Monday, December 01, 2008

Score One For The Hunted

I love stories like this. Hunting has never made any sense to me, and no one's really been able to explain it to me either. People say that we need to hunt to prevent overpopulation, yada yada yada. It's true, but it's not why hunters hunt. They don't do it out of some altruistic concern for crops or vehicles or anything like that. It's not the dirty job for the Department of Conservation rookies, to go out and kill hundreds of deer. and you hear a lot of hunters say they eat what they kill, as though somehow that makes it less violent. And food isn't why they hunt. Theses people could feed their families with meat from the grocery store for less money than they spend on hunting. The license, the orange and camo clothes, the non-scented soaps and shampoos and detergents, the spray bottles of dear urine, the weaponry itself, it costs more than pork chops from Safeway.

No, hunters hunt for fun. It's some sort of bloodlust thing that I can't fathom, wanting to kill something just for the thrill of killing it. I'll kill bugs, and mice, but not for pleasure. I'll kill them because they revolt me and I feel, however irrationally, that they somehow present a threat. I can't let spiders live in my house because they might crawl on my face while I sleep or bite my children, and the same goes for mice who might also eat my food and poop in my silverware drawer. Very few hunters, I believe, fear that a deer is going to poop in their silverware drawer.

It's probably best that I don't understand the thrill-killer mentality, that in fact I believe it to be horrifying and worthy of psychological treatment. If I thought that watching something twitch and writhe in pain was fun, if I thought that cutting into still-warm flesh and gutting it would bring me joy, I'd probably be a serial killer. No, I need, absolutely need, to believe that my meat originates in the grocery aisle, that before the burger was on my plate it came from a styrofoam tray and nowhere else. I can't eat anything that was hunted, only what was purchased. No deer jerky or venison steak, no rabbit meat. Tom eats it, and Ryan has at times. I don't begrudge anyone else their "game", but I can't eat it. And I get a thrill whenever I read or hear of a hunter being attacked by his prey. As long as they're going to continue to call hunting a sport, the other team should occasionally score a point too.

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