By Stacey Rakic
Many of us fondly remember the stories we learned as children, spiriting us to faraway lands where knights battled monsters and won the attention of the grateful town and the fair princess, stories meant to impart wisdom and grace, manners and understanding, equipping us with cognitive tools disguised as parables and fairy tales. We could depend on our heroes for guidance, for assistance, for courage. Indeed, the heroes were easily identified, compassionate and intelligent, the villains always monsters and fearsome. We embraced our myths, read our fables, and shared our legends, our eyes wide with anticipation, hands gesticulating, sharing our wisdom to our friends and foes alike. We all knew who was whom, and what was what, roles easily delineated and worshiped or rejected.
These tales are supposed to be analogous to life, drawing parallels between our stories and reality, allowing us to easily recognize similar ideas and characteristics and thus enabling us to navigate through our years, championing the heroes while condemning the monsters. Unfortunately, life encounters and moments are not so easily identifiable, the lines between good and evil blurred by societal apathy and approval, buoyed by our willingness to accept erosional degradation. We are the manufacturers of our rules and morals, however, interconnected with each other from our past and into our present, no one an isolated entity; one generation does not cause ruination of the next, past generations do not cause our existing problems. We have to accept responsibility rather than place blame indiscriminately, and rather than criticize one generation, one administration, or one government as rationalization to ignore correction is mere avoidance.
We have a widespread problem with little rejection, though, deteriorating our rights insidiously so, challenged by few and applauded by many. Answering terrorism with constitutional disintegration does not destroy terrorism, it creates innocent victims held as sacrificial example: as long as one is identified as a terrorist, it does not matter if the act is heralded as a compassionate response to widespread cruelty or if the act indeed causes harm. Establishing the moniker of terrorism is all that is required to elicit necessary approval from the constituents, who are more than willing to exploit a word to silence the disquiet that accompanies such penal egregiousness. Congressional diatribe aside, we know what is wrong, what is right, what our conscience easily recognizes but what our self-serving greed overwhelms with tired banalities of personal forgiveness and excuse, be it through religion, culture, legalities, or individually-designed absolution according to any.
The evil is recognizable, but not as the dark shadowy
figure that lurks at the edges of society, remaining comfortably outside
most of our life boundaries. That evil is understood as being irrational,
despicable, and thus socially ostracized, unaccepted as upstanding or
respectable. But like the memory that remains cloudy, just outside
recognition, that tangible evil is dominated by something not as legally
challenged but villainous nonetheless: the government that enforces bias and
unjustness as opposed to intended but revoked constitutional equity as a
means to inhibit legal protest against the evil of animal exploitation and
But allow me to first present an ugly picture in this story, that of a constant and perverted animal holocaust, a human machine of epic proportions that willingly, indeed encouragingly, creates and destroys living beings. Sixty billion animals are slaughtered every year on a global scale, millions per each second. The scope of such massive killing is too large to conceptualize with pithy descriptions meant to invoke personal forgiveness. Need, desire, want, and wish become bloody, reprehensible, inhumane, and barbaric to the animal whose life is commercialized and easily disposed. To devalue sentience and life so readily requires precepts founded on history and remodeled with anthropocentric missives and cultural mores, disregarding every being as either beneficial to humans or nuisances of such. Humans do not extend respect to other species, it’s a preposterous illusion meant to cultivate personal exoneration and social acceptance; the cat who is a family member is the cat who is skinned alive for fur. No species should be defined by borders but rather rights, deserving of lives free from exploitation and suffering, individually worthy, not as means to another’s needless end.
Let us turn our focus to a specific chapter in this story,
a perversion that is recognized and rationalized as sport, encouraged as
normalcy, regarded as a socially acceptable and traditional bonding event:
hunting. The deliberate stalking and killing of animals, by the elderly, the
adult, and the child. Yet despite such indecent propositions, hunters will
have you believe that killing is humane and righteous, promoting divine
encouragement as reasonable permission, embellishing elusive health concerns
as imminent global pandemics, or gleefully pandering to local governments
whose persuadable voters are donating constituents. However, the evil is
that hunters kill, they intentionally and happily kill. They deliberately
point a weapon, aim, pull, shoot, slice, chop, and horrifically injure and
kill, laughing for camera moments, proudly displaying the killed animal as a
boastful trophy, actions and patterns disturbingly parallel to serial
killers, yet sanctioned by governments that will steamroll over the
constitutional path to quickly illegalize any person who speaks against such
Enter Kansas City’s Jason Miller, our hero, founder and president of Bite Club of KC and integral to other numerous animal rights campaigns and groups including his partnership with internationally-known activist Anthony Marr and Marr’s Global Anti-Hunting Coalition. Jason Miller is an uncompromising activist and animal rights champion. Relentless in the moral pursuit to destroy speciesism, the prejudicial regard of non-human animals to immorally justify their exploitation and slaughter, and local freedom fighter for the Shawnee Mission Park deer, Mr. Miller has been harassed and targeted in the local Kansas City government’s campaign meant to terrorize activists, to serve as an ominous warning: cross us, get arrested. Indeed, the local government of Johnson County, Kansas, has been unremitting in its realized plan to slaughter the deer of Shawnee Mission Park despite being given proven, non-lethal alternative strategies. It is this cemented yet brutal mentality that confronts Mr. Miller as well as other activists world-wide, encouraging community hostility and provoking irrational behaviour against what is, indeed, the only logical answer between killing and not killing: when confronted with this ethical “challenge” as some will bewilderingly imply, the rational, the principled, indeed the moral response is one of life, not death.
Indeed, regardless of personal ideologies, however, animals have inherent rights to be free from human-manufactured justifications to kill them: this is not an arguable premise, but any person who believes in my right to write this or your right to protest such should be enraged by our governments’ self-defined right to put the proverbial tape over our mouths in a demonstration of democratic fascism. AETA, the animal enterprise terrorism act, is targeted against those people whose socially-interpreted “crime” is compassion. Indeed, no person has ever been physically harmed by a self-described animal rights activist; on the contrary, billions of animals have suffered immeasurable depravities and cruelties, hidden behind colorful advertisements, wealthy executives, funky billboards, and silly commercials. The reality is hideously corrupt at all levels, be they personal, societal, corporate, or governmental. This is not a judicious use of time or effort; when real terrorists are granted easy access in attempts to recreate 911, our government officials are playing overt spy and concerning themselves with honest, law-abiding people, such as Jason Miller. Our liberties are being destroyed as fast as indicatively violent people can ignore them while circumventing laws meant to dissuade them. Anyone who discards such descriptions as paranoid intrigue hasn’t been to a legal protest, written a legal letter, or encouraged legal activities now being criminalized by an expansive, wealthy system determined to maintain the status quo that secures wealth to the few who rule the rest.
Mr. Miller’s campaign is internationally recognized and followed; his efforts to dually save deer and promote all animal rights is the heroism sadly lacking; so few are courageous enough to crack the literally and figuratively social institutional prisons enslaving animals, yet despite governmental interference and resistance, Mr. Miller’s tenacity never wavers. In a repetitious yet disturbingly largely-unchallenged pattern of intimidation, the Kansas City government has ventured down numerous avenues to (ineffectively) terminate Mr. Miller’s activism. Indeed, in yet another baffling yet disturbing display of power, or perhaps preferential treatment, Michael Meadors, director of the Johnson County Park and Recreation District, requested and was granted a restraining order against Mr. Miller following Mr. Miller’s unremarkable October visit to Mr. Meadors’ home to deliver a letter regarding the upcoming deer slaughter. Mr. Miller was arrested on January 20 for “violating” said restraining order for an innocent incident on December 8. Indeed, Mr. Miller was exercising his legal right to enter a government building in which is located Michael Meadors’ office, and, in what is now in retrospect a puzzling situation given that Mr. Meadors was not actually present during cited incidence, was bewilderingly accused of violating the order. If not expeditious, the Kansas City government certainly is interesting in its decisions and disturbing in its pursuit of them; how troubling that any of us can be removed from our homes based on erroneous, if not deliberately interpreted as such, information? If this was a legitimate situation, why did it take 43 days following the alleged violation for the arrest? Or, rather, was this not a legitimate demonstration of jurisprudence in which case, why was it even regarded? Either way presents troubling questions regarding the governmental issuance and control of “justice”, to which we are all subjected. If you do not find any of this bothersome, you are already waxing the wheels of the steamroller.
That voice, however, begs to be heard, and you want a response. However, although I have no answer as to the government’s chronicle of actions, their “justification” if you will, on a personal level, the best answer provided is by our hero, Mr. Miller himself. In fact, in what Mr. Miller himself describes as a “cowardly means of retaliation by craven animal murderers, my arrest is simply the latest in a long string of abuses of my Constitutional rights to engage in activism for a social justice issue. I’ve been intimidated, harrassed, questioned, surveilled, and now arrested by park police, city cops, county law enforcement, and the FBI. All for my aggressive but legal efforts to save a herd of deer from an unnecessary slaughter. We environmental and animal rights activists may not be championing a wildly popular cause, but people need to realize that if our civil liberties are in jeopardy, so are everyone’s.”
Nothing I can write can summarize it better or more effectively…The story doesn’t end happily, though; we’ve been betrayed by Aesop, the Grimms brothers, and Disney because the good, the righteous, and truly innocent do not win. They get killed. Or they get criminalized. Your cats and dogs are the cattle, the chickens, the pigs, the bears, the rabbits, the fish, the birds, the deer. Your family member is someone else’s lunch or trophy, boastfully displayed as hideous wall ornaments or framed with dead, glassy stares. Next time you apathetically watch a truck crowded with sheep on their way to be killed, imagine it is filled with your Fluffies and Fidos; next time you see a pickup truck trailing blood in its path from the dead deer stacked in back, picture your Lassies and Garfields gutted and dismembered instead. Our society regards animals with disturbing apathy and cruel schizophrenic validations. Why one yet not the other? No animal will ever have any rights or protections that we proudly champion for a few as a just and empathetic society because no matter how much you love your companion animals as family members, as long as you eat and kill your relatives, you will be the trolls and the monsters, and as long as you criminalize the heroes, you will never be part of a truly free, just, and compassionate society. Indeed, in this cruel reality where animals are subjected to endless evil and heroes are imprisoned unjustly thus creating dual victims, the abstract effects will become tangible consequences and next time the victim may be you.
Let the cowardly abusers of power in Johnson County and the state of Kansas know what you think of them murdering the deer and arresting the leader of those fighting for the deer:
Kansas Dept of Wildlife Big Game Coordinator Lloyd Fox