Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"If there's one thing I just can't get with at all,/ it's the urge to kill something beautiful just to hang it on your wall." Ani Difranco

This picture was taken at the Cabela's store in Dundee, Michigan. As we walked around looking at the various animal exhibits on display, I overheard a man saying to another man as he walked to the check out counter, "all I know is I'm going to shoot the first thing I see."

I am still baffled by this mentality. I understand hunting for meat, and I actually respect this type of hunting -- called subsistence hunting -- than our far-removed method of picking up a pound of ground chuck at the local grocery. I think if you're going to eat it, you should have some connection to the process.

Trophy hunting, or hunting just to hang something on your wall, really bothers me.

In the late 1800's, during Custer's Last Stand, hundreds of thousands of buffalo were slaughtered on the prairies of South Dakota simply for their hides. The meat was left to rot on the remaining carcass. This decimation of bison ultimately led to the decimation of many natives living off the land. Similar things happened with our useless slaughter of wolves and other big game.

Hunting ranches where animals are kept in fenced areas for people to come shoot are no different. Trophy hunting is no different. It's a squandering of life.

I am thankful for the animals and plants that nourish my and my family's bodies. I know there is a cycle to everything, and that eventually even my own body will feed others.

But killing for the sake of killing....I just can't get with at all. So, to the guy I overheard in Cabela's on Monday, October 15: this entry is for you. I hope somehow you are grateful for the first animal you see, and for the sacrifice it will make for you.

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