment to protect their buckshot,  claiming their right to bare arms includes the right to choose what bullets they use. Furthermore, hunters know that lead bullets are much cheaper than non-lead competitors. Hunters are in an uproar at the idea of being forced to spend almost double the cost of lead bullets, on non-lead bullets.

The CBD is contesting the hunter’s complaints with the condor. The condor is an un-intended victim of their hunting activities. The endangered condor would be able to re-coup it’s population if lead-bullets were banned.

So what do you think is of more value in this situation? The hunter’s rights or the condor’s lives?












The Dunes Sagebrush Lizard

Texas is well known for its oil productivity, yet the basins of natural gas may soon be made inaccessible in an attempt to protect one small lizard. The Dunes Sagebrush Lizard is going extinct, according to The Texas Fish and Wildlife Agency.

If the Sagebrush lizard is added to the list of endangered species “The economies of southeastern New Mexico and West Texas would be devastated.” Says Texas Republican Representative Steve Pearce. “We can’t manage the entire country for a single species at a time.” Steve adds.

The Permian Basin is the natural gas reserve under New Mexico and Texas which is responsible for 20% of the nations crude oil production. If the Sagebrush lizard is protected, thousands of acres over the basin would go out of production, as it is the reptiles natural habitat.

It seems there is a land dispute afoot, who holds more cards? The Dunes Sagebrush Lizard or the oil? The American way seems to be to tend to only those things that produce for us, and the Sagebrush Lizard seemingly produces nothing, whereas oil is in high demand. Generally the green of the paper trumps that of the green lands.

Despite the debate over the lizards standing the Environmental Protection agency will not make its decision based on them. “The politics of all of this won’t affect the decision of whether or not to list,” Said a spokesperson for the agency.


“A listing would not have adverse effects on the oil and gas industry in the Permian Basin, but people fearing for their employment or their communities will pick up on rhetoric like Rep. Pearce’s and it’s difficult to cut through that chatter and to present the facts.” Is what Mark Salvo from the WildEarth Guardians had so say about the issue.

What do you think about the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard and it’s possible effect on oil production if it is listed as endangered?

What is more valuable, the lizard’s existence or our oil?

A nice postcard from Texas.