An Ironic Lesson From Nature That's Lost on Obama
Via Diana West, here's an amusing/mordant annecdote:
The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S.
Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing this year the greatest
amount of free Meals and Food Stamps ever, to 46 million people. Meanwhile, the
National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks
us: "Please Do Not Feed the Animals." The stated reason for the policy? "The
animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of
Thus ends today's lesson in irony.
All too true. However, one aspect of making wild critters dependent on human handouts was omitted: they come to expect being fed by us as a matter of entitlement, and can become enraged when humans won't come through with food, to the point of violence.
Some years ago, the Alaska Department of Wildlife decided to investigate an alarming increase in the number of incidents involving wolves biting humans in the back country, something that had been exceedingly rare. Their investigation concluded that almost all of the incidents were "punishment bites," i.e., the wolves had gotten used to getting food from hikers, loggers, road construction crews, etc., and were venting their frustration when they would go up to a human who would not or could not give them something to eat.
Getting people off the dole can be difficult and dangerous: not even the most brutal and sanguinary Roman emperors dared to try revoking the Roman plebs' entitlement to _panem et circenses_.
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