If you live in rural America you probably have friends who hunt. You may be a hunter yourself. Many people I am friends with hunt and right now it is hunting season so my Facebook feed is full of people showing their latest kill, or their first kill, or their little kids with a kill. The hunters are holding the deer’s antlers up so the animals head is looking at the camera. I see students, yes six and seven year olds, posing for pictures sitting on the dead deer. To me it is sad and creepy. That is not a judgement, just how I feel when I see these posts.
I know there are many reasons that these people hunt: it is family tradition, a cultural thing, they eat the meat all winter long, it is a sport, they love to hunt, and they like the outdoors. Hunting can be hard work. You are cold, wet, tired and if you kill something then you have a lot of shlepping to do and a ton of clean-up. But in this day and age is it necessary for survival?
But how do you feel when you drive past a dog that has been hit on the highway? Or a cat, or a deer? You may say that a dog or a cat were someone’s pet so you really feel sorry for the owners. But what about that deer on the side of the road, do you feel anything for that guy? I do, and I don’t think I am alone. So, if you feel something when an animal is killed by accident why is ok to kill one for sport. It wasn’t raised to be meat (and that is a whole other post) and it was just going along living it’s life trying to stay out of traffic and then someone decides they are going to kill it. We are kidding ourselves if we think that deer are any less feeling than cats or dogs. They may be, but who knows? Maybe there are other deer out there wondering ‘Hey, what happened to Bob?. Oh yeah, did you see that Facebook post? That was Bob with those two kids sitting on him holding us his head for the photo.’ Would you feel differently if the kids were holding up a dead raccoon, rat, or a beloved pet? To me it is just sad and creepy. I want to teach my children to care about others, and that includes animals. I am sure that these parents do, too…. It is an odd contradiction.