After reading the article “Island Pig Eradication Spurs Wild Controversy” (Daily Nexus, March 2), I thought the Nexus was playing an early April Fools’ joke. How could such a ridiculous plan be taken seriously? I’ll admit I don’t know all the specifics about the proposed island invasion, Slay of Pigs ’05. I mean, there must be something missing here, if not in the thoroughness of the article, then in the minds of the National Park Service. However, from what I read in the article, the plan sounds totally not kosher on so many levels.
First of all, the environment changes and animals migrate, especially with the “help” of humans, and that’s just a fact of life. Most of the American population today is non-native to the New World, but I wouldn’t go as far to say that we should kill everyone off so that things go back to the way they were over 500 years ago, especially just so some fox too dumb to see a bird chasing after him can have a better chance at cheating the fundamental concepts of Darwinism. Maybe a better plan would be to offer self-defense workshops to teach the foxes something useful so they can have higher ambitions in life than to become dinner or fashion accessories.
Second of all, will killing the pigs stop the eagles from eating? Do the pigs collaborate with the golden eagles on their fox-hunting plans? Maybe the National Park Service thinks that the pigs are digging traps to wound the foxes so the eagles can fly down and finish them off, but I don’t think killing the pigs would provide any change to the golden eagles’ dinner menu. Maybe we should be shooting the golden eagles, since they are the ones causing most of the trouble. And if they really are made of gold, maybe the National Park Service can use this as a fundraiser, rather than a huge expenditure that will prevent it from being able to do anything productive in the future.
That brings me to my third point. Let’s just suppose this stupid proposal does pass, and we decide to kill these pigs, even though that would be wrong and pointless. Why do we need to spend $7 million on an elaborate helicopter assault? Let me go back to my family reunion in Pennsylvania, give me 50 bucks, a shotgun and some chewing tobacco, and I’ll get you five hillbillies who could do the job with more enthusiasm than a bull on a dairy farm. Maybe the reason no one showed up to the career fair wasn’t because of the rain, but because people found out they could make $7 million on a dream job consisting of shooting pigs down Doom-style safely from a helicopter. And I don’t know what you plan to do with the bullet-filled carcasses, but I hope you don’t leave them there to attract other unwanted creatures, like a hungry pack of Mama Casses. Maybe you should give the pigs to Carrillo Dining Commons, so they can serve something other than chicken for one night.
I really hope this plan to kill an entire population of animals does not go through, if not for the reason that it goes against the main principles of environmentalism – promoting a healthy, natural environment and protecting all of Earth’s creatures, smelly or not – but at least for the economic absurdities the plan involves. You could save a lot of cuter, cuddlier creatures with $7 million.
Justin Matson is a junior film studies major.