Sark on Hunting

Recently, hunting season began.

People will take days off work, dress up in camouflage or bright orange, go into the wild and kill animals for either their meat or as a trophy to mount on their wall. It has been going on since mankind discovered animals were a source of sustenance. It is part of family traditions. Fathers take sons (and maybe daughters these days) out to share their knowledge that was passed to them by their fathers. It’s a time for bonding, to utilize skills that humanity has pretty much forgotten.

But, I’m not a fan.

Hunting down and killing an animal for its meat is totally unnecessary.

First off, the reason humans originally hunted and killed animals was because grocery stores and M&M meat shops wouldn’t be invented for another millions-plus years. We needed to hunt and kill our food, because no other source was available to us.

As man evolved, we settled down, discovered agriculture. We could grow food out of the ground, from the trees, off the vines. But, meat was still yummy, so we domesticated some animals to be our source of meat.

Even as man evolved, there were many who couldn’t grow enough food. So, they continued to hunt. They hunted in the same areas, often with the same methods, as their ancestors did. They honoured the animals they killed, many believing they were the embodiments of fellow spirits. They took only what they needed, knowing that many needed to live so that they could return next year, and the year after that, to feed future generations.

But, no matter how evolved we get, there are still some who ruin it for everyone else. They come in, slaughter everything in sight, making some species extinct, or driving them to the edge of extinction.

The majority on us are still in that frame of mind. They see the world as theirs and anything in it is ripe for the killing. These are the losers who kill wild animals and mount their heads or horns on their wall so they can show off their masculinity and alpha-maleness. They are the indifferent, careless hunters, who would travel all over the world just to kill something so they could say they killed it.

Within this majority are the hunters who say they are responsible. They follow the laws, shoot within their limit, and take only what they need. Some, I may add, demonstrate actual hunting skills, using a bow and arrow. It takes skill to kill with a rifle, but a real man of the woods, a real hunter, can bring down an animal with a bow and arrow.

But in the end, neither one really needs to. For example…

Between Kanata and Carp, Ontario is an Elk farm, where Elk raised in captivity, living “free-range” as it were, are harvested for their meat and, I suspect, whatever else that can be used from the animal. I suspect there are other such places raising other such animals that are traditionally hunted. If more place like this existed, where people who only value said animals for their meat, then why the need to hunt?

I suspect many will say it doesn’t taste the same, it costs too much, or any other iffy excuses they can come up with to poo-poo such places.

It just makes me wonder how much it cost them to buy all their equipment, ammo, supplies, etc.? I’m thinking it would cost less to just buy the meat at specialty shops.

Many say they are helping maintain over-population of some animals in a certain area. That often has more to do with humanity’s infringement on the animals natural habitat, or an imbalance in the eco-system caused by us. Either, in cases like that, we take it upon ourselves to do what is necessary. It may not be the wisest choice, but sometimes, it has to be done. If we did a better job of finding a balance between nature and civilization, we probably wouldn’t have animal over-population and clashes with society.

The other excuse I hear is that they enjoy doing it, it’s fun! Long time ago, Romans thought it was fun to feed Christians to lions. They also enjoyed watching people fight to the death, for fun! White people used to think it was fun to abuse and kill people of other races. Smoking used to be fun too! Speeding is fun! Telling authority figures off can be fun! A lot of things we shouldn’t do can be fun!

But, as we grow, gain experience, and evolve, we should be able to discern what is fun and what is unnecessary.

If your going to take a day off and haul your kids into the woods to enjoy nature, don’t do it  by shooting and killing Bambi. Show them the beauty if it all. Many kids are so stuck in front of their computer, they wouldn’t know nature from a screensaver. A recent addition to our family’s traditional Thanksgiving is a nature walk. It would kinda ruin the feeling if we went out and shot down nature. It’d be like…

“F*#k you, Nature!” *BLAM!!* “Ah, so peaceful and *BLAM!!* tranquil.”

Maybe, instead of fathers taking their kids out so show them how to kill, what if he taught them some facts about nature and the animals around them. I suspect many men wouldn’t find that manly, but there are others ways to show strength, through knowledge and compassion. Takes a braver man to stand up against the majority for his beliefs, than it does to gun something down to show his superiority.

I take some comfort in the fact that, someday, one of two things will happen…

1. We’ll finally evolve to the point where hunting will be looked back on as quaint and disgusting. That the thought of killing an animal unnecessarily will be as perplexing as the use of combustion engines and reality TV

or 2. Humanity will screw up everything so bad, that we’ll become extinct and Mother Nature will wipe our existence from the surface of the Earth in a few hundred years and continue on as if we were never here.

Sadly, I suspect number 2 would happen, cause humanity is quite stubborn and stupid.

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