Most of us have seen those animal crossing signs that speckle the roads around the U.S. and up until now I thought that it went without saying that the signs are for human benefit, not for the animals themselves. Now that I know there are people that think deer crossing signs are to designate where deer are allowed to cross the roads, I wonder how many people think that “Shark Zone” signs at the beach are for sharks to know where they are allowed to swim!
Kathleen O’Brien Wilhelm from the Avon-Avon Lake Patch in Ohio writes in her Animals Can’t Talk article that
“Signs that read “Deer Crossing” and the like are going to continue to pop up throughout our country including Avon Lake, but who are these signs for? Deer cannot read, do not obey the law and probably will cross where they wish.”
“…Signs are important– to humans; “Stop” signs, and others are more than just costly decorations scattered along the roadways.”
She definitely got one thing right: deer cannot read and will cross the road wherever they wish. But, we already knew that – right? Most of us do, anyway. I wonder if she seriously thought she was the only person that could tell that deer are unable to read. How would she rationalize that we are aware that dragonfly nymphs move around by propelling water out of their anus but we haven’t figured out that deer can’t read?
To further emphasize her point that animals are too dumb to read and are only here to make our lives better, Wilhelm also writes that
“Dogs, cats, whales, seals and deer are animals that might enhance a human’s life, but all cannot read, write or think. They are animals…They are on this earth like trees to make humans’ lives better.”
I’m not sure where she got the idea that animals and trees are here to make our lives better or how she decided that only animals and trees are even allowed to do so, but the real icing on the cake is when she says
“Somewhere the advancement of society has been limited by animals and the unscientific malarkey of loons.”
Somehow it’s not so surprising that she referred to the government as “loons” and to their deer crossing signs as “unscientific malarkey” when she’s (almost) the only one who believes that everyone else is trying to get deer to obey crossing signs. After being asked if she knows the signs are actually for humans she tells the Avon-Avon Lake Patch that,
“Yes, I know the signs are for humans, but provide false hope to where the animals elect to go and another example of government wasting taxpayer’s money on these signs.”
Besides, nowadays the deer can just look online to find out where they’re allowed to cross. I encourage you to browse through some of her other articles, you won’t be disappointed.
Alright, I mentioned a couple of times that Kathleen Wilhelm isn’t the only person to think that some road signs are for animals to read. Turns out, a lady named Donna phoned into the Y94 Playhouse in Fargo, North Dakota with the very same issue! She begins by mentioning that she has already written to the newspaper and local TV station with her concerns and no one has replied so she is trying this radio station. She is concerned that we are instructing deer to cross busy intersections and that it would be smarter to have them cross at school zones instead.
“…The deer crossing sign is there to allow the deer to know that’s where they need to cross…”
“…They can direct the deer population anywhere they want to by moving that deer crossing sign…”
“…It is so irresponsible for us to allow these deer crossing signs in a place where the deer is so likely to be struck by oncoming traffic…”
“…I try to watch out for the deer but going 65 how am I supposed to…I mean, you can’t break really quickly when the deer is trying to cross in the deer crossing area.”
It’s pretty obvious that during her entire rant the hosts of the show are doing everything that they can to hold their laughter. They even ask her if she’s kidding and she seems not to even notice. They try to tell her that the signs are for humans but she keeps insisting that all we have to do is move them to a school zone so the deer can cross in a place with less traffic. These guys call her back and she thanks them for not humiliating her on-air and says she feels like an idiot for not realizing the signs weren’t for deer and even blames her ignorance on being raised in a sheltered, country town.
Whatever the real reason is that these ladies both thought it necessary to publicly rant about a non-issue, it’s definitely hilarious to see how embarrassing it can be to jump to conclusions and forget to employ critical thinking before someone makes their opinion public.