Yup. Its time for more “when I was a youngster in the Yukon…” rambling because something’s got my dander up again. Looking back I think this is the original hot button issue for me, trophy hunting, specifically this giraffe killing yahoo.
First and foremost I love to eat meat. If I could wake up every day and cook steak wrapped in bacon for breakfast and follow that up with meat at every meal for the rest of the day, I most certainly would. Alas I am not the Rock.
I am under no illusions of where my food comes from. Cows are born every day with the sole purpose of becoming my burgers. Even when I’m sick I can eat a whole chicken. I make no bones about the fact that I am an omnivore, although I do not blame those of a softer heart than mine who avoid meat altogether. I bring up my zealous dedication to eating things that used to be alive to demonstrate that even I have limits.
While I would kill a wort hog and roast it over a spit, singing hakuna matata the whole time, I would not kill said hog and leave its corpse to rot on the savanna. That to me is abhorrent. To some people there may not be much of a difference but there sure as shit is for me. Indulge me, if you will.
For the first few years of my life I grew up on a farm in the middle of a river valley accessible only by boat or plane. We grew our own crops, raised chickens for eggs, cows for milk etc. We hunted game and caught salmon. We dried the meat or canned it as we didn’t have refrigeration.
These were my formative years. You know the years where a lot of your world view is formed. The ideas that I was exposed to as far as hunting and trapping were very simple. You killed for food. You killed to protect your family and your livestock from eminent danger. You killed a furry animal because you needed to make something out of his coat. You killed efficiently. It was not malicious and it certainly was not sport. Even a five year old child could understand that if Daddy didn’t get a moose before winter things would be very hard.
Now as I understand organized trophy hunting, the guides take care of the meat once the kill has been made. Fine it does not go to waste but the person who did the killing then gets what out of it? Is it just for the thrill of shooting something? Cause that sounds really immature to me. This woman’s facebook posts would suggest just that for her killing for fun was the trip of a lifetime. I simply do not understand killing something that you don’t need personally and let’s face it even though the meat goes to people who could really use sometimes that is a side effect of the process and not the purpose.
I have seen photos of hunters with their kills before but I never got their inner thoughts with them. Ah the magic of facebook. I guess I’ve been peripherally aware that hunters enjoyed hunting but never absorbed how breathless they got over the enjoyment of “bringing something down” which translates to killing something stone dead. Lets not sugar coat it. Its not killing a person but its still taking life. I’m not saying this woman should deserves the full on internet torches and pitchforks routine that she’s gotten. I don’t think she should lose her job, just that she should grow up a little bit and I have an idea how to do that.
You kill it. You thank it for its sacrifice. You send its soul on its way and you eat it. If you feel like taking its head whatever. Personally I think that’s creepy and I’m gonna judge the shit out of you but if you ate the meat I won’t mention it, out loud. You kill it and you leave it for someone else to take care of? A pox on your house! The animal karma police are going to get you for that, some day, some way, some how. Life and death are serious matters and if you find killing fun, I deduce that you are either psycho or sociopath or you have never been forced to face the consequences of your actions. So you shot a giraffe? Good job. Now roll up those pretty Cabelas sleeves because you have a long hot bloody day ahead of you. You shot it. Now you get to skin it, butcher it and live off it for the next six months.
You shot something of admittedly lesser intelligence through the cunning use of superior positioning and unstoppable fire power. Good for you buddy. Exactly how difficult is it to take down a meandering giraffe with a modern gun and scope? What makes that so satisfying for you? Now if the giraffe was charging you and you had to fight your urge to panick along with shooting a moving target than maybe I would have some respect for you “accomplishment”. A musher on the Yukon Quest got charged by a moose and she took that sucker down with just a hatchet. Now that is difficult. I’m just saying that the bar is already pretty high.
So in conclusion if you’re not putting your kill directly on your table, your methods better be pretty spectacular if you want to call it sport. I’m talking two sticks and a butter knife, versus a bull. O.K. tough guy? Cause a bullet is just a tiny ball of metal and I know another “sport” where you fire a little ball really, really far. It’s called golf.