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Thread: Hunting

  1. #1
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Hunting

    As I've mentioned, my neighbors are great people, but culturally distant from us. We moved up here from suburban NJ. They are self-described "rednecks" and proud of it. We love each other as friends and neighbors and we coexist wonderfully.

    Today my neighbor posted on FB a picture of her 14 year old son who bagged a bear today. It looked like a young one, but what do I know? This boy is very skilled at many things, and he's a really good kid.

    But I had such a negative visceral reaction to that picture. My friend captioned the picture with "no negative comments please." He doesn't deserve negative opinions. At the same time, I have a hard time being happy for him.. I'm happy for his skill and for his family's pride. But when I look at that bear, as a suburban mom not raised in that lifestyle, I have a hard time with it.

    I have an herbalist friend who is totally into permaculture. He foraged for food for a long time. A couple of months ago he said that he was learning how to hunt, because in nature, if you want to live off the land you eat what you kill. So many of us choose to eat styrofoam packaged meat and are fine with that but are revolted by the idea of killing our own food. This is a problem with civilization as I see it. We are miles removed from the reality of how our food gets to our plate. I personally applaud the decision of my herbalist friend to kill his food, and I applaud my neighbors who kill deer and then butcher it themselves in an outbuilding in their yard and eat it. But it's still such a foreign concept to me. I don't want to face the animal I'm eating--which is why I was vegetarian for so many years.

    What do you think about hunting? How do I respond to my friend? Could you kill your food if you had to? Does the idea of killing influence your eating habits today? Do you think that the divide between the hunters and [supermarket] gatherers is an issue?

    Peace Pilgrim once said that if she couldn't personally kill the food she ate, she couldn't expect someone else to do it for her, so she was vegetarian. At the same time, in nature, little fish are eaten by big fish. Slower animals are eaten by faster animals. So do I need to get over my revulsion of seeing a 14 year old boy holding up the head of a dead bear? And if I can't get over it, isn't it wrong for me to eat meat that has been killed for me?

    Just a few philosophical questions.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  2. #2
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    I grew up hunting and eating game. Shooting from afar with a bullet I can do.

    But one time I needed to kill a fish and couldn’t do it. Because you kill a fish by hitting it on the head with a hammer.

    It’s a conundrum.

  3. #3
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    To answer your questions: I would not respond to or say anything about the dead bear or to your herbalist friend.

    If I were starving I might be able to kill to eat. I might even eat human flesh like the Donner party did.

    Yes, the idea of killing influences my eating habits. I am a vegetarian.

    I do not think the divide has to be an issue. Different strokes for different folks.

    If you can't get over your revulsion is there a setting in FB where you can hide that particular image? Still eating meat may be hypocritical but most people are not consistent. Why did you stop being a vegetarian? Have you tried the latest alternatives? I saw Quorn on sale this week and picked some up to try. There may be new products you like that have come to market since you resumed eating meat.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    Many people eat what they kill.

    If the herd isn’t culled by hunting, there could be too many animals for the food source they have. Would you prefer the animals be killed and eaten or starve to death?

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    Are they going to eat the bear? If not I think discoursing on hunting for food is a bit off the point, if they aren't eating it, how is that relevant?

    Yes I think it's fine to kill what you will eat provided the species is not endangered. No I couldn't do it. Yes, it's possible bears are overpopulated there, possible they are at risk too, I wouldn't know.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  6. #6
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    My Hermann small town newspaper features, each year, two pages of kids with their kill in deer season. The deer are draped across their laps and the kids sit up straight with their guns positioned strategically. It is Hermann culture, and the deer population is out of control.

  7. #7
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tammy View Post
    I grew up hunting and eating game. Shooting from afar with a bullet I can do.

    But one time I needed to kill a fish and couldn’t do it. Because you kill a fish by hitting it on the head with a hammer.

    It’s a conundrum.
    yeah I would probably be the same way. If I had to, distance killing would be do-able.

    But I used to watch my dad gut fish. I could do it if DH banged them on the head first.

    DH is the squirrel killer here. He traps them and then sends to a better place with a bullet in the head. Over the years, he was unable to kill some of the game. The big woodchuck hanging around one of our properties, decimating the garden was one. He trapped it and relocated it. Probably a bullet thru its head would have been kinder. He shoots rabbits when he can, but he could not bring himself to kill a nest of baby rabbits. He shoots opossums when they get themselves in the squirrel trap, but opossums are not usually destructive to our gardens. He would shoot raccoons if they were in our yard, but they hung out only at one of Our little houses with a sweet corn plot.

    speaking of racoons, my neighbor down the street does waterfowl rescue and keeps ducks in her tiny city yard. She had a dramatic encounter with a ‘coon who snatched a full grown duck and ran. My neighbor managed to grab part of the duck and a tug of war ensued. She managed to get the raccoon to let go and it ran off. The duck was surprisingly ok after this.

  8. #8
    Simpleton Alan's Avatar
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    I see that as a conundrum too. When I was younger I hunted squirrels and rabbits and such but when I got older I decided that I'd rather let someone else kill my food for me. My turning point came when I was in the service years ago and while wandering through an Alaskan wood with a .38 caliber pistol on my belt I wondered if I could fast draw and hit a squirrel in a a nearby tree. It turns out that I could but immediately felt guilty for doing so when I had no intention of harvesting it. At this stage of life I'd rather re-locate a pest in my yard than kill it and have been known to capture snakes in the yard and move them elsewhere. I try not to be judgmental of people who feel differently and try to remember that I'm lucky to have a choice.

    I'm always on the verge of being a hypocrite though, this year we've had a problem with moles in the yard with mounds of dirt appearing almost daily and tunnels everywhere. Those little bastards are likely to turn me to the dark side soon.
    "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler." ~ Albert Einstein

  9. #9
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    I see that as a conundrum too. When I was younger I hunted squirrels and rabbits and such but when I got older I decided that I'd rather let someone else kill my food for me. My turning point came when I was in the service years ago and while wandering through an Alaskan wood with a .38 caliber pistol on my belt I wondered if I could fast draw and hit a squirrel in a a nearby tree. It turns out that I could but immediately felt guilty for doing so when I had no intention of harvesting it. At this stage of life I'd rather re-locate a pest in my yard than kill it and have been known to capture snakes in the yard and move them elsewhere. I try not to be judgmental of people who feel differently and try to remember that I'm lucky to have a choice.

    I'm always on the verge of being a hypocrite though, this year we've had a problem with moles in the yard with mounds of dirt appearing almost daily and tunnels everywhere. Those little bastards are likely to turn me to the dark side soon.
    Alan, wait until you have an armadillo digging up your yard. They are x-times more destructive than the moles.

    In Hermann we have both moles and armadillos. Usually the armadillos do not do damage and we seldom them see them alive, just see their carcasses lying around. But this one guy was digging up our front yard last summer. In one night he did about 5 feet worth of damage.

  10. #10
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    We don't have a problem with hunting/eating what we (or someone else) shoot(s). Trophy hunting, or killing anything that is scarce in a particular area, is different, and I am not ok with that. Otherwise, we try not to name anything we're planning to kill and eat. We used to raise meat rabbits, and it finally got to the point that we would take them live to a small processor and he would turn them into yummy bunny brats for us. Much better for DH's mental heath - he's not good with up close and personal dispatch. I don't see us ever becoming vegetarian, at least not because eating meat is due to the death of said meat animal. I would more likely refrain from eating beef due to the environmental impact of mega-feed lots than concern for the death of the actual individual animal. Which is why we only buy beef we "know", not grocery store stuff. It's odd what motivates us, isn't it? I love cows as creatures, they are lovely animals, but that doesn't really bother me when I'm eating a hamburger. Other than food animals, we only kill raccoons, and very occasionally, a mole. Those are most assuredly NOT endangered around here, and last year my sister was attacked and bitten by a raccoon, in her back yard. Possums, skunks, groundhogs we leave be - they don't seem to harm much. And I'm glad your neighbor saved her duck, IL, without harm to it or to herself!

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