Why I Hunt

Hunting is a somewhat controversial topic, even between fellow firearms owners.  I own firearms, yet I have never been hunting.  In a few weeks, however, I will be going on my first hunting trip.  My wife’s family has a deer lease where they are being gracious enough to let us hunt with them. Some of you may or may not remember, but I am very interested in food and where it comes from, and the fact that many people neither know nor care where their food comes from.  People have such a disconnect from their food and often completely forget that when they’re eating meat, that meat was once a living, breathing animal that had eyes, ate food, breathed, pooped, wanted to follow its biological need to reproduce, etc.  The modern food system has removed any relationship consumers had with this fact, and I want to re-establish that connection between the consumer/carnivore (me) and the reality that something died so I could eat it. Some of you may object, saying I could go fishing and kill the fish; this I have done, actually.  I guess it didn’t bother me, kind of like pescatarians.  Some may further object, saying “Just get some chickens and kill them.”  I would be all for this, if I lived in a place where I could legally do so (don’t get me started on the stupidity of these kinds of laws). However, by far one of the biggest objections to hunting is the involvement of firearms.  People say that using a firearm is unfair.  I could not agree more.  Hunting is not supposed to be fair; that is why a cheetah is faster than a gazelle; why a lion has bigger claws and teeth than a zebra; and why the wildebeest cannot see the crocodile hiding in the river.  “Those are natural advantages, though”, some will say.  Even chimpanzees will put a stick into an anthill and pull ants off of it.  I heard somewhere else someone say “It’s only a sport when both sides know the game is being played.”  Again, I couldn’t agree more; to me, hunting is not a sport.  There is nothing “macho” about hunting.  This is getting food, plain and simple.  The whole objective for me is to look at an animal, kill it, and eat it; to re-establish the connection between the meat consumer and the meat.  So, in about 3 weeks, I am going to take an (old Swiss military surplus K-31)  built in 1936, hunting.

I have mounted a 4X scope on it, which is not very much magnification, because even though to me hunting isn’t a sport I want to make a clean kill and cause as little suffering as possible.  People will say “How can you kill it and not cause it suffering?”  I guarantee you, the momentary suffering a deer will suffer from a shot from a rifle pales in comparison to the lifelong suffering of a cow in a feedlot. In my opinion, the only people that can object to hunting are vegetarians.  If you eat meat of any kind, you partake in the killing of animals; you just don’t like to see it… and who can blame you.  It is gruesome, and not nice, but I don’t want to turn a blind eye to it.  If you still eat meat and you object to the killing of animals for food (not for sport, even I object to that), then you need to re-evaluate what you eat. I may get out to the field, spot a deer, and look through the scope and not be able to pull the trigger.  Who knows, but I hope I can, because I have eaten quite a few animals in my day, and by doing that I have had a hand in the death of probable thousands.  Who knows, my hunting trip may result in me going vegetarian; here’s to hoping my trigger finger is steady, and my aim is true. In conclusion, I would just like to say I have nothing against vegetarians.  At least they’re honest and they stick to their convictions.  I also don’t think everyone needs to go hunting to get their own food.  What I do think is healthy, however, is for people to look at their hamburger/chicken breast/sliced turkey, to realize that that used to be an animal, and it DIED so they could eat it, and to appreciate and respect that fact.

By Philip Hubbs