I have to say that I agree with Lynn Escola (Aug. 23) and Joel Bennett (Aug. 27) about the photo in the Aug. 20 edition of the Empire. It was in bad taste and shows a lack of respect for living things. But then again, it lets us peer into the minds of people who kill for sport and, even worse, the minds of those who defend them.
At least the Kubleys claim to eat everything they kill, which is more than most bear hunters do. It is estimated that there are only 150,000 bears left on the planet - only estimates, because they are hard to count. But one thing is certain, their habitat is shrinking fast and so are their numbers. There are estimated to be only 10,000 lions left in Africa and 20,000 in the world, yet big game hunters still want to kill them for sport and pay big money to do so.
Ten thousand is one-third of the population of Juneau, a small town. There are 6.5 billion people on the planet. If we keep paving everything so that we can have more traffic jams and strip malls, these large animals, who need a lot of space, will exist only in museums and zoos, and our grandchildren won't even be able to go out and kill them for fun and then take cool pictures of the bloody corpses.
Evidently, there are people who like to look at pictures of dead animals, as evidenced by Allen Butner's poorly reasoned letter of Aug. 27. In it, he states, "Last I checked, bears were classed as omnivores." So are humans, last time I checked, so maybe we should hunt them for sport and strap them to cars on the way home after we bag them. And there are a lot more of them. Or why not dogs; they're omnivores too? There are lots of them, too. Then he suggests that the bear was shot in self defense, because bears occasionally eat "tree hugging liberals." If you shoot a bear in your house or backyard that is threatening you, it's self defense. If you go out in the woods with a big gun looking for one to shoot, take pictures of and mount its head in your den, it's not self defense. It's blood sport. And in my opinion, men who like to go out and kill endangered big game species for fun are usually trying to compensate for some shortcoming in another area of their lives.
Franz Schneider / Juneau