In Memory of “Bob” the rooster and one of his girls.
This last week we have lost a beautiful rooster and hen; one to a hawk, and the rooster to (what I believe) to be a fox. These losses were unfortunate, but the fact remains: this is what those animals do. They are predators and they were acting naturally. As a farmer, my natural reaction is and was anger: something must pay, and the hawk and fox were prime possible recipients. As an intelligent person, however, I am capable of understanding justice.
Sometimes we are faced with difficult decisions and in these situations we must make a choice: to react or act. I could shoot hawks and hunt fox but for what reason? There is only one answer to this: revenge. Perhaps killing the fox is necessary for it will return, but the hawk…and at best such a decision is only partially reasonable.
This led me to consider reason. As humans we are emotional creatures with the capacity, with the freedom, to act intelligently. Unfortunately often enough we do not act accordingly. The loss of my rooster and hen presented a situation in which I was presented a choice: to act reasonably or emotionally. But I had left out another choice: the middle ground: to act both reasonably and emotionally.
I was saddened to lose my rooster and hen, but I could not get myself to simply kill animals for what they do naturally: they cannot be held accountable and so it would be immoral of me to kill them for acting the way they act. However, I did not want them to return and kill more livestock. The logical conclusion, was to accept the losses and try to lessen the chances of the predator’s capability of doing what comes naturally: to give them a chance to learn.
Many farmers would tell me that it is not worth the trouble: to kill the animals, and sometimes they would be correct. However, I value my farm animals and other animals and their lives in a different way: as living things. So, according to my values it is “worth” my trouble to find a compromise. Sometimes a little emotion goes a long way, and sometimes (in order to remain moral creatures) we must learn to value all life rather than simply the life we deem worthwhile.