Ethics Quiz: The Deer On The Ice

“The Wisconis State Journal reports,

“Republican Rep. Adam Jarchow… said he would fire the [Department of Natural Rresouces] warden tomorrow if he could for ‘being complicit in putting firefighters at risk, over a stupid deer.’

‘This is a complete embarrassment and a joke,’ tweeted Jarchow…. The DNR posted a glowing statement about the incident on its website Tuesday. The release praised Warden Jesse Ashton for organizing a team of wardens and local firefighters to rescue the deer [The deer had wandered 500 yards out onto the frozen lake], saying, ‘Those little hooves are no match for slick surfaces!… Teamwork strikes again!'”

You can imagine the calumny being heaped on this monster’s head by animal lovers on social media.

But is he right? (Jarchow is himself a volunteer firefighter.)

Your Ethics Alarms Thanksgiving Weekend Ethics Quiz Of The Day is….

Should firefighters be used to rescue animals in peril?


Pointer: Ann Althouse

Ethics Hero, Non-Human Division: The Guardian Deer of Forest Lawn

Bambi's mother would understand.

Animal ethics are not a major topic here, in part because there is continuing scientific controversy over whether animals are capable of ethical impulses. The pros seem to have the upper hand over the cons, however, due to observations of altruistic conduct exhibited by primates in the wild and other evidence. How a wild deer, at last report standing guard over a widowed goose and her brood at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, NY, fits into the debate is for others to decide, but it’s an inspiring tale.

A mother goose has lost her mate (geese bond for life, it seems) and now must tend to her nest in the cemetery, which is home to many varieties of wildlife.  She spends the day sheltering her eggs inside an empty urn. The job of her deceased mate was to guard the home, and discourage predators, which, as you know if you have ever had a run-in with a goose (as I have), he would have been very capable of doing. Without a guardian, the prospects for the future goslings are not good

An adult deer, however, has come to the rescue and had assumed the role of protector. Continue reading