I put together my summary of our legal battle for the deer, compiled links
to media coverage, and discerned and described what good came of this effort.
Please cross publish it on your sites/blogs, link to it on your social
networking sites, and/or forward this email widely:
WARNING: graphic image
Taking the Deer
Wars into the Courtroom--..
'A two minute
conversation with an all-too-common empathy-deficient dullard reveals how
morally perverse it is that the prevailing paradigm enables (and even
encourages) those who derive pleasure from torturing and murdering defenseless
Jason Miller and Bite
Club of KC vs Michael Meadors and the Johnson County Parks and Recreation
Journal Entry by Jason Miller
On 12/14/09, my activist allies and I took the
deer war in Shawnee Mission Park (aka Death Park) into the
courtroom. We filed a Temporary Restraining Order to stop Michael
Meadors and the Johnson County Parks and Recreation Division from
slaughtering an additional 80 deer with bows and arrows. As is the
case with most grass roots animal rights activists and groups, we
operate on a severely limited budget, so I filed this action pro se.
Acting in that capacity, I could only represent the entity of Bite
Club of KC and myself. However, I spoke for billions of wildlife
lovers, animal rights activists and nonhuman animals as I sat in
Understand that just as we did throughout this
crusade for the deer, when my allies and I entered the courthouse
for the hearing on 12/14 we had monumental obstacles to overcome in
order to stop the slaughter.
Six months of intense on-the-street activism
(during which time I engaged thousands of people in an effort to
persuade them that we needed to manage the deer herd via nonlethal
means) gave me numerous daily reminders of the ugly reality that
many people wear blinders to shield them from the abject cruelty of
the war our species is waging on other animals (most of them
expressed support for our cause once educated), some simply give an
apathetic shrug of the shoulders, and, disturbingly, there are those
who take sadistic delight in inflicting misery upon our animal
Speciesism is a perverse worldview that is so
tightly stitched into our social fabric that it will take years of
intensive efforts to extricate it from our midst. A two minute
conversation with an all-too-common empathy-deficient dullard
reveals how morally perverse it is that the prevailing paradigm
enables (and even encourages) those who derive pleasure from
torturing and murdering defenseless beings. Our anthropocentric,
speciesist legal system enshrines and protects the 'rights' of these
sociopathic humans to molest and annihilate innocent sentients. In
the eyes of the law, nonhuman animals are objects, commodities,
resources, or at best, pets (who are afforded a bit more protection
than other animals but who are still classified as property).
Just as they had been throughout our campaign,
the odds in the courtroom were stacked against us in a significant
way. Numerous groups have sought legal intervention to stop wildlife
culls, and despite having the advantage of legal representation, few
(if any) have been able to persuade judges to issue an injunction.
Since nonhuman animals have no legal rights, they have no standing
in a civil action. Acting as their proxy is a challenging
proposition because to get the courts to intervene, the people
filing the TRO or injunction have to prove that the cull would harm
them in some way or that officials had acted in an arbitrary or
Despite knowing the odds, my tenacious nature
spurred me to make the attempt. And despite Judge Kevin Moriarty
denying the Temporary Restraining Order (a decision with which I
never stated I agreed--I merely stated that I appreciated his
thoughtful consideration of the case) there were a number of gains
made on behalf of nonhuman animals and the cause of animal rights:
1. While I anticipated the possibility of a
quick ruling against us, Judge Moriarty considered assertions from
both sides for 45 minutes before rendering a decision. I disagree
with his decision not to issue the TRO, yet I applaud his sincere
consideration of our case, his recognition that nonlethal wildlife
management would be superior to culling or hunting in Shawnee
Mission Park, and the respect that he afforded me and our position.
2. Judge Moriarty noted that people generally
don't like the idea of killing wildlife and asked Meadors what they
intended to do to prevent this problem from arising in the future.
Meadors stated that JCPRD intended to use nonlethal means to manage
the deer population in Shawnee Mission Park next year.
3. I got an opportunity to expound upon the
assertions I had made in the Affidavit that I filed with the TRO--
quoting from emails, citing documentation, and elaborating upon my
analyses and conclusions. While Judge Moriarty ruled that, in his
opinion, they weren't enough to demonstrate that Meadors and JCPRD
had acted in arbitrary or capricious ways, my arguments and
assertions are now a matter of public record and a number of them
led Judge Moriarty to vigorously question the opposition, and in
some cases, express disdain toward them.
4. There were times throughout the hearing
when I seriously thought Judge Moriarty was going to grant the
Temporary Restraining Order, and when he finally concluded that, in
his opinion, he could not issue the TRO within the framework of the
law, he was quite sympathetic to our position and cautioned Meadors
and JCPRD that he didn't want to see us in this position again next
year. Because, as he stated, 'that would mean that we hadn't learned
from our mistakes.'
5. While the bow hunt (disguised as a thinning
of an already decimated deer herd) may run its course this year, my
allies and I exerted tremendous pressure upon Johnson County
officials in myriad ways from many angles throughout our campaign.
My attorney friend commented that the Motion to Dismiss that JCPRD
filed in response to our TRO entailed about $5,000.00 worth of legal
work. There were at least seven members of JCPRD upper management
present at the hearing. We may not have prevented them from killing
more deer, but as we did throughout our relentless campaign, we gave
the 'powers that be' serious hell, educated the public, inspired
animal rights groups around the world by showing that local grass
roots groups can go head to head with those with the power and
money, and created some serious obstacles to future slaughters in
Shawnee Mission Park.
6. It is now a matter of public record that
Meadors and JCPRD plan on implementing nonlethal methods to manage
the deer population in Shawnee Mission Park going forward. Meadors
also made a similar pledge in a phone conversation that he had with
wildlife defender and Global Anti-Hunting Coalition founder Anthony
Marr on 12/9/09.
We are going to hold JCPRD's feet to the fire
on their promise to use nonlethal means going forward. And if Lloyd
Fox, Ken Payne, and their merry band of murderers think they've
opened the door to an annual bow hunt in Shawnee Mission Park,
they're in for one hell of a fight. Bite Club of KC and now the
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition aren't going away, and next year the
pro-kill faction won't have a severe deer over-population problem as
a means of duping the public into thinking a slaughter is necessary
so that they can engage in their serial killing in an urban park.
And who's to say what else may happen before
this year is out--..
Here are some links to local media coverage of
our legal battle:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIjanhKqVC4 and go vegan.
Do it for your health, for nonhuman animals and for the Earth!