It’s a sad day in New Jersey, as we lost our state Senator, Frank Lautenberg, who did so many wonderful things. Here’s a nice piece from the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/04/nyregion/frank-lautenberg-new-jersey-senator.html?_r=0
And this morning I received a beautiful email from the League of Humane Voters of New Jersey. My heart goes out to his loved ones. May he rest in peace.
A True Friend of Animals, and a True Loss:
Senator Frank Lautenberg
Senator Lautenberg was never too busy, or too wary of vocal interest groups, not to care about animals. He never looked the other way. He cared about wildlife suffering compound fractures, or chewing off limbs, to escape the agony of steel-jaw leghold traps. The unethical and ecologically damaging practice of shooting black bears over bait on federal land bothered him, and he introduced legislation to halt the practice.
As relayed by the Humane Society of the United States, Frank Lautenberg achieved a perfect score on animal protection legislation. On so many issues, he stood against ignorance and cruelty, and for humane sensibilities.
He championed non-lethal co-existence programs for black bears and Canada geese. He repeatedly spoke out against bear hunts based on little factual foundation. In 2005, Senator Lautenberg wrote the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection: “I urge you to reconsider possible viable alternatives to this hunt. This is a divisive, controversial issue in our State and I ask that you do everything in your power to avert a hunt, and to expand upon recent bear-proofing initiatives in New Jersey and give them an opportunity to work.”
The Senator promoted non-lethal deterrent programs for Canada geese as an alternative to the unnecessary, crude gassing of this majestic bird.
The senator cared about companion animals, animals raised and slaughtered for food, or used for experimentation. In the halls of power, where for so many animal lives count for so little, they had a true friend.
The superb nature writer, Joseph Wood Crutch, relayed what being fully human is, or should be:
But one bat in a swimming pool is not the same thing as two or
Three hundred thousand at Carlsbad. Because there is only one
of him and one of me, some sort of relationship, impossible in
the presence of myriads, springs up between us. I no longer
take toward him that attitude of nature or dictator. I become a
man again, aware of feelings which are commonly called
humane, but for which I prefer a stronger word, human.
–The Best Nature Writing of Joseph Wood Krutch
Frank Lautenberg, the son of Russian and Polish immigrants, enlisted in the military at 18, and served as a member of the United States Army Signal Corps. He was graduated from Columbia University and founded Automatic Data Processing. He was a United States senator. Above all, Frank Lautenberg, the man and the senator, was that stronger word, human. — EMAIL FROM LEAGUE OF HUMANE VOTERS OF NEW JERSEY