The Silence of the Fawns

Russ Vaughn
Here in New Mexico we've had almost 650,000 acres devastated by wildfires this year. That's more than a thousand square miles. 120,000 of those acres have burned very close, far too close to the home where my wife and I lately have been living in constant fear that we may be forced by authorities to leave before we've been able to round up and cage our seven, free-roaming cats. The thought of driving away knowing that even one of those kitties is being left behind to die a lonely, painful, frightened death in a forest conflagration is too horrible to contemplate.

While natural cause in the form of severe drought is the immediate culprit and causative factor for this perilous situation, there is a human component to these disasters: overzealous ecologists. Far too many do-gooders, many of them clueless city dwellers swelled with smug satisfaction at saving the environment, have interfered with good forest management practices by filing lawsuits designed specifically to accomplish that very end: impede proper forest growth control.

Well, do-gooders, your litigation has worked, bringing to a halt many activities such as logging and forest floor clearing that could have made these huge fires far smaller by denying them the available fuel sources that turned them into such monsters. Thanks to your legal successes, far too many forests are far too densely packed and deadly dry, and the resulting destruction of both flora and fauna has been devastating.

It is that devastation of fauna that I wish particularly to bring to the attention of all you liberal do-gooders so proud of yourselves for saving Bambi and her environment with your activism, especially all you nurturing, female, environmental do-gooders.  Let me draw a picture for you that I hope remains on the backs of your eyelids when you try to sleep tonight. A healthy doe who recently gave birth to a pair of spirited, healthy fawns, raises her nose to the air and smells the first traces of smoke.  An innate, ancestral fear seizes her, followed instantaneously by her intuitive need to protect her babies. I  want all you young women, so proud of your ecological accomplishments, to put yourself in that suddenly terrified mother's position, to try to get inside her panicked mind and feel the deadly fear that has seized her entire being.

Instinct takes over and the doe leads her babies downwind away from the increasingly thick smoke in the vanguard of the approaching flames -- this way lies safety, her primordial guidance system tells her. She heads her young ones downhill, seeking the protection of a shallow canyon where the smoke blows over and is not so choking. But as she shepherds her terrified young ones down through the rocky defile, the fire jumps the canyon, igniting the underbrush in the path she has chosen. Unable to turn because of the flames at her back, she stands frozen with fear and indecision, her babies huddled beneath her trembling and afraid but still confident their mother will protect them as she always has. And there they stand helpless, without hope, until a wall of wind-driven flames engulfs them. Bambi is dead, painfully so, incinerated by your eco-activism.

And more hundreds, if not thousands of Bambis. And all the other creatures of the forest, who because of the natural order, have springtime-born helpless young. Imagine that hummingbird mother hovering in a frantic state, her wee heart pounding furiously, unable to do anything for the tiny helpless hatchlings in the thimble-sized nest she so painstakingly built. Hovering until the flames drive her away, consuming her babies and their inaudible pleadings. But you eco- activists, far away from the incalculable death you have caused can pat yourselves on the back and high-five each other on saving the environment, much like the infamous and horribly misguided military officer in Vietnam who declared,

"We had to destroy the village to save it."

The burned out forest is silent now, nothing moves because nothing remains alive; the stark, blackened landscape is enveloped in a tomblike quiet. Listen very carefully you do-gooders and perhaps now you will at last hear the silence of the fawns.

I hope you are satisfied...

Here in New Mexico we've had almost 650,000 acres devastated by wildfires this year. That's more than a thousand square miles. 120,000 of those acres have burned very close, far too close to the home where my wife and I lately have been living in constant fear that we may be forced by authorities to leave before we've been able to round up and cage our seven, free-roaming cats. The thought of driving away knowing that even one of those kitties is being left behind to die a lonely, painful, frightened death in a forest conflagration is too horrible to contemplate.

While natural cause in the form of severe drought is the immediate culprit and causative factor for this perilous situation, there is a human component to these disasters: overzealous ecologists. Far too many do-gooders, many of them clueless city dwellers swelled with smug satisfaction at saving the environment, have interfered with good forest management practices by filing lawsuits designed specifically to accomplish that very end: impede proper forest growth control.

Well, do-gooders, your litigation has worked, bringing to a halt many activities such as logging and forest floor clearing that could have made these huge fires far smaller by denying them the available fuel sources that turned them into such monsters. Thanks to your legal successes, far too many forests are far too densely packed and deadly dry, and the resulting destruction of both flora and fauna has been devastating.

It is that devastation of fauna that I wish particularly to bring to the attention of all you liberal do-gooders so proud of yourselves for saving Bambi and her environment with your activism, especially all you nurturing, female, environmental do-gooders.  Let me draw a picture for you that I hope remains on the backs of your eyelids when you try to sleep tonight. A healthy doe who recently gave birth to a pair of spirited, healthy fawns, raises her nose to the air and smells the first traces of smoke.  An innate, ancestral fear seizes her, followed instantaneously by her intuitive need to protect her babies. I  want all you young women, so proud of your ecological accomplishments, to put yourself in that suddenly terrified mother's position, to try to get inside her panicked mind and feel the deadly fear that has seized her entire being.

Instinct takes over and the doe leads her babies downwind away from the increasingly thick smoke in the vanguard of the approaching flames -- this way lies safety, her primordial guidance system tells her. She heads her young ones downhill, seeking the protection of a shallow canyon where the smoke blows over and is not so choking. But as she shepherds her terrified young ones down through the rocky defile, the fire jumps the canyon, igniting the underbrush in the path she has chosen. Unable to turn because of the flames at her back, she stands frozen with fear and indecision, her babies huddled beneath her trembling and afraid but still confident their mother will protect them as she always has. And there they stand helpless, without hope, until a wall of wind-driven flames engulfs them. Bambi is dead, painfully so, incinerated by your eco-activism.

And more hundreds, if not thousands of Bambis. And all the other creatures of the forest, who because of the natural order, have springtime-born helpless young. Imagine that hummingbird mother hovering in a frantic state, her wee heart pounding furiously, unable to do anything for the tiny helpless hatchlings in the thimble-sized nest she so painstakingly built. Hovering until the flames drive her away, consuming her babies and their inaudible pleadings. But you eco- activists, far away from the incalculable death you have caused can pat yourselves on the back and high-five each other on saving the environment, much like the infamous and horribly misguided military officer in Vietnam who declared,

"We had to destroy the village to save it."

The burned out forest is silent now, nothing moves because nothing remains alive; the stark, blackened landscape is enveloped in a tomblike quiet. Listen very carefully you do-gooders and perhaps now you will at last hear the silence of the fawns.

I hope you are satisfied...