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
Texans do what they want when they want. They put people in
the rest of the United States off by this attitude. When it comes to hunting
they do some things that would make many run for the hills. (This picture of a Labradoodle comes from Wikipedia.)
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.