Ask Jack: Where to Find Guidebooks, What About Animal Testing?

By Beacon Staff

It’s turkey time again and, believe it or not, whenever I see a turkey I’m just thankful to be alive. You see, about 10 years ago I was on a ranch in central Florida doing a story about wild turkeys for my TV show, and the guy I was with was showing me how to communicate with the turkeys using a turkey call. This particular turkey call was a piece of leather that you put on the roof of your mouth, and with the help of your tongue and voice, you can sound just like a turkey.

Well, I was trying to talk to the camera and call a turkey at the same time, and I choked on the turkey call. It went straight down my windpipe! Thankfully, my friend came around behind me and punched me in the back, and that turkey call flew right out. Still, every time I see a turkey I think of the time ole Jack Hanna almost died from calling a turkey.

Hopefully turkeys give you better memories this Thanksgiving. If not, there’s always chicken!

I’m new to the Flathead Valley and want to learn more about the trees, flowers and birds. Do you have a suggestion on good guidebooks for these kinds of interests? Being an outdoor enthusiast, this kind of information would be super helpful!
– Kendra

I wish I had a good recommendation for you. My wife is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to trees and plants, so I’ve never needed to use a guide for that stuff, and over the years we’ve learned to identify birds and wildlife in the area. For a good, up-to-date guidebook, I think your best bet would be calling the Ravenwood Natural Science Center (www.green-tara.com/Ravenwood) or Glacier National Park (www.nps.gov/glac) for recommendations.

What are your views on vivisection?
– Jennifer

Assuming you’re referring to vivisection as it applies to animal testing, I am for humane animal research, because my own daughter, Julie, was used for research at St. Jude hospital back in 1975. As a result of the research the doctors did with Julie’s leukemia, she developed brain tumors a couple of years later. But, there are a lot more kids living with that type of leukemia now than there were back in 1975. So obviously, I’m for humane animal research since my own child was used for research. When research is done humanely, it can be used to save lives – human and animal lives. Here’s another example: At Ohio State University about 15 years ago, researchers found the vaccine to prevent feline leukemia. I’m sure many animals were used in research and experiments in order to discover that vaccine, which has in turn saved thousands of cats’ lives.

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Read Jack’s previous column: My Favorite Flathead Hikes; Supporting Mountain Gorillas.

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