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FL Press: Editorial: Larger than life

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Posted by: W von Papineäu at Wed Aug 13 16:42:35 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by W von Papineäu ]  

SANTA ROSA PRESS GAZETTE (Milton, Florida) 09 August 08 Editorial: Larger than life
There is no joy in Mudville today.
We have learned of the demise of a life which has seen a lot of history.
The turtle caught by a family in Berrydale is gone. Family members decided the attention they were getting was just too much and ended it all.
“Goliath,” as he came to be known, was a 101-pound turtle that got a lot of attention. Unfortunately, not all of it was good.
Here at the paper, some staff members are avid hunters and fishermen, but they agree there is a base line that everyone must draw.
It is understood that some people will hunt and fish for food.
Thus comes the adage, "give a man a fish you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
This is where the rub develops.
The family had stated it would eat the turtle for food due to limited income.
Granted, that’s the good part, the turtle didn’t go to waste, but it is time we ask ourselves a question.
This alligator snapping turtle had lived a long existence.
At 100 years of age, Goliath lived through William H. Taft being elected President of the United States, following Teddy Roosevelt.
Some other things which took place during his life:
The first ‘ball drop” occurred in Times Square to signify the beginning of a New Year.
The Grand Canyon National Monument was designated.
The Boy Scout movement started.
The first long-distance radio message was sent from the Eiffel Tower.
Mothers Day was observed for the very first time.
The first Model-T Ford was produced.
The first airplane was flown.
The Chicago Cubs won the World Series.
The Bureau of Investigations, which later became the FBI, was founded.
Buddy Ebsen and Bette Davis were born.
The NAACP was founded.
The Hudson Motor Company was founded.
And, when Goliath first chipped out of his egg, there were only 46 states in the Union.
This is just scratching the surface off all the history represented by this turtle’s life.
When someone gets old, we honor him or her, but this animal was not honored.
The only ceremony that will be held in Goliath’s honor is when he returns from the taxidermist and is hung upon the wall, or placed somewhere to collect dust.
Events like this give those who hunt and fish a bad name.
Avid outdoors people realize the older an animal gets, the tougher the meat.
It would be hard to see any animal older than 100 as something delectable.
So, if not for food, was the animal to be sold? Or returned to his freedom if the right price was paid?
That almost reminds us of the days when terrorists would hijack an aircraft and demand to be flown to Beirut, Damascus, or even Cuba.
Indeed, demanding money for Goliath’s freedom would have been akin to holding its life hostage.
Goliath earned the right to live by making it through everything the world could throw at it.
The turtle deserved something it didn’t get: respect.
Goliath lived a long life and should have been allowed to live it out as long as he could.
We understand there are hunters and those who enjoy the sport and use the meat.
But some things in the outdoors should be respected.
“Goliath”, you deserved much better than the fate life handed you.
Editorial: Larger than life


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