AR-News: (US) Permissible killing
info at animalconcerns.org
Fri Mar 19 20:56:46 EST 2004
[opinion from ESPN]
Speaking at the Menninger Foundation in 1963, the distinguished
anthropologist Margaret Mead said about mental health, "We know of no
human society that does not distinguish between permissible and
As a hunter or fisherman, did you ever think about yourself as practicing
"permissible killing?" Probably not.
The physical distance between the butcher's knife creates a psychological
distance that enables us to separate ourselves from the act of killing,
thus enabling us to avoid, or lessen, guilt feelings.
The denial of the importance of killing animals to put food on the table
creates a false illusion of goodness that prevents us from experiencing
emotions that touch some of the deepest parts of the human soul and enable
us to come to feel honest reverence for life.
The most common way people come to appreciate killing animals for food is
through hunting. Hunters kill millions of animals per year: 50 million
doves, 25 million rabbits and squirrels, 25 million quail, 20 million
pheasants, 10 million ducks, 4 to 5 million deer, 150, 000 elk, and more
than 20,000 black bears.
This is a sizeable number of people, but only about 5 percent of the U.S.
population hunts. Another roughly 5 percent belong to anti-hunting
organizations and generally eat little or no meat.
That leaves 90 percent of the general public who do not hunt or belong to
anti-hunting groups, but the vast majority of them eat meat. Meat eating
seems here to stay, especially in the wake of recent scientific support
for the Atkins diet and other high-protein diets.
Note: Some of the folks who work with animals in a humane way that may
include killing breeders, ranchers, scientists, furriers, hunters and
entertainers are going to be holding an important conference May 28-29
in Washington, D.C., to discuss the damage done to them by animal-rights
people and what can be done about it. For details, visit this Web site.
James Swan who has appeared in more than a dozen feature films,
including "Murder in the First" and "Star Trek: First Contact," as well as
the television series "Nash Bridges," "Midnight Caller" and "Modern
Marvels" is the author of the book "In Defense of Hunting."
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