Predators, Their Prey, and the Rights of Both

I‘m always on the fence about the rights wild animals, after all they have to eat, I get it. But, what about the animals they’re predators to? You know, the ones we love, like our family dog or cat?  My chickens aren’t companions animals, but geez, they have names, come when called, therefore, have succeeded in becoming family members too. What about their rights?

We live within the city limits of Phoenix, Arizona. You wouldn’t think predators would be a big threat, but they are indeed. Mostly coyotes, occasional bobcats, and rather frequently, hawks.  I’ve lost many chickens to all three. As you can imagine, it’s pretty traumatic to witness an attack, so much so, that the worry of our household canines falling victim to these predators is terrifying.

We install fences, build covered pens, and never leave our dogs in the yard unattended. It’s crazy, and sometimes I think it’s just silly being so overprotective. Then I remember the bobcat who popped over a 6ft block wall in broad daylight and snatched one of my chickens 20 feet from where I was standing.  Or, the coyote who grabbed my Silkie chicken when I was cleaning pens, then jumped a 7 foot fence with the bird in his mouth. Let’s not forget the morning slaughter of all but two chickens a few years back by a pack of coyotes. Were they hungry? Were they bringing food home for their babies? NO, they just killed them all and left them behind.

Discharging a firearm where we live is illegal. Even if it wasn’t, coyotes and bobcats are protected. Oh, and rattlesnakes too… what??  We are law abiding folks, so I just worry… and blog about it. But if I lived in the country, there’d absolutely be a .30-06 rifle on my back porch. And, pretty sure I could use it with little remorse.

I’m not a vegetarian, I eat meat, all meat. That pretty much says it all about me and my concern for the equal treatment of animals. Don’t really like to think of it that way, but it’s true. Meat on the table is a norm in our home, nobody even thinks about how it got there. It’s sounds bad even to me that I consider myself an animal lover. It’s disturbing to think that some animals count and others don’t… but that’s actually what it boils down to isn’t it?  Some animals are for food and some aren’t, simple as that. Some animals are allowed to be hunted for recreation and some aren’t. Why is that? Nevertheless, as far as I’m concerned, coyotes and bobcats have rights on the plentiful state land around here, but I have ZERO compassion for them on my farm. Lucky for them, I don’t have the legal right to decide their fate.



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