Save our Rats

Written by Harold McNeill on January 18th, 2015. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


Save our Rats

“Save our Rats”, “Save our Rats”
The chant is gaining strength outside the Oak Bay Municipal Hall

January18, 2915:  Headline news in the Times Colonist today: “Activists to cast eyes over deer cull in Oak Bay

An earlier article in the Times Colonist was titled: “Killing deer is not pretty, Metchosin mayor warns.”

The ongoing discussion of whether ”to cull or not to cull” seems to inspire considerable debate. Some have felt the ‘rat’ should be given the same consideration as deer and rabbits. Personally, I would not kill an animal unnecessarily, but will admit I have happily culled a few rats over my time in West Saanich. I have also killed animals for food (Lynn and I ran a small farm for several years). For those who hunt and kill a deer, moose, rabbit or other animal and then put the meat in the freezer, I have no problem, but go out and kill a grizzly, mountain sheep or other animal living in the wilderness just for the thrill of it or to gain trophy, I have a problem.

Close to 100% of people I know, except for a few vegetarians, vegans and others (like our friend Andrew), eat beef, pork, chicken, duck and a hundred other kinds of animal and bird products that cover our grocery store shelves. Those poor animals and birds are often raised and then killed in rather nasty ways, yet we really don’t give a damn as we just want the end product that is nicely wrapped in plastic.

Back on the farm, believe me, we often came to love a cow, pig, sheep, chicken or even an ugly ducking just as you might love your dog, cat or horse, We once had to tell the kids (Jay, Kari, Christine and Sean) we had sold the steer and bought other meat as there was no way they were going to eat “Roast Ghost” for dinner, Ghost being the name we had given to that poor steer now residing on our plates. We had to lie as we didn’t want the kids picketing the driveway with their friends, besides it was to late to save our friend, Ghost.

Photo: University of Victoria Groundskeeper removes rabbit from UVIC woods. The man suggested people have been contributing to the problem by dropping off unwanted rabbits and then overfeeding them as is the case in the one he is carrying away.

In some of the worst cases, we will cull other humans by the hundreds of thousands if we think our cause is just (we cull until one side wins or we reach a stalemate and both sides call it quits). Two World Wars are good examples. We don’t even need consensus to carry out this cull if our Government just decides to jump in as did the US and others in Viet Nam and Iraq. Both those wars ended in a stalemate, but not until tens of thousands of  innocent men, woman and children were killed during the cull. Many were “collateral damage” in these various wars, but that was (is) the price of carrying out a human cull.. Perhaps if we just viewed deer, rabbits and seals as people, we would not feel so squeamish about carrying out the cull.

So let’s not get so uptight about the loss of a few deer or rabbits. If you think they are infringing upon your property rights, just quietly and without fanfare do them in or arrange to have them deported to an animal sanctuary in Texas.

If you disagree, then I ask: “What do you think about rats? Don’t rats have just as much right to your protection as does Bambi, Peter Rabbit and those cuddly, innocent looking, baby seals?”   I bet Sarah MacLaughlin, would never be caught carrying a sign that read “Save our Rats”.

Cheers,

Harold

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Comments (1)

  • March 1, 2016 at 8:26 pm |

    Haha, love it! We should probably eat rats and rabbits rather than beef. Also I’ve noticed that there are a lot less pests where dogs are not kept on leashes.

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Comments

  • Harold McNeill

    February 28, 2022 |

    Hi Robert, I do remember some of those folks from my early years in Cold Lake (Hazel was my aunt and our family spent many fond times with Uncle Melvin, Aunt Hazel and Family. I knew Lawrence and Adrian. Having read a half dozen accounts it is clear their were many false narratives and, perhaps, a few truths along the way. I tried my best to provide an even account from what I read. Cheers, Harold. (email: Harold@mcneillifestories.com)

  • Robert Martineau

    February 25, 2022 |

    Its been a long time since any post here, but its worth a shot. My Grandfather was Hazel Wheelers brother Lawrence, and son to Maggie and Adrien. Maggie Martineau (nee Delaney) is my great grandmother. The books and articles to date are based on the white mans viewpoint and the real story as passed down by the Elders in my family is much more nefarious. Some of the white men were providing food for the Indians in exchange for sexual favors performed by the Squaws. Maggie was the product of one of those encounters. Although I am extremely proud of my family and family name, I am ashamed about this part of it.

  • Julue

    January 28, 2022 |

    Good morning Harold!
    Gosh darn it, you are such a good writer. I hope you have been writing a book about your life. It could be turned into a movie.
    Thanks for this edition to your blog.
    I pray that Canadians will keep their cool this weekend and next week in Ottawa. How do you see our PM handling it? He has to do something and quick!
    Xo Julie

  • Herb Craig

    December 14, 2021 |

    As always awesome job Harold. It seems whatever you do in life the end result is always the same professional, accurate, inclusive and entertaining. You have always been a class act and a great fellow policeman to work with. We had some awesome times together my friend. I will always hold you close as a true friend. Keep up the good work. Hope to see you this summer.
    Warm regards
    Herb Craig

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Hi Dorthy, So glad you found those stories and, yes, they hold many fond memories. Thanks to social media and the blog, I’ve been able to get in touch with many friends from back in the day. Cheers, Harold

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Well, well. Pleased to see your name pop up. I’m in regular contact via FB with many ‘kids’ from back in our HS days (Guy, Dawna, Shirley and others). Also, a lot of Cold Lake friends through FB. Cheers, Harold

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Oh, that is many years back and glad you found the story. I don’t have any recall of others in my class other than the Murphy sisters on whose farm my Dad and Mom worked.

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Pleased to hear from you Howie and trust all is going well. As with you, I have a couple of sad stories of times in my police career when I crossed paths with Ross Barrington Elworthy. Just haven’t had the time to write those stories.

  • Howie Siegel

    November 25, 2021 |

    My only fight at Pagliacci’s was a late Sunday night in 1980 (?) He ripped the towel machine off the bathroom wall which brought me running. He came after me, I grabbed a chair and cracked him on the head which split his skull and dropped him. I worried about the police finding him on the floor. I had just arrived from Lasqueti Island and wasn’t convinced the police were my friends. I dragged him out to Broad and Fort and left him on the sidewalk, called the cops. They picked him up and he never saw freedom again (as far as I know). I found out it was Ross Elworthy.

  • Herbert Plain

    November 24, 2021 |

    Just read you article on Pibroch excellent. My Dad was Searle Grain company agent we move there in 1942/3 live in town by the hall for 5 years than moved one mile east to the farm on the corner where the Pibroch road meets Hwy 44. Brother Don still lives there. I went to school with you and Louise.