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The rural and Urban Fox so similar to town and country folk.
Our modern diet is fairly appalling, consisting as it does of refined this, homogenised that and stripped of all natural enzymes and bacteria. If we want an illustration of the benefits of eating natural foods and living in an unpolluted environment then perhaps we should compare ourselves to another of life’s chancers - the fox.
Living as I do in the countryside I have a chance to observe this handsome beast close up. During my various visits to towns and cities I have seen these urban foxes and, generally speaking, what poor specimens they are. These unfortunate animals are forced to scavenge in and around street bins eating the filthy rubbish discarded by the human detritus that infest the less salubrious areas. Their coats are matted and often damaged by mange; often they carry unhealed injuries, their eyesight is poor and they are very unfit. Their cubs are weak and both they and their parents often are killed or suffer catastrophic and painful organ damage caused by eating dead rats and mice poisoned indiscriminately.
Take a relaxing trip to the countryside and if you are lucky you may be able to compare them with the much larger rural fox, fattened on a wholesome diet of rabbits, rats, mice, voles, birds, nuts and berries (and occasional game bird and chicken). It is simple see the effect that processed town food and the horrible, stressed environment has on effectively the same species of animal.
In many ways it is all the more surprising to see that both urban and rural society persecute the fox when realistically he can be one of man’s most useful friends.
Perhaps we should examine some of the crimes of which he is accused.
Killing cats - Nonsense, cats and foxes generally get on well together. However, if the cat is particularly aggressive and/or feral and diseased and the fox is similarly afflicted then they may fight over food or territory.
Spreading rubbish and half eaten food - If town people did not drop food packaging and food leftovers indiscriminately in the street, the foxes, feral cats and dogs would not try to eat it.
Attacking babies and children - Apart from very rare occasions when a diseased crazed fox has entered houses looking for food and has attacked a small child, it is unknown. Foxes fear man and would run rather than face even a small child.
Kills lambs - One of the biggest myths sometimes perpetrated by an incompetent shepherd. A fox will not tackle a ewe and lamb, and she is very protective, but often will take after-birth or still born lambs. The biggest killers of lambs are feral dogs or crows who peck their eyes out.
Kill game birds - Quite frankly these are part of the natural food chain.
Kill chickens - Again the fox would consider these as part of his natural food. If you can’t build a fox proof hen house then you shouldn’t keep chickens. Some people claim that foxes have a kill lust and will indiscriminately kill every chicken - this does happen but foxes are very secretive and kill primarily to stop the birds squawking and flapping.
Both in the cities and countryside, properly managed the fox could be a great asset. In towns they could easily bring the rat and mouse problem under control. In the countryside they already do a sterling job for the arable farmer by keeping down the rabbits, rats, mice and pigeons that would ruin his crop. Fox hunting in the country, despite what the hunters claim, is just an excuse to hunt a wild animal. If there is a troublesome fox in the area it is a simple job to shoot it.
All of this only goes to show the difference between us robust, ruddy country folk, living on wholesome and natural foods and the pasty faced, whining town dwellers existing on mechanically extracted, chemically enhanced pap. You don’t know what you are missing, there’s nothing like a tasty venison sandwich with a side serving of pigeon pate, all washed down with flat, cloudy cider made from rotting apples. Forget your Danone live yoghurts, there’s more wildlife and bacteria in my suggested meal than in a lifetime of French chemical warfare!
What do you think of foxes?
© 2012 Peter Geekie