You made it! Wow, I can’t believe you’re here. Thanks for coming.
If you linked via Facebook, for context, this is a follow up to the conversation on my Instagram around the question: “what is your ethic on hunting?”
I wanted to put this as my story, but 3 minutes into it, I realized that perhaps the topic was too loaded for me to just talk at a camera. So here goes:
Yesterday, a friend and I went kayaking, which is great because kayaking is one of those soul warming things for me, and it only gets better on a peaceful river in the Michigan fall.
Anyway, my friend is big into duck hunting, so naturally, on the second day of duck season, she wants to know if I care if she hunts while we’re out on the river.
I’m fine with it, and we head out. An hour into it, it’s pretty great. The sun is shining, the air is gorgeous, I’m kayaking behind her so I’m not in the way, it’s all going as expected.
But then it happened.
And the sound was like thunder.
And the sound ripped the air in half.
The ducks fell from where they once flew and tumbled to the water, as if a suspension cable were cut.
My friend is super stoked that she caught dinner for Monday night and I’m like, sitting in this kayak trying to shake out my thoughts on hunting and death, which is kind of a lot.
So, knowing that I have a lot of friends on Instagram who come from many different walks of life, I turned to you guys–and the answers were pretty varied:
“Hunting is one of the most humane ways to consume meat if you’re going to, and the most environmentally responsible.” was one.
A few of you said hunting for food was fine, but hunting big game for sport was “rich man’s game”.
As well as a “How can someone claim to be pro life while harming God’s creation?”
And the profound:“Compassion towards animals is so natural to us, that only through conditioning could we become callous towards their suffering and death.” – Tolstoy
Okay, so this is more controversial than asking about soy milk. Fair enough.
Personally, hunting has never really been my thing. I grew up in suburban California in a generally Bay Area family culture. We didn’t really hunt. We just kind of went to Raley’s.
So that being said, I realize my perspective is inevitably colored by my upbringing, and I want to clarify now that I think one’s ethic on hunting is a personal decision, and my view of you, no matter what you said, has not changed.
Anyway, so I’m sitting in this kayak with this metaphorical can of worms, like:
Why does watching an animal die when I eat meat regularly bother me so much?
Does someone’s attitude towards hunting affect how the process death?
Why does fishing feel less like hunting than shooting a deer?
But again, as I turned to Instagram, so many if you guys said that hunting was a means of survival.
Another factor I thought was fascinating, though, was the connection of hunting, tradition, and family.
“My dad, grandpa, and uncles literally bought a game farm and built our homes on it.”
Or, “well, dad is literally gone all hunting season, so mom jokes that she’s a single mom October through February.”
This is obviously more than a blog or a question on Instagram to some of you guys–it’s fabric, culture, and livelihood.
Oddly enough, though, at the end of the day, I looked at the tupperware container of duck meat and was like,
Dang. That used to be a bird.
And then my subconscious was like,
Dude, that is a bird.
Which brings me to my ethic on hunting. And…I don’t know. I wouldn’t say I’d be a participant, mostly because watching things die sends me down an existential and psychosocial rabbit hole. (Obviously.)
But I’m also not really planning on going vegan any time soon. And I think that’s okay.
I have understood that it might be healthy to contemplate why you do what you do, even if it means acknowledging that you benefit from the death of a living thing. Ultimately, I think it’s your own call to make.
So yeah. Good talk.
It’s okay to be vegan.
It’s okay to eat meat.
Cool, well, it’s 7:00 am so I’m gonna like, go back to sleep now I guess. Thanks for reading a kind of unusual blog!