Here is one of many emails I received from people supporting Squirrel Slam, a February 16th Holley, New York Fire Department sponsored event where people will shoot and kill squirrels for fun with their children. I made a public request to cancel the event in favor of a fundraiser in support of saving animals.
“ANDREW THE SQUIREL LOVING PRIK Pull your face out of the squirels asses and find something use full to do with your time. Why do you need fucknig squirrel runinng up and down trees eating nuts? FOR WHAT PURPOS? I will shoot them to becaus we have to many in the world!!!! WHY DONT YOU SPEND YOU TIME HELPING PEOPLE AND GETA LIFE HIPPE!!!!”
Here is my reply to this letter:
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Your letter provides me an opportunity to address several issues.
1. Fire fighters save lives. Killing the most defenseless among us in order to raise money to save the most defenseless among us is analogous to selling cigarettes to raise money for lung cancer research. It’s nonsensical and it sends a terrible and mixed message to millions of children who idolize firefighters.
2. People often tell me I should spend time helping people. Please read my reply to this suggestion.
3. In terms of eating nuts, I highly recommend it. Did you know nuts are loaded with iron, fiber, protein, the “good” unsaturated fat, antioxidants, and vitamins? Squirrels have the right idea.
4. It is not our right to determine animal overpopulation. Most increases in animal population are caused by humans disrupting their habitats. Humans are overpopulated but we don’t shoot them for sport to reduce the population. Apply the Golden Rule.
Thank you for your letter. Whenever I hear from people who enjoy killing animals for fun, it inspires me to take my activism to new heights in order to protect them. I’ll work harder and smarter for the cause of compassion on your behalf.
*Please consider sending the Holley Fire Department a polite email requesting a cancellation of Squirrel Slam. HFD Chief Hendrickson assured me the HFD Board is reviewing all emails and will consider cancelling the event this year or in the future depending on the public’s feedback. Thank you.
I appreciate the outpouring of support for the squirrels whose lives you all wish to save. It speaks volumes about your character and compassion.
After speaking with Holley Fire Department (HFD) Chief Hendrickson on the telephone, I sent him a formal proposal offering to host a fundraiser for the HFD if he agrees to cancel and renounce Squirrel Slam. I explained that 50% of the proceeds will go to the HFD and 50% will go to New York Squirrel Sanctuaries. I told him to tell me what he expected to raise from killing squirrels and I will commit to rally the community to match it.
This is an easy way to save animals’ lives, raise awareness about the importance of respecting all wildlife, and provide a humane example to raise money for fire departments and other organizations. I hope the HFD will make the right decision. I’m following up tomorrow to request a conference call with the HFD Board and mayor. I’m optimistic we can turn this near tragedy into a victory for all.
Andrew Kirschner, Ed.D., is a grassroots vegan animal rights activist. He writes a zero-profit blog, Kirschner’s Korner, to help raise awareness about issues affecting the global community to make the world a more humane place. To receive new articles via email, enter your email in the “Follow Blog Via Email” link at the top right of the blog.