Grey Alert!

on Saturday, June 06, 2009

Grey Squirrels are cute and innocent victims.

Mad dogs and English Princes! I can't believe my ears. It seems bonnie Prince Charles has called for the culling of my Grey Squirrel brethren throughout the British isles. Our crime for which we have been singled out includes;

a) Damaging hardwood trees by peeling their bark and
b) Out-competing the local red squirrels.

This is outrageous! I have always had a soft spot for the Prince seeing as he has had to cope with a lot of public attention while still having been made to wait so long to take his turn as monarch of the realm. But this incident has made me wonder if all that waiting has not in fact resulting in him having a soft spot in his head! What he is proposing is nothing less than racial discrimination against the Greys and the squirrel equivalent of ETHNIC CLEANSING!

First let me deal with the allegation that Greys are a threat to the Hardwood trees. Yes, it is true that Greys sometimes strip the bark off hardwood trees but this is something Reds do as well. Greys should not be singled out for this problem. Getting rid of Greys will not stop damage to these trees unless you also get rid of the Reds. However, one should look at the big picture and realise that Greys deserve a little reward because of the services they provide to the forest overall. It has been conclusively shown in their native habitat, eastern grey squirrels play an important role in forest regeneration. Buried but unretrieved nuts will often germinate, helping with reforestation. So, Greys in fact know more about taking care of forests than you humans! So let us get on with it.

As for outcompeting the Reds, Greys are charged with being larger, more aggresive, reproducing more effectively, nudging the Reds out of their habitats and spreading the Poxvirus which have killed up to 80% of the Red populations in some parts of the country but to which the Greys are immune. And so, the arguement goes, the Greys must be exterminated to save the Reds.

Let's see how this scenario compares with one from human history. I speak specifically of the arrival of the Palefaces in the New World. The Palefaces were larger, more aggressive (guns versus bows and arrows), had larger and larger numbers coming over, made treaties and broke them to push the "Red Indians" or Native americans out of their traditional lands and introduced the Smallpox virus which contributed to the decline of the Red Indian population from about 18 million before the arrival of the Palefaces to just over 500,000 at the start of the twentieth century. Now these same Palefaces from the motherland want to kill Grey Squirrels to protect the native Red Squirrels? What hypocricy!

If only, someone could have organised the culling of the Palefaces back then to protect the Native Americans, it would indeed be a fairer world. But there is one more important distinction. While the Palefaces came to the New World on purpose, the Grey Squirrels did not choose to come to the wet and rainy British Isles but were introduced there last century by the same Palefaces. So don't take it out on us Greys. Go see them forktongued Palefaces.

Now that the Greys are here (through no fault of our own), it is only right to live and let live. Instead of culling and inflicting such pain and suffering, by all means give us Greys contraceptives to control our numbers, set up reserves on islands to protect the wimpy Reds and we will even let you use our genes to help develop immunity for the Reds for the poxvirus.

Finally, do you really want to explain to your kids why you are war criminal for carrying out ethnic cleansing? Especially when us Greys are so cute? Take action now! Write to your MP. Protest in front of the British Embassies. Today, it is the Greys.......tomorrow it could be you!

Since Prince Charles has put his foot in his mouth with this outrageous statement of his, I feel it is only fair to end by having a little laugh at His Royal Highness expense. Enjoy.


Owen said...

A wonderful and thought provoking response to the bonnie Prince... I share your sentiments entirely about Palefaces vs Native Americans !!! An excellent comparison if there ever was one. You have indeed a most eminent mind for a squirrel. Oyé, oyé, squirrels of the world unite !

Janice Thomson said...

You bring up some very valid points - the main one being that the Palefaces just don't know how to quit interfering with nature who knows exactly how to keep things in balance.

MedStudentWife said...

Thats a bonnie pict.. the grey squirrel that is :)

olivia said...

Wow - that does seem outrageous.

geewits said...

Well this harkens back to my comment on your last post about the creepiness of supposedly benign people. What a heel!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

You may yet be a lone grey squirrel!

Let's hope not.

An excellent posting.

the walking man said...

Why being American history into a British problem?

That said...which taste better red or gray squirrels? sounds like the grays may be meatier.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks for your support. Please remit funds to the Squirrel Liberation Army.

Indeed nature's ways are far higher than any knowledge of man.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Yes, squirrels are cute and bonnie. Its those aristocratic royals that we need to remove.

Darn's outrageous.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Squirrels are bushy tailed tree rodents. Neither Red or grey tastes good. And Mark,.....stop trying to yank my chain.

Owen said...

Ah yes, the good old SLA ! Now why does that acronym ring a bell ???


Awe! Poor grey squirrels! I hope they don't get eradicated. Poor things!

Owen said...

Me again (sorry)... but I had to pass this on, just found it this evening... have you ever come across :

A squirrel perhaps after your own heart...

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

SLA? Any resemblence to any other person or group, living or dead, is purely because they must have copied the idea from us squirrels.

Thanks for keeping an eye out for all things squirrelly. You are doing a much better job than I !

Thanks. If only you could organise the cats to boycott Prince Charles.....thank you!

squirrelmama said...

LGS, you are so right about the ethnic cleansing that has been threatening the greys, who did not ask for transport to the New World. Just because someone walks on four legs instead of two doesn't make their life less valuable, and doesn't change the rules for what is ethical and right. Genocide occurs here in the States when the government underwrites the gassing and poisoning of prairie dogs, the cousins of the beloved grey squirrels, fox squirrels (and other squirrels). Again, if these creatures walked upright and were from the homo sapiens category and not the order Rodentia, do you think such acts would be sanctioned?
Thanks for a thought provoking post, as always.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Are the prairie dogs not protected in some states? and don't they even try something a bit more humane like contraceptives first?

Lisa said...

Wow, quite a different Prince Charles I remember from when I was a kid who was so open to nature and not wanting to interfere.

Love those greys! My favorites!

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with the "ethnic cleansing" metaphor. With the attitude I have seen displayed by most squirrel catchers, I have to refer to it as a hate crime, no less. More humane ways must be found to deal with this problem, it is total genocide. Thank you for posting this! Good luck!

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