My sons witnessed animal abuse. - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 01:52 AM
 
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I think that unless you are truly willing to cut step-dad off completely, you need to be pragmatic in how you deal with things.

First, stop calling what he did "animal abuse". No animal control officer would consider killing a legally trapped animal abuse, and he didn't "play" with it. Considering that he had your two boys with him, hitting it on the head was a hell of a lot safer than shooting it in front of your boys or picking it up to wring its neck and risking a bite/claw to himself or your kids. You know that he likes to poke at you in regards to hunting and trapping, so stop giving him satisfaction.

I would have your partner and you sit down and talk with both of your parents. Don't go on some spiel about hunting or whatever, that's only giving him emotional satisfaction by stirring you up a bit, and that's irrelevant besides. The real issue is that he went against your stated wishes that your children not be exposed to animal deaths for the time being). When they go against your parenting wishes about one thing, it's harder to trust them about other things. If he'll do it for something that he knows is very emotional for you like hunting, then there's no telling what he'd do about "lesser" things. If you like him, you can always explain that you're not rejecting HIM, and you want him to be able to share experiences with the boys, but you are not ready for them to be part of killing animals just yet. Maybe you could suggest other things that he could do with them, like geocaching, campfire cooking, building forts/treehouses, how to find animal tracks, ect.

I think the only way you get through to a guy like this is to keep your cool, don't freak out, and keep your argument unemotional. Yeah, I know how hard that is when it's a parent. It sounds like grandpa feels like you totally reject him and his lfestype. Maybe you do. But you both might feel a little better if you can figure out things he can do with the boys that are outdoorsy but also respect your wishes, because you want him to be in their lives, and obviously they love him, you're just asking him to show love and respect for YOU in return by also compromising and removing the bloody aspect of it.

I've had to sit down with my dad about a few things in that manner (not about hunting though, we've always been very honest about where our meat comes from, they saw me break the neck of a canada goose that had been hit twice by cars and was still alive and suffering and had wounds too serious for repair, the kids have helped me catch/clean fish, ect--I disagree that things like that impair empathy in most kids. We cried together about the goose, poor beautiful thing.) Whenever I have come at him highly emotional and "you always do X" it seems to make us revert into the old child-adult role, and he totally rebels by instinct against any agreement or discussion. If I come at him cool, logical, acknowledging my respect for him, giving a few suggestions, and then asking him his opinon/ideas, it seems to work much better. You may, however, need to cut the visit short (in a very calm, respectful way) a few times if he likes to test boundaries. If you see the gun magazines and shells out, YOU put them up out of reach, without saying anything. If he gives them to your kids, or makes noise about going hunting with them or whatever, just tell the boys that you're so sorry, but you'll need to leave in about 5 minutes, let's kiss grandma and grandpa good bye, Love you parents but we've talked about this and I need you to respect my wishes, see you in 2 weeks!

It's a lot more stressful at first than just sucking it up to spit it out later, but fake calm if you have to. IME, people rarely have to do that more than twice---by the 2nd time either the problem parent has gotten the message, or things escalate and you'll need to take a break for awhile.
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#62 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 11:45 AM
 
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Why am I not surprised? This is a huge generalization I know, but I'm going to put it out there. So much of Idaho is exactly as you describe the town your parents live in. So many people are "weird" "liberals" "hippies" and so on if they aren't gun toting Republicans. Having said that, we do hunt, but I have no issue at all with people who aren't comfortable with it.

He needs to listen to your wishes regarding this though or his grandsons aren't going to get the opportunity to explore this stuff with him. I can see what he's doing, he's thinking that just because you're against it, his grandsons won't be. He's totally forgetting that you are the parent, not him. My dad is an avid hunter and gun collector. He's got lots and lots of guns and always puts them away when we come over. My sil has huge issues with guns and my dad respects that.
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#63 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 12:32 PM
 
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OP, just want to validate your concern. I would be devastated if this was my dad and my DD. There is just no need for her little brain to have to process that visual. Having said that, mom to mom -- it's just once and I think you can help them process and overcome it. You're just going to have to be very clear with your stepdad that you love him, but that you come from completely different viewpoints here and that you are the one who wins. You're Mom.

My dad was a hunter in his youth and considers me a crazy hippie, but wouldn't dare to expose DD to something like that. He lives in the country and shoots the "pests" as well (they mess with his bird feeders, and so deserve to die prematurely and violently at the hands of our "supreme" species by being SHOT WITH a GUN. sorry, will never understand it and don't WANT to!). You know why he wouldn't do it? Because he is afraid he wouldn't get to see his granddaughter as much, or at all, or at least without my direct supervision if he did. Apparently I've been very clear with him, because he is exactly right. And he would do anything for her, and for me too, really. We manage to coexist quite peacefully given our different views -- we love each other too much to make it an issue, maybe. I'll bet your stepdad will do the same once he gets the picture. Glad you were able to make things clear to your mom. Your kids will be ok.

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#64 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 12:34 PM
 
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Hi OP,
First, many hugs to you and your children. That's really horrible. I've just skimmed a bit, but I think someone posted on how this could have negative (lasting?) effects on the kids. I just wanted to let you know that when I was about 5 years old, I saw a relative's neighbor kill a rabbit. They lived in a very rural, grow/hunt your own food type of place. It was for food and it didn't even occur to him that I would be upset and he shouldn't do it front of me, but although I was horrified and upset for several days, I just wanted to let you know that it honestly hasn't had a negative lasting effect on me so truly, I think your LOs will be fine. It did bring up lots of discussions on where we get our food, did I not want to eat meat anymore, how we treat animals, etc and got us started as a family supporting local animal rights groups.
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#65 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 01:26 PM
 
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Irony of life --- My dogs started barking last night. Why?











Squirl was hanging out on our back door. He was/is a smart one. He knew he could perch on our door and not be harmed. Even when I moved the curtain he just started at me. It wasn't until I touch the door knob did he moved. He did this about 1/2 dozen times last night.
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#66 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 02:03 PM
 
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OP, I have more in common with the views of your stepfather than I do with you on this matter. Despite being a gun-fearing, suburban, liberal, animal-lover - I am not soft-hearted and while I think we should seek to minimize animal pain, there's nothing wrong with killing them, and it's a big part of life that doesn't harm children to experience. But I still feel that he should respect your values. He didn't, and that's wrong.

If he can't agree to cooperate with your decisions as a parent, you will have to limit time with them or supervise more closely. It seems like you already framed it this way and give you a
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#67 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 02:32 PM
 
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It's too bad your SF thinks he needs to actually have the kids participate in the killing part to bond with them, when you object. Taking them into the woods to camp and track would likely be a better way to make sure they had a connection to the outdoors and might be interested in hunting with him when they are older. And killing an animal in a trap would not be the best into to hunting anyway.

I wouldn't worry about the magazines, although I don't let my kids play with shells. Not because they could be live - shotgun shells don't work that way - but because I worry about the lead residue.

But just to look at another angle, I sometimes think that we try to shield our kids from food production and just death in a way that is not healthy. Clearly a vegetarian family would not let their kids be involved in hunting or butchering farm animals. But for families that DO eat meat - is it always serving kids well to keep them away from the realities of what that means? Even if they understand theoretically that meat comes from animals, is it a good thing to keep that knowledge abstract? What do we serve by doing that? What do we lose? Perhaps a real understanding of the consequences and meaning of how we live.

Now, I don't think we should send our kids off to slaughterhouses to get acquainted with real life. I think we should teach kids respect for all living things and kindness and humanity. How to deal with this also depends on the child's temperament and maturity. Not hiding what meat is and going to visit farms is a good step. Perhaps helping with butchering and processing if your family does that. And maybe hunting with a respectful adult when they are responsible and mature enough, and want to.

I just want to add - warding off rodents is not always possible. It often doesn't work. But I think shooting is usually better than whacking with a stick, which has more room for error.

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#68 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 05:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
Irony of life --- My dogs started barking last night. Why?











Squirl was hanging out on our back door. He was/is a smart one. He knew he could perch on our door and not be harmed. Even when I moved the curtain he just started at me. It wasn't until I touch the door knob did he moved. He did this about 1/2 dozen times last night.
so cool! I love things like that. I don't care what people say I know animals are smarter then they are given credit for. My best friend growing up found an injured bird and her and her family (her dad was a hunter by the way) helped it heal. (took it to a vet then kept it at home as a pet just until it healed) then they set it free. for years that bird flew back to their home in the summers and ate bird seed from my friends hand. Wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it, but boy as a kid I was so jealous of my friend over that.

I have to say, I'm still curious why these animals need to be killed if killing them isn't getting rid of the pest problem. Seems more vengeful if you get to the point that you are killing them pointlessly (point being to get rid of the pests, but its not working and you still kill them just for hell of it?) Can't understand the reasoning in that. The whole thing kind of reminds me of that arcade game - whack a mole. Maybe that's what the step dad needs - a few video games to play "kill games" instead.
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#69 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 05:34 PM
 
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How exactly do you ward off a squirrel????
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#70 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 05:37 PM
 
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re: the whacking with a stick. I'm wondering if I misunderstood the OP. I got the feeling these are kill traps, and the one "squirrel" didn't die, so the OP's stepdad was dealing with a badly injured animal. Is that correct? Did he even have a gun with him?

I may be off-base, but I didn't get the impression that he was expecting to be dealing with live animals when he went to check his traps.


OP: I'd be pretty angry at the blatant disregard of your parenting decisions. That's not cool.

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#71 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 07:05 PM
 
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I have mixed feelings on this thread. I would be very upset if this was done in front of my children when I had been clear about my feelings on the subject. I think it is good that you have let your mother know that this is unacceptable and I hope you are able to make the boundaries clear with your step father as well.

On the other hand...my DH and my oldest DS are out shooting gophers as I type this. They destroy our land with their holes which then leads to horses, cows, and sheep breaking legs. There really is no natural way to "ward them off" and there is nothing we could change that would make them move on. Our meat goes into the grocery stores like many other ranchers we are far from being the only ones who have to protect our livestock.

I don't like it personally, but they are a pest. Legal to kill like any other vermin.
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#72 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 07:42 PM
 
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I have to say, I'm still curious why these animals need to be killed if killing them isn't getting rid of the pest problem. Seems more vengeful if you get to the point that you are killing them pointlessly (point being to get rid of the pests, but its not working and you still kill them just for hell of it?)
The only way to permanently get rid of them would probably be to change the habitat so that it was no longer suitable for them, which would probably mean changing the property so that it was less pleasant for people to live on and less suitable for other wildlife. (He could pave the whole area, for instance.) Killing some of them can at least keep their numbers down. Kind of like trapping mice in your house. Setting traps doesn't make all the mice move away from your neighborhood, or guarantee that no mice will get into your house in the future, but it keeps the mouse droppings and inside-the-wall scrabbling sounds at a reasonably low level.
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#73 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 08:41 PM
 
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The only way to permanently get rid of them would probably be to change the habitat so that it was no longer suitable for them, which would probably mean changing the property so that it was less pleasant for people to live on and less suitable for other wildlife. (He could pave the whole area, for instance.) Killing some of them can at least keep their numbers down. Kind of like trapping mice in your house. Setting traps doesn't make all the mice move away from your neighborhood, or guarantee that no mice will get into your house in the future, but it keeps the mouse droppings and inside-the-wall scrabbling sounds at a reasonably low level.
im trying to picture the keeping the numbers things down. Are they going to take over completely? I feel like I am living in a parralel universe from some of you all here lol. I've lived in the city and the country. I've lived in multiple states, different kinds of homes, different living conditions. The worst problem I have had is once we had a mouse, but I liked the mouse and fed it and it was like a pet living in my wall. It was the only one I noticed. As far as pest problems, I've never had a problem keeping them away without killing them, and if killing them wasnt working I certainly wouldnt keep at it. But to each their own, I just have a hard buying it that the ONLY options are kill or let them take over completely or live in less then desirable living conditions. A lot of the changes in habitat they recommend suggest making your place a cleaner nicer place.
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#74 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 08:54 PM
 
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A lot of the changes in habitat they recommend suggest making your place a cleaner nicer place.
Cleaner and nicer how? We have a bear problem in my municipality. The recommendations on dealing with it are to only put garbage out on pickup day (okay - major PITA for some elderly people and some others, but reasonable), and to get rid of bird feeders, pick all fruit immediately (not always possible) and get rid of any berry bushes. Those things might all work, but they certainly don't make a person's place "nicer".

My mom also has a hazelnut bush. She'd love to harvest hazelnuts, but the squirrels get them all before they're ready to pick. In a case like that, getting rid of the attractant would mean getting rid of the reason she wants them gone. Sure - she could pull out the hazelnut bush, but if the goal is more hazelnuts, getting rid of them wouldn't work very well.

I have no idea what the OP's mom and stepdad's place is like, but it's quite possible that the attractants that bring the "squirrels" back over and over are actually things they want and use. (For example, many people have problems with rabbits or deer raiding their food supply...but getting rid of the food supply isn't going to help, yk?)

I've never had to deal with serious pest problems, so I have no real opinion on what the stepdad should be doing about this issue. I do know that I have relatives who have a chronic rat problem, and they feel no compunction about using traps that kill them. They've tried blocking off access in many places, but they still get in...somewhere. They don't want rats in their house, yk?

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#75 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 09:18 PM
 
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Cleaner and nicer how? We have a bear problem in my municipality. The recommendations on dealing with it are to only put garbage out on pickup day (okay - major PITA for some elderly people and some others, but reasonable), and to get rid of bird feeders, pick all fruit immediately (not always possible) and get rid of any berry bushes. Those things might all work, but they certainly don't make a person's place "nicer".
matter of opinion, I think it does look nicer when they don't leave garbage around. a fenced in yard I think would help with bears. while maybe not everyone can afford that, I don't think people can afford to keep buying traps for the rest of eternity either. A fenced in yard offers privacy and its a one time investment that pays off in multiple ways. That doesn't address the smaller critters though.

While this has nothing to do with making anything look nicer or cleaner, you can also put human hair clippings around the garden. or peppers or fragrant soaps. We also feed the neighbor hood cats. So they come into our backyard and get the other critters to stay away. Some people have dogs. (I realize feeding outdoor cats would NOT work in some situations, such as with bears or other bigger animals you have to worry about the cat food attracting)

another option is to put netting over the garden until the plants are bigger and can afford the occasional nibble from animals.

You can plant lavendar and sage in with your garden, which tends to keep squirrels away. Deer don't like calendulas, irises, lavender, basil, marigolds, and fleabane.

this is not an exhaustive list, but these are the things they suggest AFTER making your place "nice and clean" - it's just about keeping the yard nice. It takes work. Some people don't want to do that, I understand, but not wanting to is different from there being no other option but to kill the animal. If thats what is easier for you and what you choose to do then that is fine - but I don't buy the "have to kill them or let them take over or live in a less desirable environment" thing. And if the killing isn't working, it might be worth considering putting in more effort to keep the animals away using another method. Unless of course you also get enjoyment from killing them (sport hunting) in which case that is one reason someone might not want to try the other things. But if thats the case, consider that your yard will still be torn up in the meantime.
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They don't want rats in their house, yk?
if its a serious problem I can understand. As I said we had a mouse in our house once. It looked like someones pet mouse had escaped it was so cute and I used to leave food for it by the crack in the wall. I was sad when my kitten eventually killed it. But, yeah I understand not wanting rodents, I'm just saying that there ARE other options. Everyone will do what works for them - but the options are not kill or live in yuckiness. There are options to get rid of the rodents without killing them, should one choose to use those methods or choose to want to rid of the rodents. I'm just saying options exist, for people like me who don't want to kill the animals.
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#76 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 09:34 PM
 
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matter of opinion, I think it does look nicer when they don't leave garbage around.
I think I was pretty clear that I wasn't referring to "leaving garbage around". People can't always pick fruit as soon as it's ripe. People like to have blackberry bushes in their yards. I'm not talking about garbage. I'm talking about being expected to give up growing one's own food.

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a fenced in yard I think would help with bears. while maybe not everyone can afford that,
Lots of people here have fenced in yards. If a bear smells somthing, it can do a lot of damage to a fence. But, the other issue is that a person with a fenced-in yard, who has apple trees or blackberry vines inside their fences, is still attracting bears to the neighbourhood.

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I don't think people can afford to keep buying traps for the rest of eternity either. A fenced in yard offers privacy and its a one time investment that pays off in multiple ways. That doesn't address the smaller critters though.
No...and lots of people here also have trouble, to varying degrees, with squirrels, raccoons and skunks (no possums in this part of the world, though).

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We also feed the neighbor hood cats. So they come into our backyard and get the other critters to stay away. Some people have dogs. (I realize feeding outdoor cats would NOT work in some situations, such as with bears or other bigger animals you have to worry about the cat food attracting)
Yeah - that might work with the "squirrels" in the OP...although the cats would probably still kill them, so I'm not really seeing any moral/ethical superiority to that over trapping.

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another option is to put netting over the garden until the plants are bigger and can afford the occasional nibble from animals.

You can plant lavendar and sage in with your garden, which tends to keep squirrels away. Deer don't like calendulas, irises, lavender, basil, marigolds, and fleabane.

this is not an exhaustive list, but these are the things they suggest AFTER making your place "nice and clean" - it's just about keeping the yard nice. It takes work. Some people don't want to do that, I understand, but not wanting to is different from there being no other option but to kill the animal. If thats what is easier for you and what you choose to do then that is fine - but I don't buy the "have to kill them or let them take over or live in a less desirable environment" thing.
And, what about when people try all these methods, and they don't work?

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if its a serious problem I can understand. As I said we had a mouse in our house once. It looked like someones pet mouse had escaped it was so cute and I used to leave food for it by the crack in the wall. I was sad when my kitten eventually killed it. But, yeah I understand not wanting rodents, I'm just saying that there ARE other options. Everyone will do what works for them - but the options are not kill or live in yuckiness. There are options to get rid of the rodents without killing them, should one choose to use those methods or choose to want to rid of the rodents. I'm just saying options exist, for people like me who don't want to kill the animals.
I'd be interested in how to get rid of the rodents. I know they've tried several things, and worked hard at blocking house access. They still have rats - not cute little pet-type rats, either. They're both fairly calm about killing the rats, but neither one of them really enjoys dealing with the bodies. I'm sure they'd like another way - if it actually worked.

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#77 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 09:47 PM
 
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I think I was pretty clear that I wasn't referring to "leaving garbage around". People can't always pick fruit as soon as it's ripe. People like to have blackberry bushes in their yards. I'm not talking about garbage. I'm talking about being expected to give up growing one's own food. '
but obviously picking fruit as soon as it's ripe has nothing to do with making the yard look nicer. It's something you can do. Some of the things are things you can do, and some of the things you can do make your yard look nicer.

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Yeah - that might work with the "squirrels" in the OP...although the cats would probably still kill them, so I'm not really seeing any moral/ethical superiority to that over trapping.
as I said, I have no problem with hunting. If the guy in the OP had killed the squirrel for food (and not in front of the kids as that is the bigger issue here - going against mama's rules) then I would feel differently. I still wouldn't beat it repeatedly in the head with a stick though.[/quote]

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And, what about when people try all these methods, and they don't work?
and what about the people who keep killing the animals even though THAT doesn't work? why do they still keep killing them? so, maybe my methods don't work and keep on not killing them. How is that different from killing not working and keeping on killing. If I dont want to kill an animal, which I don't, I WILL find another way. Thats MY choice and YES there ARE options for me. It's not a hopeless situation where I MUST kill the animal or otherwise find myself in a cruddy situation.


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I'd be interested in how to get rid of the rodents. I know they've tried several things, and worked hard at blocking house access. They still have rats - not cute little pet-type rats, either. They're both fairly calm about killing the rats, but neither one of them really enjoys dealing with the bodies. I'm sure they'd like another way - if it actually worked.
I'm honestly afraid to even offer any suggestions at this point, because I'm sure everything I say, no matter what it is, will be something they tried that didn't work (just like killing them isn't working apparently) I'm not trying to prove to you your family shouldn't kill animals. I'm just saying that since I dont want to kill animals I will find a way around my problems that don't involve killing them. You can think thats impossible if you want, it doesn't change anything for me though.
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#78 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 09:57 PM
 
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but obviously picking fruit as soon as it's ripe has nothing to do with making the yard look nicer. It's something you can do. Some of the things are things you can do, and some of the things you can do make your yard look nicer.
Well, you can't do it if you're not always home...and lots of people have reasons to be away.


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I'm honestly afraid to even offer any suggestions at this point, because I'm sure everything I say, no matter what it is, will be something they tried that didn't work (just like killing them isn't working apparently) I'm not trying to prove to you your family shouldn't kill animals. I'm just saying that since I dont want to kill animals I will find a way around my problems that don't involve killing them. You can think thats impossible if you want, it doesn't change anything for me though.
I'm confused as to why you say killing the rats isn't working. They used to have multiple rats, and now they're down to one, maybe two, at a time. In any case, I never said it was impossible. I said I'd be interested in what the other methods are. I don't actually know everything they've tried, so I thought I'd pass the ideas on. You seem to think that I have some sort of vested interest in killing the rats, simply because I don't think it's a big deal. I don't. I'm not sure what I'd do in their situation, because having to actually dispose of a dead animal makes me sick. (This applies when I've lost pets, too.) These particular people tried a few things - I don't know what all of them were - and then went to "traps" that kill. That worked. That doesn't mean there wasn't something else that might have worked, too...it just means they didn't find something.

To be honest, most people I've known who have tried non-fatal methods of dealing with pests have had very, very limited luck. That doesn't mean I don't think it can work, though.

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#79 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 10:19 PM
 
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Well, you can't do it if you're not always home...and lots of people have reasons to be away.
I know... not sure why you are saying this again? I was only referring to the fact that I didn't think picking fruit had anything to do with the yard looking nicer and that its something you can do - not all things you can do are things that make the yard look nicer. OF COURSE not everyone is able to do EVERYTHING they say you "can"do. It's just one thing you can do if you are able to. I feel like you and I are having a different conversation at this point.



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You seem to think that I have some sort of vested interest in killing the rats, simply because I don't think it's a big deal.
no I don't.

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To be honest, most people I've known who have tried non-fatal methods of dealing with pests have had very, very limited luck. That doesn't mean I don't think it can work, though.
we have exact opposite experiences. it seems though, that even the fatal methods are limited in the luck department as well. I guess no matter what yo do, sometimes part of life is having other species living here too :
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#80 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 10:28 PM
 
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I think all you can do is talk to them about what happened and see how they feel about it. Then, give your opinion about it. They will have to ultimately figure out what they feel about it. I think it's probably going to depend on the child. As a child my dad stepped on a rat I had spotted on the floor. It really upset me. I was so mad at my dad and was too young to understand about pests even though he told me that was what it was. It was a very vivid memory that upset me for years and I was 3 I think when it happened.

Then slightly older I saw a cow get butchered at our neighbors when my mother wasn't home. No one ever talked to me about what I saw and it was really very disturbing to me. But, I should mention that I was a big softy with a heart for animals. The other kids I was with at the slaughter had no problems with it. I am not saying this to make you worry about your kids, just to pay attention to their way of dealing with it.

Also, there are good non-lethal ways of deterring pests. Call up a wildlife shelter and get some information to share with your kids.

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#81 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 10:33 PM
 
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Well, you can't do it if you're not always home...and lots of people have reasons to be away.




I'm confused as to why you say killing the rats isn't working. They used to have multiple rats, and now they're down to one, maybe two, at a time. In any case, I never said it was impossible. I said I'd be interested in what the other methods are. I don't actually know everything they've tried, so I thought I'd pass the ideas on. You seem to think that I have some sort of vested interest in killing the rats, simply because I don't think it's a big deal. I don't. I'm not sure what I'd do in their situation, because having to actually dispose of a dead animal makes me sick. (This applies when I've lost pets, too.) These particular people tried a few things - I don't know what all of them were - and then went to "traps" that kill. That worked. That doesn't mean there wasn't something else that might have worked, too...it just means they didn't find something.

To be honest, most people I've known who have tried non-fatal methods of dealing with pests have had very, very limited luck. That doesn't mean I don't think it can work, though.

The problem really with using only fatal methods, or even methods that try to repel, is that it doesn't address why they are there. If you figure that out then you can keep them from coming back. Hopefully.

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#82 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 10:37 PM
 
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and what about the people who keep killing the animals even though THAT doesn't work? why do they still keep killing them?
What makes you say it doesn't work? I have no idea whether the OP's stepdad's trapping efforts are actually helping reduce gopher damage on his property, but it seems reasonable that they might be. I know trapping mice in our house works. We start seeing and hearing signs of mice, we set a trap, we catch a mouse or two, then for a while we don't notice any more signs of mice. Only for a while, of course, because there are lots of mice in the fields and woods around our house, and nothing we do is going to change that as long the fields and woods are still there. So, yes, we have to keep setting traps, but that certainly doesn't mean the traps don't work.

(If you've only ever had one mouse in your house, you probably do live in a different universe than I do, or at least a different part of it.)
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#83 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 10:44 PM
 
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I asked and she said he's been doing this for a long time and still has the problem. I didnt assume. I asked first
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#84 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 10:45 PM
 
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(If you've only ever had one mouse in your house, you probably do live in a different universe than I do, or at least a different part of it.)
Maybe. I only lived there for maybe 3 months, so I can't say for sure that was the only mouse in all that houses history. but it sure was cute, and the people I was renting the room from never had any mouse traps set during my stay there
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#85 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 10:51 PM
 
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OP, sorry your kids had to witness that. I remember when I was having a few friends spend the night for my 9th birthday party and my stepdad and one of his friends were skinning the squrrels they'd hunted that day right outside. We (friends & I) opened the door to a bunch of bloody skinned squirrels laying in a pile and their skins hanging from our clothesline. barf.

I agree with pp's to maybe just talk with him & request that your kids not be taken to check the traps and also that you'll let him know when and if you want them to learn anything about hunting for food.

As a side... I currently have a raccoon mother & cubs in our attic. In my state, trap & release is outlawed this season (been told it varies species to species and year to year, depending on disease stats). Raccoons this year are to be euthanized upon catch. Companies that tell anyone they'll trap & relocate are not being truthful most of the time so its good to check your state laws to be certain. So, I'm letting the cubs get a few weeks older, then beginning to seal up entrance and exit ways with aluminum soffit & crawl space screening (leaving one entry/exit hole in the sofft & the crawl space), then spraying fox urine every few days and hanging lighted flashlights and leaving a few portable radios on full time until she leaves with her cubs to a new location. Then, you can test if they're still around by stuffing newspaper into the remaining open holes (use a broom or pole b'c they sleep right inside the holes and will bite you) and if the paper remains untouched for a day or two, then I'll screen the open holes closed. The photos you see online of raccoons digging thru roofing etc are from a female raccoon who has had her cubs trapped inside after someone sealed them inside when she was outside, so she did what she had to to re-enter. Almost 100% of the time raccoons, possums, etc will find an easier access location than to go to the trouble of dismantling a roof, unless its a mother whose babies are already trapped inside.

There are ways to avoid a kill situation, some people just want an immediate solution to their situation or they don't realize that there are other ways to drive pest animals away - or, they simply view pest animals as pests and NOT animals. But, I understand that this can't work for every situation. If there is a high population of pests already infesting your home and they are threatening harm to your family and food crop and you do not have the time or money to invest, I guess you do what you need to do??

Again, sorry your kids had to see that!

"When the external begins to define the internal, instead of the internal defining the external, one begins living as a mortal rather than as a universal being." ~ unknown
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#86 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 11:00 PM
 
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I asked and she said he's been doing this for a long time and still has the problem. I didnt assume. I asked first
Yeah, but just because the gophers haven't all disappeared forever, that doesn't mean killing them isn't working. We've been setting mouse traps ever since we moved into this house and I expect we'll keep setting them as long as we live here. That doesn't mean the traps aren't working. (I guess you could say they're not working to make all mice disappear from this area forever, but that's not what they're supposed to do. They're supposed to minimize mouse damage and contamination in our house, and that they do.)
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#87 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 11:01 PM
 
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I can tell you that in my situation (prarie dogs and gophers on the ranch) there is no other solution but to kill them if the general public and my family contiue to want to have meat on their tables. There is no way to get rid of all of them (aside from paving the pastures and then what do the cows and sheep eat?) but hunting keeps them at bay and their holes to a more managable number.

I've also seen a few people on this thread suggesting calling places like game and fish. If you were to do that where we live they would suggest shooting them the same way their own employees do. They literally take over and destroy the habitat for both native species and livestock.
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#88 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 11:07 PM
 
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I can tell you that in my situation (prarie dogs and gophers on the ranch) there is no other solution but to kill them if the general public and my family contiue to want to have meat on their tables. There is no way to get rid of all of them (aside from paving the pastures and then what do the cows and sheep eat?) but hunting keeps them at bay and their holes to a more managable number.

I've also seen a few people on this thread suggesting calling places like game and fish. If you were to do that where we live they would suggest shooting them the same way their own employees do. They literally take over and destroy the habitat for both native species and livestock.
Just curious, but do all people who feel the need to kill to keep them at bay also feel the need to bash their head repeatedly with a stick in order to kill them? I think that's the part that really lost me on the whole "the guy was trying to be nice" and "he was only protecting his land" I don't argue he was protecting his land, but I dont think that he was only doing that. And with him doing it in front of the kids when their mother said not to makes it clear that he is the type of person that will kill an animal for more then just one reason.

My response would have been very different if the original post said
"My FIL love hunting and also has a pest problem. He traps them to get rid of them, but sometimes when the trap doesn't work he shoots them in the head to put them out of their misery. He respects my wishes not to do any hunting stuff around my kids though."

but beating the animal in the head over and over again with a stick?

You know what it reminds me of. When they kick chickens to "coralle" them before they kill them, when I have seen chickens be coralled without being kicked. you need to kill a pest, or kill your dinner, fine. You don't need to make it a drawn out painful process though. That's when I get bothered by it.
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#89 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 11:10 PM
 
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Yeah, but just because the gophers haven't all disappeared forever, that doesn't mean killing them isn't working. We've been setting mouse traps ever since we moved into this house and I expect we'll keep setting them as long as we live here. That doesn't mean the traps aren't working. (I guess you could say they're not working to make all mice disappear from this area forever, but that's not what they're supposed to do. They're supposed to minimize mouse damage and contamination in our house, and that they do.)
and yet, one can minimize things like gophers without killing them, and still they choose to kill them. They say the humane methods dont work because they still get gophers, but if they still get gophers when killing them then the killing method still works because it reduced the gophers? why is there a double standard here? Killing works even if it doesn't work "all the way" but if not killing doesn't work all the way then it doesn't work and so that means they must switch to killing. I can see some people think killing works better - but I also see a lot of people who think this without ever trying the humane ways.
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#90 of 126 Old 07-09-2009, 11:29 PM
 
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FYI, some of this is a bit OT:

Just read some of the rest of this thread and wanted to add that, odd as it may sound, in the six yrs I've owned this house, I've never had to use pesticides regularly (and I live in the tropics in a foresty area, surrounded by live oaks and a creek)... I did use about four flea bombs last year when the entire hood was infested with fleas. I also tried diatomaceous earth in our garage and deck areas, which works well (use food grade only or its toxic!!) But other than that, I guess we have a nice eco balanced area, b'c re-homing spiders, keeping ALL food that is not canned or sealed bottles/jars in the fridge, keeping a clean house and outdoor areas using essential oils to clean (try mints, peppers and citrus oils for pest control) - with those few things, we don't need toxic pest controls.

I'm surprised myself, honestly, b'c we do not even get ants or roaches... unless we leave food out for a few days. We had a mouse(guessing more than one probably) a few years back and my sil was here and put one of those glue traps. I found the poor glued, yet alive, thing and had to drown it in the toilet & swore that I'd never do that to any creature again... so, luckily with the listed above, we've never had any more signs of mice. Just put all food in the fridge unless its canned or glass or plastic jars. Keep your house clean.

So, guess all I'm saying is that it is VERY possible to see one or two mice and then implement some humane cleanliness habits and then never have future problems. Its not totally unheard of, its my reality. Thank the stars!! I cannot handle to see the mice half alive in traps! I still think about that mouse! From my experiences in this life so far, in talking with others about this topic, I guess some people are simply more sensitive to animal suffering... (wish people would understand that, truthfully). I honestly *feel* the animal's pain. It is absolutely equal to human pain to me. I understand that animals have their own form of pain but are just as frightened and in pain as we get when hurt. Inflicting that pain purposefully upon another sentient being does not settle with me. It makes me research further on humane ways of living in a balance. I wish that was more widely understood and implemented. This is NOT to say that others' views are not respectable in my mind... everyone lives their own reality and I agree that if someone feels that they need to trap & kill, then they do need to do that. We live diversely... we all need to respect each other's differing views. If literally everyone were to implement no-kill solutions, that could become a very big problem as well.

"When the external begins to define the internal, instead of the internal defining the external, one begins living as a mortal rather than as a universal being." ~ unknown
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