questionswhy does the government prohibit feeding theā€¦

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The government is full of idiots. They make it easier for the less fortunate, so instead of encouraging them to do something to help themselves, they help them be more helpless. It's very frustrating...

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I think the logic behind it is more of a safety issue. Obviously trying to feed a bear is not smart so I'll assume you mean smaller animals. Like cute bunnies and squirrels and the like. Many of these animals can carry rabies and other diseases. And in many areas in the southwest the fleas on rabbits could be carrying the plague. By limiting interaction the animals will be more likely to fear people and hide rather then come looking for handouts and spreading disease.

As for your welfare issues I am staying far away from my soap box for awhile after the unfortunate events earlier today.

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When animals get the right to vote, let's revisit this question.

And while I'm at it, I predict Berkeley, CA will be among one of the first jurisdictions to enfranchise animals. I wish I were kidding.

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@90mcg112: I think San Fran beat berzerkley to it. San fran had an ordinance eliminating the term "owner" of pets and replacing it with "caretaker" a few years back.

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Satire over load. I can't distinguish the line between sarcasm and opinion.

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@kamikazeken: That's where it was. I was actually thinking of that exact ordinance when I made my prediction. I guess Berkeley hippies > San Francisco hippies in my head so I always assume they are more out there.

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@90mcg112: Berkeley doesn't have hippies, they have anarchists, ikea-shoppers, and communists.
San Fran has violent hippie transgender communist supremacist humans for the ethical non violent treatment of pets, pigeons, and homeless people.

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Interesting question and I think @ruger9mm is exactly right. But, this is the problem with government and laws - a logical thing gets overblown so that it applies to things it shouldn't just to simplify the law. The law could be "don't feed the bears." But, then there will be people who feed a bear, get mauled and say "I didn't know that was a bear." So the law gets blatantly applied across the board and a bunch of money is wasted enforcing parts that don't really contribute to people's or society's well-being at all. In this case, I don't really know who to blame, the lawmakers who worded a law so vaguely or the idiots who would walk up to a bear and feed it.

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@kamikazeken said, "why does the government prohibit feeding the animals at National Parks ... with the logic that IF WE FEED THE ANIMALS, THEY WILL GET USED TO IT AND STOP TRYING TO FEED THEMSELVES".

I just wanted to compliment you on your straw man.

I'm sure you know that's not really the reason it is illegal, and you are just making a joke.

But in case you were serious: the biggest reason never to feed wild animals is that they can lose their natural fear of humans, which can lead to more brazen attempts to get food from humans, which can lead to dangerous - potentially deadly - encounters between humans & animals.

Then there's the fact that your food might be dangerous for an animal (e.g. chocolate is poisonous to dogs).

Also, an increase in food supply can cause a population increase that is unsustainable outside of tourist season.

I'll now leave you to your paranoid Glenn Beck-ese terror-induced fantasies already in progress. :-)

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I remember when I was in Hawaii, where there were wild housecats (do they get a different name? "feral housecat-sized cats"?) There were no prohibit from feeding signs anywhere and you could tell they always come up to people to be fed. They were friendly little creatures that were constantly around the park trash cans.

I do remember the tour guide telling us that they were destroying a lot of the native birds, they had fleas and had diseases and that we should avoid getting near them, which I assume is the main reason for not feeding wild animals in general.

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I recall seeing something from the early 1900s regarding feeding bears in national parks. Because people were allowed to feed the bears, they became dependent upon humans for their food and trashed a lot of places looking for food when humans weren't there to feed them (and starved when they couldn't get what was handed to them).

Bears; the first dependent society.

Oh, how little we learn...

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If you feed a bear a hamburger, he will most likely try to procure another hamburger in the future, because they're delicious. Since MCDonalds won't serve bears(racists), they will have to rely on poeple to get them, and while they tell you they will pay for them, 80% of the time they take your lunch and run.

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@woothulhu: I cannot believe McDonalds engages in such discrimination; it's unbearable!

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@anotherhiggins: Not trying to nitpick, but the info I have read regarding chocolate and dogs is something along this line. Chocolate is only poisonous to dogs in certain extremes.

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1. Without human interference, animals will only successfully breed to equal available resources. Nature culls the weakest animals when population exceeds resources. Humans are not that well-balanced. We breed regardless of resources and fight nature's attempts to cull the weakest of us to balance the equation.
2. The crap that most people feed animals is not good for them. Just like us, animals can get hooked on junk food and fill their bellies with it instead of the healthy food they need to live. Just like us, it has a negative impact on their general health and lifespan.
3. Getting wild animals used to being around people is dangerous. In the case of big, powerful animals like bears it is dangerous for humans. In the case of small animals like squirrels it is dangerous for them.

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@jsimsace: Chocolate and dogs is like grapes and dogs, there's not a set amount that is harmful. Some trainers use frozen grapes as training treats with no ill effects. Many times dogs (including one of my own) have gulped down a whole chocolate bar with no ill effects. In other cases just a small amount of either has had fatal results. So it's best to be safe and not give them any.

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@curtisuxor: They should give you a black trangle for that one.