Published 2/23/17 in the East Hampton Star by Francesca Rheannon.
I would like to know why our ostensibly “pro-life” congressman, Lee Zeldin, voted in favor of killing wolf pups and hibernating bears in Alaska’s wildlife refuges this week.
Zeldin, voted in favor of H.J. Resolution 69, a measure that overturns a federal rule that was years in the making, written by professional wildlife managers at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to stop what the Humane Society calls “some of the most appalling practices ever imagined in the contemporary era of wildlife management.” These include, in addition to killing wolf pups and hibernating bears, spotting bears from planes and then shooting them, and trapping bears with steel-jawed leghold traps and snares.
The resolution passed with a very thin majority, so our congressman’s vote counted. Ten of his fellow Republicans had the sense to vote against it. So why in the world did Representative Zeldin cast this cruel vote? Does he think wolves and bears in the Alaskan wilderness pose a danger to his constituents on Long Island?
Unlikely. More likely is that he fell in line behind the N.R.A. and the Safari Club — the latter organization is the one behind the killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe — who were pushing for passage of the resolution.
Last week I asked Congressman Zeldin’s representative why Lee Zeldin voted to defund Planned Parenthood, a move that will deprive millions of poor and working-class women access to health care. He told me that Zeldin voted to defund P.P. because he is “pro-life” (even though 97 percent of the health services P.P. provides have nothing to do with abortion).
Wolves and bears are beautiful creatures that share the planet with us. Voting to kill them is a sign of just how little Mr. Zeldin actually values life. Anyone who is truly pro-life should not vote for Lee Zeldin.