Fata Morgana (chimerically) wrote,
Fata Morgana

Deer Birth Control

Over lunch I read a rant about deer in (sub)urban (sprawl) areas, and couldn't help but post this reply (and of course replicate it here!).

Human Birth Control
By Buck Schneider, 10-20-05

Attention wilderness commissioners and administrators, I have the solution to your human problem. Normally, you'd have to hire costly consultants, set up stakeholder committees, have public hearings, and wait years for such a plan. This time, it's fast, free and easy (three of my favorite four-letter words officials don't use enough).

Urban human herds have overrun almost every wilderness in the New West, making foraging a lost art and pumping up the benefits of animals that scale fences, invasive species, and human infrastructure. These aren't humans coming to our territory for a geranium treat now and then. These are permanent residents -- third- or fourth-generation humans born in our territory, growing up in our territory, and reproducing the next generation in our territory -- without ever seeing a four-legged, heavily-antlered western human control specialist. These ridiculously tame and overly bold humans ravage the earth with expensively landscaped yards, flatten wild spaces, knock down native trees, own dogs, lure mountain lions into our territory at night, drive their cars without signaling, and frequently scare the stuffing out of me during my pre-dawn trots to my grazing grounds.

Nobody planned it or anticipated it, but now we basically have domestic humans that have never gone anywhere open to hunting, no different than pigeons or fox squirrels, except bigger and more problematic -- and controversial, too. Most wilderness areas have committees looking for solutions with the "do nothing" option winning out in most places. Polls tell us that most herds simply like seeing humans and want to leave them alone -- at least until they lose their flowers or wild space or the new trees they labored all weekend to eat.

Nonetheless, some deer persist in wanting urban human herds reduced or removed. They consider urban humans little more than two-hundred-pound rodents. In some cases these deer might convince their wilderness leaders to opt for the "do something" option, but what can we do?

We could -- and should -- levy big fines on deer who feed humans, but this rarely happens. And even if nobody purposely fed humans, our wilderness areas would still be packed with them.

We can shoot them, of course. We know how to shoot humans out here in the New West. But in most municipalities, safety issues stop this. Even when using expert bow hunters, the specter of a hunting accident, however unlikely, and sure-to-follow lawsuit makes most local councils shy away from the hunting option.

We could trap or tranquilize humans and move them somewhere else, but this option is insanely expensive and inefficient. Two or three weeks later, we'd have to do it again. And where do you relocate domestic humans? That would be about as popular as transplanting Canadians into eastern Wyoming.

That leaves wilderness commissioners and managers with the option of last resort, the most politically acceptable choice, contraception. Who on Earth could object? Even Bambi is not against human birth control.

But how to achieve adequate human birth control? Now, there's a challenge! Fortunately, for the sake of wilderness administrators among my readers, I did some research on the Internet and came up with a few meritorious ideas on how to control human populations and make all the electors happy.

My first thought was that this could be a great job for young bucks who could be hired to capture men and fit them with condoms. In addition to drastically reducing the number of unwanted human pregnancies, this gives the hormone-richest among us much needed practice in the use of condoms. After a few weeks of human condom fitting, it'd be second nature for them during the rut. And there'd be lots of work for our young bucks because you know how these young men are. On prom night, we'd have to repeatedly replace condoms.

I suppose OSHA might have some issues with this plan, and as many exhaustive studies have shown, regardless of our best educational efforts, some men will still prefer unprotected sex. So, this might not be the best option.

Fortunately, there are other accepted forms of human birth control. The Humane Society, for example, wants us to use tranquilizer guns loaded with dart-like syringes to inject female humans with contraceptives or sedating them to install a contraceptive patch under the skin. Basic female human anatomy (or lack thereof) makes the human IUD and human Diaphragm impractical, and human Spermicide foam holds little hope because it has to be used just before mating -- every time, of course, which could run into a lot of foam. Besides, foam has only proved effective when men also wear condoms. Trying to use both foam and condoms would be way too much hassle for wilderness managers, and they'd probably throw in the towel and give the humans the key to the wilderness.

Capturing women and implanting contraceptive patches might work as well as making men use condoms. It could also be a good-paying job for young does with the fringe benefit of giving them valuable experience.

Regrettably, trapping and darting and sedating and patching female humans costs at least $500 per woman. And it might not work. As evidence, consider what one group of scientists said after a multi-year research project on capturing and inoculating female humans with contraceptives (and I'm not making this up!). "The results of our research clearly indicate that fertility control can only be expected to stabilize human populations if applied in an extremely ambitious effort," they wrote. "Even then, because of logistical considerations, immunocontraception as a human population control method in urban communities will likely only be practical when simulated on a computer."

That leaves us with only one real hope for adequate, affordable human birth control, The Pill -- The human Pill, that is. Wildlife scientists have, in fact, just invented the PZP immunocontraceptive pill for humans -- and it works on real humans, not those computer-generated humans some scientists use. One dose lasts an entire year and doesn't hurt the person.

But how, you might ask, do we get female humans to take the human Pill? The answer: it's easy.

The PZP pill has proved effective when taken orally, saving money on all those pricey darts and syringes and tranquilizer rifles. A safe, cost-effective way of getting humans to take it would be planting green salads laced with little bluish pills colored like blueberries, which are actually pure PZP. Plant the salads throughout town once each year for optimum coverage. The next morning all those beautiful salads will be little more than empty bowls and plastic forks (like those in my backyard), but this time, we won't bemoan the loss. We'll celebrate it because the following spring, guess what, no more Urban Barbies.
Tags: contraception, sustainability

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