Friday, February 21, 2014

Spiritual Things: Why I Am Against Hunters

I have been without a camera for a while, so time for a non-fashion post! It is about something this Blonde is very Zealous about: anti-hunting. But not for the usual reason. 

I know I am opinionated. I don’t care about sports, I like zombies and cats, etc. God is the King and Jesus is the Lord. And I love animals, but not all animals. Mostly cats. I don’t care about squirrels or even dogs, or monkeys being used for research. I don’t write letters about the abuse of circus animals and I’m definitely not a vegetarian. But I have developed a conviction about people who hunt.

When I moved to the southern state I live in now, I was surprised that people here hunt deer and boar. A lot of people. For fun. They take off work, they buy all kinds of gear, they share stories and photos. They plan big weekend trips. Even people at church, they make a big deal out of it. I really didn’t think people hunted anymore, or I thought it was small groups of people.

Now believe me when I tell you, I don’t care about deer. I don’t care if they die, or get hurt, or if the forests are overpopulated. I have no sympathy for deer, fish, pheasant, or wild boar. 

Let me tell you what I care about: YOU, the hunter. I care about YOU.

And because I care about you, hunter, that is why I am against hunting. 

Living here, I have heard all the reasons why people say they hunt. Let me outline them off the top of my head:
  • it gives them a reason to be outdoors, and they love being outdoors, it helps them feel closer to God.
  • it is a bonding experience with other hunters. 
  • the thrill of the hunt, the chase, and the capture is exciting and real, possibly addicting. Maybe like a video game, but in real life.
  • it makes them (even women) feel more “manly”, builds their self-esteem.
  • it makes them feel powerful.
  • it makes them feel like they are providing for their family.
  • because someone has to prevent the wildlife from overpopulating.
  • because that’s what everyone does, it’s a rite of passage.
  • because it puts food on the table.

And after I hear all these reasons, I want to ask a hunter, in a low, clear voice: “But as for you, why do YOU hunt? Really?”

And I wait for an Answer that will never come. Because it is in such a deep, dark place, the part of the heart that we all want to keep hidden. Who would want to admit it? To face a sin so ugly?

The Answer: “I hunt because I enjoy killing.”

And hunting is a socially-acceptable way to kill another living being.

The heart of hunting is killing. The goal and aim of going out into the forest is to kill something. And if you didn’t enjoy it, you would pass and leave that responsibility to others. You would find other ways of being outdoors with God, alternate methods of bonding with others. You would find other thrill-seeking adventures, like paintball or skydiving. And if you had to hunt to put food on the table, you wouldn’t glorify it or brag about the fact that you had to kill that animal. But I haven’t met any hunter who hated killing, or even felt bad about it. 

I eat meat. When I eat, I know that I am responsible for the death of that cow, chicken, or pig. But I don’t brag about it. I don’t rejoice in the animal’s death. I don’t make plans and spend money to go out and kill animals so I can eat them. If I enjoyed killing, I would gladly go out and wring that chicken’s neck and cut that cow’s throat. Instead, I pass that responsibility to others, because I can’t stomach it. When presented with a dying animal, no matter what animal it is, I have compassion and sympathy for it. I hurt over it.

Some may call me a hypocrite. But the difference is the enjoyment, the desire to kill. That is what I fear and object to.

This week, a 45-year old schoolteacher kidnapped and killed a 10-year old girl, a girl he did not know. He just drove by and snatched her, and within a few hours, she was dead. The newspaper article interviewed friends of the man. One said he was an “animal lover”. Another said he was an “avid hunter.” That stood out to me. Being a schoolteacher, people might say he “loved kids”, and yet this man will be convicted of being a child murderer. I am not surprised by this, because this is a spiritual issue. He simply enjoys killing.

And until each hunter can face the truth in his or her own heart, and turn from his or her evil desires, he or she will continue to be the same.

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