Why do we hunt?
As part of an ongoing series of articles I have chosen to write based on a simple question, “why do I hunt”, we will now embark on today’s topic: ethical and moral responsibility.
It’s true; in the world we live in today most of us do not need to hunt in order to provide sustenance for ourselves and our communities. Some would even argue that to do so in this society borders on barbarism. In fact, many people when made to think about the harm necessary to animals to provide meat for their meals have a very difficult time resolving the “meat paradox” that is caused by the conflict between their feelings about animal welfare and their eating behaviors.
This concept comes into much sharper focus for anyone who has had an opportunity to openly and frankly discuss with them the reasons vegetarians and vegans choose not to eat meat. Many of them just cannot accept harming another living creature for the sake of their sustenance. Let me state for the record, I am no vegetarian. I choose to enjoy meat as much as any other food source. That being said, I do not enjoy harming any living creature. Furthermore, I believe that it is our duty as hunters to ensure that the animals we hunt are pursued fairly and dispatched in as quick and humane a manner as is possible in any given situation.
After having spent more than a few evenings trying to figure out how to express my thoughts about this matter in words that would ring true to what I believe to be right not only for our sake but the sake of the animals being pursued I have come to this simple (relatively) point:
I believe it is ethically important for everyone who chooses to consume the flesh of an animal whether wild or captive reared for the purposes of human consumption to accept the responsibility for the loss of that animals life. I’m not suggesting that we should resort back to caveman times and go around killing animals for food to survive. If hunting is not your thing; that’s perfectly fine. I just feel that it is an important experience that everyone who eats meat should have. To pursue and take one of nature’s noble creatures life and then care for it and prepare it in a respectful manner can teach us a lot about how we feel towards not just animals but all of the life on this planet.
A lot of people struggle with making the decision to trigger the shot or let loose the arrow that will end an animal’s life. If you aren’t willing to accept responsibility for what that shot might do; you shouldn’t take it. If you can’t take it then you need spend a good bit of time pondering just how that pork chop or sirloin got to your plate this evening and whether you’re alright with that. I’m not advocating vegetarianism here; I merely hope that people gain some insight into their own personal reasons for doing what they do by learning about some of the things I have thought of while in the field surrounded by mother nature.
As a foot note: This article from sciguru provides some interesting insight to what has become common social behavior now-a-days.