My son mentioned to me the other day that his boss is an avid hunter and was going to spend the week hunting moose. Thinking about this for the last couple of days, envisioning someone slaughtering an animal in a most barbaric way, inflamed my aversion to the “sport” of hunting. Having worked on construction for many years, an industry that seems to breed hunters, I have engaged in many heated discussions over the whole hunting issue.
Ask a hunter why he hunts and he will tell you for food, that he doesn’t waste an ounce of the usable remains of the slaughtered animal. He’ll also proudly brag that hunting is merciful, because if men didn’t hunt to thin out the over-population of certain animals, they would just starve to death. Is it okay for me to use the word, “bullshit”, in my blog?
First of all, the only reason there is an over-population problem with many animals is because human intervention has disrupted the balance of nature. Mother Nature is a hell of a lot smarter than humans, so if we just let wild animals be, the strong would hunt the weak, and the animal kingdom would be ruled the way nature intended: survival of the fittest.
Second, in this day and age, why would anyone want to hunt for food when there are grocery stores and butcher shops all over the place, many of which sell free-range and hormone free meats? It seems a lot easier to make a trip to the grocery store than to make a trip to a secluded forest.
Third, how often does a hunter have a clean, one-shot kill? Unless he’s a marksman—and most hunters are not—chances are it takes multiple shots to kill the animal. Consequently, the animal must suffer unnecessarily. And how many animals are seriously wounded by a hunter but vanish into the woods and die a slow, agonizing death?
Fourth, why do they call hunting a “sport”? Every single sport on Earth from chess to tennis to football to hockey consists of evenly balanced opponents and a level playing field. Granted, not all quarterbacks have the same skills and not all pitches can throw a fastball 95 miles per hour. But the basic premise of any sport is to have evenly matched participants. If hunters truly want to make hunting a sport, then they need to leave their rifles at home and face the moose, the elephant or the grizzly bear one-on-one. Now that’s a sport.
One last thing: why are the majority of hunters men? Why do few women hunt? I believe that hunters hunt for the thrill of killing a living thing. It’s a man-thing. I’d wager a fair amount of money that the vast majority of hunters probably pulled the wings off houseflies when they were kids, just for the hell of it. And some did much worse. Hunting for sport or for food or to benefit Mother Nature is bullshit (sorry, there’s that word again).