Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hunters don't eat what they kill? Oh my.

Oh boy.

San Francisco Chronicle film critic Mick LaSalle posted a blog item Saturday about the fact that Barack Obama doesn't kill ducks. (In case you missed it, Hillary Clinton recently told Dems in the blaze-orange state of Wisconsin that she killed a duck once.) LaSalle criticizes politicians who pander to the hunting community, and declares that hunting is "at best, weird."

To each his own - I don't really expect any pro-hunting commentary out of San Francisco (though my friends who live there accept and respect what I do).

But some of the comments that followed were just crazy:

Who's eating those ducks? Nobody. It's not about food. It's about bonding through slaughter. Why pretend this is a good thing?


"Sport" hunting and slaughterhouses are two ends of the same moral cesspool. My credo is: Don't kill what you're not willing to clean and eat; don't eat what you're not prepared to kill.


What percentage of hunters actually eat what they kill?

Oh really?

You really think I'm going to spend tons of money on gun, camo, ammunition, target practice, licenses and fees, then get up at 2 a.m., spend eight hours in a marsh freezing my butt off, working like crazy to get some ducks in range, only to throw away the ducks at the end of the day? Puh-lease!

I agree with LaSalle's point that the political pandering is irritating and silly. It makes me giggle.

And I don't mind that there are people out there who oppose killing and eating animals. We all have the right to consider the facts, make our choices and live by those choices.

But people who make stuff up to make their case against hunting are just ridiculous. If only they knew how silly they've made themselves look.

© Holly A. Heyser 2008


Ken said...

Hi Holly,

Politics bring out strange comments in people. We don't hunt anymore, but there's absolutely nothing like home grown vegetables and game meat. Well, home grown pork, beef and chicken come close.


NorCal Cazadora said...

Isn't it amazing how we've built this elaborate civilization in which people can climb to such heights that they no longer see the foundation that holds it all up? Me, I'll take having my feet on the ground, any day.

Blessed said...

That's amazing - I'm with you, I don't expect Pro-Hunting sentiments out of San Francisco, of course my grandmother in Berkeley is pro-hunting, as long as you're eating what you kill (like we do) she always asks us to bring our bows out to shoot the deer in her backyard that are eating the few things she tries to grow out there. I have a feeling we'd be in trouble if we got caught doing that :)

NorCal Cazadora said...

Yay Grandma! And yes, you're right - if you weren't caught by the authorities, you'd most certainly be lynched by a band of barefoot hippies from Telegraph Avenue.

One of the things I'm trying to figure out is what percentage of the non-hunting population is represented by these people who spout ignorance. Are these folks as rare as the unethical hunters and poachers that they see as predominant in our community?

I just don't know. I do know that most non-hunters are OK with hunting "as long as you eat what you kill," but obviously there's a lot of misperception about how many of us do eat what we kill.

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of people who don't really know much about hunting often get poachers confused with hunters. That's probably not so surprising, as the media tends to print the stories about poachers who kill an animal and only take the choice bits. They don't tend to focus so much on hunters who put meat in their freezer and then use all of it.

I'm just wondering if that is where, or at least part of where, some of those sorts of ideas come from.

NorCal Cazadora said...

I'm sure that's a good part of it, and I don't think it's a media conspiracy against hunting, either: Outrageous crimes make news; people behaving ethically on a daily basis doesn't.

But I'm working on getting our side out...

Blessed said...

You're right about the misconception - and I think it has a lot to do with the poachers getting the news attention and not the ethical hunters issue.

My husband was all for bringing the bow along the first time I took him to California and visions of barefoot hippies on Telegraph forced me to make him leave it home. You should have seen the looks we got though in our 2500 Dodge Diesel truck with the Camo Blanket covered Dog Box in the back - priceless!

Phillip said...

Keep at 'em, Holly!

I agree, it's less about some "mass media conspiracy" than it is about ignorance and misinformed urbanites.

One of the most common responses I get when someone finds out I'm a hunter is, "you can eat it?"

It tells me that, not only do these people not understand where meat comes from... they don't even relate wild animals to food.

"You eat deer?"

Damn I hate the city.

matt said...

I bet if LaSalle tasted the venison chilly I had for lunch today (and yesterday) he'd change his tune! In fact, I think he'd beg me to take him hunting. I would agree to it, but he'd have to wear pink camouflage the first time!

Belinda said...

I just stopped by here after spending the last hour searching and bookmarking recipes for the venison, duck, and wild turkey in our can bet we're gonna eat every bit of it. And the next deer my husband gets is going to be mostly ground with 20% beef fat (except for the backstrap and maybe flank steak) for feeding to our dogs, who eat a raw meat-based diet. NO WASTE!

NorCal Cazadora said...

Lucky dogs! That's great, and we should probably try the same for our cats. I can't imagine that man-made food is any better for them that it is for us.

And if you haven't found it yet, definitely stop by my boyfriend's blog for recipes. He's the top one on my blogroll - Hunter Angler Gardener Cook. He's the one who keeps me happy and well-fed.

phil said...

Holly Heyser's article in the Sac Bee today (mar 1) clearly demonstrates her "Guilt" personally about killing animals, even for food. To take delite in the killing of these magnificant creatures in the wild is both heartless and cruel. She obviously wrote the article to assuage her one guilt, and justify her actions.I think it far better to buy meat at the store, and not take pleasure in the slaughter of beautiful birds. How cold she must be inside. pm brown

NorCal Cazadora said...

Thanks for commenting, Phil. I'd really like to hear more about how buying meat at the store makes one less culpable for the animal's death than being the one who actually kills it. Could you please elaborate?

Also, I hope you'll re-read my piece in the Bee, because I didn't say I take pleasure or delight in killing.

Belinda said...

I think you're viewing the article through your own personal filter, and mistaking a true love and appreciate for the outdoors and wildlife for "guilt." And then there's this:

"I think it far better to buy meat at the store..."

Well, let's examine that for a moment, and compare the life and death of, say, your average grocery-store-bought chicken and a wild duck brought down by a competent hunter.

Where do you think that "meat at the store" came from? Do you think that chicken at the store had lived some long, idyllic life in a sunshiney pasture somewhere, only to be butchered after it passed away quietly in its sleep? COME ON. It's a sad, cruel, and SHORT life for that bird "from the store." That bird is born in some horrible factory farm, lives its life crammed in close quarters with other birds, pumped full of antibiotics to fight the disease that is a consequence of living such a lifestyle, and then gruesomely slaughtered and mechanically processed, producing a massive amount of polluting waste in the process.

The wild duck, on the other hand: It's born in the wild, with the world as its playground. It flies free its whole life, mating, migrating, never knowing confinement or cruelty, and if it's brought down by a competent hunter one day, then that food-animal's life is ended quickly and humanely, and the meat is all used. As a bonus, none of that duck gets ground up and used as fertilizer or fed to other caged ducks.

I am not a hunter, but my husband is. I used to have trouble getting over the killing of wild animals, too, until I realized that, since I am not, in fact, a vegetarian, I was being a big fat hypocrite. A deer dropped in his tracks while living a free, wild life, never knowing what hit him, had a much better life and death than a factory-farmed beef cow, I assure you. If you doubt me, just go to YouTube and search for the recent video of the rampant abuse that was captured at a typical slaughterhouse. It involved shocking downer cows and gouging them with forklifts to try to get them to stand up so that they could be slaughtered.

I'm also intrigued about your comment about "these beautiful birds." So chickens and farmed turkeys, for example, are OK to kill and eat because they're ugly? Lots of double-standards going on here.

I DO, however, have respect for vegetarians who do not eat animals for ethical reasons. That would be a totally different argument, and one in which we'd have to agree to disagree. But if you eat meat or poultry AT ALL, you need to stop kidding yourself about the source of that meat and poultry.

Also, not for nothing, but hunters who eat what they kill are leaving a much smaller ecological footprint on the earth than people who consume factory-farmed beef.

Belinda said...

Um, "appreciation" in that first sentence, obviously, not "appreciate."