Deer Diplomacy

By Billy Schneider

Many of you may remember that the Binghamton Review published an article last semester regarding the precarious situation facing the deer in our nature preserve. At the time many readers were completely un-aware of this problem, and the issue preceded a surge of student interest in helping to protect the preserve. Perhaps blinded by complex ecology, god complexes, good intentions, or classic peer pressure, numerous students agreed en masse that systematic killing was not only a reasonable solution, but was something uniquely necessary to protect the sanctity of our nature preserve.

Unfortunately the college experience does not always play nicely with memory. By now many students have forgotten; others have simply moved on. It’s possible that some individuals never even recognized the barbaric, elitist grounds on which they built their position. Some of you may find my language here overly dramatic… but before assessing me, just consider the viewpoint of the deer. They are so incensed by the proposed policies that the Binghamton Review staff failed to find even a single deer willing to speak with us, let alone comment. Additionally the deer seemed extremely determined to avoid us, and unanimously became visibly nervous in our presence. It’s easy to think they might be planning some form of response, which (if we are lucky) could be a class action lawsuit. Should they respond in kind to our ignorance, we may need to start preparing for the deer’s human culling operation, intended to stop campus construction from claiming more of their home in the forest.

If you missed their October issue, I’m sure you’re wondering what could have possibly upset the deer this much. Recently the deer in our nature preserve have experienced a renaissance of sorts. They are living longer, eating more, and having more fawns than past generations had. Naturally such a golden-age will require more proactive food production, some resource budgeting, additional social compromise, and conscientious decision making to preserve the ecosystem for the species which still live day to day. Moreover these are not easy criteria to meet, and humans ourselves have had numerous issues with them. However, rather than supporting and guiding the deer through such a drastic transition, our favored approach seems to be killing enough of them that this renaissance is conclusively ended, thus accommodations for the new demographics will no longer be necessary.

How did anyone (especially the majority of vocal participants) arrive at such an ungainly conclusion? Well, close-minded people look only from a human perspective. Therefore they see the renaissance of deer and perceive it as “unsustainable population growth.” I’m not sure how they’ve maintained an ego capable of assuming that we are the only species allowed to advance, but I digress. From this view, it is slightly more logical to believe that a culling is necessary to prevent serious damage to the ecosystem in the preserve. In context, think of culling as the delayed enforcement of a ‘one fawn policy’ amongst our deer. The only difference is that in culling we kill the deer instead of sending them away. Instead of setting rules and punishing rule breakers we simply measure the population and kill every subsequent adult deer we encounter until the population has returned to what we have determined will maintain balance.

While it may seem like a barbaric solution, its supporters are adamant that failure to cull at current population levels will simply leave us with way too many deer. By extension, too many deer will all go around eating too many plants, catastrophically leaving the preserve with too few plants. Alongside damaging the rest of the ecosystem this will reduce the supply of food available to future deer, and if they fail to either evolve or receive outside (potentially human) intervention, then a number of deer will be determined via natural selection to starve until the excess population balances back out. Sure, after this counterbalancing period all of the plants and other species successful enough to last will return to normal, but why let natural selection choose the winner when we can do it ourselves? For the common elitist, this also provides a bonus of lowering the chances that future deer will adapt the most successful survival traits, and instead evolve more randomly (or even, hypothetically, as we guide them). This is good because it renders deer less likely to challenge our dominance in the future.

While a breakdown does show the good intentions with which the movement started, I hope it has also illustrated for you the type of god complex required to carry a view like this through any kind of deep thought. For non-deep people such as hard-wired followers, constant-partiers (drunks), and those who lack the capacity to look beyond the surface of the issue, I can only say I am sorry you have become caught up in all of this. To the elitist barbarian whose heart has swayed towards the light by my superior truth, Godspeed in your quest to become a decent human being. Lastly, to such a person that has not recognized even an ounce of equality and moral value in these words, may god have mercy on your soul.

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