Discarded Spirit
Discarded Spirit

People often wonder why this disturbing image is in my portfolio, especially since I strive to capture nature’s beauty with my photographs.  Admittedly, this picture can be hard to look at, so I’ll try to explain.

While hiking in beautiful Long Canyon near Boulder, Utah, I came upon a grisly scene.  At first, I wasn’t sure what I was looking at, but the horrifying reality sank in soon enough.

I had stumbled upon the remains of five large mammals, their carcasses skinned and nearly unidentifiable.  Upon closer examination, I realized that I was seeing the bodies of four bobcats and a fox, all the victims of vicious leg hold traps.

Then I noticed something else.  Off to the side, almost as if it had been discarded as worthless, was a dead coyote, another victim of the trappers.  But this time, the creature’s fur was intact—apparently it wasn’t as valuable as the fur of the bobcats and fox.  The carnage and the wasting of these beautiful animals were heartbreaking to me.
I have two major concerns with the practice of trapping.  First, leg hold traps kill and maim animals in the most cruel and inhumane manner. Because of our superior intellect and capabilities, we human beings should be ethically obligated to treat other living creatures better than this.

Secondly, the animals most highly prized by trappers play a crucial role in nature’s scheme.  This assault on the ecosystem will come back to haunt us.

Finally, in the 21st century, there is absolutely no need for humans to trap wild animals, either for survival or livelihood.  I can see no way to justify trapping, and I hope you’ll join me in speaking out against this brutal practice.


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