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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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From My Window

Issue Date: March 31, 2021

Harvesting Nonsense

By Jane Thibodeau Martin,




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When my father was writing his Old Timer column, he occasionally got into a "rant" over his annoyance with the term "The bay of Green Bay." He felt this was a totally unnecessary redundancy, and the sound of the weatherman stating the forecast for the "bay of Green Bay" would always elicit a comment about how irritating and ridiculous it was. I used to point out, if I was feeling brave, that the term might be used to avoid confusion with the forecast for the city of Green Bay, vs. the water body, but he wasn't having it. And truthfully, I agreed with him. A better term would have been "bay marine forecast."

I have a similar complaint. This is in the abuse of the term "harvest" which has been applied, highly inappropriately it seems to me, by various government agencies for wildlife hunting.

First, it was "deer harvest." I understand what the intent of this usage was " it evokes a renewable resource and it also sanitizes the activity for the squeamish. So deer aren't shot by hunters, they are harvested, which sounds much softer. Kind of evokes the corn going uncomplainingly into the combine.

But I hated the term the minute agencies started using it.

Apparently, I must point out, we "harvest" plants, specifically cultivated food plants. The efforts to kill Phragmites, those invasive shoreline plants, wouldn't be referred to as a "harvest." No one will eat the Phragmites.

Farmers do not "harvest" their pigs or beef cattle. They "ship," slaughter, or butcher them. Food animals are a renewable resource but they aren't a harvest. Nor are chickens.

Harvest is not utilized for wild foods that are renewable and eaten, either. No one harvests wild blueberries or even Morel mushrooms. No, those are "picked."

When we go fishing, we "catch" fish. No one says, "I found a sweet spot today and harvested a ten-inch Brookie!" Fish are a natural and (usually) renewable food resource, we all use the term "caught."

So why in the world a choice was made to call the recent wolf hunt a "wolf harvest" is beyond my comprehension. It was a "hunt" plain and simple, and wolves were killed. (In fact, they were killed way beyond target, so probably they will say "over-harvested.") They were not harvested, no one is going to eat them, and the spread of this abominable terminology causes me to rant.

Would any of you say a wolf "harvested" a deer for consumption? Do owls "harvest" voles and mice? Does a Kingfisher "harvest" minnows? See how dumb that sounds? There was a highly successful deer hunt at my house last fall. Three deer were killed, but none were harvested.

Let's call a spade a spade and not try to sanitize things with this "harvest" terminology. It's as annoying as politicians trying to change the name for social security to "entitlement payments." It's irritating because it is a blatant attempt to alter my opinion of something by foisting off a new misleading word or term for the correct one.

Now you know I am my father's daughter, as I can rant with the best of them. Thank you for your consideration.

Happy Easter! This is an uplifting, inspiring holiday, one with enormous significance in human history, and also marks the secular celebration of spring. No matter how you observe it, may you find joy, and may none of your jelly beans be those nasty black ones.

You can reach me for commentary, alternative viewpoints, or ideas at this e-mail address: JanieTMartin@gmail.com.


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