During the early part of April, Vassar College’s animal rights group named Vassar Animal Rights Coalition (VARC) met to plot how they could help end deer culls that the university has paid for, respectfully. The hunts have taken place on and off for about five years on Vassar’s ecological preserve and the first one was held in 2010. According to The Miscellany News citing information from the Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve website:
“The college has seen that overabundant deer prevent the establishment of young trees and reduce plant diversity in the forests of the VFEP.” The website cites threats to biodiversity caused by deer overpopulation as the main reason for the culls. “The overpopulation is dramatically altering the entire forest structure of the VFEP,” according to their website, which estimates that there are 26 deer per square mile on the preserve, greater than their stated optimal range of a density between 10 and 20 per square mile. The VFEP provides no source for this optimal density (Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve, “Answers to Common Questions about the Deer Management Program for the Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve”).
VARC members, essentially, balked stating that there was a lack of scientific evidence to back up Vassar Ecological Preserve’s claims and consider the cull an unnecessarily violent option. Instead, VARC recommends non-lethal alternatives such as sterilizing the male population.
At face value it is surprising that VARC would suggest using non-lethal methods first and lethal methods as a last resort. If history is any guide, any such suggestions from animal rights groups is merely window dressing as the group would ultimately prefer the hunt to be cancelled.
However, there is a sinister intent behind VARC’s opposition to the deer cull. Vassar College is located in Poughkeepsie, NY which is located in the Hudson Valley. As it turns out, Hudson Valley is experiencing a lyme disease epidemic. There is a breed of tick that carries lyme disease and deer are one of many animals that can carry the tick which spreads the sickness when a tick attaches itself to a human.
Lyme disease is a deadly, painful illness, and since environmentalists hate humans their opposition to deer hunting and cull programs to keep animal populations down makes sense. If deer populations grow unchecked, the risk of humans catching lyme disease goes up due to the likelihood of increased contact with deer which, in turn, leads to more humans becoming ill or even dying if they become infected.
Animal rights groups like to portray their efforts of saving animal species as a noble gesture conjuring up images of popular films, like Bambi or Free Willy, in an attempt to pull at people’s heartstrings. Yet if one considers the sinister intent of their actions with animals, like deer, one realizes the mischievous reason why environmentalists oppose hunting and curbing animal populations. It is nothing more than another back handed attempt to infect humans with a disease in hopes of killing people off.