Uncovered a rabbit nest iin my half-barrel planter

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On Sat, 7 Jun 2008 20:30:27 -0500, "Nelly Wensdow"

Grow a heart in that garden of yours.
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The simple fact is that humans have altered the ecological landscape so much it is not longer possible to "let nature take its course". Humans have to actively manage wildlife populations now, whether it's rabbits, polar bears, or deer. If, as Nelly says, the rabbit population is booming, then it's also headed for a crash, and the best thing to do is reduce the population- by hunting or trapping. And yes, it is possible to trap animals humanely. The alternative is to have a pile of starving rabbits (or deer, or what have you) dying truly miserable deaths, and making life miserable for the humans who would not take the responsible steps.
And yes, feeding them really does make the crash worse in the long run. Look up the history of the Jackson's Hole elk herd.
Chris
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On Sun, 8 Jun 2008 06:48:20 -0700 (PDT), Chris

So by your explanation we should go to Africa and just shoot people including orphaned children to AIDS to prevent them from starving to death? I suppose I see things from different point of view. All I said to the OP was to grow a heart in that garden of hers. I didn't get all histrionic.
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Nope. I happen to value human life more than animal life. Call me a species chauvinist if you like, but I'll save a human life over a different animal any time.

And in saying that, you are being really insulting. You had absolutely no right to call Nelly heartless, especially given the tone of her post. What I gave you was a perfectly rational, ecologically sound answer. If you've ever seen real habitat degradation because of some animal overpopulating, you might have a different attitude.
Chris
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On Sun, 8 Jun 2008 12:26:00 -0700 (PDT), Chris

I value all life. I am against abortion, but pro choice. I don't like murder, but I'm against the death penalty. I see life as life and it's all important to me. Like I said, I have a different view than you.

I had every right to call her heartless. I live in America. Last time I looked I had free speech protection. Isn't that what our illustrious ass of a president killing people for?
I have seen overpopulated areas where animals suffer. One such place is the penn where they hold cattle before they kill them. I don't own my property. I'm a steward of my property. Animals are life forms. I plant extra for them.
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Well, not as far as anything you mention above.

OK, put that way, sure. You're wrong and inconsiderate and rude and a host of other pejorative adjectives, but sure, you have the right, I guess. And no, Bush isn't killing for free speech. He's killing for a lot of reasons, like oil, and his tiny penis, and the fact he hasn't had a drink in 20 years- but not freedom.

You have, then, no idea what horrific habitat degradation is like. Try the photo here:
http://www.nodakoutdoors.com/snow-goose-genetics.php
It's not just the particular species that suffers; it's whole ecosystems.

Good for you. But your ethics are not universal, there's no reason for them to be universal, and insulting someone who doesn't share them is inappropriate, to say the least.
Chris
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On Mon, 9 Jun 2008 05:07:42 -0700 (PDT), Chris

I said nothing inappropriate, in my estimation. I expressed myself. How it's viewed by those who read it are interpreting it the way they see it, through the veil of their beleifs. I don't intentionally kill. Especially under the conditions of your photo, which I have not looked at. Certain images are not good for anyone to see. Things like it break my heart.
I write to a killer in prison. A complete gang banger, killer, murderer. Has killed even IN prison. I still found under it all who he is and how remorseful he is. I would fight to the death to prevent his execution. Fortunately, they rearly, if everr, execute in California. Texas is another story. They kill people like it's ordinary and just fine. They have no idea.
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Do you think it's always appropriate to express yourself? I would say not, especially when you're saying something that is derogatory, and implying someone is heartless certainly falls into that category. It was a gratuitous insult, really.

The photo doesn't show any animals at all. It shows what happens to habitats when animals are allowed to overproduce. Humans have changed the ecological landscape to such a degree- favoring some species and eliminating others- the in order to maintain some sort of balance, we must take more active measures. It often isn't pretty. But you claim to be a steward of the land. Death is a natural part of the world. In my estimation, a proper steward understands the need for active management and, at times, bringing one population back to within normal limits, so that all the other populations don't suffer.

I am also luck to live in New York, where executions are rare, if not unheard of. I don't even recall the last one here.
Chris
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On Mon, 9 Jun 2008 07:45:26 -0700 (PDT), Chris

I recently had an article published in Mandala Magazine. I'll paste it here and you will see it is consistent with what I said. I already apologized to Nelly. I think the discussion never sank into harsh speech; it was a debate and may continue to be so. The article is the unedited version and I've removed my full name and email address for obvious reasons. I am absolutely NOT implying people become Buddhist, nor am I saying Buddhists have the lock on this philosophy. I did, however, write the article for a Buddhist magazine which was published, I think in April. I don't recall, but it was this year.
How to Garden Without Killing
Most of my life I have done some form or gardening. After I started to garden I became an organic gardener. However, gardening organically involved poisoning insects and as a Buddhist practitioner I believe any form of killing, is killing which was no longer acceptable and something wasn't right; killing is killing and although beneficial insects do this in nature, they continue killing habits.
I became honest with myself and realized the introduction of beneficial insects with the intention to alleviate insect pests was also killing karma and barbaric. I discontinued use of all insecticides and noticed further I have a garden teaming with wildlife. The realization was if I used native plant species, the garden would attract and give habitat for myriad native creatures.
Interested about the creation of habitat for displaced animals due to rapid rates of urban sprawl, I found a book by Sara Stein, "Noah's Garden." The author discusses how to become a "un-gardener," on your property. Tolerance for wildlife of all forms is necessary for this to work. It is not about tidy or formal gardens. It's about creating natural habitat.
We used native plants more and more, designing a garden creating irregular shaped beds and paths as nature does. The outcome is amazing! Creatures are naturally attracted. It took a few growing seasons, but one night there she was, a mother sentient being; a fox and her two pups! She was living under our shed in her den.
Later on, corn and rat snakes, skinks, anoles, fence lizards, armadillo, opossum, a cuckoo bird, woodpeckers, toads, frogs, and a large array of insects. Sadly, most of these creatures eat other creatures. Some say great, the snakes eat the rats; the fox eat the snakes, lizards eat the toads, but this is nothing to rejoice about.
Fortunately these animals wound up in the garden of a Buddhist practitioner with holy images all about, prayer flags, tsa tsa's (which I make) up in trees, on the fence, and I play Holy Guru Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche reciting the Sanghata Sutra outside. When I weed, I say mantras out loud for them to hear. I listen to my Lama loud enough for the wildlife to hear her wisdom. This is what I rejoice in. I delight to know there is a possibility of a virtuous imprint so animals may find a good human re-birth.
This is something a garden phases into on its own and generally takes three years of patience, keeping the yard weeded by hand, fertilize the soil using certified organic fertilizers and making use of native plants for your region. Eventually, native plants can take on a beautiful habit and if we let nature do its job, everything will strike a balance. Making sure the soil is teaming with organisms is vital to a healthy garden. Worms turn organic matter into elements which roots can use easily. Worms are the work horses in a natural garden. To many, this type of garden is rangy and may wish to have a neat, orderly garden. They may be organic gardeners, but using organic pesticides kill. How then do we garden without killing?
The most important part of a healthy garden where you don't have to kill is to nourish the soil. Learn what type soil you have by calling your local county Cooperative Extension. I highly recommend the book, "Secrets to Great Soil," by Elizabeth P. Stell.
Compost is black gold and important in which you can help cut down on the amount of garbage filling the landfills, rapidly reaching peak (in America). We have a half acre and use our brush to assemble a pile instead of sending it to the landfill. Many animals live and take shelter in the brush pile. These include, but are not limited to Carolina Wrens, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, etc. Currently, we have a raccoon. Our resident opossum died last year. He was a male and their lifespan is two years. Our resident lived here for over five years and though he never came up to the house, when he was ready to die he did it near our back door. Maybe he wanted to tell us good-bye and thanks, who knows.
Unhealthy plants attract insect pests and succumb, while healthy plants with vigor have the stamina to thrive a temporary infestation of insects. Good garden hygiene plays an important role in having a healthy garden. Let's face it; I've heard teachings about which there isn't an atom of space without a sentient being. We are all killing constantly, but without intention. Being mindful that I am doing this all the time is helpful to my practice. It brings me down to being part of the big picture which tells us we all, each of us, are as important to the existence of every other sentient being. I tread lightly. All sentient beings have Buddha nature and we won't get there by killing to have perfect gardens.
Repeat: tolerance is necessary in order to garden without killing. A squirrel lives out back and she comes to the peach tree daily and takes one bite of ten or more peaches! I've talked to her letting her know she is welcome to eat the peaches, but to finish one and then take another. It never works, so tolerance is necessary. The records say I own my land, I say it's only on loan to me. I am a steward, not the owner.
Mockingbirds love tomatoes. They stick their beak into a tomato and pierce. I cut this part off and eat the tomato. Insect pests get a hankering for one of my ornamental plants and destroy its aesthetic, but I've learned to tolerate this. It helps on two levels; I don't get angry at the insects (how silly anyway!) and I am not attached to the plant. I know people who cleave to their gardens as if they are more important than any life form and douse chemicals everywhere.
In closing let me say gardening naturally adds joy to our lives. Giving enough imprints to an animal trapped in the lower realms is vital for the sake of all beings. Learning how to be tolerant of animals has been a rewarding lesson. I can look at rats now and appreciate their beauty and their intense suffering; being hated and murdered every second of every day. These too are all mother sentient beings in a lower realm and I vow to take part, however small, in protecting them so they may take a good rebirth and during this life keeping their suffering to a minimum.
Our garden is a National Wildlife Federation Backyard Habitat and Texas Parks and Wildlife Certified Backyard Habitat. More information can be found on links I provided at the end of this article. With the vast urban sprawl I mentioned, the very least we can do is provide habitat, no matter how small the property. The most important thing which we must remember in this precious human body is simply, don't kill. When you rescue an ant from drowning in the pool the life you are saving is your own.
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Hello,
I recently posted a request for info regarding trapping gophers. I imagine, based on where this thread has gone that that request repulsed you.
I thoroughly understand and agree with the idea of creating a natural habitat. I have done just that in my backyard. I have used all native plants which have attracted birds galore, squirrels, lizards, the whole variety of insect life that supports all these, etc. And all of this in about 1/12 acre. In almost every case all of us enjoy this habitat w/o destroying it.
The one exception is gophers. They leave huge mounds of dirt everywhere, and basically destroy the habitat.
So I ask you, as the life respecting person that you are, how you would deal with such an intrusive pest in your garden. Leaving it alone to continue it's destruction is not really an option. I'm not looking for detailed instructions. I just want the gist of how you would deal with such a problem.
thank you ml
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wrote:

I never had gophers and I've never had to trap them or be concerned for their presence so I cannot give you any advice. I can only give you advice based on my experience. I do know one thing, if you have gophers your soil is nice and soft.
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On Mon, 9 Jun 2008 05:07:42 -0700 (PDT), Chris

By a "different view" I mean I do not see humans as more important life forms than rabbits. I see all life as equal. I try to view all humans, friend-enemy-stranger as all the same, as well. I didn't say it is easy, but I do. It's my belief system. I don't say you should adopt it, but I commented on something very strong you said regarding killing rabbits. I'm way in the other direction. I've purchased feeder fish and crickets and other live animals fed to snakes, etc, and freed them.

I say NO penis or balls, and do you honestly believe he stopped drinking 20 years ago? I said "freedom" facetiously.

I won't look at the photo. I don't need to. I am well aware of the ravaging overpopulation is capable of. This is why I strongly believe in zero population growth. I've been criticized for saying that, but I stand by my opinion anyway.

I don't see my ethics as universal. If I did we wouldn't be having this discussion.
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On Mon, 9 Jun 2008 09:45:50 -0700 (PDT), Chris

I apologized a few minutes before posting a reply to you, so it may not be up yet.
I'm glad we worked it out like adults. So much of Usenet is full of people who misread things. It's hard to see a person's eyes through the monitor. There is such kindness and such nightmares we're capable of as a species.
So at least we argued in favor of the same ideals. Thanks for sticking it out.
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If your municipality bans you from trapping them yourself (using a live trap, like a Hav-A-Heart) then they should have some means of animal control. Perhaps your county agricultural extension agent could make a suggestion there? Most places will trap nuisance animals for free, or low cost, and they would probably transport them to some nearby wildlife area.
Good luck on that.
Chris
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Nelly Wensdow wrote:

If you haven't done so already, look up a wildlife rescue/rehab organization in your area.
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the reason that there are now ticks where there were NEVER ticks in the past is that the deer population has exploded. So has the rabbit and squirrel population. And the coyote, fox and wolf population is following as expected.
I left the squirrels alone until they began eating into our house. I battled them for 4 years paying people to replace the chewed wood, reinforce with aluminum flashing. This spring I realized they had once again found a way in so I set the trap and got 2 adults and 3 out of the 4 young ones. Squirrels are smart and would remember "the good old days" of eating their way thru the metal flashing to get into the house. I had to get rid of all with any memory of eating into the house. I inherited the "house dwellers" from the house next door which stood empty for 5 years or so and they had been in there. When the house was bought and being fixed up the squirrels were evicted and just moved over to my house.
There are a couple ways to deal with baby vermin (yes, they do carry disease so handle carefully). Put them out in the open and let nature take its course. I prefer to drop them into a bucket of ice cold water. They sink and die quickly, the cold water numbs them. I had to drown the squirrels I caught in the cage. I didnt like doing this, but it was fast. The laws forbid "relocation" of wild animals like this in Wisconsin.
Ingrid
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[....]

Reminds me of when my father uncovered a nest of baby mice after opening up an old stairway in the house. My mother has fond affection for mice, but unfortunately in this case it was the dead of winter, so they reluctantly agreed it would be more humane to drown them than to leave them to starvation & predation. Nobody ever thought about ice water, though; I'll have to keep that in mind, "in case".

Uh, oh. Guess the rabbits are in for more trouble than I thought, since that's where I am.
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It may be too late,...but when I was a kid my father raised domesticated rabbits. I could pick up the hairless blind widdle ones and it didn't bother mommy. I suspect that if you left them as close as possible to how you found them, mommy would follow her instincts and do what she could to save the brood. If not,...mother nature is not always kind.
We had about a dozen does and one buck. He had black fur except for a white zigzag on his forehead. There were two reasons we called him "Lightning." lol
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