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Ethical Hunting

A new generation of hunters talk “ethical hunting.” Green hunting. Kill what you eat. They’re with us.

724-pound bull moose with an antler spread of 56 and 1/2 inches is inspected by a hunter at a weigh station in Kokadjo, Maine. Maine's two week moose hunting season ends on Saturday. (AP)

724-pound bull moose with an antler spread of 56 and 1/2 inches is inspected by a hunter at a weigh station in Kokadjo, Maine. Maine’s two week moose hunting season ends on Saturday. (AP)

Hunting tends to draw a bright line through American culture.  Guys in camo with their guns versus sandaled locavores down at the farmers market.  Now, some of the locavores are crossing that line.  Hunting for food.  Killing what they eat.  “Ethical hunting,” is the new tag.  Don’t just grab dinner from the factory farm.

Track it through the woods.  Look it in the face.  Pay the “full karmic price” for your meal.  Not elephants and rhinos.  Not the endangered.  But maybe deer.  Dinner.

This hour, On Point:  a new breed of American hunter, and one big conservation biologist’s view of their kill.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Lily Raff McCaulou, author of the new book Call of the Mild: Learning to Hunt My Own Dinner. You can find an excerpt here. You can find her New York Times op-ed on hunting and the National Rifle Association here.

Steven Rinella, a lifelong hunter, he’s the author of the new book Meat Eater: Adventures from the Life of an American Hunter. You can read an excerpt of his book here.

Stuart Pimm, professor of conservation ecology at Duke University. He testified before Congress in June, talking about consevation and environmental stewardship.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “Who is the most famous hunter in America? If you’re over 30, the first names that come to mind are probably Sarah Palin, Ted Nugent or Dick Cheney. If you’re under 30, the answer is easier. The most famous hunter in America is Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire founder of Facebook.”

Alaska Dispatch “As if no hunter owned an iPad before Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire founder of Facebook who decided to take up hunting last year.  And as if ducking when people shoot does much good. Better to get a tree between yourself and the shooter. No telling who might be aiming low.”

The Daily Beast “If hunting is a sexual act, Rinella is a promiscuous man. He’s killed deer, squirrel, bear, Dall sheep, beaver, and muskrat, to name a few. In case you don’t believe he killed these animals, the book helpfully supplies photos of Rinella and his friends grinning beside various carcasses. To his credit, Rinella seems to realize that gory accounts of gutting and killing animals may be of limited interest.”

Excerpt: Call of the Mild

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-MC/69207889 Matt MC

    I thought you were interviewing Salman Rushdie today? Can you post an update please! Also, I wish you would stream your shows, so we rural folk in Wisconsin could call in. 

    • J__o__h__n

      You can get live audio on wbur.org or CT and VT NPR websites (probably others).

      I also want to see the Rushdie interview rescheduled.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Was Dick Cheney unavailable?

     

    • sickofthechit

       He’s having trouble sorting out his feelings after receiving a new heart.  Charles A. Bowsher

  • JaneLR

    For anyone interested in a thoughtful, evenhanded exploration of this topic, I highly recommend Tovar Cerulli’s recent book “The Mindful Carnivore: A Vegetarian’s Hunt for Sustenance.” It takes all sides into account and treats all with respect.

  • Gary_Disqus

    Subsistence hunting (i.e., if you don’t hunt, you don’t eat) is ethical. Most everything else is just killing animals for fun, whether or not you convert your kill into sausage and eat it all. I don’t know whether or not it’s ethical to kill animals for fun; I recognize that there may be philosophical or moral arguments that support that position. However, I would not want someone who believes that to be in a position to influence what happens in my life.

  • Shag_Wevera

    Do people eat moose?  If not, a really majestic animal was senselessly killed in the photo above.

    • Vandermeer

       I agree, we need to respect nature not try to conquer it.

    • J__o__h__n

      I went to a legislative event sponsored by hunters and they were serving food from animals they hunted but it was things like bear meatballs that appeared to be designed to cover the taste and make it more mainstream.  It wasn’t being presented as “try bear.” (I didn’t eat it.)  I thought it was similar to the alleged food that vegans claim is a good meat subsitute.

    • aesu

      Plenty of people eat moose, and in the cold winters of the north, it’s often a subsistence food in communities where storebought meat is either physically or financially inaccessible. In parts of Alaska, even moose that are accidentally killed (e.g. on roads) are sometimes then butchered so that the meat can be distributed to food-insecure families.

  • J__o__h__n

    Do any hunters need 20 round clips?  Do hunters think that the NRA is not representing their interests as hunters by opposing all gun control efforts?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       The Second Amendment isn’t about hunting.  By the way, the correct term is magazine, not clip.

      • J__o__h__n

        Agreed, but much of their recruitment is to hunters based on hunting issues. 

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           I’m a member.  I joined because I got tired of the gun control advocates yammering about how private citizens shouldn’t have guns.

      • JobExperience

        Are you a bullet or a slug? My doctor provides free magazines in her waiting room, but I’d prefer clips shown on her TV, which is always tuned to FOX (conditioal on  Big Pharma and Big  Insurance lobbies covering the cable bill). Hunting in the USA, and gun ownership, is a convenient cover for right wing militia activity. (Sponsored by covert government agencies as a bully mechanism.) Hunting is no longer a practiccal or viable means of subsistence for our population. All Americans are now corraled onto the Resevation so that corporations can mine and extract the open spaces. Gun nuts are  a valuable asset for our Masters, just bullies that keep us from complaining in public. By the way, I’ve not eaten any meat in 16 years, and I feel OK without it. The Second Amendment is about drafting boys to protect rich guys from their (the draftees’)parents. “Well-regulated” is the paramount term in the clause. In “them days” soldiers marched in ranks and fired in volleys.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          Go read the amendment again:  The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.  It’s not identified as belonging to the militia or to the state.  It belongs to all of us.

          You clearly have a hateful view of American gun owners, so I doubt that you’ll listen, but the vast majority of us gun owners are not members of “right wing militias,” nor do we seek to overthrow the government.

          In addition, you’re being offered stories right now of people who do hunt for a significant portion of the food that they eat.

          Try getting to know some gun owners and hunters.  You’ll find that we’re a diverse group, but generally decent enough when our rights aren’t being threatened.

          • J__o__h__n

            You left out part of the amendment.  Up until recently, it was not interpreted by the Court as an individual right. 

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            The way that privacy wasn’t always seen as including a woman’s right to control her own body?  I want all the Constitution to be interpreted as individually as possible.  Any power given to the government or to large groups must be strictly limited to protect all of us.

  • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Astraspider

    When looking to build bridges between disparate constituencies, I don’t think there’s a better opportunity than between hunters and environmentalists.

  • sickofthechit

    Wake up On POint!  How is this hour not about the VP debate happening less than an hour from my home tonight?

    Romney
    set the bar low enough on the truth meter that Ryan should feel quite
    comfortable continuing the charade.  Just hope Joe brings his A game.

    “They may have all the money, but we have all the votes!”

    “Republican Politicians;  Hypocrites or Schizophrenic Hypocrites?”

    Charles A. Bowsher

    • Acnestes

      Proximity to your home is really neither here nor there.  Local sales of air freshener may go up, though.  Would that make the candidates job creators?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Republican politicians:  No different from Democratic politicians.

  • Shag_Wevera

    There is an apparent problem with ferrel pigs (boars) in the southern U.S.

    In Europe, boar sausage and related products are prized as delicasies.

    We’d be killing two birds with one stone if we’d begin to harvest this domestic treasure!

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Feral hogs are an invasive and destructive species.  They don’t belong in the wild of this country.  That being the case, hunting them is doing a favor to the environment.

  • superfinehelios

    Hmm. Interesting topic and hits very close to home. I wonder if people realize the incredible amount of deer that are running all over Northern Virginia. This year in particular there is no limit to the number of non-antlered deer that can be taken. It’s ugly, but it’s regulation…yes, if the population of humans wasn’t expanding so much and encroaching on ‘wild’ lands we wouldn’t need to pursue such an aggressive management policy. 

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      The need for this policy is the lack of predators.  The wolves are gone from much of the country.  That happened a long time ago.

      • superfinehelios

        Yes, but I’d rather have more hunters than more coyotes, cougars, bob cats and wolves ranging the multi-use national forests in Virginia. 

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           That’s my point.  Given our population on this continent, bringing back the wild predators is not going to work.

        • J__o__h__n

          Natural predators tend to leave people alone.  They rarely get drunk and Cheney someone. 

  • Outside_of_the_Box

    I hear the same line used again and again by hunters.
    We help to control animal populations, we eat what we hunt, and we hunt “respectfully”.
    But my primary beef with these people is, that many get a great deal of satisfaction and rush from killing. I tell them, a peace-loving person, even if forced to hunt for survival, would not take joy in the act. But these types clearly do. Why is that?
    They usually don’t reply back after that.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      I’ll reply.  Humans are hunters.  We have been as long as we’ve existed.  We’re predators.  Of course we take joy in that.  As civilized people, we have to learn to channel that impulse in acceptable ways, but it doesn’t go away.

      • Outside_of_the_Box

        A refreshing answer, but isn’t it a copout? If we’re all hunters, predators, in our dna, why do most “manage” not to channel that impulse into killing? And if we follow this line, though I don’t agree, how would you explain one person who runs to channel that impulse, and another who “gives in” and kills? The fact is, the majority don’t hunt, don’t enjoy killing, and don’t agree with you here. So perhaps you want to revisit who the civilised people really are?

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           The comments today were mostly in agreement with me, not that the truth is up for popular vote.  Perhaps you haven’t noticed that our technologically maintained lives in plastic and concrete aren’t exactly in keeping with what is natural?  Look at the rage that many display on the roads.  Look at the cubicle malaise that is modern work for so many.

          • Outside_of_the_Box

            Well we can disagree on where the comments were going today. But even if you did have majority support, it wouldn’t change what I’ve been saying. We all engage in the world. We all pollute to varying degrees. We don’t all enjoy speding our free time hunting and killing defenseless animals.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            And I’m not asking you to hunt if you don’t want to.  Just leave alone those who choose to do so.

    • superfinehelios

      I agree with you. (I am a hunter). I run into the same kind of people and they don’t represent me. My wife (a vegan) and I have very colorful and challenging debates about my interests. But, we understand that I am I, she is she and we respect the other’s choices. Just as I respect (though may not understand) the actions of other hunters that seem to hunt only to fulfill some underlying desire to kill or conquer. Hunting is challenging (although some choose to make it less challenging by hunting over feed plots, hunt in illegal areas, and over hunt their limits). And no matter how many people don’t like it…it’s necessary. And let’s face it, meat is meat. Whether it’s raised, mistreated and slaughtered on farms or left to grow peacefully on it’s own to then be taken fairly, it’s still dinner for someone. 

      • Outside_of_the_Box

        You say you don’t represent other hunters “that seem to hunt only to fulfill some underlying desire to kill or conquer”. But surely you hunt because you enjoy it. So aren’t you like “other hunters” in this regard? And doesn’t this go back to my question, why some enjoy killing, and others do not?

    • Steve__T

       They are humans, as we all are, but we are all different and so do things in different ways, thank God they have a place to go kill something. I call my self an ethical hunter I will never kill something I don’t intend to eat.
      I love to go fishing, I don’t catch and release I think that is inhumane what I catch I eat if I catch more than I can eat I donate it to homeless kitchens.

  • ttllrr

    There is NO defensible argument for Americans today killing sentient animals for food.  We live in a land of plenty, even in the most rural, poor areas.  We don’t need meat from a biological perspective, we’re healthier for not eating it from a medical one and plant-based sources of food with all the correct nutrients are widely available even if you have to grow them yourself.  If you’re eating meat in the USA in 2012, you’re doing it because you WANT to and your desires, tastes and will are the driving forces, nothing more.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       What I want isn’t good enough?

      • ttllrr

        Not at the expense of the life of another.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           What’s your opinion of cats?  They have to eat meat.  How about wolves?

    • superfinehelios

      Yes we do live in a land of plenty. There are plenty of deer out there that (beyond a license and gear) costs very little to process. A great deal of hunters in this area donate their harvest to Hunters for the Hungry. You won’t find farmers slaughtering and donating their prized beef which cost thousands to purchase and much more to fatten. Oh and my wife (a vegan) couldn’t agree with you more on not eating meat. I love her, she loves me. We respect one another.

    • Scott B

      “Sentient” means they’re self-aware and have an ability to think beyond an instinct to eat, sleep, and procreate. By your standard,that would only take humans, marine mammals, parrots, great apes, elephants, and ravens of the dinner table.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    In my area, there’s a sanctuary for big cats that were abused or otherwise endangered by their owners.  They eat a lot of meat.  If I get to go hunting this season, I’ll donate any deer that I get to feed them.

    • superfinehelios

      I donate it all to Hunters for the Hungry.

  • ttajtt

    Goverment is out thats you, me and we the people.  Whom then can say whats right or wrong.  Don’t question the true controllers.  SEEDLESS grapes oranges watermelon and fish its health and nutrition “SUPPLANTS”.   Natural nature benison for us all.  Would you like to live in the wilderness wear animal skins and eat locus and wild honey.  Is that way not becoming extinct.   Whom don’t like E coli – cwd – artificialness all is made for supply & demand, cost saving, proffer proficient profiling.   Really, NOT MOTHER EARTH EARTHLINGS.   Drink your pop and burp out loud.  

  • Phil McCoy

    I was wondering if your guests could talk about hunting in places like New Zealand where all mammals are invasive species so hunting is actually encouraged (and so is buying furs from the hunted animals) as a way to try and keep the invasive mammalian population undercontrol and protect the ecosystem down there.

  • bacterial_sizzle

    Unnecessary killing can’t be branded as “ethical.” What’s next, “ethical rape?”

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Humans are omnivores and predators.  It’s who we are.  We’re not talking about hunting other humans.

    • J__o__h__n

      Did Rep Akin speak again?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    if people feel the need to hunt, let them fence off parts of areas where chickens, pigs, cows are raised, sell tickets and let folks blast away to their heart’s content.

    If this is for sport, head out to the woods with a paint gun – or a camera – and have a go at it.

  • superfinehelios

    Good point Lily..those that hunt/fish cannot help but gain an intimate knowledge of how the world outside of our air-conditioned homes works. And (hopefully) want to preserve those places.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RK3LIGITK2H67FWDERSBM5CCZM New Hampshire Native

    I hunt.  I am a woman and yes, I hunt.  The rule of my own household is that whatever you kill you eat.  How can anyone who eats meat can turn their nose up to hunting puzzles me….I choose not to be a contract killer and buy a faceless piece of meat from a grocery store.  You have to have respect for the animal and what you put in your own body !!  Please share this comment !!

    • skeptic150

      I stopped eating meat several years ago, so I guess I can legitimately criticize hunting.

    • Outside_of_the_Box

      I would share it if it was worth sharing.
      Let me ask you something.
      Would you put away your gun for good, if I promised you meat for life?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RK3LIGITK2H67FWDERSBM5CCZM New Hampshire Native

    We hunt – husband and I.  Have respect for your food and don’t be a contract killer by buying faceless meat from a store.  I think that we as a society would waste less food if we knew when it came from and had to provide for ourselves !

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=719638118 Glenn Russell

    Welcome these new types of hunters.  They are smarter and care more about their health than every before.  They know that a harvest of a wild animal (terrestrial or aquatic) have more health benefits than the way we manage domesticated animals.  The new hunter trust what they are killing is a healthier more trustworthy option to what is available from the market.  And if the hunter or fisherman is skilled, it can be cheaper and more pleasurable to harvest your own.

    • http://www.facebook.com/haley.mathis7 Haley Mathis

      This is not new at all; it’s actually ancient…but I’m with you that I’m glad there are more people hunting thoughtfully, carefully, and with a spiritual appreciation for the experience.

  • rpmoore52

    it’s nothing new. Some hunters have always been ethical in their attitude.

  • Rex Henry

    My cousin decided to become a veterinarian after killing her first deer

  • ThirdWayForward

    Is there a distinction to be made between hunting (generally mammals) and fishing?

    Do we have the feeling that fish are different and the process of catching and killing a fish is psychologically different?

    I’m no vegetarian, but I do have sympathy for animals, especially wild animals that we did not raise for food purposes.

    Maybe one’s feelings about “ethical hunting” have more to do with whether one identifies with the hunter or with the animal being hunted.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       What’s your point?

  • marconlyn

    Even my 8 year old knows – hunt with a camera!  Camera hunting can give you all that you get from hunting with a gun – other than taking the animals life – killing it for no real reason other than to satisfy ones self.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Kind of like only having relations with a video, rather than with a real person.

  • David_from_Lowell

    I went hunting with my uncle when I was 16, and after that experience I became a vegetarian and have been for the last 17 years. But he, and the vast majority of other hunters we met, and those I’ve since met, were thoughtful, dedicated, and caring people who were as concerned with conservation as any environmentalist, but in their own way. If more meat-eating people took the time to learn about the animals they eat and hunted themselves, rather than buying CAFO-beef under cellophane at the supermarket, we would all be better off.

    • marconlyn

       Sounds good, but why not make the whole food system better and more local?  I don’t think hunting needs to fill the good food void in this country.

      • David_from_Lowell

        Hunting IS helping to make the food system more local, in concrete and abstract ways, in that hunters typically do eat the animals they kill, and being directly involved in the food cycle changes people’s outlook. Like having a garden, but for meat-eaters.

  • marconlyn

    I tried to explain hunting to my eight year old.  He asked me, why not hunt with a camera?

    Hunting with a camera can give you everything that hunting gives you except killing a living creature for no other reason than satisfying your own personal needs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/haley.mathis7 Haley Mathis

      you can eat photographs?  this is news to me!  i’ve apparently been doing it wrong…

  • Scott B

    Even as a vegetarian I understand the need for hunting. It’s conservation. 
    Too often I see farmers complaining about deer laying waste to their crops, but these same farmers post their land to keep hunters out. We also like our 89 cent can of vegetables, and that doesn’t happen when a deer population that’s already bigger than it ever was in history is allowed to continue expanding.
    Take some anti-hunting advocates into some fields not so far from where I am and show them the carcases of several dozen deer on ONE ACRE , starved and frozen to death ,because the land cannot support them. Is that a better way to die?
    Many Americans used to have to hunt their food. Too many are too far away from that to understand a healthy balance in nature.  Any real hunter I know, myself included at one time, uses as much of his kill as possible. They are not the buffalo hunters of the 19th century, killing for a skin or a thrill.

  • ThirdWayForward

    I think most people would have a natural avulsion to hunting stray dogs and cats, because we are used to treating these species as parts of our families.

    How is a wild deer different from a stray dog or cat? from a wild dog or cat? does it make a difference if the animal is dangerous? aggressive towards humans?

    Hunting is a ritual, and there is a large set of attitudes and rationalizations for it, probably most of them irrational at their
    core.

    Might makes right, and the strong eat the weak.

    The question is whether one thinks that this is the way things should be (because this is the way things are) or perhaps that the world could be better than this.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      How is your view better?  It’s just different.

      • ThirdWayForward

         Are you defending the “might makes right” view?

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           I’m saying that we are predators.  That’s neither right nor wrong.  It’s a fact.  You may not have the desire, but that doesn’t make the hunter a bad person.

          • ThirdWayForward

             I don’t think that hunters are necessarily bad people, certainly no worse or no better than anyone else.

            What does bother me about hunting per se is that it is totally one-sided. The hunter assumes the right to take the life of the animal. I eat meat myself, so perhaps there is a contradiction here.

            But translate this ethic into how people deal with other people. The Ayn Rand people  (and many, perhaps most, conservatives) think that it is ethical for strong individuals to take advantage of weaker ones for their own benefit. Pay them as little as you possibly can. Get away with whatever you can.

            There is a correlation with the gun culture and political conservatism of this sort.  Whether the correlation is spurious or whether it is an indication of something deeper is unclear.

            I recognize that hunting does not necessarily equal guns (and/or killing).

            But I must say that hearing about Palin killing an animal in cold blood does make me nauseous.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             I wouldn’t call you nauseous, since you don’t make me sick.  Palin nauseates me, too.

            A pacifist who refuses to harm any other living animal has a consistent position, but if you eat meat, the only question is where the meat comes from.

            Hunting is participating in the natural world in a way that goes back through the eons.  We live technological lives that disconnect us from nature, but biologically, we’re still animals.

          • ThirdWayForward

             I don’t claim that my eating meat is totally consistent with anything.

            That hunting has a long history doesn’t mean much — killing other human beings also has a long history, but we don’t feel that this is right, except in self-defense or in retribution for heinous crimes (e.g. Eichmann richly deserved execution).

            But I do have the feeling that eating an animal that was raised for that purpose is in some ways different from going out into the wild and eating one that you have hunted down. In the first case, the consumer of the meat had a hand in bringing the animal into existence in the first place.

            On these grounds one might prefer farmed fish over wild ones.

            Biologically we are still animals, but (I cannot believe I am hearing myself say this) as humans we can rise above our animalistic instincts that are grounded in fear, dominance, and agression. We can make societies in which tendencies towards violence and mutual exploitation are tamed.

            More cooperation, less violence and exploitation.

    • Steve__T

       Who eats cats and dog here in America? And where have you seen domesticated deer? That’s an irrational statement.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    I remember having a friend who lived in York, ME. His experiences with hunting was endless cases of trespassing across his property, digging bullets out of the side of his house, and watching people shoot across route 1. And having people almost get violent with him when he tried to address this directly, the people he asked to not cross his property felt they had every right to since they had a hunting permit.

    I know there are ethical hunters – but I worry. As things become “new trends”, they also tend to attract a much higher number of, sad to say, idiots.

  • superfinehelios

    Again, I’m a hunter. Can you ask your guests how hunters can change the stereotype that hunters are mean, rude, and disrespectful of nature? We can hunt but we definitely do not need to support the idea that we are senseless killers. How do we get back to viewing hunters as we would the Indians of old? Why don’t advertisers realize that they are doing more to hurt the ethical hunting cause than they know? Too many ads reinforce the negative view of hunters.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Patrick-Dwyer-Jr/100002088204784 James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

    I have hunted for food all my life. I am very glad to see new people starting to hunt, especially women, we need them. Welcome.

  • cajunjimvt

    My wife & I have a 45 acre farm in Vermont, we raise laying hens, pigs, meat chickens , fruit, veggies. We both come from suburban backgrounds. I started hunting when I was 12 with the old man making me carry a hockey stick, in place of a gun, until I learned muzzle control. The point(s) I would make are 1) Most (north of 95%) of the time one spends in the wild in pursuit of game is not involved in the actual act of the kill. 2) Every person who drives a car, uses electricity, lives a modern lifestyle is directly involved in habitat degradation, which is / has been the most prevalent threat to all wildlife species. 3) The ‘topic’ of today’s program is not new. I am a middle-left trained artist / agrarian / naturalist / former chef. My wife works as a business analyst-project manager in corporate. We are not alone in our social circle of people with varied backgrounds / upbringings who hunt.

    • Outside_of_the_Box

      Sounds good to me, enjoy your killing then.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ken.alger.75 Ken Alger

    Lily Raff McCaulou indicates that she enjoys the “thrill of the kill.”  Whether a fellow creature on planet earth lives on a farm or in the woods, inflicting unspeakable pain and terror upon him or her is ANYTHING but thrilling.  Perhaps Ms. McCaulou should should examine the psychological underpinnings of her blood lust.

    • superfinehelios

      I suspect that the thrill she is talking about might be that all those hours of preparation and practice are about to come to a moment of truth. Quite possibly the same thrill someone gets from hitting a bullseye on a target. For some, that’s as far as it goes. In the end, her actions do not hurt you. Her actions actually do more good to help…a) it controls animal populations; b) it protects crops that feed meat that other eat; c) her spending on equipment supports jobs; d) her license fees pay to manage the land.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ken.alger.75 Ken Alger

        > In the end, her actions do not hurt you.
        What?!  Is that the yardstick with which we measure our behavior?  “Hey, it doesn’t hurt me so why should I care?”  Apply that to other repulsive behavior and you may realize just how ridiculous it sounds.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           As long as innocent human beings aren’t being harmed, that’s exactly my ethical prinicple on life in general.  If it hurts no one, do as you will.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ken.alger.75 Ken Alger

            It’s wonderful here at the top of the ol’ food chain, ain’t it?  

    • ThirdWayForward

       It’s the conjunction of  killing and eating, the synergistic combination of the two rewards.

      For most of us, the reward of eating meat is separated from the act of killing.

      We don’t associate killing with pleasure.

      I don’t think that this makes non-hunters any better than hunters, but perhaps it does make for a difference in psychology when it comes to killing animals, either for sport or food.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000966740899 Douglas Christian

    I hunt like I fish. It’s an excuse to go out in nature. I catch and release because I’d rather support a fisherman whose living depends on me. I hunt and harvest game only when the planets absolutly line up for a humane harvest. I hunt feral hogs because they are ruining our environment in the south. These hogs provide a very lean and healthy source of protein.

  • Scott B

    It’s not always bad to sometimes leave some bones, or a bit gut pile behind, especially during extreme weather, be it drought or a hard winter,  Other animals will eat it for protein in the guts and marrow, and the calcium and minerals, and it also fertilizes the ground, and all perpetuate the circle of life.  In nature nothing goes wasted.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Rinella lives in Brooklyn?  How does he deal with the ridiculous gun laws of New York, state and city?

  • tomfinegan999

    Imagine Friday afternoon and a few thousand new hunters from your nearby urban center head out to the wild to hunt ethically.  That will surely thin the herd.  Of people. 
    I detest the cattle and chicken factories we rely on, but how can we go to become hunters in significant numbers?

  • ttajtt

    but the question is can this life style support “us” as 200 years ago?

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Hunting licenses pay for a lot of conservation in this country.  It’s a tax that hunters choose to pay.  Without hunters, we’d have to bring back the wolves, and I doubt that many civilized Americans would like to face packs of predators in the suburbs.

    • ttajtt

      wolves/dogs its mountain lions coming in ta town…   

    • Outside_of_the_Box

      Wow, so not only do you hunt and kill for fun, you are serving your country too! What a load of bs. Let me ask you something, if the Gov offered to manage all of the culling, would you still hunt?

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         What’s your problem with it?  Oh, right, you object because the government isn’t doing it for you.  Some of us like to do at least a few things for ourselves.

        But you go on enjoying your managed and plastic life.

        • Outside_of_the_Box

          Well I see you missed what I was pointing at. My point is, if the Gov took care of it, which I realise won’t happen, would you be fine putting your guns away? And what I suspect is, most hunters would not. And what I suspect the reason is, is that behind the “helping with culling”, and being responsible and ethical (whatever that means) and eating what you kill, the primary driver for most hunters is the thrill of the hunt and the kill. So let’s just be honest about it. Other hunters have admitted as much here.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            There’s nothing to admit.  Yes, the “thrill of the hunt” is part of hunting.  But I’m seeing your real point in what you just said.  Would I put away my guns?  What is that supposed to mean?  Give them to the government?  Surrender them at the local police station?

            Instead of hiring a bunch of new government workers, how about letting private citizens continue in a policy that works?

          • Outside_of_the_Box

            Forget it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/haley.mathis7 Haley Mathis

    It seems to me that the debate below is mostly about eating meat versus not eating meat…which is a bigger conversation entirely.  *If* one eats meat, doesn’t it make the most sense for one to go out and kill it one’s self?  Can’t even vegans and vegetarians get on board with this, or do y’all think it makes more sense for those of us who choose to eat meat to buy it from factory farms where animals live miserable lives until they are carted off and slaughtered?

    • superfinehelios

      Hmm. I know plenty of vegans and vegetarians that don’t even GROW their own food! 

      • AC

        uh oh.
        <====guilty
        we are mostly vegetarian and fish in my house, tho not militant – it's for health reasons so we do eat meat from time to time. i can't hunt or grow anything :(

        • http://www.facebook.com/haley.mathis7 Haley Mathis

          Food choices made as a matter of health cannot be debated, though, AC, so I don’t think you should feel guilty.  :-)  It’s the ethics of eating (differing moral ideas about how we should interact with the world and its other inhabitants) that invites hypocrisy.  Vegetarians don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to ethics, for instance, because eating eggs and consuming dairy cause not only misery, but death (what do these moral superiors think happens to the boys, who don’t produce eggs or milk?!?).  However, vegetarians who choose that diet for health reasons, to lower their impact on the environment and ecology, or any other practical reason cannot be hypocrites in this specific philosophical sense.  However, I watch my vegan friends drink Coca Cola and eat Funyuns while they judge my entirely locally- and humanely-raised lunch as “barbaric.”  I think that when one judges the behaviors of others instead of focusing on one’s own behaviors, it opens one up to hypocrisy in general  Clearly no one can claim that her ethics are superior, anyway.  :-)

    • Outside_of_the_Box

      2 things:

      1)Why would veggies get on board with your eating meat, for any reason?

      2) Non-hunters, veggies, actually the majority of the population, don’t get how you can enjoy hunting and killing. It is a fundamental difference between people imo.

      • http://www.facebook.com/haley.mathis7 Haley Mathis

        1)  If you refer to vegetarians, please see below for my opinion about that lifestyle choice made out of some (perceived) moral concern for life and quality of life.  If you mean vegan, I just think that we can all agree to practice sustainability of populations and planet, that we can all be respectful of life in our own way…that there is no “right” and “wrong” way to be.  Do you drive a car?  Use any plastics?  Heat your home with oil or propane?  I don’t judge you for polluting my air and consuming non-renewable energy sources that are often harvested at the expense of wildlife and even human life, although I hope that you do your best to conserve.  We all do our best to be ethical in our choices, so I don’t understand why a vegetarian or vegan couldn’t respect that some omnivores try to be as conscious and conscientious as possible.  It’s just a matter of respecting our differences while realizing there are similarities between us at the same time.

        2)  I personally don’t hunt, although I someday hope to learn.  I wouldn’t do it out of necessity *or* fun, but because I think eating meat means I have a responsibility to experience killing it myself.  I was a vegetarian for ten years because I was unsure whether or not I could kill my own food and therefore did not feel deserving of that sacrifice of life.  If you read many of the other comments, I think a lot of hunters feel the same.  It’s a matter of spirituality for many of us, not blood lust or enjoyment.  I’m not sure why so many people – like yourself – equate hunting with enjoyment of killing.  That’s just not true in every case…probably not in most cases.

        • Outside_of_the_Box

          I know gun culture, hunting culture, and I just can’t agree with you that most are out there partaking in a spiritual act. Are you frickin’ serious man? And as far as veggies/vegans (and anyone who disagrees with hunting – which is the majority of meat eaters actually – rigth or wrong) should have respect for hunters? Why? Do your thing, but don’t expect someone who is against killing (and eating) animals to be cool with your choice.

        • Outside_of_the_Box

          I know gun culture, hunting culture, and I just can’t agree with you that most are out there partaking in a spiritual act. Are you frickin’ serious man? And as far as veggies/vegans (and anyone who disagrees with hunting – which is the majority of meat eaters actually – rigth or wrong) should have respect for hunters? Why? Do your thing, but don’t expect someone who is against killing (and eating) animals to be cool with your choice.

          • http://www.facebook.com/haley.mathis7 Haley Mathis

            i’m not a man.

            gun culture does not equal hunting culture.  most of the hunters i know prefer a bow.  i don’t know what kind of hunters you know or where you live, but i’m guessing it isn’t in one of the more literate, educated regions of the country.  you can’t generalize, in any case.

            i am amused that you seem to think that your moral opinion is superior (out of some respect for animals?!?  ha!)  while you so obviously have very little regard for your fellow human beings.  clearly you are a narrow-minded, unenlightened creature because my point was apparently entirely lost on you.  i was making the argument that when we judge others, we open ourselves up to criticism.  none of us is perfect…although clearly some of us *think* we are.

          • Outside_of_the_Box

            Man or woman, rifle or bow, makes no difference to me. In my books, the enjoyment and thrill in hunting and killing defenseless animals is sad. I have high regard for my fellow human beings. Or more specifically, high hopes for the potential in humankind to be compassionate peace-loving people. But I am fortunate to have patience in abundance. I am confidant, that when one eventually realises their true Nature, and sees that there is in reality only one Consciousness/Truth, there can be no inclination to kill other beings; animal or human.

          • http://www.facebook.com/haley.mathis7 Haley Mathis

            well, in an ideal world…but farming practices as they are in this country right now harm *all* life.  i’m not sure how hunting or eating an animal living in the wild can be deemed unacceptable in a culture where factory farms abound; every other human being drives some enormous, unnecessary gas guzzler; and even prunes are individually wrapped in plastic.  i like the way you think, but it’s just not realistic.  there are so many things that people do to harm themselves and the world around them; i think folks hunting wild animals for food is far more humane than many of the more acceptable forms of death and destruction we wreak on a daily basis.  you say that you are enlightened, but i maintain that your narrow view of humanity as a whole leaves you blind to many of the more important arguments.  if you are perfect and lead a life in which no life is ever harmed, then i will let you judge my lifestyle…but i’m pretty sure that you probably do your best and *still* manage to screw wildlife on occasion.  i just don’t think you can judge.  i’m pretty sure you’re as unqualified as i am.

          • Outside_of_the_Box

            Absolutely, and I make no claims to being enlightened. I will say that I have had deeply ingrained glimpses, and even the first was more than enough to prevent me from ever intentionally killing another animal. Yes, we all contribute to hurting the environment, to varying degrees, but this should not be taken as an excuse for any and all behaviour. I have nothing but love for my fellow human kind. But it doesn’t stop me from speaking my heart.

      • http://www.facebook.com/haley.mathis7 Haley Mathis

        (sorry…the box was annoyingly small at the bottom, so i am posting my response to your last comment here.)
        i respect your opinion, but we are clearly going to disagree on the details because – while i think you should speak from your heart and i thoroughly enjoy a good debate – i don’t know why what i eat and how i eat it is anyone else’s business, and i am far more open-minded with regards to appreciating the fact that we are all (even the poor people!) trying to do our best no matter what it looks like to other folks.  what *i* deem morally right – and after much contemplation of the subject, i assure you; i don’t take eating meat lightly – for myself makes it *right* even if only for me…and my soul is the only one at stake.

        • Outside_of_the_Box

          It’s not my business what you do. I have no expectations of changing minds. But it doesn’t stop me from speaking my mind. And as far as people who are struggling, please see my other reply. In the end, as you say, it is between the individual and their soul. But the only way my words might be threatening, is if someone is unsure of their position, and it forces them to take a closer look, and they don’t like it. Well, that’s not my fault. The words leave my mouth, what they do after that is between the person and their soul. As long as they aren’t hateful or intentionally insulting. As long as they come from a place of caring.

  • Scott B

    Even if “everyone” went hunting, there are laws governing how many licenses are released, and there’s no guarantee that a hunter will come home with anything. There are hunters I know  that have hunted for decades and been lucky to bag one deer. If it was so easy then we’d all be doing it and not shopping at the meat counter at the supermarket.

    • Thinkin5

       That’s if you like venison. Most don’t.

      • Scott B

        There are other animals to hunt and eat besides deer, and they too require skill to hunt, and good conservation to ensure a reasonable population.

        Most people haven’t tried venison. 

        Americans, as Carlos Mencia says, like their meat from animals that are slow and stupid. 

    • Outside_of_the_Box

      But they hope to kill somehting everytime they go out. And they enjoy the hunt every time they go out.
      And they get even more of a rush from killing.
      That’s the difference between most hunters, and peace loving folks.

  • AC

    i met a few poor families in Kentucky that would be hungry or need to subsidize their diets w/fast foods if they banned hunting. i don’t begrudge them…..
    i could never do it, would be in trouble if i had to do it…

    • Outside_of_the_Box

      That’s bull, because veggies/rice/beans are cheaper than fast food, and much healthier. But if they actually needed to hunt to eat enough, I also wouldn’t begrudge them.

      • http://www.facebook.com/haley.mathis7 Haley Mathis

        rice and beans are arguably cheaper, but in what world do you live that vegetables grown in a way that does not harm nature are cheaper than fast food?!?  it may be cheaper to grow them yourself, but certainly not to purchase them at the market.

        • Outside_of_the_Box

          Yes, home (or community) grown is ideal. But you clearly have no idea how far a nice store-bought cabbage and a bag of potatoes can go!

          • http://www.facebook.com/haley.mathis7 Haley Mathis

            touche.

          • Outside_of_the_Box

            And not to harp too much, but now let’s take away the cigarettes, the alcohol, the pick-up truck, the toys, the lottery tickets, the maxed credit cards, the place you can’t afford, the junk food (fast food and store bought) etc etc…..Any money now for a healthy fresh meal for the family? It’s about discipline, priorities, education, conditioning, motivation, discernment, inner peace, love, willingness to asume responsibility, etc etc. Together, they move mountains.

          • http://www.facebook.com/haley.mathis7 Haley Mathis

            you are generalizing about poor people.  i am well below the poverty line and sacrifice enormously so that i can buy locally grown food.  we are not all cigarette-smoking, booze-guzzling, gambling morons.  i don’t even own a credit card or a debit card because i refuse to let any of my money go to visa/mastercard/american express.  try to keep an open mind, my friend…poor people are not all ignorant and/or on welfare and not all hunters are bloodthirsty nra members.

          • Outside_of_the_Box

            It isn’t aimed at genuinely poor people, who are working or actively looking for work, who are being smart with their money, and just can’t get by. These are the people the Gov should be helping. And I will even say, that if there is no other means for protein, that hunting in this case is justified. But America didn’t get into this fiscal situation by being good with their money. That is the majority, and that is who I’m referring to here.

  • MWReagan

     I don’t hunt and never will BUT I have known three people who have been injured by deer strikes in their cars. (One narrowly missed getting an antler in the eye as the buck came through his windshield.)  The deer population is over-grown here in Tennessee, so I think the “Hunters for the Hungry” program sponsored by our state is a great program. Hunters donate their deer to food banks, which helps the hungry and provides lean, healthy protein for the hungry in our state. http://www.tnwf.org/stewardship/17-section-listing/124-hunters-for-the-hungry

    • superfinehelios

      We donate our harvests to H4Hungry. You’re right. Without it, some folks don’t get lean organic meat on their plates. 

    • Thinkin5

       Probably about the same number of people accidentally kill themselves or others with guns. More likely to get killed by a gun than a deer I think.

    • Scott B

       There are more deer alive in the US  now than there ever was in the past if you added them all up.  Deer cost billions to the economy in lost food, damage to vehicles, and injury or death from car strikes.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    One thing I have a big issue with is guns and alcohol -  that’s one combination that should be banned. Needing to hunt is one thing – needing to hunt after downing a few is something else.

    But for a lot of hunters, deer and beer are part of the experience.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       It already is illegal, just like driving drunk.

    • superfinehelios

      Yes I AGREE totally. My hunter friends and I won’t hunt with people that even take alcohol on a trip. It’s reckless and disrespectful. It’s that behavior that I think gives hunters a bad image. 

    • Eric Duncan

      Also if you fire your weapon before the sun has even begun to rise we are not going hunting again. I don’t want to be the “deer” you end up shooting in the pitch black. And if you are using night vision goggles that’s as cheap as light blinding an animal. 

  • rich4321

    Where is the ethic in hunting? Is there such thing as ethical murder? it’s like someone once said there is legitimate rape. What did the animals ever do to you? why do you the hunters have to go out to murder them just for your own entertainment? There are thousands of sport you can do for fun without being a murderer.

    This notion of ethical hunting is just preposterous! Do you – the hunters really have such a low self-esteem, resort to have a rifle to kill helpless animals to prove your manhood? 

    Stop being a hypocrite, put on a facade on your dirty acts!  Hunters make me sick.

    • superfinehelios

      Tell us how you really feel Rich.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Murder applies to human beings.  Hunting is a part of the natural world.  Other animals hunt.

      • superfinehelios

        Evidently Rich and others put animals on the same level as humans. Call me cold and callus but we aren’t eating human beings of late are we?

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           Exactly so.

      • Outside_of_the_Box

        Thankfully, we are not like other animals, in our ability for conscious, self-refective, intellectual, moral, compassionate, discernment. The words murder, hunting, natural, can be used in different ways, to justify different things. You insult yourself by insinuating that we simply follow what animals do in nature.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           No, I’m saying that we aren’t less than animals.  I see hunting as a good way of participating in the wild lands.

          • Outside_of_the_Box

            Ever ask the wild lands if it think it’s a good way to participate?

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             Predators and prey exist in those lands, but how am I supposed to ask the land?  The land has no voice.

          • Outside_of_the_Box

            You’ll find a way.

        • Sy2502

          Yes. That’s because morality is arbitrary, in case you didn’t know. Also most mentally sane people can see the difference between the killing of a human being and that of an animal.

          • Outside_of_the_Box

            And you’re welcome to your selective form of morality of course. I agree most can tell the difference between killing people and animals. The question for me is, why do some find satisfaction and thrills from hunting and killing, while most do not?

          • Sy2502

            Maybe you should try and find out yourself.

          • Outside_of_the_Box

            No can do buckaroo. It does nothing for me. Except leave a nauseaus feeling in my gut. The fact is, I will never really understand how people can get off on this stuff.

          • Sy2502

            And I don’t understand people who eat broccoli, they make me nauseous. So maybe I should get on my high horse and bash them horrible broccoli eaters for doing something I find distasteful!

          • Outside_of_the_Box

            Maybe you should.

    • superfinehelios

      1.Law . the killing of another human being under conditionsspecifically covered in law. In the U.S., special statutorydefinitions include murder committed with maliceaforethought, characterized by deliberation or premeditationor occurring during the commission of another seriouscrime, as robbery or arson (first-degree murder),  andmurder by intent but without deliberation or premeditation(second-degree murder).

    • twenty_niner

      Yes, there’s actually a growing movement to get ALL top predators to stop hunting called the “Lion Tofu Project”. The idea is to make robotic gazelles out of tofu and wheat germ and get the lions to hunt these instead of real gazelles. Unfortunately, during the prototype testing, the lions ate the activists as they were troubleshooting one of the tofu bots.

    • Scott B

      Unlike deer and other prey, humans have canine teeth and eyes in the front of our heads for a reason, and it isn’t to track down and eat the wild, sabre-toothed Tofurkey. I’m vegetarian and I won’t even eat that stuff.

  • john__riley

    I am glad to hear this topic.  I have no view of hunting as ethical or unethical of itself, but the justifications of these hunters matches my own response to “moral” veganism or vegetarianism: The challenge to qualms about animals’ deaths is not to stop eating meat, but to make their death mean something.  Our lives must be meaningful enough to make the death of what we eat worthwhile.  From the time of the ancients, the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, Aristotle, and any number of others assumed as a philosophical and societal foundation the natural service of the inferior (intelligence) to the superior.

  • Scott B

    One of my favorite bumper stickers: If God hadn’t meant man to hunt, he wouldn’t have made wild game taste so good when cooked over a fire.

    • superfinehelios

      I’d like to share something my vegan wife likes to say: “If you stuck your grandmother in the oven she’d taste good too. But that’s no reason to eat her.” I’m a hunter, she’s not. We love one another…we respect one another.

      • Phil McCoy

        yeah but eating other humans does/did happen among people. Also I am fairly certain Prion based diseases come from cannabilism that resemble mad cow (or if not come from there is a higher incidence in cannablistic societies).

        so while modern day people my not eat other humans,it is not like it has never happened (and was probably much more common back when we were developing evolutionarily than vegetarianism/veganism was)

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/5PJO3P7PZA6RC5S2UCJZGLTF7M Allie

          Prion diseases exist now from feeding dead cows to cows.

        • Scott B

           Yes, you’re talking about “kuru”, which you can get by eating infected human brains.

          But, again, humans weren’t hunting other humans just for dinner. It’s part of a rite, such as eating an enemy (or just certain part, like the heart, as the Mohawks did) after a battle; or upon the death of someone significant to them, where their culture considers it honoring the person; and in both cases taking in that loved one’s, or enemie’s, essence, skill, or bravery.

          Also, the parts they tend to eat are the fatty areas : thighs, butt, back, because fat makes things taste better, and humans just don’t taste good. 

          Otherwise, cannibalism is usually reserved for dire situations ala the Donner party, or the So. American soccer team that crashed in the Andes.

      • Scott B

         Actually, humans taste pretty bad. That’s why sharks,  whose stomachs have been found containing with just about anything you can point a stick at, and most animals that aren’t starving, spit us out and don’t hunt us to begin with.  Most cannibalistic cultures ate their victims as part of a ritual, not everyday consumption, and even then tended to eat the parts with the most fat, or that had significance for the ritual, such as the heart or brains.
        One South Pacific tribe preferred Italian and French “cuisine”, saying they tasted better, and that Americans were their least favorite because we tasted bad. Wine and cheese vs soda and whatever it is they make “cheesefood” out of, perhaps?

        • Outside_of_the_Box

          Congrats on completely missing the point.

          • Scott B

             I didn’t miss it. Somehow you equate love and compassion as being antithetical to feeding yourself and your family, and being a conservator of nature. 

          • Outside_of_the_Box

            Yes. Somehow….I equate love and compassion….heaven knows why…..with not taking joy in hunting and killing defenseless animals. Isnt that whacky! Now if, as you suggest, it is actually a matter of feeding your family or going hungry, which I would add is not the case for the majority of hunters, then yes, I reluctantly admit that it would be warranted. But only you (the reader) know if thats really the case for you or not. And if not, I maintain that it is for sport as much as for meat, and there is no loveand compassion in this.

      • Sy2502

        If you value your grandma as little as a chicken or a fish, you have bigger problems on your plate (pun intended).

    • Outside_of_the_Box

      God also gave us the possibility of attuning to love, compassion, and discernment between right and wrong. A lot of things taste good, doesn’t mean you have to indulge your senses. People might taste good over a fire too.

      • Sy2502

        So let me guess, YOU are going to tell everybody else what’s right and wrong according to your personal rules and arbitrary moralities. So according to the rules you made up, killing animals for food is bad. Why? Because you say so. Very convincing.

      • Scott B

         God? You better reread your own book.

        od gave man domain over the animals.  God also laid down law about what animals you were, and weren’t, allowed to eat: Cow and chickens are fine; catfish, shrimp, and pork are unclean. God also demanded animal sacrifice, which is what Abel, the shepard, killed by Cain, the gardener.

        People don’t taste good in general, grilled or not.  It’s one of the reasons humans were able to evolve and become so prolific. Even sharks spit us out when they realize we’re not seals.

        • Outside_of_the_Box

          Im not talking about organised religion. A book that pretends to be the words of a god that tells you what to do so you can feel better about yourself. Im talking about waking up to your true nature. In the Mystical traditions, it is referred to as True Nature, Consciousness, Spirit, Awareness, One, etc This realisation transcends beliefs, dogma, ritual, tradition, even body and mind. And once it is realised, there can be no question of hunting and killing animals. It simply would not arise. Even, and this may be difficult for many to understand, if ones life depended on it. Although not necessarily for all. When more awake to Reality, this world will be a transformed place. But we are still far from that reality.

  • Zachary Hart

    To: gentleman referring to his ham sandwich: you are disconnected from reality if you think you are doing anything more ethical by eating that than hunting a wild animal for food. If you had an honest & true understanding of how that animal was raised and how it lived I sincerely doubt your view would remain the same!

  • Thinkin5

    I doubt that I’m going to shoot a cow for it’s beef, a chicken for it’s meat. 

    • Gregg Smith

      Certainly the best way to make sure various species are in abundant supply is to eat them.

  • superfinehelios

    To me, “ETHICAL HUNTING” means:

    a) preparing well…practice practice practice so the actual killing/shooting is quick. Don’t take risky shots.

    b) respect the laws. Pay for your licenses, hunt with permission, where and when you are permitted.

    c) respect the animal. No parading the animal around…cover it when you take it in for processing. 

    d) eat it or donate it

    I also don’t support the “macho” image of hunters. I think that does more to hurt our image than anything. 

    • Outside_of_the_Box

      While there may be an ethical hunting list, I can’t think of a moral one.

  • George Arnold

    If conservation is a primary goal and result of hunting, it would seem that the species we should be hunting more than any other is homo sapiens sapiens.  Of course we do not, there are more or less universal legal and ethical prohibitions we afford to ourselves.  Why are other species not?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Because they’re not human.

    • Sy2502

      I always love to hear comments of people demeaning human beings and devaluing human life. If you think humans are so disgusting and worthless, why not put your money where your mouth is and jump off a bridge?

      • George Arnold

        A careful reading of my comment might have revealed an attempt to question the relative value we assign various species based on often arbitrary criteria, not an argument for internecine hunting.  I certainly have no plans to hunt you, Sy2502, nor do I wish or suggest you commit suicide, as you have me in your comment above.  I do, however wish for polite discussion, and commentary not intended to personally injure in my discourse with other people.

    • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

       Touche. When the wildlife managers decide to annihilate some non-native species like the spectacular mtn goat (whom I watched and was watched fm 15 ft behind Mt Rushmore, then he exploded in 40ft leaps.. I marvel at the arrogance of man. We destroy everything we touch, easily 95% of the ecosystems on earth, and breed like rats. There won’t be any elephants, tigers, rhinos, etc in Africa in 20 years- they are too valuable.

      AGW is gonna clean house of us too, but also of a great many other species. Then, when the waves of drought-caused Great Famines strike and billions die, the hunters will still be able to eat. So maybe we out to get out there and learn how. And I used to think the survivalists were nuts.

      Read Diamond’s Collapse- species overbreed with plentiful food until there is a massive pop crash, usually due to some weather change. Humans aren’t exempt- Mayans, Greenland Norse, Anasazi died out. We may be intelligent, but not when one of 2 political parties has turned its back on science and thinks men rode dinosaurs.

  • Thinkin5

    Most hunting isn’t heroic or sporting. Shooting a deer or a bird that’s minding it’s own business just seems kind of sick. I do eat meat and fish but if I think about it, it’s pretty creepy.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       What’s creepy is enjoying the benefits of what someone else did for you while demeaning the act.

      • Thinkin5

         I don’t eat hunter kill meat. I eat meat about twice a week. Chicken or fish. As I said, personally, I find it creepy. I don’t yell at hunters. I would just rather watch the deer eating apples on the tree in my dad’s back yard. Beautiful!

        • http://www.facebook.com/haley.mathis7 Haley Mathis

          I’m with Greg…I think it’s creepy that people can eat meat without thinking about how it lived…and died.

        • cajunjimvt

           We just ‘ethically’ harvested our last group of pasture-raised-naturally-fed-hormone-anti-biotic free meat chickens. I do all the killing / butchering myself. So who is killing your chickens ? How are they raised ? I am not trying to be snide or demeaning, just saying that an animal loses it’s life either way.

          • Thinkin5

             I thank you for doing that. I am too squeamish to do it myself. I prefer chicken to just about any kind of game. As I said, if I had to do it myself for survival, especially the butchering, I’d just become vegetarian.

        • Scott B

           Death by proxy? That sardine fillet didn’t decide to jump in the can and die of asphyxiation.

          BTW, pesco-vegetarian here, but I have no problem with hunters, as I used to be one, and would do so again if it meant feeding my family ir helping someone else’s.

  • apaddler

    My father was a prolific hunter.  I am not.  I learned to love the outdoors and seeing animals, but to me the maginficence is in observing the living creature.  In his book “To Have or To Be”, Erich Fromm compares three styles of interacting with nature: one of the English poet, Tennyson, who upon observing a flower growing in a rock wall must HAVE it and plucks it root and all.  The second is that of a Japanese poet, Basho, who does not want to pluck it, and doesn’t even touch it.  He is happy to observe it.  The third way is that of Goethe, who transplants the flower to his garden where he can observe it an its life is not destroyede. The difference in the three ways is indeed striking and most certainly have different effects on the flower!   

    • apaddler

      Since “THE SYSTEM” won’t let me edit my comment, let’s try this!

      My father was a prolific hunter.  I am not.  I learned to love the outdoors and seeing animals, but to me the magnificence is in observing the living creature.  I prefer to shoot photographs.  In his book “To Have or To Be”, Erich Fromm compares three styles of interacting with nature: one of the English poet, Tennyson, who upon observing a flower growing in a rock wall must HAVE it and plucks it root and all.  The second is that of a Japanese poet, Basho, who does not want to pluck it, and doesn’t even touch it.  He is happy to observe it.  The third way is that of Goethe, who transplants the flower to his garden where he can observe it an its life is not destroyed. The difference in the three ways is indeed striking and most certainly have different effects on the flower!  

  • cajunjimvt

    Every one of us who participates in the use of fossil fuels, uses anything made in any factory, shops in sprawling malls, uses chemical cleaners , we all have culpability in the decline of the ecosystems that support all forms of life. By degree we all ‘kill’ animals. Use your given intellect, look in the mirror and face the truth. In short, grow up and realize that most aspects of human existence [population issues, the 9 billlion lb elephant in the room] have gone beyond the biological carrying capacity of the planet.

    • skeptic150

      This is true – our existence is predicated on the use of resources that might otherwise be used by other organisms and the death of other organisms.
      With that said, many people have the ability and choice to limit or not to kill or eat sentient beings (as well as limit our use of fossil fuels, etc.).  The issue is whether we choose to do so in the context of the knowledge that, ultimately, our existence is “costly” for the planet – but does that mean we should not care?

    • Outside_of_the_Box

      We may all participate in the decline of the ecosystem, but I can honestly say that I don’t find any joy/rush/thrill/satisfaction in hunting and killing animals. Most hunters do. That’s different.

  • Remarkymarkable

      If you want to talk about ethics, how ethical is it to eat
    plants?  They’re anchored to the ground and can’t run away?
    As a vegan or vegetarian, who are you to decide animal life
    is more valuable than plant life?  Life is life, if you eat, you
    kill.

    • skeptic150

      Your argument is weak – fruits, vegetables, and leaves can be consumed without killing the plants. 

      • Remarkymarkable

          So are you saying plants don’t feel pain when
        they’re being ripped apart for their leaves, fruit
        and vegetables?  That’s torture!

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/5PJO3P7PZA6RC5S2UCJZGLTF7M Allie

          Plants do NOT have a central nervous system, so no they do not.  It’s basic science.  Go Vegan today to save your health and the planet.

          • Remarkymarkable

              I know that Allie, I’m just trying to
            provoke some thought.  I did try
            vegan for six months,  It’s not easy.
             I have great respect for those
            that choose that lifestyle.

        • skeptic150

          I have not seen good evidence that picking an apple causes an apple tree to suffer, etc. If you have such evidence, feel free to share it.

          • Scott B

            Fruit and vegetables delevoped to be picked and their seeds spread, that’s why they’re tasty and contain seeds.  Something eats the fruit/vegetable (which is basically a seed pod) and a day or so later the seeds are desposited somewhere else when the animal excretes it. 
            If the fruit isn’t taken, the the plant actually releases it on its own (yup, it’s pushed off, just like leaves are pushed and don’t just fall), like apples falling to the ground, where something comes along and more eating, traveling, and pooping.

    • Thinkin5

       So far, I’ve never heard of eating plants referred to as a “sport”.

    • Outside_of_the_Box

      Oh please. People are on the whole good. And we have developped a pretty consistent list of what we feel is more and less acceptable. Plants have never even made the list. Animals always do. And by your logic, why not kill fellow humans? Must it be black or white?

    • Scott B

       “How do we know that hanging plants aren’t terrified up there?” – George Carlin

  • Nandan Naik

    We have a family friend who has been hunting for a while; often times we have been gifted the hunted meat and we have had feasts around such events. Although he hunts mostly with a bow and arrow, it always makes me wonder what it would be like to hunt. I’m all for hunting what you eat which in my opinion evokes a sense of responsibility towards the animals, nature and humanity of how much you can take to your table. All of this with a sense of keeping the carbon footprint in check makes it even more appealing. However from a world standpoint, it is simply not possible to hunt our way out and sustainable means are necessary for providing food on the table.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1423641922 Susannah Woodbury

    I grew up with “ethical hunting” – except we referred to it simply as “hunting season.” My father hunted deer and elk and fished for trout to feed our family. We rarely purchased meat from the grocery store – preferring instead the fresh, non-farmed meat that we provided for ourselves. We also planted a large garden. What we’re seeing here is a “back to roots” attitude that we’re preferring over factory-farmed meat and chemical-laden fruits and vegetables. 

    • Outside_of_the_Box

      How nice. I wonder if your father would’ve been happy to put away the gun if someone had offered to supply him meat for life? I think hunters hide behind eating the meat, needing to cull, etc – when the majority’s primary reason for doing is because they enjoy it – they enjoy hunting and killing. But this is hard to admit for many. So they hide behind the rest. I know hunters. It is a deep seated thrill/rush/satisfaction that comes from hunting and killing. And contrary to what some have said here, this simply isn’t the case for the majority of the population. Why is that? This is more of a spiritual question perhaps.

      • Sy2502

        Human beings are predators. Without food we’d die. It is a survival mechanism to enjoy something we need for survival. It provides the motivation for doing it. It’s the same reason we enjoy the reproductive act. There’s nothing shameful about enjoying to hunt and kill.

        • Outside_of_the_Box

          Well, somehow the majority of people can redirect that survival mechanism towards other enjoyable things like camping and pick up football. If you don’t feel shame or guilt about taking joy in hunting and killing, that’s between you and your conscience.

          • Sy2502

            “that’s between you and your conscience.”

            Yes it is. And I do not appreciate sanctimonious individuals trying to come between me and my conscience. 

          • Outside_of_the_Box

            It’s nearly impossible to not sound sanctimonious/pretentious when weighing in on this hot button topic. No one wants to hear this. But it’s out there regardless. Enjoy your hunting/killing.

          • sisterbead

            You are a vegetarian? Do you not realize that your food is sprayed with chemicals that kill millions of insects and other life that lives off of vegetation not to mention the little critters that live in the soil? More life is killed with vegetation harvesting than with a single clean shot to a deer for instance. Not just life is lost, so is the health of our soil. Even organic food kills insects and ruins soil because of the tractors that are used.
            However you eat, no matter what you eat, we kill to eat. Is it unfortunate? Of course it is. No matter what your ideology is I think most people would not end life if they had a choice. 

          • Outside_of_the_Box

             I can live with insects dying. I can’t live with animals dying to satisfy my palette. That’s what it really comes down to for me. To each their own.

          • Scott B

             Football doesn’t put food on the table. BTW, the critter that supplied the leather for that football had to die, too; and it never had a chance to run away into the woods before it got a bolt gun to the head or a knife to the jugular.

          • Outside_of_the_Box

            I’ve said elsewhere, if hunting is genuinely needed to put food on the table; in other words money isn’t being spent on frivolous things that could otherwise go to healthy real food meals, then I would support the limited use of hunting to help out. But in the majority of cases, this is not the case. And I absolutely do not support it in those cases.

      • Scott B

         Spoken like someone who’s never had to kill his own meal. Fish, fowl, beef, or  pork, whether if it’s taken in the great outdoors or found neatly wrapped in cellophane at your local supermarket, somebody had to kill it. The cow in the Big Mac didn’t die any easier than the venison on a dinner table.

        • Outside_of_the_Box

          Two things….
          I’ve never had to kill my own meal because I’m vegetarian.
          But going back to my other point, if TSHTF, and I was forced to hunt to survive, I would not, unlike most hunters, take any satisfaction/enjoyment/rush from doing so.
          These are the 2 differences.

  • mmsrobertson

    Ethical hunting and fishing is not the problem. The problem comes with the trash left behind and the discharged ammo that animals consume. Lead kills… look at the California Condor.

  • skeptic150

    I understand there are some populations that truly need to kill animals to survive.  But for those who are able and have a choice (especially with all the alternatives we have now – Quorn, Boca, Morningstar, etc) why not avoid killing/consuming sentient beings if possible?  Imo, Americans probably would benefit significantly if they cut back on meat consumption.

    • Sy2502

      Because not everybody shares your entirely arbitrary ideology. To me eating animals is as morally objectionable as breathing air or walking upright. I don’t force you to eat meat because I don’t believe in forcing my ideology on others. I’ll appreciate others using me the same courtesy.

      • skeptic150

        The specific criteria is sentience, which is not arbitrary.
        Are you trying to argue that air is sentient and that by breathing you cause it to suffer?
        I am not trying to force anyone not to eat meat.  I simply asked the question – why not avoid killing/consuming sentient beings if possible? 

        • Sy2502

          Because the food chain is the basis of earth ecology. You are taking something that isn’t perfectly natural, but absolutely fundamental, something that in fact is responsible for humans being who we are, something which is the main driving force for evolution, and arbitrarily calling it “bad” or “wrong”. Without the food chain you wouldn’t be here, so maybe it wasn’t so “bad”?
          It is also arbitrary to call it bad only when humans do it. It’s called “special pleading”, that is the completely arbitrary application of rules to one case and not another. Either killing for food is wrong or it isn’t. If it is, then every single organism on this planet is wrong. Otherwise you need to arbitrarily decide all animals EXCEPT humans are right. It’s a weak argument any way you put it.

          • skeptic150

            “Either killing for food is wrong or it isn’t.”
            False dichotomy.
            Again, I simply asked the question, why not avoid killing/consuming sentient beings if possible?

          • Sy2502

            False dichotomy? Are you serious? Do you even know what a false dichotomy is? I guess you have never heard of truth tables either?

            As for your question of why not avoid, simple: I don’t avoid things that I have no good reason to avoid.

    • http://www.facebook.com/haley.mathis7 Haley Mathis

      you should look in the effects of soy farming on wildlife and the environment.  to eat is to kill.  period.

      • sisterbead

        Even a vegetarian takes (major) part in killing. Think of the all the different insects that die when a harvest is sprayed. It is also detrimental to the soil and all that lives below the surface not to mention all the disease and sickness csused by spraying poisen on our food supply.

  • arydberg

    IMO  the real person responsible for the deaths of animals is the person who sits down at a restaurant and orders a steak medium rare.    This is the driving force for many many more  animal deaths then hunters account for.  

  • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

    Nobody who eats supermarket meat (perhaps the most brutal animal existence) can really criticize hunters, but when I shot a couple of birds and a squirrel with my 22 I felt dirty, and never did it again. But in a life of scuba diving, spearing and eating a grouper or parrot fish (not that easy) is deeply satisfying- primitive, basic, and reassuring. Haven’t eaten elk or deer- supposedly an acquired taste, but did try buffalo meat, as guilty as I felt.

    On the other hand, the macho aholes blowing away the magnificent buffalos as they step across the border of Yellowstone (who once owned this country w 200 million, then slaughtered down to 20 animals in 1910) or the bastards catching the very last horses to be butchered for dog food make me want to “harvest” them. 

  • allenius

    Diet of Souls:  ‘The great peril of our existence lies in the fact that our diet consists entirely of souls.’ So an Inuit shaman summarized the moral danger of being human. A paradox sparks director John Houston and producer Peter d’Entremont’s third Arctic journey:  Can animals be spiritual equals and one’s daily bread?  Diet of Souls was the 2004 Winner of the William F. White Cinematography Award at the 24th Atlantic Film Festival.  Shot in some of the harshest environment on earth, Diet of Souls was featured in Kodak Entertainment Imaging’s InCamera Magazine. Produced with the participation of Canadian Television Fund. View the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obH96eyIJXsI

  • Mike_Card

    These people who just LOVE killing animals have missed their callings; why aren’t they serving in the armed forces?  The thrill is SO much more intense when the targets shoot back and you don’t necessarily get to eat them.  These people are sick.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lynn-Jacob/1540990681 Lynn Jacob

    I am one of the most liberal people in this country, by anyone’s standards. I also grew up back East where almost everyone hunts. The whitetail deer population MUST be thinned every year back there, or there is just carnage all over the road. Deer are prolific breeders. I don’t support anyone taking anything that is endangered, but if you are going to kill and eat a species that is plentiful, that is your business. Venison is delicious. I think it’s much better to take a deer in the proper season than eat factory farmed ANYTHING. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lynn-Jacob/1540990681 Lynn Jacob

    About ‘trophy hunting’ – again, there is no problem with mounting something from an animal you consumed. I have a problem with the outlandish scenarios that really have nothing to do with anything that looks like sport, i.e., hunting from a helicopter or drugging a mountain lion so it is moving at half speed, then tracking it with a pack of dogs with GPS collars, so you can drive in with a Jeep and shoot the cat in a tree. Where is the sport in that? You’re not going to eat the cat, and you didn’t do a damn thing to track it down. This kind of hunting should be illegal. Sorry.

  • Dave Cain

    In the show yesterday Tom makes reference to the “locavore” movement a couple of times. I thought I would point out that in Vermont (and perhaps more broadly across New England) we use the term “localvore”. I believe that the term locavore originated in California and that seems like a great fit for that area. I enjoy that a movement that celebrates regional food diversity is know by slightly different names in different parts of the country. 

  • Scott B

    No, they hope to feed them and theirs with the game they bring back from the hunt.  You cannot equate hunting with being “anti-peace”.  They’re not out shooting people and disturbing the peace. They’re out looking to feed their families. 

    Every successful hunter I’ve ever met, or heard about, wanted to get the
    game down aand dead as fast and efficiently as possible. I have known
    hunters that have tracked wounded animals for hours, not wanting the
    animal to suffer. I’ve seen men get teary eyed thinking that they caused
    undo suffering.

    Is hunting a rush? It can be. Finding prey, being out in nature, the skill of a clean shot. Maybe even bagging the “big one”.  But it is  NOT just about the thrill of the kill for the vast majority of hunter putting food on their tables.

  • Tmbrcrzr

    Tom’s line of questioning in this discussion and the good majority of comments below demonstrate how out of touch with nature and reality the urban American is. Discussing isolated problems in the 3rd world is completely arbitrary in a discussion that starts with new hunters in the US chasing traditional big game species. Read Michael Pollan. Expand your mind. The whitetail deer, as an example, is 30 million strong and is sustenance for numerous predators across the continent beyond humans. It is as the herring is to ocean. It should be looked at as a herd, a population. To snivel over the loss of a single individual to another member of the ecosystem, humans, is preposterous. Spend a day out in the elements as hunters do this time of year. You might just realize who actually has the moral high ground here.

  • nicolouuu

    Tom, good show, but Native American perspectives on hunting are lacking here.

  • http://www.practicalethics.net/ William Lynn

    Great program that raises important issues. Many fine and insightful comments too, hunter and non-hunter alike. As someone who works on ethics and public policy, and specifically human-wildlife interactions, I want to share a few thoughts. 

    No ethic of hunting is worth its salt if it does not start by recognizing the intrinsic moral value of the animals we hunt. Non-human animals are not simply biological automatons, or functional units of ecosystems. They are living, feeling and often thinking creatures whose well being we can either help or harm through our actions. This makes them part of what ethicists term a moral community. The intentions and consequences of our actions on animals is what makes hunting (and human-animal interactions generally) an unavoidable ethical issue. This does not automatically translate into determining whether hunting is good or bad, but it does mean it is always subject to moral evaluation and challenge. 

    Deciding whether hunting is right or wrong is not a matter of black or white morality. It is a situated moral decision — a moral judgment rooted in particular cases. Considerations of suffering, degrees of intelligence, the social and cultural impacts on animal lives, ecological context, and aligning our actions with nature, are some of the key moral consideration that go into deciding whether hunting this or that animal, in this or that place, is justified or not. 

    I have taught and trained a great many people in ethical decision making over the years. The major pitfall in considering issues like hunting is to rely too heavily on one moral concept to the exclusion of others. Stressing compassion for animals alone, or looking at animals as simply a recreational resource, are two cases in point. One is better off trying to triangulate on the ethics of hunting by using a variety of moral concepts simultaneously. It is harder, but you will develop a deeper understanding overall. 

    An ethics of hunting also has to be developed over the full range of moral issues that confront it. This includes everything from fair chase and clean shots, to the impact on the individual, to the effects on animal families and groups (e.g., packs, herds), to the broader ecological and social contexts in which hunting occurs. One cannot simply claim you adhere to fair chase, for instance, then dismiss the rest of the issues because they are complicated or make you uncomfortable.

    It is also important to note that no human community is immune to critique of its hunting beliefs and practices, whether these people are of the First Nations, traditional use, sporting groups, animal rights, and so on. There is vibrant debate within these and other groups, that can inform all of us about hunting. The divisions within the Makah peoples over whale hunting is a case in point. Some saw whaling as a traditional practice that would help young men avoid drugs and crime. Others saw it as morally offensive to kill another being to solve their societies problems. Their debate raised resonant issues with whaling throughout the world, bring questions of animal welfare, marine ecology, and cultural diversity to the foreground. 

    Finally, we must remember that hunting is never responsible for maintaining the balance of nature, and is a crude and ineffective means of wildlife management. Proper land use management, habitat protection, and intact predator-prey relations are the keys to maintaining healthy populations of wildlife. For an example of this applied to hunting deer in suburban areas, please see my blog post, http://practicalethics.net/blog/aldo-leopold-and-green-fire/. 

    I must admit that as an ethicist, the question of hunting has bedevilled me for a long time. My dad was a hunter, and I am not. Yet I am not opposed to hunting per se. I have known many ethical hunters with a deep love of the natural world and an abiding respect and care for wildlife. I have also known hunters who strut about and kill other creatures to make themselves look and feel important. So when I take all the factors into account, I think hunting must minimally conform to four principles (rules of thumb).

    First, it must focus on animals that humans in aboriginal contexts would hunt for food. Hunting for sporting thrill or to mount trophies is not an ethical approach to wildlife. The attempts in western states to virtually eliminate recovering wolf populations under the ruse of sports hunting illustrates the abuse of wildlife for these base motivations. 

    Second, hunting has to balance its use of technology to ensure a fair chase that is aligned with what prey would experience in nature. The use of bait stations, global positioning systems, radio collars, corrals (“canned hunts”), drugs, packs of dogs, all terrain vehicles, assault weapons, and so on exceed this balance, and should not be used. 

    Third, the hunter must take full responsibility for his or her actions. This means clean shots, trailing and humanely killing wounded animals, dressing and consuming, and finally culpability for harming other human beings. I was at a meeting the other day where a hunter dismissed the deaths of bystanders with the claim that “accidents happen”. That is a callous attitude toward the lives of other citizens, and to my mind, probably bespeaks a callous attitude toward the lives of animals as well. 

    Fourth, hunting must be undertaken by someone knowledgable and deeply respectful of animals and the environment. I am of a mind that ethics and ecology based continuing education programs should be required for the privilege of hunting. Nothing onerous or doctrinaire, but something that would generate increasing knowledge and conversation around ethics, wildlife and ecology.  

  • http://www.practicalethics.net/ William Lynn

    Listeners and readers of this program may be interested in my  full analysis of the program. You can read it here, http://practicalethics.net/blog/ethical-hunting/.  

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