Your freedom ends when someone else’s life is threatened.
I had been out of town for a while and was doing too many things at once to get the house in order. I left an open pack of tortillas on the bench on the deck then wondered why kitty was bouncing off the walls looking out a few days later.
It looked like a raccoon first found them. The tree squirrel was there. The ground squirrel was next. The crows arrived. A blue jay squawked. What a mess. The young blonde bear who is still fattening up although she is gloriously golden and blimplike hadn’t yet arrived.
Birdseed, forgotten tortillas, unsecured garbage, and people intentionally feeding large animals cause an Unintentioned food chain to arise. The consequences can be dire.
A few months ago, I got quite angry with the postdoc renting a room in the house next door. It was an hour or two before sundown and he stood staring at garbage strewn across his yard. He made no effort to pick it up. Finally, I grabbed a big trash bag and some rubber gloves and went over to offer to help him clean it up. He was not happy. He said it wasn’t his which I knew because they store their roll cart in the garage, but it still was a hazard.
He was content to wait for the garbage’s owner to arrive — addressed envelopes made this obvious. He said he had noticed it before work but left it. Why did this enrage me? I raised my kids on this canyon. As neighbors we all look out for one another. Five little boys played all day in close proximity to this neglected garbage. On any given day last summer, we have had five bears wandering around.
Your freedom ends when, by feeding animals, you inadvertently invite rattlesnakes, bears, or big cats to places where they, otherwise, would not be. It is hard enough being a parent and if it takes help from the County Council to make life a bit easier, why not? New Mexico Fish and Game are overworked and understaffed.
Take the time to care for others. You just might be holding the lives of the little ones in your hands.