Hundreds Attend Candlelight Vigil for Slain Elk in Colorado as ‘Human Life is Devalued’


Elk pdBoulder, Colorado – Hundreds from the community of Boulder, Colorado recently attended a candlelight vigil for an elk that had been slain by a city police officer, while one local pro-life group is lamenting the devaluing of human life in the state.

The roadside service, held on Sunday, included a singing of “Amazing Grace” and the sharing of stories about the elk, and a memorial was erected as well in honor of the deceased animal. Its picture had been framed and placed in an evergreen tree for remembrance.

According to reports, the elk had wandered into a residential neighborhood last week, and when police arrived, it appeared to be injured. The on-duty police officer then shot the animal dead, while an off-duty officer helped to load the elk onto a pickup truck, as it was then transported to be processed into meat.

“He was a beautiful animal,” resident Nancy Platt told the Daily Camera. “He was hurting nobody. He didn’t deserve what he got.”

“People live here because we love the wildlife,” added Esther Parson. “To murder an animal who feels like he’s part of the neighborhood is despicable.”

Boulder resident Jim Riemersma told reporters that he organized the vigil because he wanted to give people an opportunity to grieve over the loss of the animal, to celebrate its life, and to obtain “a little bit of closure” in the matter.

“I know a lot of us have had a lot of anger, a lot of questions, a lot of uncertainty,” Riemersma told the Daily Camera. “Tonight’s a celebration, a celebration of the elk. We loved him. But I think he loved us, too, because he returned to this neighborhood.”

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Some of the attendees of the vigil reportedly became quite furious over the shooting, with several calling for the police officers responsible for the death of the elk to be fired. One person exclaimed “Jail the poachers!”

A meeting between Police Chief Mark Beckner and a number of area residents was scheduled for Monday to further hash out the matter.

While understanding the community’s care for — and interest in — wildlife, Jennifer Mason, communications director for Personhood USA in Arvada, Colorado, stated that she thought it absurd that residents would exude such an outpouring for the elk while human life is ignored and devalued in the state. She said that when she read about the vigil this morning, her thoughts turned to a notorious abortion facility in Boulder where she has personally witnessed women with large bellies entering the building to obtain an abortion.

“The first thing that came to mind of course was, ‘Why would they hold a vigil for an animal and deem the animal’s life so much more valuable than these babies in the womb?’” Mason explained. “Even currently, it’s legal to abort babies in the womb minutes from delivery, and human life is valued so little compared to this animal that they have memorialized in Boulder. It’s really a sad fact.”

Mason said that she sees a culture of death all around her.

“I believe we have the second or third largest Planned Parenthood in the United States here in Colorado,” she stated, also noting the Aurora and Columbine shootings. “I think there’s an epidemic of violence here in Colorado, and it certainly extends to the abortion clinics. There’s definitely a devaluing of human life here, and that’s something that we have to face all the time.”

As previously reported, Mason herself became a victim of violence last year when her home was targeted by vandals who despised her family’s pro-life beliefs. During the night while Mason and her children were sleeping, profanity and images of coat hangers were spray painted all over the siding of her house, and a large rock was thrown at the front door, shattering glass onto the porch and throughout the living room. The children’s toys and items for the Mason’s new baby were covered in shards of glass.

Two days later, Everett Stadig, a volunteer with Personhood USA, was attacked while collecting signatures for the pro-life organization outside of a local grocery store. Stadig, who suffered multiple injuries, was hurt so severely that he had to be hospitalized, including for a broken hip.

Mason stated that she believes many become angry about pro-life issues because they do not understand the wonders of fetal development. She noted that history keeps repeating the same errors when it comes to personhood.

“People … really need to learn that science definitely points to the personhood of the pre-born child,” she said. “You cannot find any embryology textbook that does not say that life begins at conception.”

“If you look back through history, we have [denied personhood] to African Americans, and we have done that to Indians,” Mason outlined. “They have been told that they’re less than persons and looked upon as non-human, and that’s just not true. Those are lies, and the same lies are applied to [unborn] children today. … We have handicapped people that may not look like everybody else, but they’re certainly still a person, and they certainly still have rights — and the right to live is among those rights.”

Mason concluded by stating that the way to change society’s thinking — which now deems animals as being valuable, but ignores the plight of the pre-born — is through education.

“[T]hat’s something we work hard at [here] at Personhood USA,” she stated. “We are trying to abolish abortion, and the way to do that is to change the culture. And how we change the culture is by educating them and trying to teach them about the humanity of the child in the womb.”

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