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Although my voyage was a bit different then yours, I too had the same comming to terms with killing. In the end, I can kill Chicken, Duck and Rabbit. But I can't deal with big animals (deer - cattle - sheep) until they are headless and hanging. Somewhere in my mind I have the inkling feeling that if you can't kill it and feel okay about it the you shouldn't eat it. I can raise cattle, butcher cattle and eat them but for now I guess I remain a hippocrit in the areas of slaughter.
Ah... The farm stories I don't tell my grade one students.
There's an inherent assumption that the rest of us have no idea what it means to choose meat -- what that entails for the animal. And that one has to essentially torture a captive rabbit in order to understand what it means to live. Well, I grew up overseas where as a child I (unfortunately) witnessed the brutality of slaughter and of hunting. And contrary to the opinions expressed by the letter writers here, those experiences did not invigorate me and connect me with life. They served to illuminate how the choices we as humans have, by virtue of our power and technology, are so brutally abused at the expense of those less powerful. And they caused me to make better choices that did not involve the suffering of other people or animals on this planet. I didn't have to kill an animal to feel a connection to the beautiful world around me.
It's a shame that after this experience, the author didn't derive a more compassionate ethic and understanding about his connection to animals -- by choosing to respect their inherent right to exist on this planets. Sorry, but the Buddhists have it right on this.
The object is to illustrate to ourselves that by existing, we destroy, and to justify our existence, we need to create as well. Those who only exist are a net loss to the world at large.
In most other circumstances, even seasoned hunters have to get a hunting permit and are restricted to hunting such game when it is the appropriate SEASON for that species. You rather disrespect and make a mockery of responsible and law-abiding hunters by not even addressing the issue. You also quite blatantly promote ignorance of regulations that are in place to protect wildlife. Yes, there are plenty of mallards and Canada geese in the world, but this is a horrible precedent to set.
And the commenter who bragged about hunting what were probably California Quail back in the seventies? Probably illegal too, if you did it without a permit and out of season.
>> There is a further message in hunting and gathering. Be it animal or plant, something must die daily for you to exist.
... but nothing needs to suffer. By all scientific evidence available to us, plants, lacking central nervous systems, are not sentient. They are not aware of their own existence. To kill an organism that has no consciousness is qualitatively different from killing an organism that does. To conflate the two acts is asinine. Animals like cows, chickens, pigs, rabbits and ducks all have the ability to experience pain and suffering, and have an interest in avoiding such suffering. Slaughtering a cow is not comparable to pulling up a carrot.
>> You may believe that your life leaves animals untouched, but glass, plastic and cosmetics and many other products you consume and use daily are the products of animal's deaths.
The only people I know who attempt to "leave animals untouched" are vegans, and vegans are well aware that various products are produced using ingredients that were created through the exploitation and killing of animals. These products can be made without using animal-derived ingredients, but since animal exploitation is so prevalent, animal ingredients are, in many cases, cheaper and more readily available than plant-based or synthetic materials. Yet if everyone were to stop exploiting animals, there would be no animal ingredients to avoid. Thus, to speak of animal exploitation as inevitable is patently false.
Yes, in our violent society, it is almost impossible to avoid minute amounts of animal ingredients. The key is to realize that although there is widespread fallout from violent choices, our inability to live lives that are 100% untouched by industrialized animal exploitation does not absolve us from the responsibility to make peaceful choices. The presence of animal ingredients is not evidence that the violence cannot be stopped: it is evidence that the violence must be stopped.
>> The object is to illustrate to ourselves that by existing, we destroy
We need not destroy innocent, sentient lives. We can live peacefully upon delicious, varied plant-derived foods.
>> and to justify our existence, we need to create as well.
I imagine that if a person with a conscience willfully engages in harmful actions (like the killing of animals), they may feel the need to "justify their existence" in order to make up for the harm that they willfully commit. If a person commits to nonviolence (which by definition implies a commitment to veganism), the person removes a large millstone of guilt and debt from their soul. No one can live a perfect life, but we can do our best.
I do agree that humans have a drive to create, to create meaningful lives. I choose to create peace. What do you choose?
Squirrels, duck, and geese do have strict laws for hunting. Squirrels need a small game tag while geese and duck have separate tags themselves. Do not get caught hunting game that need a hunting permit. The Department of Fish and Game will royally fuck you on that. Poaching gets you a severe fine, jail time, and you cannot apply for a hunting or fishing license ever.
I also am of the opinion that, unless you can kill it, you've no business eating it. Obviously, humane killing is the best way (it produces better meat AND is more ethical).
Congrats on getting up the nerve (and sense) to kill your own food.
@Tank: the legality of hunting sans license/permit depends on your state. I don't know about Washington, but in Oregon one would be arrested for hunting within city limits and discharging a firearm (including an air rifle) within city limits. Even hunting non-game animals in Oregon requires a hunting license.
@Jaques: To continue life, life must end, be it animal life or vegetable life. It's the paradox of existence. If you choose to deny your omnivorous nature and eat only plant matter, that is your choice, but pass not judgment on the rest of us who embrace our natures.
You mention you stopped by Central Gun Exchange to purchase a pistol to kill small animals.
You also mention the "alleged" salesman in the store loaded it up and shot a garbage can in said store.
I worked there for twenty-two years and that NEVER happened.
Stop Lying to the Public!
It's great to know the author will survive the (inevitable) zombie apocalypse and will then be able to gloat over all the helpless urbanites starving behind their barricades. But in THIS reality? ...Who cares?
I actually very much appreciate some of the author's philosophical reasons for going on this bizarre adventure. Factory farms ARE cruel and awful. And we are all, in general, very removed from our food and where it comes from.
But the whole venture smacks of hipster contrarianism. Kiley argues that hunting is not about bloodthirstiness--and I would agree that for many (even most?) hunters that is probably true.* But it appears to be at least partly what motivated him. Just look at how much page-space in this article is given over to blood, gore, and relaying each minute detail of a killing. I was reminded of all the contrived "coming of age" stories I was forced to read in middle school about young men killing animals so they can better know death and become real men... or something. I got the feeling while reading this article that Kiley is having a bit too much fun baiting his audience of civilized, restrained urbanites. A bit like a Palahniuk novel. Like Fight Club in short essay form. (Transgressive!)
I think Proud_Vegan made some good points and made them well, so I won’t bother rehashing them. And for the record, yes: I'm a vegan too. But I wasn't always. And I didn't grow up coddled & thinking meat is something that spontaneously grows in cans and in freezers. I lived in a small rural town where people wore camo & mesh caps UNironically. My dad owned guns and went hunting occasionally with friends. (And they were all good, caring people.) I've actually eaten squirrel. When my dad hit a rabbit that ran out in front of us while driving at night, he stopped the car and put its body in our trunk. We had it in a stew.
But here's where I get to the asterisk (*) from up top. I still remember the kids in my classes at school who went hunting with their dads. They didn't brag about how much food they bagged for their families. They bragged about kills. And blood. Every time the class watched a nature video there would be a chorus of mock-gunfire when an animal came onscreen. Sure, most of this can probably be chalked up to kids just being obnoxious for the sake of being obnoxious. But it seemed clear to me even then that the prevailing attitude was, for some of these kids, that animals existed only for us to destroy. I'm sure many of those kids were taught by "ethical hunters" and have grown up to be the same. But I also met plenty who boasted of (or aspired to) hunting with fully automatic weapons and hunting "for sport" in the most unsportsmanlike of ways.
I don't think hunting for food is wrong—certainly not in any absolute sense. I just choose not to do it, myself. But I also wonder about people's motives for doing it. By hunting, what craving are they really feeding? Because it’s not the hunger of an empty stomach. Not for Kiley, at any rate.
Self important vegans. Where do you think your fruit and veggies and grain came from? Who harvested it?
I can assure you it was NOT harvested in a utopian society by smiling, singing villagers.
Eating more fruit and veggies means more surviving on human suffering, instead of animal suffering. Great trade off. Unless you eat all fair trade organic food. Which means you have a lot more money than most people, captain smug. Some of us have to worry about making rent and providing for kids, and can't afford luxuries like fair trade organic food.
And exploding populations of invasive species with no predators don't just go away. You actually have to kill them. Why not eat them, too?
Carrot Juice Constitutes Murder, by the Arrogant Worms.
Listen up brothers and sisters,
come hear my desperate tale.
I speak of our friends of nature,
trapped in the dirt like a jail.
Vegetables live in oppression,
served on our tables each night.
This killing of veggies is madness,
I say we take up the fight.
Salads are only for murderers,
coleslaw's a fascist regime.
Don't think that they don't have feelings,
just cause a radish can't scream.
I've heard the screams of the vegetables (scream, scream, scream)
Watching their skins being peeled (having their insides revealed)
Grated and steamed with no mercy (burning off calories)
How do you think that feels (bet it hurts really bad)
Carrot juice constitutes murder (and that's a real crime)
Greenhouses prisons for slaves (let my vegetables go)
It's time to stop all this gardening (it's dirty as hell)
Let's call a spade a spade (is a spade is a spade is a spade)
I saw a man eating celery,
so I beat him black and blue.
If he ever touches a sprout again,
I'll bite him clean in two.
I'm a political prisoner,
trapped in a windowless cage.
Cause I stopped the slaughter of turnips
by killing five men in a rage
I told the judge when he sentenced me,
This is my finest hour,
I'd kill those farmers again
just to save one more cauliflower
How low as people do we dare to stoop,
Making young broccolis bleed in the soup?
Untie your beans, uncage your tomatoes
Let potted plants free, don't mash that potato!
I've heard the screams of the vegetables (scream, scream, scream)
Watching their skins being peeled (fates in the stirfry are sealed)
Grated and steamed with no mercy (you fat gormet slob)
How do you think that feels? (leave them out in the field)
Carrot juice constitutes murder (V8's genocide)
Greenhouses prisons for slaves (yes, your composts are graves)
It's time to stop all this gardening (take up macrame)
Let's call a spade a spade (is a spade, is a spade, is a spade, is a spade.....
I do not agree with the statement that Buddhists don't eat meat, they eat meat and fish all the time and they aren't half as "peaceful" as the one poster above seems to think they are. They are human, too. They sweat and bleed and cry and eat and sh*t and kill and die like the rest of us.
I appreciate the effort the author made to learn how to come to terms with killing his own food. I also appreciate the DIY sentiment that he expresses, and the philosophical way he went about explaining it.
Kudos to you, Brendan.
I've had many co-workers express their distastes for my hunting only to turn around and take a bite of their Big Mac. I can respect vegans' opinions, but I don't want to hear any more lectures from ignorant hamburger-eating, leather-wearing, delusional supposed animal lovers.
Killing my food (be it deer, bear, grouse, squirrel, etc) provides me with a greater respect and appreciation for the animal that died to sustain my life.
People say the eastern cape Africans (Nelson Mandela`s people) eat cat and that's why there are few cat in townships. Why not eat cute little ginger. He kills beautiful birds snakes lizards which would appear on nature programs.
On resent holiday on Tioman Island Indonesian laborers were catching bat and cooking over fire. I would have loved to try. Better than the banana omelettes the Malaysians think western people eat 3 x a day
Make it regular slot like home cooking.
A lot of times you can see in the USA this flare for conservative home-ownership, hunting, living off the land, and maybe it is merely the history of American pioneerism reemerging genetically in certain people. Rather than fighting meat-eating hypocrisy, you are only following a genetic urge of hunter-gather still embedded in your primitive American genes.
I personally tried living one winter in an apartment without a fridge, stocking up on dried beans ate no animal products. During this time I also only bathed with hot-water and used only CFL bulbs for light. My electric bill was only like 12 dollars a month. It is possible to survive without meat, car, or capitalism. I have still never owned a car in my entire life, but I bought a fridge again.
With survivalism, you will have to think of gas-shortages, lack of electricity, not having a car, etc.
What you are doing to these animals is not only reprehensible, but it is ileagal and dangerous.
Killing wild animals in public parks is immatute and irresponsible for the simple reason that a wild animal is precisely that: Wild. It has survived effectively and has a mental method and independent mindset. (By comparison the rabbits that are farmed for their meat are in fact docile and know nothing outside of their cages.) What you are doing is robbing a soul of it's final few years/months on this planet. These creatures could very well have a happy and healthy end, however your selfish experiment is robbing them of even this basic right to exist. What gives you the right to choose who lives and who dies?
I understand that this indiscriminate killing is probably an odd adrenaline rush for you, but obviously it's bordering on psychotic. I hope you get the help you desperately need before your inflated ego allows you to move onto more advanced prey.
There is a difference between survival prep, and harming innocent lives... please learn the difference.
I love seeing him run and navigate all the obstacles. For a city dog, he is really living.
He doesn't need a leash because of 4 things: He is the friendliest dog. He isn't interested in you unless your a squirrel or a rabbit. He absolutely loves running and chasing things. It would be cruel to no let that boy run free