Not surprisingly, recently there's been a lot of discussion on Facebook about fireworks, almost all of it negative. Many want a ban on fireworks in Salem.
People find them annoying and dangerous. Pets shake with fear at the loud booms. Wildlife are stressed by the bright lights and scary noises.
Last Fourth of July I wrote "Fireworks should be shunned like cigarettes are." In researching that blog post about the bad side of fireworks, after some Googling I came up with the familiar problems: fires, trauma to pets, scaring wildlife.
I also learned something new. Fireworks are highly toxic.
Fireworks create highly toxic gases and pollutants that poison the air, the water and the soil, making them toxic to birds, wildlife, pets, livestock — and people — but there are environmentally-friendly alternatives available.
For some strange reason, people around the world have decided that the best way to mark important holidays and events is to have a public fireworks show. We choose to celebrate the birth of a New Year, the freedom of our nation, the triumph of good over evil, by blowing things up.
Most of us are aware that fireworks are dangerous: we either know someone, or know of someone, who ended up in the hospital emergency room due to fireworks, but most people are completely unaware of the more insidious environmental damages and health impacts caused by fireworks.
Our current dog, Mooka, isn't bothered much by fireworks. Last night she barked several times at especially loud booms, even though usually she isn't much of a barker.
But we've had other dogs who were traumatized by them, as I wrote about in a 2013 post, "If you set off loud fireworks, you're terrifying dogs."
Here's a simple fact, lovers of loud fireworks: your enjoyment is being bought at the price of animal pain. Many dogs are terrified of fireworks. So also, I'm sure, are wild animals -- deer, birds, raccoons, etc.
On behalf of our dog, Zu Zu, I just want you to be aware of what you're doing when you set off loud fireworks. I can't inject a sense of compassion into your fireworks-loving brain, though I sure wish I could.
I just want to speak for the stressed-out dogs who can't write a blog post.
And even if Zu Zu could, (she's a pretty damn smart dog) for most of yesterday, July 4, she couldn't have, because she was busy trembling, shaking, anxiously running around the house, hiding in the indoor kennel-with-a-curtain I made for her.
There are lots of dogs like our dog, canines terrified by fireworks.
So I can virtually guarantee that if you live in a populated area, and you're setting off loud fireworks, you're causing severe distress to some dogs. Maybe many dogs.
Given how harmful fireworks are to people, animals, and the environment, why the heck does Salem still allow them? A Facebook post on the page where City Council issues are discussed makes a great case for the City Council banning fireworks. (Kaltwasser is a page administrator.)Nicely said, David Watson. I too am hopeful that the City Council will start a discussion about a citywide fireworks ban. It's definitely needed.