To Be or Not….

Does society have any rights in terms of deciding whether someone else should die? What is your take on capital punishment? How do we value life, and human life in particular? Where stands the validity and integrity of our justice system?

 What do we do with offenders? Did society make them that way? Is being poor and without a job an “offence?” Does that make us responsible to compound our sins to let the negative elements feed off one another in prison, only to worsen their own conditions while we pat ourselves on the back over their incarceration?

 It is like the plague of ferel rabbits on the University of Victoria campus: there are so many rabbits – 2,000 or so in an Alice-in-Wonderland-rabbit-nightmare – that these breathing little warts on campus greens were sterilized at great cost and then let loose into the same campus environment to continue to destroy the historical trees and gardens that only Victoria, with its coastal location and modulated weather, can provide Canada. It is like setting burglars loose in a museum with hatchets to do what comes “naturally.”

 Students over the years have been dumping onto the campus lawns these hungry fur balls after these young women and men’s tour of duty in these Ivory Halls of Knowledge are completed, creating a massively intriguing collection of varieties of colour, tails, fur and ears, to suffer living off the land like the growing volume of homeless humans that greet the housing strapped province of British Columbia. Instead of dealing with more serious matters, like learning to run this country and to promote housing for the poor [please correct me if I am in error], students have obsessed with the idea that the university might secretly be “culling the herd” of these bundles of cuteness at night.

 Sentimentality, private and public, can really mess with righteousness, justice and mercy. Self congratulatory humans have stepped in, not to provide the creatures with new homes, but to feel a misplaced self-righteousness that only urbanites can feel in their serious disconnect to the land. Now the plan is to legislate sterilization of rabbits before pet stores can sell the creatures.

 Can sterilizing the poor be far behind with such a botch job on dealing with these little creatures? The welfare system with its defacto below-most-housing-costs policy is set up to keep people out of housing considering housing shortages and high costs due to high demand. They are vulnerable to the harsh realities that these ferel creatures suffer and worse – humans on the street have less protection from other humans than these Victoria-style tribbles have. At best, the haves are in serious disconnect with the have-nots in society. At worst, those who have all the sustenance they need simply do not care as long as impoverishment doesn’t happen to them.

Would capital punishment in the form of culling the rabbits be a deterrent to future rabbit owners from letting their cherished pets loose, pets that helped them cope with term papers and exams? You bet it would be. A return policy from the pet stores would help along with a rabbit adoption centre on campus, run like a lending library. Any takers?

Clearly these issues cannot be fully explored in this blog. It would take a few series of books to do so. But I hope I have given you cause to pause.

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