Despite the lack of family resemblance between us (she is much better looking than I am) Robin is indeed my daughter. She was born February 21, 1988 at Piedmont Hospital here in Atlanta, and I remember that day like it was yesterday.
This month, Robin became a graduate of Texas A&M Kingsville (Go Javelinas), an agriculture major in range and wildlife sciences with a minor in English. She wants to make her career in urban wildlife policy, a class called "human factors" at TAMUK, and is presently researching the space, seeking an opportunity. If you have one, or just want to comment about this piece, drop her a note.
(The picture, of deer who could not survive in a natural world, is from a deer breeder, RRA Ranch in Mingus, Texas.)
She also owns a Labradoodle. It’s part of a mindset that needs changing.
The attitude is that the hunter wants the hunter gets. It is a mantra everyone in Texas knows. “I want to shoot big deer.” Well so does everyone else, buddy.
An unconventional market has grown up from this attitude -- deer breeding specifically for hunting. It sounds exactly like what it is. Licensed breeders breed deer for specific purposes, to look nice and get shot.. The breeder will put a prize buck into a pen with does in heat and the resulting offspring will be released back onto the property to grow up. The males to be killed by trophy hunters and the females will hopefully live long enough to breed more deer like the father.
In other cases a land owner will buy deer from a breeder. These deer will be released onto the property to then be hunted that season. It makes a lot of sense because hunters will often pay more if you can guarantee them a hunt that will result in shooting a “160 point buck”. If you know what you have on the property then you can then charge accordingly.
While both options will make many living in the city, who do not hunt, cringe, I wonder if they know they do the exact same thing, just on a different scale, when they buy something like a Labradoodle
Science, responding to market demands, has created more new breeds of house cats and dogs than have ever walked this earth in the eons before. Dogs and cats are bred for specific purposes, just like the deer.. I was watching TV recently and heard about a short legged no haired cat. What struck me was when the breeder was talking about the cats. She was saying how these cats would never, in their lives, ever be able to go outside as they were breed to be too trusting. With the varying temperatures in the average day, they could die in hours – they require conditioned air
These are designer breeds, just like the Labradoodle. They are bred for a specific purpose, a low-shedding coat from the poodle, the temperament and train-ability of a Labrador. What you get is a dog that is highly prized for being hypoallergenic. Yet, even breeders cannot promise this trait forever puppy they bred so they can charge more for those that are.
This is very similar to the deer in Texas. The designer deer are bred with other deer hoping for a specific outcome. If it is not quite there, that is fine as they will still carry quite a few good traits that are desired, even prized.
So which is worse, deer bred to be killed, or dogs that we forced together to get what we want? In both cases you have artificial animals that can’t live away from man. They are dependent on us. We have a responsibility to them.