I opened Saturday’s paper and there on the front page was a photo of a pretty, young woman holding an antler and standing on a city sidewalk. The headline proclaimed that she was part of a growing trend: “The New Urban Hunters” — people who for various reasons are learning to hunt — some for sport, but many for food. The intro stated that this young woman was brought up as a Buddhist and is now a “recovering vegetarian”. She believes (as do others) that hunting and killing a wild animal is an ethical and sustainable method of obtaining meat.
The young woman claimed to want a more humane way to put a roast on her table and I might have been convinced of her concerns if I hadn’t found her reasons for hunting a little selfish, when she declared that after tasting wild game,”even the best beef tasted like garbage”. She stated that she is an animal lover but she had no qualms about killing them for her own satisfaction. Other fledgling hunters, in the article, spoke about dissatisfaction with our industrialized food industry, a return to traditional ways of providing food such as gardening, foraging and felt that hunting was a natural extension in the move to a sustainable lifestyle.
I can’t quite believe that hunting game for food is, in any way, sustainable — our destruction of wild life habitats alone diminish the counts of elk, deer, grouse, etc. — and just imagine the devastation of many species of game animals if even half the population of the Lower Mainland grabbed their shotguns and headed out the woods to bag dinner! The article did not mention what the hunters do with the parts of their kill that would not be thrown in the stew pot. Wouldn’t it be a better idea to raise your own animals for food?
I fail to see how stalking and killing an animal can be considered morally right. Is it any different, ethically speaking, than buying it already dead and packaged in the meat section of your local Save-On Foods?
To my mind, the ethical choice is to become a vegetarian.
(You can read the article in The Vancouver Sun – Saturday, April 13, 2013)