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With regard to the recent mountain lion killings in the Rattlesnake, I have a few questions for us Missoula residents.

If it is true that our usual solution to animal-human conflicts often involves violence — if it is true that we are committed to the proposition that the ontological value of wild animals is always exceeded by the ontological value of humans — if it is true that humans continue to breed, expand and colonize more land already inhabited by wild animals — if we don’t hold those humans responsible for their choice of address — if we don’t legally penalize those humans for behavioral choices that attract wildlife onto their property and into their back yards — then what logical conclusion must we draw?

Could anyone make the argument that this is a subtle and indirect form of baiting? Is there any of us who can adduce non-violent solutions rather than to the Wildlife Services killing machine? Can we develop a new worldview that includes a new toolbox with a new solution set that is non-violent? Can we come up with a solution that goes beyond saying we are sorry that we had to kill them? Are we Homo sapiens or Homo violentiam?

Kevin Boileau,


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