Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"Man up and take on a fellow human..."

Last Saturday when our (closing) library had its salvage sale, I picked up a stack of free magazines – National Geographic, Smithsonian, National Wildlife, that kind of thing. They’ve been in a messy pile on our living room floor where people could pause and dip into this or that issue, read for a bit, then put it back in the pile. That’s always the fun part of obtaining new reading material.

So this afternoon I’m leafing through the March 2008 issue of National Geographic, perusing the letters to the editor. Apparently in a previous issue there had been an article on hunting, and many hunters were writing in praising the article’s fairness and balance.

But then I came across this gem:

“I was so shocked and dismayed when I picked up this month’s issue glamorizing the barbaric practice of hunting that I had to check to make sure the year was indeed 2007, not 1957 or, for that matter, 1907. There is simply no excuse for hunting. If you want the thrill of pursuit, become a bird-watcher or wildlife photographer and stalk your prey with a camera. If you want to eat exotic meat, everything from alligator to zebra is available through farming, where animals are slaughtered not for sport but out of necessity. If you like guns that much, go to a firing range. And if you really must engage in destructive violence for a sport, man up and take on a fellow human in a boxing ring or a karate dojo. Hunting is killing for pleasure. It is pathetic, sick, and cruel.”

Firstly I’ll point out that neither my husband nor myself hunt. We don’t object to it, we just don’t bother. Why should we, when we raise our own meat? But as you can imagine, here in north Idaho we’re literally surrounded by hunters. ’Nuff said.

But you know what was the thought that went through my brain after reading this letter? With our heightened concerns about a potential collapse in the economy, I told my husband, “This is a clueless urban liberal with no practical survival skills. He’ll be the first one down.” Sad, but that’s what went through my head.

I hope I’m wrong since, of course, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.


  1. I don't see them as that different. Either way an animal lives somehow or another then gets killed, cut up and eaten. It is just that instead of you or the neighbor/ butcher shooting it in the head it is done in a plant someplace else. It is just a couple levels removed from the most basic primal way.

    To be honest unless someone lives in a very remote area with a low population and lots of game I don't see hunting as something that will really make or break them. A few chickens in a suburban backyard would be far more useful than driving 150 miles to the forest to drink beer with the boys for a long weekend and maybe shoot a deer which is promptly dropped off at the butcher and then kept in the freezer.

  2. We just had this insane argument with my husband's aunt. She and her husband live by themselves in a 4,000 sq. ft, gorgeous home in NC and she gets in her air conditioned BMW to go to the air conditioned grocery store and purchase her perfectly packaged, sanitary chicken and beef. She has not one clue about how that meat was processed, how those animals suffered during their short, unnatural life or what sorts of chemical laden foods they were force fed to reach the gargantuan sizes they need to reach in order for the growers to sell them to "discriminating" buyers like herself.

    Yet she maintains we "uneducated Alaskans" that go out on the mountain behind our house and shoot deer and process them ourselves, then go out on the ocean in front of our house and kill fish for our dinner are cruel. She wails The poor animals have a right to live! How can you be so inhumane!!

    How is it possible to be so blind to reality?

  3. How did the term "inhumane" become associated with animals and hunting/fishing? Seems like an oxymoron to me.

  4. Hunting for food is an altogether different issue to hunting big game purely for the sport. I don't think anyone needs to eat lion or tiger meat.

  5. Well said Gran Tilly.
    My husband hunts feral deer, goats and pigs in our area. He brings it home and we butcher it ourselves. What we can't eat we give to the dogs and he tans the hide. There is no beer involved until he gets home. He doesn't trophy hunt either. I'm so happy that he can provide for our family.
    Unfortunately most of our friends and family live in the city and think we're being cruel. If they really make a big deal out of it I tell them they are being cruel eating feedlot meat from the supermarket and if they feel that strongly about an animal dying to provide us with food then they should become a vegetarian.

  6. Liberals demand that women have a "right" to choose abortion, while ridiculing those who choose to hunt. Anybody else see the hypocrisy with that?

    We should not divide hunters into categories. To do so makes the antihunters stronger.

  7. I live in Colorado. Even here there is not an endless supply of wildlife and licenses must be alloted carefully and the herds managed with wisdom. One year Gunnison County was beset by yuppies who protested that they wanted no hunting. The Division of wildlife gave in, unfortunately. That year, no deer licenses were issued for that county. The next year the increased deer population didn't have enough forage and starve-off began. Deer were in the Yuppie's yards eating their roses and stripping bark off trees. Yuppies really began to yell when deer were found dead on their bike paths and does couldn't maintain a pregnancy and miscarried in their backyards, bringing coyotes and their diseases near their poodles.
    We've killed off too many natural predators and so must do that job ourselves. Besides, if you were a deer, would you prefer to be run down and chewed up by a pack of wolves or a bear, or know nothing when a high-powered bullet zipped through your neck?
    Unless you are advocating being vegan, there is no difference between killing an animal, and killing an animal.


  8. Hi, I just found your blog and think its great.

    I laughed out loud when I read this:
    “This is a clueless urban liberal with no practical survival skills. He’ll be the first one down.” I thought "Hallelujah! Finally someone who thinks the same as me!"

    We live in northern British Columbia and I am constantly amazed at how many people have no idea about where their food comes from, nor about what they are consuming.

    My husband (and now son) hunt to provide food. There is no sport in it and any life that is taken, is taken with reverence (whether is it game or own livestock). I, too, have had many people comment about the cruelty of hunting. My retort is always that I want to eat meat that came from happy animals and they should take a look at the conditions of animals whose meat eventually end up on foam containers in the grocery store. Those are not happy animals and the conditions in which they live are appalling. Game meat comes from happy animals that have spent their lives in their natural habitat and have been killed quickly with the least amount of suffering.