A Letter from a Guy Who Likes to Kill Squirrels for Fun

allofus_squirrel_hunting
Here is one of many emails I received from people supporting Squirrel Slam, a February 16th Holley, New York Fire Department sponsored event where people will shoot and kill squirrels for fun with their children. I made a public request to cancel the event in favor of a fundraiser in support of saving animals.

“ANDREW THE SQUIREL LOVING PRIK Pull your face out of the squirels asses and find something use full to do with your time. Why do you need fucknig squirrel runinng up and down trees eating nuts? FOR WHAT PURPOS? I will shoot them to becaus we have to many in the world!!!! WHY DONT YOU SPEND YOU TIME HELPING PEOPLE AND GETA LIFE HIPPE!!!!”

Here is my reply to this letter:

Dear ***,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Your letter provides me an opportunity to address several issues.

1. Fire fighters save lives. Killing the most defenseless among us in order to raise money to save the most defenseless among us is analogous to selling cigarettes to raise money for lung cancer research. It’s nonsensical and it sends a terrible and mixed message to millions of children who idolize firefighters.

2. People often tell me I should spend time helping people. Please read my reply to this suggestion.

3. In terms of eating nuts, I highly recommend it. Did you know nuts are loaded with iron, fiber, protein, the “good” unsaturated fat, antioxidants, and vitamins? Squirrels have the right idea.

4. It is not our right to determine animal overpopulation. Most increases in animal population are caused by humans disrupting their habitats. Humans are overpopulated but we don’t shoot them for sport to reduce the population. Apply the Golden Rule.

Thank you for your letter. Whenever I hear from people who enjoy killing animals for fun, it inspires me to take my activism to new heights in order to protect them. I’ll work harder and smarter for the cause of compassion on your behalf.

Regards,

Andrew Kirschner

*Please consider sending the Holley Fire Department a polite email requesting a cancellation of Squirrel Slam. HFD Chief Hendrickson assured me the HFD Board is reviewing all emails and will consider cancelling the event this year or in the future depending on the public’s feedback. Thank you.

1/29/13 Update
I appreciate the outpouring of support for the squirrels whose lives you all wish to save. It speaks volumes about your character and compassion.

After speaking with Holley Fire Department (HFD) Chief Hendrickson on the telephone, I sent him a formal proposal offering to host a fundraiser for the HFD if he agrees to cancel and renounce Squirrel Slam. I explained that 50% of the proceeds will go to the HFD and 50% will go to New York Squirrel Sanctuaries. I told him to tell me what he expected to raise from killing squirrels and I will commit to rally the community to match it.

This is an easy way to save animals’ lives, raise awareness about the importance of respecting all wildlife, and provide a humane example to raise money for fire departments and other organizations. I hope the HFD will make the right decision. I’m following up tomorrow to request a conference call with the HFD Board and mayor. I’m optimistic we can turn this near tragedy into a victory for all.

Andrew Kirschner, Ed.D., is a grassroots vegan animal rights activist. He writes a zero-profit blog, Kirschner’s Korner, to help raise awareness about issues affecting the global community to make the world a more humane place. To receive new articles via email, enter your email in the “Follow Blog Via Email” link at the top right of the blog.

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53 Responses to A Letter from a Guy Who Likes to Kill Squirrels for Fun

  1. Just sent my email…. this man’s letter to you speaks volumes, and upsets me in so many ways. Thank you for your calm response.

    • I have emailed them as well voicing my disappointment that those whom we look up to for protection (no matter whether it’s for humans or non) are the very ones who are supporting this activity. I hope they will do the right thing and restore a proper image for firefighters.

  2. Lin Pirretti says:

    Hello, Andrew, This is obviously an uneducated man who will hopefully someday realize the importance of all living beings. I enjoyed your response to him. Thanks for your continued compassion for all of us. Lin

  3. Margaret says:

    His name, his language and comment speak volumes as to what type of person(s) are participating in this terrible fiasco!

  4. MsMoneypenny says:

    His spelling and grammar are wanting as is the place in his chest where a heart should be, but isn’t. Thank you, Andrew, for a great response.

  5. CONNIE says:

    I sent an email immediately. Infuriates me to no end … I feed the lttle things and they provide hours of entertainment for not only me, but for Tacobella, Mousesetta and Mini Mouse.

  6. Hochjo says:

    Thanks for this blog entry, Andrew. As a resident of the area, I’ll send a message asking how first responders, of all people, could sponsor such a horrible thing. And I’d be very interested to know if “***” bothers responding to your thoughtful note.

  7. Thank you all for your comments and activism. All the thanks goes to the selfless people who started petitions, calling and letter writing campaigns, etc. before I became aware of the issue. While I don’t expect the hunters to have a change of heart, hopefully public pressure will persuade the HFD to cancel the event and media attention may dissuade others from hosting similar events in the future.

    • vegicat says:

      I don’t care if hunters never have a change of heart. What I do care about is creating a climate in which they are not allowed to indulge in their sickness, by making it illegal and by creating a social stigma which makes events like this disappear.

      I’d never even heard of the Holley Fire Department (or Holley, for that matter). But now I have. Holley Fire Fighters hold massacres of squirrels, invite children under 14 to participate, and have a mayor who supports it. Nice publicity, eh?

  8. Blessings on those who protect, take action and lend voice to innocent, living beings who cannot speak for themselves. Beautiful response. Your future posts will be on my radar. Many Blessings! ~Gerean Pflug for The Animal Spirits

  9. Jonny Rio says:

    what a great example you are showing your daughter!!! to grow up and hate animals like you do!

  10. Fer says:

    A complete troglodite. The world does not need people like him. The world is completely overpopulated by humans, not animals. I wish we could eradicate those like this guy that are a waste to our society.
    And you Andrew.. We need more like you!

  11. markdonners says:

    More criminal redneck monsters with guns..feel sorry for their children. The abuse that child must experience or they’re specifically raising that child to be a monster in its terrible life.

  12. Andrea Bragg says:

    Andrew, thank you for your excellent response to the hunters letter. We have a common goal in this campaign which is to educate and to hopefully raise enough interest to have squirrel slam abolished. We have many members who are excellent fundraisers and would be more than willing to assist the HFD in their fund raising efforts. Killing and injuring squirrels, (potentially leaving pinkies to freeze and starve to death); raffling off high powered weapons (guns); encouraging children to kill small animals at an impressionable age where they are biologically unable to use rational decision making skills just for ‘fun’ and ‘profit’; the after party which includes free alcohol for the adults with children in attendance… All of these things do most certainly NOT create an atmosphere of ‘fun for the whole family’. Hopefully the citizens of Holley will band together with their children for a safe, cruelty-free community fundraiser that is fun AND HEALTHY for the whole family, and the local wildlife in the future. <3

  13. Dwinna Barker says:

    I cannot bring myself to correspond with the idiots who do this and think it is a right thing to do. I think they are beyond listening to anyone like me. However, I will write to their local ASPCA, law enforcement and newspaper and ask why this is allowed and why these people have not been prosecuted for animal cruelty! Thank you so much, Andrew, for being a compassionate and loving person who cares about all beings! MTAB! (Mercy to all beings!)

  14. Janice Piccirilli says:

    Do these small,helpless creatures not suffer enough from starvation, being hit by cars, weather, etc…we have to help MORE die??!! I agree with other comments as to the intelligence,or lack there of, of this person and persons involved in this sick,twisted amoral practice. They will have to stand up to our Lord one day and explain it to Him. Good luck!

  15. Cali Clark says:

    Don’t they know that many serial killers and psychopaths started off killing animals as children? I thought everyone knew that.

  16. Janie says:

    I wrote my email to them. Unbelievable a fire department would host such a cruel event. Andrew, thanks for bringing this to our attention.Our community heroes need to lead by example and teach compassion and respect.

  17. illie says:

    I just wrote a long letter to the Holly fire dept and cc’d all city officials …we shall see what kind of a response I get. Love you reply to them!

  18. Kathy says:

    A brief perusal of this man’s letter re his love of killing quickly shows by its content, spelling, grammer, etc, that the writer has an I.Q that is definitely to the right of the decimal point.

  19. Diane Coles says:

    Andrew, you were SO much kinder in your response than I could or would have been. My husband is a retired Detroit Fire Chief. (36 years) and he was appalled that any fire department would use ignorant shanagins to fundraise. NOW, as his wife I would tell the Holly Volunteer Firefighters to perhaps use paintball guns BUT not shooting squirrels. But shooting at the innovative Holly Firefighters..Now after reading about. this squirrel slam, I would bet a lot of squirrel lovers would sign up to have fun doing that.

  20. Beth says:

    I sent my email. He sounds just like the wolf killers:( One told me he does it because he can. He plans on killing moms and pups next year. Maybe some of your readers would like to write to the governors of Wisconsin and Wyoming and ask them to stop wolf hunting.

  21. Debra runion says:

    I just sent them a very polite email.

  22. I want to thank everyone again for the significant response to this event. Keep writing those letters. They will make a difference.

    I’m proud to stand by your side on behalf of these poor animals who deserve to live their lives without being shot to raise money for a fire department. It’s one of the most surreal events I’ve ever seen.

  23. justin finley says:

    why don’t you and your family come down to the city were we hunt hilly billy’s like you and your family why don’t you get educated first then you can teach your kids good values not to kill guns were wade to save lives not to take lives

  24. Andrew…..long hard sucky day, You are the highlight of it.

  25. Sheri E Barnes says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Andrew. I just sent my letter. What an atrocious event! I appreciate knowing about it and having an opportunity to respond.

  26. Diana Tuson says:

    Youre wrong! what chance does a defenceless animal such as a squirrel have against a gun???Not much of a sport i would say and to involve your children! How do you teach them empathy towards defenceless creatures and theyre fellow men?

  27. Blanche Rhea says:

    Thank you for being a gentleman in your response to the obvious uneducated individual that sent you that repulsive letter!! I too sent a POLITE note to the Holley, NY firefighters. I am also going to spread the word with our local fire stations, as this does nothing to help kids respect firefighters or others!! More pressure is needed on these clowns to stop this massacre now and in the future!!

  28. Maggie says:

    The hunt and event are perfectly legal. And our community supports it! This is America, remember? Land of the FREE. Sorry that you don’t like the fact that we here in NYS have open season on squirrels and raffling off LEGAL guns is used as a fundraiser. You and yours are kindly requested to go mind your own business. Find some other cause to run up your collective flagpoles!

    • Terri Duderstadt says:

      It might be legal, but is it moral? What are you teaching the children? Is this being done because there is a massive over-population of squirrels? Is the meat used in some way, or just thrown away? When children are taught to disrespect life forms—it is everyone’s business. Senseless killing of animals has been proven to lead to senseless killing of humans. Is this what you are supporting? There are lots of ways to do fund-raising, without killing an animal.

      • Maggie says:

        Whether you like it or not…it’s open squirrel season here in NY. Squirrels have been and will continue to be harvested until the close of the season next month. If you’ve got a problem with this “senseless killing”, take it up with the Department of Conversation. Senseless killing of human beings is done by deranged, demented, psychotic, mentally disturbed people who use guns aquired by illegal means. Youngsters who learn the value of life by ethical and responsible harvesting of wildlife grown up to be ethical and responsible adults who, by the way, know how to SAFELY handle guns. The children of hunters are taught at a young age the reason for hunting game and how to humanely make the kill. You people have some demented idea that we’re running out into the woods (dragging our children in tow) gleefully massacring dozens and dozens of animals and jumping for joy at the sheer thrill of killing. Are there those who aren’t ethical? Of course there are. There’s good and bad everywhere. Hunters who participate in the Holley even MUST be properly licensed and they MUST follow the strict rules and regulations written by the DEC which will be monitored and enforced at the event. Bottom line, people…if you don’t like it, you don’t have to participate in it. This is OUR community event. And as long as OUR community has not objections, why should it be anyone else’s business how we choose to do our fundraisers!

    • Kimberle Taitano says:

      Maggie: I respect your right to choose what you call “entertainment” no matter how immoral and disgusting. Yet the point I believe you are missing is the lack of real intelligent thought as to what the consequences will be. The message you are teaching children and society at large is exactly why we have so many horrific mass murders and little respect for guns. This entire very bizarre, event is very reminiscent of how Hitler in World War started, picking one type of community in this case the squirrel population and targeting it for extinction. My stomach turns with the thought of “parents” and the entire community of Holly encouraging children to participate. Do any of you have the slightest idea the type of mental, emotional, and spiritual damage it could cause on them? And adding guns as raffle prizes legal or not after the horrific mass murders namely New Town who’s mission created by those heart broken parents is one of love, compassion and encouragement for intelligent discussions on how much need gun laws must be done. Yet here your community is choosing not to be apart of positive change by being an example for our children instead your choice is to create yet another example showing children it’s perfectly okay to take a gun and massacre any group of living beings. I hope and pray that God forbid one of these participating children does not wake up grab some ammo and guns then decides all people who’s first name starts with “M” has to be gunned down. Or it is your child’s school he/she walks into and murders your child. What will you say then? Even bigger question when you are held accountable later on by a child asking why the squirrels were shot? And why did you not stop it, I dare you to imagine what you will say looking in a child’s eyes. Compassion not murder, respect, not ignorance, Positive action for young ones to follow not creation of future killers. Oh and as for minding our own business this is my business why because I stand up using my voice when witnessing ugliness that goes against what I was taught. I do not look the other way or stay silent see that’s my right.

      Kimberle Taitano
      California

  29. Renee Kelly says:

    After reading the murderer’s e-mail, I can tell he’s not educated enough to understand your response. Indiscriminate killing is unconscionable, but those are just more words he would not understand, for a variety of reasons.

  30. Fran Walsh says:

    Kill Festivals? I thought NY was better than this.

  31. Pingback: Suggestions from a Squirrel Slam Shooter | Kirschner's Korner

  32. Erin MacLean says:

    Dear Andrew,
    Thanks for being a voice of reason. I am happy to donate money as well as a couple of drumming squirrel tee-shirts for the fundraiser if it does happen. Erin

  33. Michael Carney says:

    I’ve just sent a very polite e-mail…I hope they will cancel this terrible Squirrel Slam…I just can’t understand how people could be involved with something this vile, and cruel…

    • Connie Beroza says:

      Unfortunately, yesterday the Holley Volunteer Fire Company sent out a news release (there’s a link to their statement next to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle’s article) stating that they had considered and rejected the idea of cancelling the event. That’s not a surprise, but it is disappointing.

      • Justin finley says:

        We should go there and hunt them like they go into the woods and hunt squirrels we should go into their town and hunt them

      • Justin finley says:

        Someone should Plant landmines in the woods Where ever They will be hunting that day

      • Justin finley says:

        they Must be the most hillbilly est town in the whole country that firefighters were supposed to save lives They are actually participating and hosting a game to take lives not only that they also rewording children for taking lives not right not what firefighters are supposed to do The governor of New York should shut that fire department down and Should Fire the mayor and fire every participant at that fire department Without pay

      • Justin finley says:

        Well that explains it all they arevolunteer fire man fireman a bunch of idiots just want to ride around with sirens on their cars

      • Connie Beroza, Buffalo, NY says:

        Justin, I can see that you’re angry and upset but I think we must be civil and take the higher ground — if we start ranting like them, that just lowers us to their level. And, while I don’t know that the most vilely-speaking and cruelly-behaving ones can ever be swayed, perhaps others who are just sitting back and quietly observing the conversations will change their minds because we speak only with sincerity, compassion and courtesy, even when it’s difficult.

      • Justin finley says:

        Yes I know but those are just the facts from a squirrels point of view They need an advocate to I understand I’ll be politer with my comments

  34. Connie Beroza says:

    The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle finally picked up the story. See

    http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20130130/NEWS01/301300048/squirrel-hunt-Holley

    You can leave comments there.

  35. Justin finley says:

    Now that would be hilarious to see them get a taste of their own medicine

  36. Carolyn De Voe says:

    Sent my second e-mail. My late husband’s family is from this area, so I had written them last week also. Let us hope for the best for our little furry pals.

  37. Brenda Smith says:

    I know this is a year later but after I read this persons “thoughts” I had to say something.. This man has the nastiest mouth I have ever heard. He is not only teaching his children to be sewer mouths like him. But that it’s OK to kill everything in sight. Squirrels like other animals are part of an Eco-system that is being pushed further and further out of balance. By the time you are my age 66 you will have nothing left for your children. If you are hungry, kill to feed your family. Do not as the loggers say”clear cut all the animals, even squirrels”.

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