Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Painting with a Broad Brush

I must apologize. I realize when I wrote about hawks and pigeons, I painted pigeon fanciers with a mighty broad brush. I am sure that not all roller pigeon fanciers want hawks and falcons killed. Instead, many of the articles I read cited the ones committing these crimes as "rogue elements" or used some similar term.

Anti hunting types tend to use the same tactic - painting with a broad brush. I think it is a common thing to do across the board. It makes it easier to dislike those on the opposite side. So, Pigeon fanciers, I apologize.

But I also learned something. It only takes a few bad apples is an old saying that really holds true. Anytime a hunter, falconer, or sportsman, does something that looks bad in the public eye, it can be held up as an example of all hunters. The tactic is used often, and the nonhunting public doesn't know otherwise.

I found this on a blog the other day:

Despite what newspapers and hunters tell us, hunting is a potentially dangerous sport! Every year, about 100 people are killed by hunters in the U.S., and approximately 1,000 people are wounded. Hunters can and will shoot too close to houses, roads, hikers and campers. According to the International Hunter Education Association, in 1995, 1130 non-fatal hunting accidents occured, and 112 people were killed. In 1996, 957 humans were wounded and 91 humans were killed by hunters. Ted Nugent claims to kill every domestic cat that he sees, and you may read about his animal-killing insanity on my Antihunting Resource Site.

Pet owners who live near hunting areas may find their beloved pets dead or missing. Hunters typically hate predators - especially coyotes - but they also hate any number of animals based on arbitrary notions of what constitutes a "good" animal as opposed to a "bad" animal. This type of thinking opens up a whole can of worms. Stray cats and dogs - because they're feral - are perceived as fair game to some people. We'll never know how many domesticated animals have been shot by hunters; there is no record keeping on this matter.

From an ethical standpoint, hunting is very unimpressive. The hunting community is mainly composed of grown men (and some women) with nothing more intelligent to do than kill little birds and animals because it provides fun and excitement for people who need to feel potent. No matter how abysmally cruel or wasteful hunting is, it will always be defended by the hunting community.

Hunters fancy themselves as part of a natural cycle. Of course they are part of the cycle that kills and destroys, not the part that gives life or protects. The hunter only wants to be the hunting part of the cycle; even when stalking those relatively few species of animal capable of utilizing a human as prey, the sportsman is careful to overwhelmingly stack the deck in his favor through access to various forms of trickery augmented by heavy firepower.

But no less important to the sportsman than his high-tech killing toys is his (or her, but more often it's men who are sport hunters) unquestioned faith in a complex, shimmering, and fragile fabrication of myth, half-truths, self-delusion, and denials.
Notice the way that hunters are characterized. Does it describe you?

What is my point? Do your best to be a positive example. It is up to every one of us to be better than we have been. There is no room for error.

Don't give anti hunting groups any more ammunition. Follow the law, and if you know someone who doesn't, report it. Do the right thing even when no one is looking.

1 comment:

Albert A Rasch said...

Great post. Do the right thing is the best piece of advice you or I can give our fellow outdoorsmen.

The Mark Osterholt Files