Time for a rant. To those who say, “Oh, the deer are in my garden” or “What about all the deer on the road that people hit?” In my family, we were taught how to live WITH wildlife. That was one of the perks of living out in the country — you could see and enjoy wildlife! As a child, I was taught to respect that we shared this earth with other sentient beings. I was taught to respect that they had a right to be here, too.
We helped any animal that needed it without any permits or licenses necessary. That’s just what we did. We didn’t debate it, or question whether or not we were supposed to help the animal. Higher moral reasoning guided our actions. We raised wild rabbits to adulthood and kept injured birds until they healed and it was safe to release them. Sometimes they died, in spite of our best efforts. And in that way, we as children learned about the circle and cycles of life.
My grandfather had a huge garden from which my grandmother froze and canned much of their winter supply. He didn’t shoot the deer or rabbits that might come to enjoy a bite. He employed other means of discouraging the wildlife. He knew how to live with the ecosystem, how to share the earth. How to live and let live.
So don’t talk to me about how the deer are overrunning your town or how they’re eating your garden. Put up a fence. Drive more mindfully. Grow the hell up and take some responsibility for what happens around you. And if you can’t peacefully share your little plot of land or the roads with the other beings of the earth that we have continually encroached upon, then move back to the city. And above all, don’t buy a house next to a state park. Or a farm. Or a forest.