Dove hunting on the ballot in NovemberI love the "symbols of peace" argument. Aren't eagles symbols of war? If so, can we hunt them?
When the dove-Americans win the right to vote, our only game birds will be hawks.
But only regular Americans get to vote. In Michigan, they'll decide whether we'll have rational, science-based hunting or if we'll base laws on the emotional needs of extremists.
The issue on the ballot is dove hunting. The bigger issue, though, is who should be in charge of determining public policy in our state. Should we have laws based on facts, or should we let demagogues make the rules? Dove-Americans? The idea of dog-Americans and cat-Americans is attributed to Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, the group behind efforts to ban dove hunting. I think blaming the HSUS for the concept of citizenship for animals was meant as a joke.
But the group is not funny.
In a 2004 Washington Post article, he included in his goals: Ending animal acts in circuses, ending the use of animals in medical research, and ending hunting.
That's what the dove vote is about: Ending hunting.
HSUS is working to get the people who raise the beef, pork or chicken you had for dinner out of business.
But it wants to protect those blamed for things like firebombing veterinary schools. Pacelle and his organization are opposed to dove hunting and labeling animal-rights criminals as terrorists.
HSUS stands alone in opposition to the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. The act would strengthen penalties for lunatics who blow people up to protect laboratory rats.
So think of Proposal 3 as a referendum on good sense. Vote yes for intelligent game management by wildlife biologists. Or vote no because Pacelle wants you to.
Anti-hunters are pushing three arguments against dove hunting: Doves are too small to eat, doves don't make a mess, and the Bible says doves are the bird of peace, doves are songbirds, and doves mate for life.
In the fields, those are called easy targets.
First, how big is big enough to eat? Cows are bigger than turkeys, so goodbye to that Thanksgiving tradition?
Second, the doves are harmless is an argument from people who live in New York City or wherever HSUS has its offices. Farmers, particularly those who grow seed or grain crops such as sunflowers, know the mourning dove is good at stealing crops.
Third, the "bird of peace" is a Eurasian turtledove, an entirely different genus and species from the mourning doves that are hunted in very nearly every state across the country.
Next, doves aren't songbirds. If making noises qualifies a bird as a songbird, squawking chickens would be songbirds.
And finally, the whole mating-for-life thing defies the evidence and good sense. Mourning doves have an annual mortality rate of about 70%. That means three in four mourning doves alive this fall will be gone by next fall, whether because of weather, predation, disease, accident or hunting. The idea that the one in four that remains will be wearing their widow weeds forever is just silly.
Vote yes on Proposal 3.
Don't let the animal rights extremists win this one.