So I saw an ad on the website of the far-too-nearby gun club for a book by one of its members (“The Gun Guy”) that “takes the reader through the joyful and humorous stories about life at the hunt camp, hunting culture, and the joys of nature and wildlife.”
I wrote him a short letter: You “take the reader through the joyful and humorous stories about life at the hunt camp, hunting culture, and the joys of nature and wildlife.” And yet you kill it. You do not see the contradiction? (If you enjoy wildlife, you wouldn’t fucking kill it.)”
He wrote back: “I have to say … I respectfully disagree. I don’t see a contradiction. Man is part of nature. We are omnivores, we eat food of both plant and animal origin. Harvesting an animal to eat is no different than picking a roast up at the grocery store.”
I’ll grant the last point, but as I pointed out in my response to his response: “I do not eat animals. I don’t need to. And if I were that desperate to have to kill another to stay alive, I certainly wouldn’t call it sport, I would not enjoy it.”
I also said: “That we can do something doesn’t mean we should do that something.”
He did not write back again.
Upon re-reading his (initial, only) response a month later, having lost a battle with the MNR about clear-cutting a chunk of forest just a couple hundred feet from my house,* is the complete absence of an ethical perspective. ‘Man is, we are, we eat.‘ There are no should sentences, no justifications for what he is, what he does. It reminds me of the currently popular “It is what it is.” Which drives me nuts. What the fuck does that mean? It means ‘I refuse to consider whether it should be that way’; ‘I refuse to consider right/wrong’; ‘I refuse to be an ethical animal.’
What also strikes me now is the complete lack of recognition that he is killing something he enjoys.** I guess that’s how men kill the girlfriends and wives they love so much.
* About which a neighbour said, undistressed, ‘That’s what it’s for.’ What? It took me a minute to see that he was MNR, and male, to the core: things are resources, they exist for our use, they have no intrinsic or autonomous value. Unbelievably, neither my neighbour nor the MNR even recognizes the forest’s instrumental value as the lungs of our planet, as desperately needed carbon containers . Let alone its instrumental value as a beautiful thing.
** And not to end or prevent pain, as in benevolent euthanasia.