Is Mike Zavage a Priest of God or a Priest of Satan?


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Is Mike Zavage a Priest of God or a Priest of Satan?
Comments by Stephen Augustine - 18 Dec 2010

In Reference to: Is Mike Zavage a Priest of God or a Priest of Satan?

The claim that we, humans, need to kill animals to keep them from either overpopulation or from starving is almost largely put forth by those who like killing animals and want to have a continual supply of animals to kill.

In most parts of the world the natural balance of predator-prey in a "trophic cascade" have been severely disrupted by the wholesale extermination of larger predators. In the United States there has been a concerted effort over the past three hundred years to exterminate wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, badgers, grizzly bears, weasels and other predator species as they have been perceived, primarily, to compete with humans for prey species such as deer and secondarily as threats to livestock. Indeed, wolves were exterminated from all but one of the lower 48 states by the middle of last century.

Wolves were reintroduced to the three western states of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho about 15 years ago and have since then expanded their populations under the protection of the Endangered Species Act. However, they are currently under dire threat by hunters and ranchers with the support of several senators and representatives who are mobilizing to amend the Endangered Species Act to exempt wolves, specifically, from being listed on the Endangered Species List. Hunters are very, very angry that wolves were allowed to be reintroduced in the first place because they think that wolves are getting a free ride - i.e. - they don't have to buy a tag to go out and kill deer, moose and elk and that they have absolutely no reason to exist at all. Hunters are having to work harder to find and kill deer, moose and elk because these animals have re-learned stealth and wariness with the presence of wolves in the ecosystem.

These predator-prey interactions have evolved over millions of years and in a naturally evolved system like that there is balance. Deer end up starving in the absence of wolves and other predators because they literally destroy the forest by eating all the vegetation. In turn the denuded vegetation results in the collapse of so many other species that are dependent on a healthy ecosystem. It has been conclusively proven that the reintroduction of wolves to an ecosystem (Yellowstone Park is a very good example) turns out to be a tremendous revitalizing force to renew not only vegetation but the myriad other fauna that depend on that vegetation and the cascade of interactions therein.

The starving deer, when they exist, are largely a product of human meddling and a gross imbalance in the natural world brought upon by hunters and ranchers.

The incredible irony of hunters who created the starving deer in the first place claiming to alleviate that suffering by killing the deer is not only laughable it is simply tragic and devoid of any real meaning. I daresay no sane person would propose that we need to kill starving people in order to alleviate their suffering. (In the case of starving humans it's again a case of imbalance - in this case the inequitable distribution of both wealth and food - an imbalance that begs to be corrected.)

In the case of Mike Zavage - I think he is very much a product of his time and place. Here in Northern Idaho, where most households have several guns, I think a fair number of pastors are active hunters. Indeed, the pastors of the two largest congregations in town are very enthusiastic hunters. I think that they find that this endears them to their congregations by being seen as "one of us". I wouldn't go so far as to call Zavage a "priest of Satan". He happens to be a priest who also happens to engage in a common, local past time of hunting. In his time and place it is not seen as either abnormal or cruel. To have any connotation of being an affiliate of a demonic entity I would say that malicious intent is needed. We may see killing a deer as malicious (and certainly the deer would agree) but I don't think that the majority of his society would agree and nor would Zavage.