The real deal vs. the stolen image

  Dear HCN,

I appreciated the Hotline pointing out that Utah is slaughtering the mascot of the SLC Olympic games (HCN, 3/12/01: State to coyote hunters: Let the games begin). Each time I see the California flag, I imagine (that’s all I can do, given limited funds) full-page ads in the L.A., San Francisco and Sacramento papers that ask, "When will the state be worthy of its flag?" The grizzly should be restored in California, or the state should own up and put an SUV or subdivision on its flag. How many sports teams from high school to the pros, how many car makers, use the names of predators and other animals? Teams and car makers and much of the society that patronizes both go without a thought for the daily destruction of those very animals. How much more precious and worth protecting is the real thing than the stolen name and image and the narrow human purpose to which it is put? Maybe a good way to raise money for conservation is to legislate a licensing requirement: Use the name of wild things to make a buck or draw the public and you pay (in proportion to the benefit received) to keep it alive in healthy habitat.

David Johns McMinnville, Oregon

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