I grew up in the South, where hunting is a rite of passage. Parents and grandparents take children out in the crisp, cold air and teach them to kill animals. Then the animals are processed and eaten. Hunting was all about providing food for the family.
And today, many men and women still hunt to put food on the table. Personally, I don’t have a problem with that. Most of the hunters who hunt for food are more concerned about the environment and nature than you probably are. And I think a deer that gets a chance to live a life free and in the woods is much more fortunate than the chickens and pigs that are slaughtered, cut up, and put into those nice, neat packages you get at the local grocer.
But what we call the “sport” of hunting isn’t just about feeding the family. In Idaho this past weekend a “hunting derby” was held, and hunters were awarded prizes for the killing the largest or the most animals. The animals hunted? Coyotes and wolves.
In the UK on Boxing Day, many people turned out in support of the fox hunts, in a move designed to force the Tory government to repeal the ban on fox hunts. Fox hunting in the UK consists of people on horses following dogs as the dogs hunt a fox and then kill it.
And what purpose do these types of events serve? Will those coyotes, foxes or wolves provide sustenance for a family? No. They are hunted for fun. For a prize. To show off in front of others.
There are those that would pay for the privilege to kill an animal that has lived its entire life in captivity. Or those that would pay to kill an endangered animal such as a rhino or elephant.
In my mind, that is not hunting. That is senseless killing.
At least most poachers of rhinos and elephants do so to provide for their families.
If you eat meat, you have the blood of animals on your hands. So no point in getting down on those that kill their own. But those that kill to try to prove something? You’ve proven nothing to me but that you have little regard for anything beyond your own nose.
I’m interested to hear your thoughts on hunting.