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What Do You Think of Yourself?

A friend sent me a video the other day and I just haven’t been able to dismiss it. It looks like it’s been around for awhile, so you may have seen it at some point.

Here, go take a look at it, because the rest of this post won’t make a lot of sense unless you do. There’s also a page with a bit of background.

OK, assuming you’ve now seen it, let me just say that I can’t recall in recent memory seeing anything with so many things to offend my senses as that right there. I’m busy–have been busy–so let me be brief:

1. I have never understood most forms of "sport hunting," especially when there’s little or no sport in it. Tell you what: I will bow at your feet and kiss your toes if you go out in the brush with a spear and knife and bag an adult lion and live to tell about it. Letting one out of a cage to stand around bewildered and curious while you stand around pretending you’re on a "hunt" until the point that you decide to "take ‘im" earns you my ridicule and scorn. I’m far too selfish to ever lower myself to such depths of ill-respect.

2. Bow hunters have my respect. Those who eat their kills (the norm for bow hunters) have even more of it.

3. I was raised with the value (we hunted deer, birds, and we fished) that hunting is to combine sport with getting food. That’s still my value and I see no reason to change it.

4. I just always wondered what people were saying about themselves by killing an animal, stuffing it, and hanging it up as a trophy. Look, I’m not saying that "public policy" should in any way speak to these issues, but I reserve the right, as an individual, to kind of just wonder what you think you’re made of when you go and do that.

5. In the subject video, where the hell are the .45 sidearms for just such eventualities? In that panic (fairly understandable), it’s a wonder someone didn’t get shot with all those muzzles waving around, coupled to triggers clutched by very agitated fingers.

You know, I think it all boils down to this: real hunters often come home empty handed and understand how that makes what they do a sport.

In case you’re wondering, no, I personally could never bring myself to kill anything so beautiful and regal as a proud lion, unless it involved some variation of a conflict between the valid interests of human beings and those of lions. Why? Because, as with other such wonderful beasts, they symbolize certain things that are far too important to me to just go killing them for no good reason.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

9 Comments

  1. Rich on March 2, 2006 at 18:05

    OK, Zach, why are you "against" it and what does that mean? Are you wiling to be content in your personal choice of values, or do you aim to stop people from pursing theirs, as misguided as you believe they may be.

    Susan. I agree it's disturbing. I was disturbed for a couple of days. Why, precisely, were you disturbed? Was it for the same reasons I posted about, or different?

  2. Zach on March 2, 2006 at 14:33

    The crazy thing is that it was three people with guns vs. one relaxing lion and the lion got so close to geting away / killing one of the people.

    I am against the "sport" of hunting by the way.

  3. Billy Beck on March 3, 2006 at 06:54

    It reminded me of Oscar Wilde's definition of fox hunting: "The pursuit of the inedible by the unspeakable."

    Replaying that, I couldn't quite bring myself to hope that the lion would have gotten one of them. But if he had, I would not have felt sorry for them. And I don't think I would have laughed if they'd shot each other, but I certainly would not have been surprised. Wotta bunch of dorks.

    Almost everybody I know around where I live hunts. They shoot deer, turkey, various game birds, etc. Excepting woodchucks, which are a verminous pain in the ass (for instance: they digs holes in fields where horses & people can break ankles), everybody eats what they kill. That's essential to the whole ethic: you're not real unless you end up grilling your kill. It might be argued that this is not at all necessary, but it's for real hunting and I have no problem with it.

    Nobody involved in something like what we see in that video could ever have my respect.

  4. Susan L. Prince on March 2, 2006 at 17:42

    disturbing

  5. Warrior Dog on March 3, 2006 at 02:58

    I broke out in a sweat watching the footage of the cage hunting. It is because I am embarrassed. I recognised the Afrikaans language spoken, and this took place in my country, South Africa. I feel very strongly against cage hunting. Let me re-phrase ANY hunting for pleasure. Our country is a true democracy, yet our animals have no rights what-so-ever.

  6. Blage on March 3, 2006 at 06:58

    Couldn't even get through the whole thing. The first shot at the lion and I stopped. Why don't people take a camera out with them and get a great shot that way.

  7. Shannon on March 3, 2006 at 10:47

    Being aware of your warning about not understanding the post without first seeing the video, I took my chances, figuring that if you were right, it didn't make sense, I could go back and watch it.

    May I say that your eloquence with words prevented me from having to do just that. As well, I'm grateful.

    I find no sport in hunting down an animal in such a manner as to what you've described. I agree wholeheartedly that bow hunters are the true sportsman. Should you actually make a kill, I agree, it should be used as much as possible…pelts for warmth if applicable, meat for food.

    It's also of my belief that taking the head of a deer, lion, groundhog, mother-in-law…whatever your game hunting preferences…and hanging it upon the wall is as well, poor sportsmanship. In no uncertain terms, it's gloating. It's humiliating to the poor beast to be hung upon the wall for as long as it will be there to only have the one putting it there go "Yes, I did that, I killed you and stuffed you and put you on the wall for all to see!"…….yeah that's not very sporting I think.

  8. thinkoffthefat on March 5, 2006 at 18:12

    I love animals. Thank you for commenting on those that kill them for no reason but sport. I can't watch Animal Planet when they show abused animals being rescured. The "help-me-crys" from the animals in the pounds that are about to be put to sleep just tears at my heart. God Bless.

  9. Janet Stapleton on March 10, 2006 at 05:20

    They are saying:

    "I AM THE KING – look at this once vibrant, thriving beast who was stilled by MY hand."

    I do believe I agree with everything you said in your post. Having lived all of my life in Western Michigan, hunting and fishing are quite common place and still "enjoyed" by MANY here. I've never believed it's wrong to kill when it's a matter of survival – whether it's for the food you need to survive, or an act of defense needed to keep you alive. I find no honor, glory, or cause for celebration in killing for thrills.

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