Hunting – I don’t get it

I like meat. Not in the biblical sense, but in the way that I like to feast on flesh. I am fairly certain that at some point in my life I will eat a human. And probably not even out of necessity, or any other justifiable reason – just because I want to. But, as I’ve mentioned before, I have a bit of a pesky conscience eating away at the back of my mind, telling me to at least try and be a bit nicer about the animals I choose to eat and take into account how they’re treated and blah de blah. Basically, I like animals and I like to eat animals.

That’s just a bit of background for what I actually want to talk about here, which is hunting. Now yesterday I Google image searched for “thrill of the hunt”, which obviously returned images of real hunts. I found myself not particularly sickened, but more slightly saddened and generally a bit perplexed about the whole thing.

I’m not about to whine and rant that people shouldn’t hunt – fair play, you do what you want. But there are things I find questionable, and there are things I find disagreeable. I dislike fox hunting less for the cruelty to the shitty little vermin and more because it’s an excuse for the kind of people I dislike without giving them a chance to get together and enjoy themselves. For this I will not stand.

But then there’s the more American style of hunting, which was what made up 90 per cent of the images I was gawking at yesterday. A man, alone in the woods, armed with nothing more than a knife, maybe a bow and his wits – Rambo, essentially – taking on a fierce, dangerous opponent is something I can respect. That bloke who had a fist fight with a bear and won, basically.

But when it comes to finding a bear, shooting it in the head with a large-calibre rifle/shotgun and posing next to the carcass as if you’ve just done something worthy – that’s where I get uncomfortable. When people kill things to kill them, that’s when I get uncomfortable. When people encourage their tiny children to wield massive handguns to take down giant boars, that’s when I get uncomfortable.

It’s an argument for video games being a good replacement, actually. There are some things you’d never be able to recreate on-screen, sure, but at least it would mean you’re not going into the wilderness just to shoot a large, innocent creature in the face.

As I said though, I’m not judging. I’m just airing my half-baked views.

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