Is hunting food for thought?
Probably not if you live in the city.
This fall, I shot my first partridge. Hunting is a tradition in my family, and I was more than eager to take part. After hunting casually for the past few years, I wanted to start taking the hobby seriously. In my mind it was something to be proud of.
I’m from Riverview, New Brunswick. It’s not exactly a rural community, although its residents sometimes like to think otherwise. And seeing the blazing hunter orange is ever common in the fall.
When I returned to Fredericton from my grand expedition, I, like any man would, mentioned it to just about everyone who would let me bend their ear. The reactions I got in response were not exactly polite congratulations. What I heard most was “how could you do that?”
I expected I might get these comments from my peers at St. Thomas, it being a liberal arts university.
“I don’t often flaunt that I am a hunter,” said Michael Tees, a St .Thomas student and life-long hunter from Minto. “I am a proud outdoorsmen, but I understand that not everyone was raised to accept that kind of lifestyle. So when someone reacts negatively towards me, I just assure them that I have the most possible respect for any animal I harvest.”
St. Thomas student Naomi Ward is one of those opposed to hunting.
“I just don’t think there is any need for someone to hunt in this day and age and it’s just sad to think people kill animals for show,” said Ward.
Award-winning author and experienced hunter David Adams Richards has written several books on hunting in New Brunswick and how it is misunderstood. He mentioned that while living in Toronto, he encountered the same reactions that I got.
“The opinions you get are usually biased and fairly reactionary, but you have to deal with that.Until everyone is vegetarian by choice, a person has a moral obligation to kill that which they eat at least once in their lifetime. They need to know where it comes from,” said Richards.
Hunting a wild animal is better for you than processed, flash frozen meats. But there is still the superstition that it is inhumane. However, the treatment of cattle and other animals used for food is ludicrous because of added hormones and cramped living conditions.
Are people in the city forgetting how we originally got our meat before there were grocery stores, or are we just getting lazy?
It takes dedication, practice and patience to hunt. Those same things ought to be applied to anything you do. Most hunters embody these traits, and I believe light should be shed on that instead of being depicted as murders.
So if you decide to go hunting, make sure to be weary of who you tell, as you might not like the response.
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