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Real Answers™
Copyright: © 2004 Gregory J. Rummo
570 words


By: Gregory J. Rummo


Friday, July 12, 2002 will be a day my wife and I will not forget for a long time.

Planning to hike seven miles together along a nearby trail, we finally settled on what we thought would be just another ordinary two-mile walk with the dog into the woods surrounding Butler reservoir.

Or so we thought until on the way back we heard a noise in the woods. I hear noises in the woods all the time, and I’m pretty good at distinguishing the crunch of dead leaves on the forest floor made by a scurrying squirrel from that of a bolting deer.

But there was something different about this sound.

I turned to my wife and said nonchalantly, “Sounded almost like a deer. Certainly not loud enough to be a bear…”

My words trailed off as I peered into the dark woods. There, standing with its front paws on a boulder, not twenty yards from where we were walking, was the unmistakable form of a huge black bear.

“Holy cow! (Scout’s honor, I did use the word “cow”), It is a bear.” Slowly my wife turned her head, following my gaze into the forest. Then she quickly looked back at me, her eyes wide.

“What do we do?” She whispered nervously.

“Keep walking. Whatever you do, don’t run,” I said in a hushed voice. Keeping one eye on the bear while trying to avoid a staring contest, we picked up the pace ever so slightly and walked out of the woods without incident.

The dog meanwhile was oblivious to all this.

The timing of my first encounter with a New Jersey black bear in the wild was almost humorous. Earlier that week, I received a flood of e-mail from animal-rights activists, irate over several columns I had written.

“I have rarely seen someone so arrogant! I don’t know who you think you are,” wrote one reader, “but the Natives (which I am) …never killed unless we need something from the animal.”

Another opined, “There wouldn't be so many deer if we stopped killing all their natural predators.”

Another thought she had me when she quoted from the Bible: “God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every herb …and every tree that is the fruit of a tree yielding seed, to you it shall be for meat.’ And in the Ten Commandments: ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ It doesn't say humans, it just says, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’”

Citing the commandment “Thou shalt not kill,” is foolishness.

God’s command is clearly against the murder of humans, not the killing of animals. The same God who wrote, “Thou shalt not kill,” later in Exodus instructed his people to kill spotless lambs without blemish and to spread the blood over the door on the night of the Passover, not to mention the enormous number of lambs, rams and bulls God commanded the high priest to slaughter on the altar in the Jewish temple.

The bear we saw in the woods that day was a beautiful animal. There was something awesome about seeing such a magnificent creature in the wild. But had it come out of the woods and chased us, or had it attacked my dog, I would have had no compunction about gunning it down on the spot had I been carrying a firearm.

My rights are more important than an animal’s.

"Real Answers™" furnished courtesy of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write or E-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091;


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