I live in Maine, where this year the biggest ballot question is whether or not to prohibit the baiting, hounding, and trapping of bears. It’s a big deal in this state. While those acts have been outlawed in most other states in the nation, it’s hotly contested here because the liberals in my Southern part of Maine find the acts barbaric, while the northern Mainers have struck down these prohibitions time and again.
On first blush, it may not sound like a big deal to many of you — bears can be vicious, killer animals (in fact, a work colleague of my wife was mauled by a polar bear last year in his sleep, but miraculously survived). But bear hunting is a popular sport in parts of Maine. This initiative, however, isn’t trying to prevent bear hunting: It’s simply trying to outlaw certain practices that are cruel to the animals.
Anyway, during yesterdays Broncos/Pats game (oof, there was a lot of Manning face in that game), they were airing these political ads in support of the ban. They are f**ked up. Basically, some bear hunters use donuts (Dunkin, cause we live in New England) to bait bears, trap them, and shoot them at point blank range. Sometimes these bears will even chew off their own foots to escape bear traps. And the hounding? The dogs will tear the bears to death.
That’s what you see in the video below. If you are sensitive to animal cruelty, DO NOT WATCH. I am not particularly sensitive, and I can’t even watch without looking away.
There’s an argument here to be made that these ads should not be shown on television during times in which children are watching (or hell, even during times in which adults can watch), but as some of my friends here in Maine have pointed out, it’s necessary. Mainers should watch these ads before voting so you know what you’re voting for or against, and if you find these acts disgusting, maybe that will prompt you to get up off your ass and vote in a midterm election.
Personally, I can’t even believe it’s a question: It’s barbaric, cruel, and unsportsmanlike, and yet, believe it or not, many of my friends are suggesting that the prohibition won’t pass, even in a state progressive enough to legalize marijuana and be the first in the Union to allow gay marriage by referendum.