Challenging a Fundraising Tradition Reveals True Intentions of Community Hunters
In December of 2019, Animal Rights activists in the Capital Region of NY caught wind of a local Fire Department’s plans for a Coyote hunt fundraiser intended for Mid January 2020. Alarmed not only for the animals but for the poor example set by an organization whose mission is to save people’s lives, a petition was circulated and numerous activists wrote letters, made phone calls and posted on social media asking the Hancock NY Volunteer Fire Department to reconsider.
Some, like myself, offered to make donations to the FD if they would change their strategy and ensure no animals are harmed. The correlation between violence toward animals and other forms of violence including child abuse and domestic violence has been established repeatedly.
While one could make the claim that this is different, it is cultural or that it is intended as a way for an economically struggling community to support their local Fire Department staffed by volunteers, the reactions before and after the petition gained ground would suggest otherwise.
Early into the circulation of the petition, which would grow to gain the support of 20,000 signers, pictures circulated on social media of young men carrying coyote corpses, smiling broadly. These posts were accompanied by text such as “Yaaaa! Can’t wait to kill ’em all!.”
But what happened when the petition initially seemed to succeed in its mission is even more disturbing. In late December, the Hancock Volunteer Fire Department issued a statement on their Facebook page, claiming they were canceling the event because of alleged threats of physical harm coming from the Animal Rights community, and also blaming the decision on an ‘executive order’ from the Mayor of the town.
Before we get too far into analyzing the irony of a group of people who are excited by the prospect of killing others feeling threatened because Animal Rights groups and concerned community members voiced an opposing opinion, let’s also let it simmer that something is not adding up here.
The FD blamed the Mayor for canceling the event. The Mayor responded that she had ‘no idea what they were talking about.’