The bill sponsored by state senator Dick Dearden, a democrat from Des Moines, passed the Senate Tuesday, the House Wednesday, and was signed by the governor on Thursday. The bill was inexplicably fast-tracked by supporters, especially in the GOP-controlled house.
Opponents of the bill were understandably thunderstruck by the quick pace and pointed out that the usual public comment period was bypassed and that supporters used legislative loopholes to eliminate committee meetings normally required.
In three short days, the international symbol of peace became another animal to be blasted out of the sky by so-called sportsmen and lovers of the outdoors.
According to the Des Moines Register, one senator called doves “pigeons with a PR firm.”
Advocates of the bill say that since doves are legal to hunt in 40 states, including all of Iowa’s neighbors, that Iowans should also be able to shoot doves. Additionally, Dearden made note of the close relation between doves and barn pigeons, which are legal to hunt.
Opponents of the bill say doves are special, romantic birds with so little meat on them that it’s pointless to hunt them for food and they also worry about the effects that the lead shot used to hunt doves will have on wildlife and the environment.
I can’t agree with some of the logic of the opponents of the bill, even if I sympathize with their sentiment. I don’t oppose dove hunting because I think doves are better than other animals; I oppose dove hunting for the same reason that I oppose hunting all other animals, because hunting is nothing but recreational murder with clever lobbying groups.
The truth is that hunting is the most morally reprehensible “sport” that humans engage in, no matter whether the prey is a deer, a dove or a dog. Opponents of this and other hunting measures should make the case that every animal deserves the right not to be murdered whimsically for the amusement of brutes who fancy themselves nature-lovers.
It’s obvious how little concern politicians have for animals when the decision to legalize the superfluous killing of yet another species can be sped through the legislature in three days.
Any expansion of hunting is a victory for those who sell ammo and guns and those who delight in carrying out a cold-blooded war on wildlife and it’s a huge loss for anyone who cares about nature, cares about animals, or cares about peace.