Good morning, faithful reader. I do hope that you are having an amazing day but unfortunately for yours truly, I am not. On Monday, I wrote a little hunter rant about Sarah Palin's fabled caribou hunt which was televised by TLC. The originating idea that began this whole mess was a simple question put forth by DU's brother, I responded to the question and figured the conversation would make for a titillating post. Happy with my sharp writing whit, I bade my computer good-night and let it get some rest. The next morning, Tuesday, I opened my blog and was perplexed as to how my views had gone from minimal to astronomical in mere hours. I happily thought that my blog had finally taken off and millions would begin clinging to my every word while I gleefully quit my job, allowing myself all the time in the world to force my ingenious ideas to adhere to these posting cells. All of these fuzzy feelings soon partially dissipated when I realized two sites had gotten a hold of my posting and was using it as a "female hunter's perspective" on the whole Palin thing.
My little fame balloon was punctured but as I watched it whirl and turn, losing its internal air, I figured that this type of inclusion in such a political-heavy issue couldn't be all bad. That is of course, until today when I tentatively logged in and stared open-mouthed at my statistics for the day. The posting from just 2 days before had over 350 page views, and the number was rising. I'm not one that is used to any sort of grandiose attention in terms of my writing, I have a fantastic but small readership, so this was big. Before figuring that I would be the next guest on The Colbert Report, I had to again quell my desires to pack up my desk and venture off for greener, more deer filled pastures. I began looking through the sites that I was mentioned in. And then I got to looking at the comments of the readers of the sites. And then I got mad.
Okay, in all reality that last part was added for dramatic affect. When I began pursuing the various sites and comments, I was happy. People were using my post as a way to see what real hunters think about Palin's PR Caribou hunt, but even better- a real, female hunter! Random people who live in all pockets of this great nation were congratulating, thanking and taking notice of my writing. My prematurely victorious brain once again shouted, Success!! I am awesome!! Writing for a living and hunting everyday of my beautiful life, here I come!!. My brain, the greedy, attention-seeking, manic thing it happens to be forced my fingers to continue to look through the rest of the sites that had linked my blog. One site was full of some fantastic readers who really understood where I was coming from, even if they had an aversion to hunting. Then I made that fateful move that everyone in the movie theater watching my life story yells at me not to do; I went to another site that had picked up my link.
And then it came. That comment that makes a hunter's eyes roll back in their sockets, fists clench,and arms tremble with the overwhelming instinct to bludgeon something- the environmentalist-vegan-animal-lover who feels badly for the poor caribou that nasty Alaska lady killed. People are connecting Palin's hunt with bulldog fighting while superb conversationalists discuss how mean it is to kill an animal with a bullet that may or may not die from natural causes in the future. Right under that comment lays a gem about how hunters encroach on animal's natural habitats which is worse than killing the poor creatures. And who can forget the man who argues that hunting isn't a sport because the animals who are being hunted aren't heavily armed in return. Last but certainly not least is the economical woman who advises hunters to add up all the money we've spent on stands, calls, blinds, decoys, etc and see how many boxes of mac and cheese we could buy. She may be onto something, readers! How come I didn't think of hunting for boxes of mac and cheese?
As my eyes glued to the ridiculous words flying by my face, I was appalled. I have had people disagree, condemn, and be disgusted by my passion but I've never seen it on this scale. Worst of all, these people had no idea what in the world they were talking about. I never rant and rave about politics because I don't know anything about it! Being uninformed while attempting to argue a point is my biggest pet peeve and it makes people look like idiots. Which got me thinking.
I can write about hunting because I know it. I live it. I love it and it's an ancient part of myself as a human being. But what if these vegan, environmental, caribou-loving individuals (VECI) loved the world as much as they claimed; what would their lives look like? If the main things they required in order to live were reduced to fit the confines of their beliefs their world may look a little like this:
Assuming that many environmentally friendly individuals see man's intrusion on animals as an attack on their natural habitats, the VECI would have to live as far away from animals as possible. Also, since animals have feelings that need to be taken into account when hunting, plants and trees should be lumped into that category as well given they are all carbon based and we're not ones to discriminate, are we, VECI? Given that trees, just like animals, feel pain when you hurt them, then the VECI can't build shelter out of wood, pine cones, or ferns. Therefore, the best route for the VECI would be to either make some sort of home out of mud (adobe is in!) or ice.
As the world is well aware, VECI refuses to eat anything that comes from an animal. Hence, caribou, elk, moose, deer, bear, lion, cow, chicken, buffalo, pig, boar, duck, fish, octopus, giraffe, kangaroo, alligator, hippopotamus, panther, squirrel, squid, owl, velociraptor, and the like are all just pretty little beings that are free to roam everywhere, safe from the evil hunter's scary gun. Which is even better for the VECI! Since hunters won't be present in the VECI world, no one will be there to defend anyone from any animal attacks. If bears come and eat your toddler, let him! He's just doing what nature intended. Besides, you should have been further away enough from the bear so he would not feel threatened by your invasion of his personal space, silly VECI. But I digress.
If we're going with the idea that VECI feel that things made of carbon have feelings then nothing that grows can be eaten, lest feelings be hurt. Therefore, the best route for the VECI would be to either eat mud or ice. Organic is in!
See that gross ditch filled with mud and rainwater? Drink it.
* Please note: the above is only a hyperbole in order to illustrate the hypocritical nature of many of the comments my eyes were unfortunate enough to take sight of.
Ah how much many people underestimate the importance of harvesting animals for the good of humankind. But unfortunately, now hunting's dirty laundry (read: Sarah Palin) has made it so that even more people have a skewed perspective of this ancient practice that we hold so much passion for. It is in the hope of this huntress that this disgusting bout of negative hunting PR will slowly dissolve as time passes. Either that or more ethical, moral, legal hunters will come to the forefront in order to fully defend this way of life which has supported mankind for centuries.
I came to the conclusion that I feel the most alive when I hunt after continually facing that ever-present question, "How can you hunt?". Even if I'm faced with scorn, ignorance, and rejection I will still hunt. Its is a beautiful, ancient practice that I am always proud to love and share.