Re: Farmers speak out on deer control (News, Feb. 29)
One voice has risen above the others in the discussion on deer in the Capital Region – the louder one.
Saanich Coun. Judy Brownoff, in an unrelated statement, said that “two kinds of voices tend to predominate: the angriest and the most organized.”
That’s exactly what happened at the Capital Regional District meeting at which the matter was discussed last month. There were 17 speakers registered to speak to the planning, transportation and protective services committee. However, it was only when the last three farmers (who were accepted to speak at the last minute) took the stage that the CRD members and the media paid attention.
The farmers’ voices were louder and more aggressive than those of the other speakers and they were united in sending the same strong message. In the end, the committee decided to give them high priority while practically ignoring most of the other dozen contributions to the discussion which were brought to the meeting by concerned citizens.
Amongst these, I would like to mention details of the “cull” method used, possible alternatives like signage and fencing, and ethical principles as some of the main topics.
The resulting one-sided reports from the media the next day triggered a surge of angry letters in support of the farmers. And the message was the same: Cull! Cull! Cull! Again, the angriest and the loudest get the attention.
The “deer problem” has been blown way out of proportion by these “loud” people and the media. Most normal and average people don’t have a real problem with the deer and go on with their lives without feeling the need to complain or write letters to the editor.
Statistics and data have been inflated and manipulated in order to portray the situation as being much more serious than it really is.