AR-News: US-TX - Radio Host Promoting Hunting
letsfixx at earthlink.net
Wed Jun 30 15:37:29 EDT 2004
Reply to gordon at gordonkeith.com
June 2, 2004
The Hunterâs Apology
There are several things a man should know: how to build a house, how to kill a meal, and which kinds of women to stay away from.
For modern man, hunting is a tough issue. But like most things tough, your soul gains much by suffering through it.
When I announced on the air that I was getting interested in the art of hunting, I received a lot of response. Most was of the âI am glad you are talking about this fine sport...â but there were a few âwhy would you even contemplate such a barbaric act, the killing of defenseless animal?â
I hope within this short space to help the doubters to consider and the doers to contemplate, but mainly, I seek to work out my own feelings on the matter by setting them down.
I feel a calling to the hunt because in my short life I am seeking the answers to Death. Mine and otherâs. In this sense, hunting is another confusing yet necessary part of my life. Before I complete my earthly cycle, I want to see the sacrifice made by other creatures in their contribution to my years.
Firstly, I am sickened by the stereotype of hunters and especially those who fulfill it.
I should think the true hunter sees killing as something sacred. Dispensing death is Godâs business and as we are instruments of his trade we should never forget, nor take lightly, this awesome charge.
I am sure the first time I kill I will cry, because no longer can I keep up the false divide that in my living I cause no death. Most of us never integrate, nor take responsibility for, the death we cause.
We will eat our food and never pay much heed to its source. We shield ourselves from the gruesome details of that which enables us to live. How many women will give a hunter an earful over her grilled chicken salad or her filet mignon and never see the opportunity for self-reflection and growth?
In this respect the hunter is a more integral person. He cannot hide from the death he causes.
In my opinion the only thing worse than the man who is content to have others do his killing for him is the one who kills, stands over the beast, and doesnât feel bad about the whole sorry affair.
In our modern world it is impractical and unnecessary for everyone to hunt the actual food he or she consumes. But I think it is important for the meat-eater to, at least once, go on a hunt and follow the process from start to finish. See the stalk, see the death, the sickening thwack of the bullet, see the gutting, the windpipe severed, the incision around the anus, the intestines pulled free in a jerk, the quartering, legs cut off, head pulled off, the slow cooling of the carcass. It is unpleasant business, but then again, all killing should be. Maybe it will make you a vegetarian. Thatâs a hell of a lot better than living without integrity, and in my view we should integrate the intellectual knowledge of our food source with the emotional self and realize, with that nauseating pit of dread in our stomach, that life is the cause of death and vice versa.
If I am a man that profits from death, I must be willing to confront it. Responsibility is truly a bitch. I am not saying that you should be a plumber to enjoy plumbing, but you should be willing to.
Most opposition to Hunting is born out of ignorance. Hunting is necessary to our American life. It keeps our wildlife healthy and fruitful and it keeps our lands intact. Most people do not know that hunters are the greatest conservationists in America. The money made from the sale of firearms, the payment of license fees, etc. directly funds the preservation and management of our lands. There are strict rules on what game can be killed and in what quantity and the rules shift according to need. If there is a dangerous overpopulation that threatens a species, the rules are adjusted to allow the hunter to pull the animal population back into a sustainable harmony. If there is an infestation of a destructive animal that threatens to wipe out the habitat of other important species, the hunter is called upon by the Wildlife Department to do that dirty and noble business. In this sense, the hunter is a volunteer employee who keeps our land working. More than a free employee however, the hunter actually donates money back to the employer to continue to do all such good things. It is a very efficient system.
In the art of hunting there is so much to be learned, first in the physical sense (land, navigation, tracking, survival, specie characteristics), and ultimately in the metaphysical. I suspect both categories can never be exhausted, for we can never know enough about the natural world and never know why a single creature is never good enough to exist eternally in it.
It is very exciting to learn new, important things. I have had the best time out in woods, learning the land, the limitations of my body, and the precarious balance of Godâs bottomless world. For me, hunting is a calling to be whole.
I know that we mainly consume beef and chicken and these animals are not hunted. Some may think this is more humane, this harvesting of cow and bird. But those animals are usually horded into gas chambers or penned and beaten over the head until the eyes go gray. To me, that is not hunting, that is killing.
Hunting certainly seems more virtuous.
Reply to gordon at gordonkeith.com
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