Thursday, April 20, 2006


Today is Thursday, so we received the Albuquerque Journal and the East Mountain Telegraph (Thursdays only). Two of the stories saddened us even though they described events that were supposed to be happy ones. The two stories were one, the high school boy who was roping a calf; and the second, the grownups who were catching and releasing the trout at Tingley Beach.

It is relatively mild cruelty, but cruelty, nonetheless, to rope, throw and tie a calf. As long as 65 years ago, we high school boys helped out with the roundup and branding in Eastern New Mexico. No roping was allowed, because the ranchers did not want their stock injured. Today, high school boys are allowed to chase the calves with a horse, rope the calves, jerk the calves to the ground, or up-end the calves by wrestling them to the ground, and tying three legs of the calf together.

That is not like cock-fighting as we know it (forget the illegal "gaming"), where the cocks are instigated to fight one another, with razor-sharp gaffs attached to their spurs by their human owners. Nor is it like bull-fighting, nor dog fighting, nor bear-baiting. Yet is cruelty to the calves, sentient creatures of the Lord.

The fishing is somewhat different. The fish gets let go, if caught from the "Catch and Release Pool." Some sport. This teaches a bad lesson to the kids. If we catch a fish, kill it instantly and mercifully, and eat it, or give it to someone who will eat it. On a moral scale, that is better than catch and release.

No, this is not a case, yet, where we need the legislature. (Though the City should remove the regulation that requires release of the fish at certain ponds.) Just think about it, and discuss it, and see if this is what we should encourage in our kids.