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“Harvested”? Hardly

black bear
NJ Division Of Fish & Wildlife

If euphemisms leave you cold, the emerging “humane” term applied to New Jersey’s week-long black bear hunt will turn you blue.

A line in published reports notes that 592 of the animals were “harvested” in 2010.

No disrespect to hunters who engage in it. And one of the most densely-populated states in the nation runs a considerable risk if it’s overrun with giant hairy beasts that can rip open a car like a sardine can if they’re angry and hungry enough.

But wheat, corn, soybeans – they’re harvested. Vital organs can be harvested, for replanting in bodies getting a new lease on life. But black bears are killed. Even the term “bagged” is at least in the neighborhood. But “harvested” is just this side of a whitewashing.

How would a term like this hold up in other scenarios? Consider some imaginary headlines:

“12 Harvested in Air Crash”

“Panda Accidentally John Deered At Zoo”

“Longtime Resident Meets Mr. McCormack And His Invention” (That’s one for you history buffs)

Death is unavoidable, often ugly, usually tragic. The reason why anyone would reach so far to slap a happy face on it is, at best, inscrutable.

Although, it does add an extra dimension to “the Grim Reaper,” now, doesn’t it?

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