Last night I read an article in the NYT that confirmed for me just how heartless urban New York citizens are when it comes to amusing themselves by abusing helpless innocent animals. In a scene reenacted over many years a group of brutish New Yorkers encouraged their canine companions to tear helpless small mammals limb from limb.  

The "sport" this most reminds me of is bear baiting of centuries past, or fox hunting with hounds now outlawed in most of the civilized world. What was the crime of one of the few wild species to exist in the desert of stone and concrete? Eating the food others choose to throw away. The name of the noble species so wrongly prosecuted? The common rat. Rats are closely related to the prairie dog and the squirrel.

First cousin to the rat above. Have you ever seen anything cuter?

My question is how is this legal? Hundreds of these helpless animals that live in close social groups just like people have been indiscriminately murdered, babies too. And what of the tiniest victims? the babies left orphaned to die of hunger not yet old enough to fend for themselves? Nary a mention.

Do these brutish hunters make use of their innocent victims? NO. They don't eat them, they don't even use the fur! What they do is take photos for their living rooms of their endangered canine companions who they pit in the life or death struggle with these helpless mammal brothers of ours. 100% of the city is subject to this indiscriminate murder, no license required. The poor animals have no safe haven, nowhere they are free of this nightly terror.

Why can't New Yorkers coexist? Why do they feel a need to bring these poor animals to the brink of extinction? Biologically it's a mess. Rats being at the bottom of the huge trophic cascade of food webs in the urban/wildland environment are vital to the balance of nature. Without them whole ecosystems could well crash affecting everything from wolf puppies to mountain lion kittens. Remember everything is connected in the Lion King circle of life. Gaia is one large interconnected organism, or orgasm, or something.

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