Vegetarians having kids, with pro-hunting grandparents - VeggieBoards - A Vegetarian Community
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#1 Old 01-02-2012, 06:27 PM
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Hello!

my husband and I are not even close to thinking about having kids, but something was said today that really upset me.

my father in law said he was going to teach our kids how to fish/hunt. and my reaction was. ugh.. no.

He started to say that I should be sure to teach my child about different cultures. I told him that I would be happy to teach my kid about other cultures but I will not allow him/her to be taught how to be a killer.

Long story short. Everyone got heated.. and I see this becoming a serious issue. First thing I thought was "we will just move somewhere where everyone is like minded like us" and began to look up "best places to live if you are a vegetarian"

but I don't want to just move away from the issue.. I want my child to know his/her grandparents.
So please assist me in how I can approach this. I have a temper and don't want to piss off anyone.

thanks,

renee
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#2 Old 01-02-2012, 06:38 PM
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I would just say no, and thats that.

It won't be the first thing that gets heated after having kids. Me and my parents/ inlaws get into tiffs all the time about strapping my kid properly into a carseat, feeding them pizza rolls, or teaching my son to hit the thing that hurts him and shout, "BAD BAD BAD"
The list goes on and on.

All you can do is try to understand where they are coming from and remember that you and your husband are their babies and they feel responsible for passing down their beliefs like they did with you. When I had my own babies, I totally understood where my parents were coming from that whole time.

Just be firm and smile and keep it light hearted. No use in fighting, I have learned that its better to work things out this way. When we were disinvited to thanksgiving this year by my MIL, because she wanted our kids to eat turkey, I called her and poured on the honey while being firm about how I am raising my kids. We were invited back. No hard feelings.
Hope this helps, I can only share experience.

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#3 Old 01-02-2012, 06:40 PM
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Maybe you could argue that this is a very important moral issue for you.

"Hell exists not to punish sinners, but to ensure that nobody sins in the first place."
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#4 Old 01-02-2012, 08:39 PM
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For now, just say "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it" or if they're really making you angry tell them "We're not having kids until we're sure that you won't undermine our parenting."

Some people just assume everyone will have kids. And since you already said kids aren't in your plans yet, it's probably wise to remind them that having kids is your decision, not theirs.
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#5 Old 01-03-2012, 09:10 AM
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Hi!

I also agree that if you ever get children, they ought to get to know their grandparents. But I wouldn't worry too much about this. If you raise your children as vegetarians and teach them to love animals, they would naturally be repulsed by the thought of killing animals.

My grandfather was a fisherman, and when I was a little boy my brother, dad and myself went fishing with him in his boat. At first it was very exciting, but once we actually got the fish on board I started crying out of compassion with the fish that were gasping for water (oxygen). At home we were pescetarians, but still this experience was quite heavy for a child.

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#6 Old 01-03-2012, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by kwalsh1987 View Post

Hello!

my husband and I are not even close to thinking about having kids, but something was said today that really upset me.

my father in law said he was going to teach our kids how to fish/hunt. and my reaction was. ugh.. no.

He started to say that I should be sure to teach my child about different cultures. I told him that I would be happy to teach my kid about other cultures but I will not allow him/her to be taught how to be a killer.

Long story short. Everyone got heated.. and I see this becoming a serious issue. First thing I thought was "we will just move somewhere where everyone is like minded like us" and began to look up "best places to live if you are a vegetarian"

but I don't want to just move away from the issue.. I want my child to know his/her grandparents.
So please assist me in how I can approach this. I have a temper and don't want to piss off anyone.

thanks,

renee

My parents hunt and fish and there is no way that my kids would do either with them. I was never interested in hunting with my dad when I was a teen, I found the idea of killing deer very disturbing. I did not enjoy fishing with him either and really didn't like seeing him kill fish. My kids are both vegan and although young would have no interest in those activities. It would traumatize them. My daughter got "Little House in the Big Woods" for christmas and came out crying after 15 minutes because of all the talk about deer killing. My parents know not to push the issue. My dad understands that hunting is not my thing and he didn't push me to hard to join him when I was young.
I don't think you should bend on this issue. It is clearly against your morals and as parents we try to pass on our morals to our children. The grandparents will have to get over it if they want to have an active role in your future children's lives. Keep in mind that many omnivores are deeply uncomfortable with hunting(I was one) so this isn't just a vegetarian issue.
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#7 Old 01-05-2012, 01:36 PM
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For now, just avoid the issue - you don't have kids, so it isn't a problem. If/when you do have children, don't let the grandparents have any unsupervised time with them until you're sure they won't be taken hunting. Do your best to bring your kids up with a similar sense of ethics as yourself and your partner, and I'm pretty sure they won't want to go hunting anyway. If anyone had ever tried to take me, no matter how young, I would have flat out told them they were mean for ever wanting to hurt a living creature.
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#8 Old 01-05-2012, 02:48 PM
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Tell grandpa to get his senile ass out of your business
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#9 Old 01-07-2012, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by kwalsh1987 View Post

He started to say that I should be sure to teach my child about different cultures.

Hoist him on his own petard, as it were ..

Say something like "Ok, but only if you teach him about cannibalist/satanic/drug using/paedophilic/racist/<insert anything Grandparent sees as wrong here> first."

Shouldn't be hard to get Grandparents to grasp the concept that some cultures some parents would NOT wish their children to be taught?
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#10 Old 01-07-2012, 04:31 AM
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For now, just avoid the issue ..

Yes fill a bucket full of sand and write, very clearly, upon it the following words;

ONLY TO BE USED FOR THE BURYING OF HEADS.

Probably best to make sure there is no vaseline, or other lubricants, in the vicinity of where the bucket is to be kept first, mind.
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#11 Old 01-16-2012, 03:37 PM
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They already had their shot at parenting. These future kids are YOUR kids, nothing more and nothing less.
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#12 Old 01-16-2012, 04:17 PM
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Teaching about different cultures is fine, that doesn't mean you have to experience those you abhor. Grandparents wouldn't want your kids to participate in a stoning, go around naked, eat bugs, do hallucinogens...
Don't just skirt this issue if you plan on having kids. It will be easier if you set the ground rules, which is what parents do.
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#13 Old 01-18-2012, 05:01 PM
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I'm going to have to deal with this. My husband's dad's family is really big into hunting/fishing/etc and always talk about teaching Ginny. I don't have any advice since for now, while she's still too young for it to be an issue, I've just been smiling and nodding rather than causing a stir, but I'm very interested in how everyone else handles these situations. A conversation to look forward to!
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#14 Old 01-18-2012, 05:13 PM
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I hope they end up coming around to your views, even if they don't now. My grandparents (so my son's great grandparents) have always hunted and fished, and owned a gaming store selling fishing supplies and guns for as long as I've been alive. When my grandma found out I was vegetarian, she commented on how healthy I will be. So, even though she has completely different views than me, she still respects my choices.

Good luck
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#15 Old 01-21-2012, 07:23 PM
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Is your husband a vegetarian too? It would be good if he could stick with you on this issue seeing as it is his dad.

my dad is really into fishing and was pretty pissed off and offended when my son did not want to go fishing with him any more. There were a few dramas over it at first but he shut up about it in the end.
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#16 Old 01-21-2012, 09:47 PM
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Thinking that just because you like doing something, your grandkids should automatically be interested in too, is a sign of narcissism and arrogance.

And "different cultures"? As far as I know, hunting is a part of quite many cultures, including American culture, so I don't see how it's a different culture, or how it is a mark of any particular culture.

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#17 Old 04-12-2012, 09:57 PM
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Hello!

Let me first say that I completely understand your distaste for hunting and fishing. I became vegetarian because of my compassion and respect for animals, and as a protest/boycott against the meat industry.

However, I am pro-hunting. I'm probably going to completely enrage a lot of people for saying that, but please read why before you come to a conclusion.

When I was young, my hunter father would take me along with him sometimes, although we never caught anything. I learned to respect nature and animals from him. Hunting for him wasn't about killing an animal- it was about being one with nature, and sort of going back to simpler times, and taking his natural place in the food chain. Sort of following our basic hunting instincts. I don't think he has ever, ever, killed anything and not utilized the meat.

Most hunters have great respect for nature and the animal they are hunting. It's like, you know how in books and on TV, a lot of times the Native American character will thank the spirit of the animal it has just killed, and he seems so one-with-the-earth? It's sort of like. With MOST hunters I think, anyway.

Also, if someone is going to eat meat, it is just so much less horrific to eat what one has hunted as opposed to buying chickens nuggets from McDonalds. The way animals are treated their ENTIRE LIVES makes me want to vomit, not to mention their gruesome slaughter. It is so unnatural, unnecessary, and cruel. Let's be honest, hunting is completely and totally natural for both predator and prey. It may still be debatably unnecessary, and cruel, but much less so than meat from the supermarket. Your future children will probably be exposed to people eating hamburgers, ignoring what they are really doing by buying the beef. Why is exposing them to hunting worse?

Also, I consider being vegetarian a very personal choice that someone needs to do some real soul searching to make. Would you really want to deprive your children of being able choose for themselves? Even though I chose to be a vegetarian, making that choice meant much more to me than if it had been forced on me. Perhaps when they are old enough you could let them decide to go hunting/fishing or not?

Lastly, please, please, please Renee, don't cut your in-laws out of their future grandchildren's life over this issue without understanding hunting. I know from the outside it looks bloody and murderous, but hunters have the best intentions. It's hard to explain, which is partly why I rambled on so long, which I am sorry about, but many hunters have MORE respect for life than the average person. You certainly don't have to agree with hunting, but please remember it is a different opinion that is hard to understand, but not cruel.

I hope you two can come to an agreement, and that your father-in-law can respect your decision, and that both of you can respect each other's opinion .

Sandy
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#18 Old 04-13-2012, 07:28 AM
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Thinking that just because you like doing something, your grandkids should automatically be interested in too, is a sign of narcissism and arrogance.

I don't think this is necessarily true. Parents and grandparents like to pass their knowledge on to the young ones and teaching them how to hunt, fish, make camp, etc. was a necessity for survival in the not-so-distant past. Of course in most places that's no longer true, but nonetheless wanting to pass on these types of skills to your children and grandchildren is not at all narcissistic or arrogant in my opinion.
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#19 Old 04-13-2012, 10:37 AM
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I don't think this is necessarily true. Parents and grandparents like to pass their knowledge on to the young ones and teaching them how to hunt, fish, make camp, etc. was a necessity for survival in the not-so-distant past. Of course in most places that's no longer true, but nonetheless wanting to pass on these types of skills to your children and grandchildren is not at all narcissistic or arrogant in my opinion.

Surely the grandparents ought to have the bare minimum of faith in their own adult children to trust that those adult children have taken care of any basic necessities for survival for the grandkids, so that the grandkids' survival doesn't solely depend on the grandparents.

What if the grandkids grow older and then start to think that the grandparents need to learn how to cook vegan food, because that's necessary for the survival of many cows, chickens, fish etc.? That would just be perceived as arrogant sticking your nose into other people's "personal choices".

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#20 Old 04-13-2012, 10:50 AM
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Hunting for him wasn't about killing an animal- it was about being one with nature, and sort of going back to simpler times, and taking his natural place in the food chain. Sort of following our basic hunting instincts. I don't think he has ever, ever, killed anything and not utilized the meat.

a) yes, if he hunted, it is also about killing an animal. If you just want to spend time outdoors, there are great ways to do that without needing to kill anything. Hell, even if you want to enjoy tracing an animal, you can do that too, and still you don't need to kill. If you specifically want to hunt, then the desire to kill (or at least the desire to obtain the killed animal's flesh) is a part of it.
b) "natural place" and "food chain" are arbitrary cultural constructs; stories to explain or rationalize certain choices or to try to understand the world. If I don't kill an animal, there is no "food chain" that is suddenly broken -- that is a fiction.
c) I am skeptical about "hunting instincts". By what definition of 'instinct' are you going by? I don't feel that instinct, and if only a part of the population has it, should it be called instinct anymore, or would it be better to call it something like "an inclination of an individual"? How do you distinguish an instinct and a strong inclination?

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Most hunters have great respect for nature and the animal they are hunting. It's like, you know how in books and on TV, a lot of times the Native American character will thank the spirit of the animal it has just killed, and he seems so one-with-the-earth? It's sort of like. With MOST hunters I think, anyway.

First, it would be quite a generalization to say what "most" hunters think in their heads. (What they might say they think, in order to create the impression of them as spending all their days issuing prayers for animals, is another thing.) But secondly, respecting someone's spirit after you've killed them might serve an important role in human culture, but it serves no point whatsoever for the dead animal who is already killed.

And when it comes to respect, I never ever want to be respected in the way that hunters respect animals. And when it's a respect I would never want to receive, is the respect worth much to begin with?

Now, here's another concept of respect: respecting another sentient being's autonomy and right to go about their business. Now that is respect that is worth something, and a kind of respect I want to enjoy myself too.

Quote:
Also, if someone is going to eat meat, it is just so much less horrific to eat what one has hunted as opposed to buying chickens nuggets from McDonalds. The way animals are treated their ENTIRE LIVES makes me want to vomit, not to mention their gruesome slaughter. It is so unnatural, unnecessary, and cruel. Let's be honest, hunting is completely and totally natural for both predator and prey. It may still be debatably unnecessary, and cruel, but much less so than meat from the supermarket. Your future children will probably be exposed to people eating hamburgers, ignoring what they are really doing by buying the beef. Why is exposing them to hunting worse?

I agree that (factory) farming treats animals worse than hunters do. But then, people who shoot and kick dogs for fun treat animals better than factory farms do -- the point is that factory farms are a bad point of comparison, because they're one of the most cruel entities on the planet. Compared to them, anything is better.

And "natural" is entirely an aesthetic opinion. To someone, dressing in human clothing and using binoculars is already unnatural, and to someone else it isn't. It's not a matter of facts.
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Would you really want to deprive your children of being able choose for themselves?

If I had kids, there would be plenty of things I would want to deprive them the choice of:
-kicking dogs for fun
-shooting other kids with BB guns
-stealing
-lighting the school on fire
-getting an exotic animal from a pet store
-racist talk

Quote:
It's hard to explain, which is partly why I rambled on so long, which I am sorry about, but many hunters have MORE respect for life than the average person.

Again, it's a respect I do not want for myself. I don't want someone to kill me in a respectful way, unless it's euthanasia; it is a horrible kind of respect. What I do want is others to respect my right to mind my own business without getting shot.

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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#21 Old 04-13-2012, 12:07 PM
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Lastly, please, please, please Renee, don't cut your in-laws out of their future grandchildren's life over this issue without understanding hunting.

To understand hunting, all one needs to understand the universal foundation of rationalization, which goes: "I am human, I want to do it, so this is why it is right". This is the flawed foundation from which they attempt to reason logically, so don't get caught up in how good their arguments look. The foundation is bogus.

The hunters' rationalizations for why they kill are the same as the carnists' rationalizations for why they eat meat. It's because they want to and see no reason why they shouldn't. Everything else that comes out of their mouths on the subject is crap. There is no ethical distinction between the two, but in real life applications, I do have slightly less disrespect for those who are not willing to kill with their own hands.

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#22 Old 04-13-2012, 12:32 PM
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Hello!

Let me first say that I completely understand your distaste for hunting and fishing. I became vegetarian because of my compassion and respect for animals, and as a protest/boycott against the meat industry.

However, I am pro-hunting. I'm probably going to completely enrage a lot of people for saying that, but please read why before you come to a conclusion.

When I was young, my hunter father would take me along with him sometimes, although we never caught anything. I learned to respect nature and animals from him. Hunting for him wasn't about killing an animal- it was about being one with nature, and sort of going back to simpler times, and taking his natural place in the food chain. Sort of following our basic hunting instincts. I don't think he has ever, ever, killed anything and not utilized the meat.

Most hunters have great respect for nature and the animal they are hunting. It's like, you know how in books and on TV, a lot of times the Native American character will thank the spirit of the animal it has just killed, and he seems so one-with-the-earth? It's sort of like. With MOST hunters I think, anyway.

Also, if someone is going to eat meat, it is just so much less horrific to eat what one has hunted as opposed to buying chickens nuggets from McDonalds. The way animals are treated their ENTIRE LIVES makes me want to vomit, not to mention their gruesome slaughter. It is so unnatural, unnecessary, and cruel. Let's be honest, hunting is completely and totally natural for both predator and prey. It may still be debatably unnecessary, and cruel, but much less so than meat from the supermarket. Your future children will probably be exposed to people eating hamburgers, ignoring what they are really doing by buying the beef. Why is exposing them to hunting worse?

Also, I consider being vegetarian a very personal choice that someone needs to do some real soul searching to make. Would you really want to deprive your children of being able choose for themselves? Even though I chose to be a vegetarian, making that choice meant much more to me than if it had been forced on me. Perhaps when they are old enough you could let them decide to go hunting/fishing or not?

Lastly, please, please, please Renee, don't cut your in-laws out of their future grandchildren's life over this issue without understanding hunting. I know from the outside it looks bloody and murderous, but hunters have the best intentions. It's hard to explain, which is partly why I rambled on so long, which I am sorry about, but many hunters have MORE respect for life than the average person. You certainly don't have to agree with hunting, but please remember it is a different opinion that is hard to understand, but not cruel.

I hope you two can come to an agreement, and that your father-in-law can respect your decision, and that both of you can respect each other's opinion .

Sandy

This is pretty much how I feel about the matter.

when I was younger my uncle brought me into 'the shed' after a successful hunting trip. I remember the entire thing.

He started with a lesson before we began. telling me that this animal was a great beast. it took him a week if tracking and it was not just a simple platter for my feasting, but a strong willed fighter. The story ends with me feeling pride for the Buck, it died with honour and glory.

To explain, my family are Wotanist. we respect nature and obey her laws. I myself became a vegetarian to combat animal abuse, but I still remember the wisdom my uncle gave me. Animal farming is too much, period.

@OP
As for your situation, I doubt you have it as black and white. I would lay down the law, while maintaining family unity. Don't compromise your values, but don't do so to theirs. there's always camping and hiking. both enjoy nature and compromise neither parties.

xyjames
cheers!

"One may regret living at a period when it's impossible to form an idea of the shape the world of the future will assume. But there's one thing I can predict to eaters of meat: the world of the future will be vegetarian"
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#23 Old 04-13-2012, 12:38 PM
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He started with a lesson before we began. telling me that this animal was a great beast. it took him a week if tracking and it was not just a simple platter for my feasting, but a strong willed fighter. The story ends with me feeling pride for the Buck, it died with honour and glory.

That's like doing a home invasion into someone's house - they fight back, you kill them, and you stand over the body feeling "pride" for them for being a "strong willed fighter." That battle was yours, not theirs, they were just trying to live another day until you intruded into their home and made them fight for (and lose) their life.

"If you want to know where you would have stood on slavery before the civil war, don't look at where you stand on slavery today, look at where you stand on animal rights." - Paul Watson.

 

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#24 Old 04-13-2012, 12:40 PM
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WTF, just no. Can I hunt you down, and kill you as long as I 'respect' you and use all of your meat? No? That would make me a psychopath, and it's different, because human life is special? Yeahhhh...just no.

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#25 Old 04-13-2012, 12:47 PM
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That's like doing a home invasion into someone's house - they fight back, you kill them, and you stand over the body feeling "pride" for them for being a "strong willed fighter." That battle was yours, not theirs, they were just trying to live another day until you intruded into their home and made them fight for (and lose) their life.

Yeah I'd buy this if the buck had been attacked by the man with his bare hands and teeth. There is no respect where there is no fair fight. It's just savage destruction.

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#26 Old 04-13-2012, 01:08 PM
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He started with a lesson before we began. telling me that this animal was a great beast. it took him a week if tracking and it was not just a simple platter for my feasting, but a strong willed fighter. The story ends with me feeling pride for the Buck, it died with honour and glory.

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#27 Old 04-13-2012, 02:37 PM
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Hunting is unnecessary for survival for the most part in our world. If someone wants to assert his mastery over some gunless animal, why not track it and shoot some photos, like on an African safari. He can always build a fire and drum if he wants some more manly stuff to do.
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#28 Old 04-13-2012, 03:01 PM
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I do want to reply in more detail to some of these postings when I have more time.

Also, I feel like people think I'm trying to rationalize something, so let me make it clear I DON'T HUNT. I have no NEED to rationalize anything. I just think hunters get a really, truly, bad rap and it makes me mad.

Hunting has been going on since we evolved. It is a 'natural' thing. That is just fact. We have the options to eat meat now, which is awesome.

Factory farming and the disgusting techniques used are very recent, and EXTREMELY cruel. It is so unnatural. Animals are tortured for their entire lives, and then put in a killing machine.

Would I rather live my life the way I want, and be free and then shot by someone that had respect for me, and didn't want me to suffer, but used my meat as a source of life? Something that had enough respect to kill me with their own two hands, and understand what it was they were eating, who it was? Or would I rather be shoved in a tiny box from birth and pumped full of so many hormones I couldn't stand so my meat would be better? Oh, and then killed by machines that wouldn't even be used in the most grotesque of horror movies, and eaten by people who don't care enough to even want to know how I had suffered, had never looked me in the eyes?

Everything dies. Every animal should get to live first too, and that is the difference between going to Burger King and going to the woods. Either way you're killing an animal, but if your going to the wilderness you aren't directly responsible for a lifetime of torture as well.

I don't hunt, I just get why people do.
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#29 Old 04-13-2012, 03:05 PM
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Hunting is unnecessary for survival for the most part in our world. If someone wants to assert his mastery over some gunless animal, why not track it and shoot some photos, like on an African safari. He can always build a fire and drum if he wants some more manly stuff to do.

Lol, that is an excellent point, and a great idea for vegetarians who have that hunting instinct! For non-veggies though, they are going to eat meat anyway. Why not do it the natural, more ethical way? I don't hunt. But I think it's a thousand times better to hunt for meat than to buy it.
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#30 Old 04-13-2012, 03:05 PM
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They get a bad rap because they deserve a bad rap. It's not an either/or. It's not either factory farming or be shot by ye olde hunter. You can – I know this may come as a shock to you – but there is the option of letting animals live their natural lives until their natural death, no humans involved.

Who needs sleep when we've got love?
Who needs keys when we've got clubs?
Who needs please when we've got guns?
Who needs peace when we've gone above?
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