Hunting (shooting and fishing)

The Ark pointed me towards a rather unpleasant blog post that linked hunting, women and vegetarianism. Sneaky, he knew I would have a view. And I did.

In fact he pointed all his readers towards it as he devoted a blog post to it. Most of his other readers had a view too about hunting and killing animals for fun.

Some years ago (translates to more than ten but less than twenty) we were Hunt Sabs supporters. By which I mean we gave them money every Saturday when they had a stall in the city centre. As a fine upstanding (by which I mean ambitious and career-focused) public servant I did not want to be caught on CCTV giving money to a law-breaking organisation, so Partner handed over the dosh, and I lurked nearby.

My logic was that my money was more use to them than me breaking the law and losing my job. I really didn’t feel like going to gaol. I wanted to pass go and collect Β£200. And give it to Hunt Sabs.

During the same era, we were looking at moving out of the posh suburb where we lived to a place in the country. As we wandered around a large, strange bungalow with decent ground (visions of a huge veg garden were floating before my eyes – this being more important than the house) the owner proudly told us the local hunt often passed over a corner of the property. Over my dead body, and certainly not over Reynard’s. Our enthusiasm for the property dropped 500%, or 5000%, who cares. Having been on the point of buying it, and the old dear had agreed to sell to the nice respectable couple, we made our hasty farewells, got in the car, and said nothing. There was no need.

I have an aversion to hunting. It is elitist, snobby, and cruel. If rich gits want to have an exciting ride through the countryside I suggest they put names in a hat, and the lucky one to win can set off across the countryside, followed by a pack of hounds and some stuck-up tossers on horses, knowing that s/he will be ripped to shreds at the end.

What crime does Reynard commit? Usually steals someone’s chickens to eat. It’s not as though they aren’t going to be killed anyway to end up as roast chicken on someone’s table. But there’s the rub. Poor old Reynard costs the chicken owner money. It’s not about compassion for chickens. Yet, according to Heptner and Naumov (Mammals of the Soviet Union), the amount of fowl/livestock killed by foxes is often exaggerated.

As a slight aside, the fox fur trade is a million dollar industry. In 2012 a pelt was worth around $65. My mother had a whole pelt, apparently it was fashionable in the mid twentieth century to drape a dead fox around your neck. She also had a coat with a silver fox fur collar which I eventually cut off. The coat didn’t look as nice but at least it no longer promoted the fur trade.

When I was a young kid, she bought some sealskin boots from Bridlington’s posh clothes shop. I was most upset. Despite my best efforts to dissuade her, she went ahead and bought them anyway. Years later in her seventies, she said ‘I wouldn’t have bought them now’.

Back to hunting

By which I mean killing animals for fun. Enjoyment. ‘Sport’. Enjoying watching something die for no other reason than that someone wants to deprive another sentient being of life and gets a kick out of doing so.

Hunting arouses passions. It seems to be one of those topics where people think it is either perfectly acceptable, or utterly deplorable. My university friends epitomise the county set associated with hunting (shooting and fishing). They live in a nice mansion, with a large estate and have a couple of horses for her to play with. A few years ago, she sent me a photo of her cuddling a cocker spaniel puppy, proudly proclaiming he was a ‘working dog’. She really does fit the role she has created for herself, even though her affinity with my dogs was always zilch. Her husband learnt to fish from her father, but they have obviously gone one step further in their aristocratic pursuits. Unless cocker spaniels do other work apart from flushing game and retrieving the shot bird?

When I was a tiny kid, I joined the World Wildlife Fund as it was then known. Not the junior version, but the adult section, and rigorously ploughed my way through the heavy magazine every month or two when it was delivered.

I so wanted an elephant. We had a large front garden (actually at the rear of the house away from the road, but that’s how the house was) and I was sure it was big enough for an elephant. Childishly I would come home from school always hoping to see an elephant had arrived. A daughter of one of my dad’s friends, she was much older than me, would say ‘Haven’t you bought her that bloody elephant yet?’

I would climb over the gate of the front garden (they didn’t open) and go and play with the large collie dog down the street. Gem was my friend. I had no fear of dogs. His owner told me to be careful but I couldn’t understand why, and gradually she realised that we were friends. I would curl up with him in his kennel. His owner was still bemused that her unpredictable dog was always so nice around me.

Over the path from the front garden was a smallholding with chickens, pigeons, pigs and horses. When I wasn’t playing with Gem, I was feeding the horses with apples and carrots, much to my father’s consternation as he was frightened of horses.

At some point, the penny dropped for this animal lover that eating meat meant killing animals. I was upset about this, but, not living in a trendy right-on family, I had no idea about vegetarianism so I did what everyone else does, and rationalised it.

To go back to the post, that I was referred to by pesky Ark, one of the points made by the author was that people who eat meat and criticise killing animals for enjoyment are hypocritical. Which would lead one to believe that the only people who can sound off about hunting are vegetarians? Well, that limits the number of people who can oppose hunting by a rather large number doesn’t it?

To paraphrase said author, people are in denial about where their food comes from and it would be much more honest of them to take a few pot shots at innocent animals or wring their necks or something. This is very caveman, is it not? It is natural to hunt, all animals do it, he witters. Not with a dirty great shotgun they don’t. Go kill animals without a weapon, then see how much fun it is.

With so-called human intelligence, that is clever (?) enough to develop guns and rifles, should come compassion and awareness. It would appear not.

The idea of killing animals for fun, for whatever spurious reason: overpopulation, pests, food – when it is so difficult to shop at the supermarket down the road, nauseates me. There is no justification. If you are a blood-thirsty, power-hungry bastard, who gets a kick out of killing a sentient being in an unequal contest, why not admit it?

I am not interested in your extremely selfish reasons about the thrill of the chase, your exceptional skill at shooting, bow and arrows, sticking a barbed hook in a fish (and leaving the debris around for my dog to get stuck in his tongue or for swans to choke on) or whatever other method people use to kill.

Nor, will I accuse meat-eaters of hypocrisy, for opposing hunting. Animals, of all types need all the support they can get. People have abused them for too long.

Of course people know they are eating dead animals, and know that an animal has been killed, and possibly not very well, to put it in a plastic wrapper on sale in the supermarket. But, as I did as a kid, everyone makes their own choice. Eating meat doesn’t mean you should go out, apply for a gun licence and shoot the first thing you see to justify a carnivorous lifestyle. Nor does it mean that by shooting animals you then get to wear the badge that says, ‘Hey, I can kill, so therefore I get to eat meat’.

I have no interest in whether the one comes before the other. Or whether either is used as validation. It’s a crass and nonsensical argument.

I kill animals therefore I can eat meat.

I eat meat therefore I can kill animals.

Seriously, that just floats over my head.

Even better,

‘I don’t enjoy the killing itself. It is just the link between hunting and eating.’

(Direct quote from truthandtolerance).

Now, what have I missed here? How many of us need to hunt to eat? Well?

And,

‘Killing an animal isn’t wrong, but it is serious.’

I bet it’s very serious for the dead animal. I would find it serious if someone chose to hunt and kill me. I would also consider it to be morally wrong, but who am I to argue with a gun-toting Christian?

I can however understand,

I am a vicious nasty piece of work who likes to kill a defenceless animal because it’s fun to do so. Although, I really don’t enjoy doing it, but because I eat meat, I must kill animals. It’s serious.

Just really? But that’s how it translates.

I read some garbage, but that is getting well near the top of the pile.

Another minor digression, if meat-eaters are hypocritical for condemning hunting, what about those who eat cows, sheep and pigs, but oppose eating dogs, cats and horses? Are they hypocritical too?

It’s all the same to me. I don’t want to eat dead animals.

What about survival?

Interestingly, in Gabriel GarcΓ­a MΓ‘rquez’s story of a shipwrecked sailor, the sailor has a companion seagull, but decides to kill it for food. Finally he manages it. And – can’t eat it. What a waste of life. Is that how we reward our animal/bird friends? Apparently.

We are a miserable species. We kill each other for greed, we kill animals for fun, we kill them for food, and we destroy our environment by doing so. But still, we are an intelligent species. Yes?

Hunting with dogs

Despite a ban on hunting with hounds in the UK in 2004/5, it seems the hunting lobby will not give up.

Since the law against hunting was introduced, there have been nearly 300 successful prosecutions. The act was difficult to pass as the House of Lords repeatedly blocked it.

More than 70% of the British public oppose fox hunting, and more than 80% oppose deer hunting (which says a lot about different cute fluffy animals) yet the elitist peers of the realm chose to vote for their traditional ‘sport’.

The act was only passed by invoking the rarely used Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949. Previous contentious issues were:

  1. The disestablishment of the Church of Wales
  2. Home Rule for Ireland
  3. The 1949 amendment to the original 1911 act
  4. War crimes
  5. European elections
  6. Age of consent for homosexual relations

and then,

    hunting.

What a bizarre mix. I can understand the legislative issues, but how controversial is not just hunting, but homosexuality? Says a lot about our skewed societal views.

It was also a free vote in parliament, ie party members can vote with their lack of conscience rather than towing the party line. Killing animals jumps into the league of capital punishment and abortion.

I’ll leave the last word with Hunt Sabs.

In the history of their years of protest, two Hunt Sabs have been killed. A police inspector was kicked to the ground and punched senseless for defending the law, plus broken arm and ribs. In attempting to defend the law – in favour of HS.

But police have also been on record as saying enforcing the 2005 legislation is a low priority, or it is up to DEFRA. Uh? Since when does a government department become a law enforcer?

When I first started writing a hunting post, a couple of years ago, I was surprised to see Hunt Sabs were still in existence. Because you pass a law, and hunting stops doesn’t it?

No, because people with money, who get a kick out of putting an animal in fear of its life, and then, finally kill it, continue with their merry little ‘sport’.

Matters to me not whether it is Juan Carlos legally killing an elephant in Botswana (I mean, just why?) or Lord and Lady Muck in a red coat hunting fox or deer, or Dave from the council estate with his Jack Russells.

If you enjoy killing animals, quite frankly, you are one extremely sad person. There is NO justification, so please don’t make excuses.

Hunt Sabs

Prosecutions

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About roughseasinthemed

I write about my life as an English person living in Spain and Gibraltar, on Roughseas, subjects range from politics and current developments in Gib to book reviews, cooking and getting on with life. My views and thoughts on a variety of topics - depending on my mood of the day - can be found over on Clouds. A few pix are over on Everypic - although it is not a photoblog. And of course my dog had his own blog, but most of you knew that anyway. Pippadogblog etc
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32 Responses to Hunting (shooting and fishing)

  1. Kev says:

    I agree with you all the way. Killing for fun incenses me.
    If I was ever going to turn into or serial killer or something… it’s these dickheads (male/female… don’t care which… same difference) I’d be killing. You know… that would make for a good story! πŸ˜‰ Mm.

    Like

    • You might want to read the link to not just Ark’s post but the original perpetrator. Happily we’re not the only ones who think so πŸ™‚ and you know according to the trigger happy Christian, having a couple of pets doesn’t entitle you to comment because you haven’t been brought up on a farm. Well, I have an animal finca but does that mean I kill and eat my chickens and cockerels? I walked around bacon factories in my youth for the family business. But no, I need to have wrung my chickens necks, precious, before I know what I am talking about.

      Actually, I just need to grow my own veg, it’s hardly difficult. I have not joined in the debate on the liesandlackoftolerance blog, but if you want entertainment, you may wish to visit. And leave. Or maybe comment, thereby destroying his presumption that the only people who will comment are women.

      Like

      • Kev says:

        I did read Ark’s post and the link. πŸ˜€ I try not to “like” or comment on posts involving animal killings because it give them the attention they are craving. So I’m in two minds when I comment. That’s why I only commented on yours. πŸ™‚

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        • Exactly why I didn’t comment on the original post. He is not worth my time of day.

          Ark has a wicked taste for vile music (you may like it), is appallingly sexist, and I’m sure I can think of many other things to accuse him of. However opposing hunting is a big plus in my book. So I figured he merited a comment, and he had specifically pointed out the shitey post to me.

          Whenever in doubt, I use my golden PR rule. Don’t engage with something that isn’t worth it. It’s a class one. Do I respond? And treat it as though it is worth a reply? Or do I ignore it as the detritus it truly is.

          Hard to do sometimes, but being ignored is very annoying πŸ™‚

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          • Arkenaten says:

            How can I not love someone who says I am sexyiest?

            Good post. You say it better than me.

            Like

          • You wouldn’t be sexyiest if you were still smoking πŸ˜€

            In fact, you were right commenting on his blog, apart from being a total dickhead, he is sexist. I thought it was hugely funny you commenting on his sexism though. But you don’t dabble in such dangerous waters with your sexyism.

            If you wanted me to shred him, then I apologise for disappointing you. Nor am I willing to argue with him on your blog. I really consider his views quite despicable and there is no hope of changing his point of view, so why waste my time and effort? I have no wish to exchange views with him.

            However, you pointed me there, so I dutifully went. I’d started my anti-hunting post years ago, but never published the original because coincidentally an internet pal at the time posted a pro-hunting post and I didn’t want it to be seen as a reaction. So this was a nice opportunity to revisit the topic and post.

            I didn’t say it better than you. You actually didn’t say it! Rather, you got involved in dialogue which isn’t my choice because you can’t explain the issues sufficiently in responses to a post. Unless you are Victoria of course!

            And while I’m pretty forthright in my views πŸ˜‰ I do think it is scraping the barrel to accuse meat eaters of hypocrisy for opposing hunting. Even I have more tolerance than that. We are all at different points on the moral spectrum. I am clearly in the upper echelons but I will deign to acknowledge you and John from time to time.

            Like

          • Arkenaten says:

            Nope. Didn’t want you to shred him. You did what you do best .
            I just thought you might ”like” the post. You know, killing for pleasure – Christian morals, ”sexy” vacuous-looking females posing with dead animals and all that. Good gut-churning, bile producing fodder, right?

            Like

          • Well, I’ve only addressed one aspect of his post. I could just as easily have addressed his appalling sexism (got to be bad for you to call him on it), or his banal theory of Internet hatred or his lack of comprehension about ecological balance, environmental degradation, world poverty, vegetarian diets, blah di blah. But he doesn’t merit it.

            I leave the Christianity thing for those of you who know something about it. As I’ve discussed with Victoria and Ruth on more than one occasion, I think it’s rubbish. It is flawed, so therefore I can not see the point of discussing it. They can, because they’ve been there. I haven’t. It does not make sense, so I don’t believe it. I can not get in my tiny head why others do. I’m more interested in making a case about other causes, even if they are indirectly related to crazy religious beliefs.

            Where are all these dead people eternally burning in hell? Where are all the saved souls in paradise? It doesn’t make sense logistically, let alone the rest of the make-believe. Truthful and tolerant me πŸ™‚

            Like

          • Kev says:

            What do you mean by that?… I may like it? I don’t like vile music… unless perhaps you think mine is… I’ll pass all the same.

            Likewise. It’s a very sensible rule.

            Like

          • No, just that we all have different tastes. People who play guitars seem to have very different tastes.

            It was/is a very practical one, eg not replying to a negative comment in a newspaper and dragging the story out, rather getting a positive story out a day or so later. Crap lies dead and buried, good story takes precedence. PR isn’t quite as easy as people think.

            Like

          • Kev says:

            I can live with that! πŸ˜€ I hope you plan on buying my CD when it comes out! (Serious look and tone) πŸ˜€

            Like

          • I’ve only bought a handful of CDs. All in Spanish. A mix of male singers – Juanes, Ricky Martin, female – Rosario, Shakira, and bands – chambao, Ojos de brujo, Amparanoia. Will yours be in Spanish?

            Like

          • Kev says:

            If you want a Spanish one darling… πŸ˜€

            Like

  2. cobbies69 says:

    When I lived in Brockenhurst, New Forest, there were regular meets with these low lives of humanity. They would meet at a hotel,, several times a year, but the main one was on boxing day. a small group of us would be very disruptive for them,, doing aniseed pulls everywhere and some one got a load of blood from these hounds people kennels and then starting throwing it about. I myself got involved with some of them both, your imagination can decide what else was done.. Several times we managed to get it called off… Delaying only…but bigger groups did better… I really hated the people that did this, snobby with heads up their arses and noses so far in the air they had clouds on them. Two faced hypocrites.Could say a lot more but pointless…

    Like

    • My parents used to work right up to Christmas on the market, but when Xmas eve fell on Sunday (no market) we could go away. So we did, and one year we went to a Boxing Day meet, as part of the Christmas package. It was very odd. We stood around watching the high and mighty perform and prance, I thought, in my I enlightened days, that it would be interesting and atmospheric. It was cold and elitist. A waste of a morning. It would have been better spent walking along the beach.

      Good on you for doing something about it Gerry. I admire you.

      Like

      • cobbies69 says:

        It was only a small piece,, the best bit was meeting up with these people around the village and drinking in the pubs. lounge bar side.. you remember when pubs had lounge and public bars and some had snug… thanks K for your kind words ….

        Like

        • Yup, I remember all of those, at our local, we had the tap room and the lounge. We often went in the tap room. The beer was cheaper and we could play dominoes. During the week, no one ever went in the lounge bar at lunchtime, just the small cosy tap room.

          I’m guessing pubs have changed a lot courtesy of Weatherspoons.

          Like

          • cobbies69 says:

            tap room I forget them,,mostly these people would use lounge bars for their meetings, my friend and I butted in on several, mostly by accident…Most pubs are now one large bar that serves food, the one we as youngsters use to use is now a one bar eating house…shame because it had so much character..

            Like

          • Yes, I can’t imagine the hunting set in the tap room. Having said that, we would often go out smartly dressed and end up in the tap room to play dominoes. Or out with a girlfriend, we would go in there to play darts.

            Eeee, pubs aren’t what they used to be. I used to love the ones with lots of small rooms. And when you wanted another round, you went and stood at a narrow counter, like a window to save going into the main bar. Not quite Weatherspoons.

            Like

  3. EllaDee says:

    The original post I wouldn’t have bothered reading; to me it screams “troll”. The images are sensationalist and unpleasant and the same as have been trotted out by the media for effect.
    The update at the end as a reply was cheap “…I do wish they had bothered to read the whole post”. I did get to the end and was still unimpressed and unpersuaded “Of course, if the girls above were not girls, if they were middle aged men, no one would care as much, which comes to another point: people always get more enraged when the perceived β€œother” is a woman.” What crap, which I won’t dignify with a reply in situ.
    There are people who live mindfully, compassionately and ethically but we never make headlines nor are we good material for attention seeking bloggers.

    Like

    • To me it screams unpleasant obnoxious person.

      Regarding the imagery, I think one might have been acceptable had the writer been criticising the hunting. But as he was defending it, or even glorifying it, I have to say I think it was somewhat sick and perverted. I felt an incredible wave of sadness at the sight of the noble lion, who looked as though he was asleep, but it knew he would never wake up. It is utterly depraved to justify that.

      The point the author claimed to be making was about how people pile in on the Internet and write nasty things about others. Quite frankly, I see nothing wrong with writing nasty things about people who gain pleasure from killing animals for fun. The more people that write nasty things, the better. Nor do I care what gender the killers are, or how old they are. It is only by people being vocal that we will ever get any change. And the Internet does, at least, give us an opportunity for our views to be shared more widely around the world. Occasionally in there, we find like-minded individuals.

      I have followed the comments on the original blog, but didn’t add to the debate. No need as Ark said enough, as did John Z. I did comment on Ark’s post as he had directed me to the original. The hunting Christian replied to my comment, but I’m not responding as I refuse to engage with such detritus or else I might have pointed out that two of the three girls were actually women not girls. There was only one girl and she was 11 as I recall. Something tells me that explaining how the use of language subtly reinforces the role of women in a patriarchal society would not be understood.

      While it is always depressing to see support for any type of hunting, it is also encouraging to see others, equally as vocal as me, condemning not just hunting, but the devastation people wreak on the environment which leads to skewing the natural balance, thus resulting in a so-called over-population of animals (which then need to be killed of course) in an ever-decreasing small space of land. People create these ‘problems’ not the animals. The solution isn’t to kill the animals. The solution is to stop damaging our planet.

      Like

  4. I grew up eating what was on the land- everyone hunted and fished for food – we didn’t have much money. We were self sufficient and owed no money. Squirrel (greasy tiny parts, ugh), quail, deer (burgers, Ok the rest, tough). Never rabbits – not nutritious. Catfish, perch – trout if in the mountains. (and you don’t give the cows names.) Even as kids we knew they died, skinned and prepared them. It wasn’t a thrill thing ever. Just dinner.
    But now? Not a hunter as there is no need. I don’t understand hunting for trophies or raising kids up into that concept.
    If people want to demonstrate/enjoy how well they shoot, there are clays and targets (but an expensive hobby).
    Even my dad got to where during deer season, he’d go out with the “guys” for a big weekend, but never brought anything home – he just liked sitting in the woods and looking around…he always joked the deer knew they were safe around his stand – he always saw big bucks really close. (Too bad he didn’t get into photography – he’d probably enjoyed that)
    Never really got the hounds and foxes – seemed pretty in pictures, but rather unsportsman-like in reality. One little fox harried and run down. Hard to justify all the pomp for the cruelty.
    Interesting observation about dogs and cats – story last night about an American in Chinese jail – they are served dogs for food which he refused to eat – but the rough part is the prison kills the pups right in front of them.
    Then there’s the battle where I fight to keep our western mustang descendants running free and managed rather than on dinner tables overseas.
    Everyone has to find their comfort level.
    I didn’t wander over to that post/link. no point from what you said. And as you say no point responding to them as it juts gets them rolling.

    Like

    • Big difference between being short of money in America and lord/lady of the manor in the UK having a jolly good morning’s sport at Reynard’s expense, what?

      Equally though to justify enjoying killing because we need to eat animals – er no we don’t – doesn’t cut it either. Nothing wrong with garbanzos.

      Note to self. Never go to China. Mind you, King Rat by James whatsisname has a similar scenario that left me feeling ill.

      Normally the original poster gets no/few comments. I suspect it was only because my other blogging friend (who doesn’t agree with gratuitous hunting) mentioned it that people even visited.

      We all write controversial posts. But not ones that gloat about killing animals.

      Good luck with the mustangs. Hooves crossed.

      Like

  5. Kev says:

    Nothing new here. 😦

    Like

  6. Brilliantly written, and one of the few blogs I’ve come across where the comments are as interesting as the post itself. I eat no animals, I find no need to do so.
    It’s always a pleasure to find a good writer in the blogosphere. I shall have root through your drawers soon and see what else is in store if you don’t mind. Oh yes, and I enjoyed (and agreed) with your words on Doobster’s horrible piece of late.

    – sonmi upon the Cloud.

    Like

    • Thank you. I see we are both cloud people (when I’m not Roughseas that is).

      Root away. This blog has changed somewhat over the years, but, in essence it’s still the same.

      Ah, the Doobster thing. I had left it alone but …

      Like

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