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  • anti-hunters

    upon reading (and replying) to some of the ethically disturbing things on this forum, AND having a nurse at work today say "I hate hunters" and go off on her emotionally embedded, Disneyesque (factually void) but very passionate disgust of anyone who needs to kill animals, I was wondering if anyone has any new arguments. I brought up the stock farm lifestyle and systematic slaughter of domestic meat sources VS. living free and having a quick, humane death. I brought up the biologic/physiologic traits we have that make us predators. I asked why her wrapped meat from the store was acceptable because someone else did the killing. Of course I brought up game management issues. Then she said that fishing was okay. I called her a hipocrite and had to walk away as I felt the blood rising. I'm normally very good at debating these issues, but found myself getting emotional (mad) because while I was systematically dismantling her arguments she remained solid in her position.
    Remember, we need to be classy despite what we may secretly think/feel. Any new ideas would be welcome. I think we could all benefit from this thread. Perhaps with well informed arguments, we could sway some of the fence riders.....

  • #2

    What about for reasons of prosperity? I grew up pretty poor as did many, we sure couldnít afford to buy the amount of meat we had from hunting and it made a difference for us kids at Christmas time, if the freezer was full so were the stockings. I find it hard to believe that many people do not benefit from their spoils of hunting financially. I know if I have a good season and take meat to friends that need it, it makes their life a bit easier for a while. Iíll bet you there is allot of people in the country that benefit from living off the land some.


    • #3
      you can't

      Unfortunately, you can't rationally discuss hunting with someone who says, "I hate hunters." It isn't the act of killing that the woman hates, it is those that do it. Period. Hate. Were someone to say, "I hate Irish people," they'd immediately be judged as unreasoning bigots. Do you think you could get such a poor specimen of humanity to change their mind?

      You can discuss the act of hunting with someone who says, "I hate hunting," because they may not udnerstand what the act is that they are condemning. Someone who says, "I hate hunters" has a mental image of someone evil, and no amount of persuasion will change their mind. Oh, they might like Joe, even though he hunts, or Bill, even though he hunts, and they might even have "a lot of friends who are hunters" (sound familiar?), but they will still continue to hate their mental perception of what a hunter is.

      Better to ignore bigots.
      He fears his fate too much or his desserts are small who fears on just one touch to win or lose it all.


      • #4
        It is impossible to argue with a woman on any subject that involves emotions. Don't even try, because she'll twist anything you say and throw it back in your face, even if the twisting makes no sense. You don't have to be married for long to figure that out.

        If she is open to disussing the subject, then you can have a conversation. If it's an emotionally charged deal, just learn to respectfully disagree with her.
        Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

        If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.


        • #5
          A doctor at the hospital I work at once told me he couldn't understand how a supposedly intelligent person could even own a gun. This was in response to one of his fellow physicians having hunting magazines on his desk. Some people you just can't reason with.

          On the subject of hunting for prosperity, a coworker owns several rifles and enjoys target shooting. He used to hunt, but says that he won't now, as he can afford to buy meat. He only hunts if he has to. Now as for me, I hunt because I enjoy it and the meat is an added bonus.
          Chris Willhoite


          • #6
            She asked me if I was starving or if we had to live like prehistoric man. I also grew up dependant on wild game. Now I could buy beef. And I support the free ranging beef industry in the northwest (not the gross feedlots). But I choose to and prefer to eat and procure wild game. I think most of us could afford to eat without hunting. As a matter of fact, I suspect we all spend more per pound of meat than grocery shoppers. But that's not the point-they'll never understand that.
            And I've been married for 10 years and am very aware of the futility of emotional debates with MOST (there are exceptions....?) females. Anyone who doesn't aknowledge the gender differences is too P.C. or ignorant. But that's not the point. If everyone on this forum is armed with a belt of rational, legitimate arguments for hunting, and then they calmly tactfully tell their non-hunting friends, and so on, perhaps we can control the spread of liberal anti-hunting views. This forum is one of the few tools we have to legitimately band together, form a stance and spread the word. The more hunters who are mentally prepared to defend our position in a tactful, respectful way, the fewer people will categorize us as bloodthirsty killing pigs. We are portrayed as a bunch of redneck oafs that drive around, drink beer, and shoot at sounds in the brush.
            As hunters, we never have a real voice outside of the NRA. This is a forum where we can share info, band together and come up with socially acceptable ways to preserve our loves and traditions. Unfortunately that's the political world we live in.
            While I think that the "I hate hunters" mentality is difficult to sway, there are a lot of people who don't really think about hunting until they meet one of us. When it comes up in conversation, if we portray the standard of ethics that we support, and the valid, factual reasons that hunting is ecologically beneficial, we can earn the respect of the 'tweeners.
            What I'm trying to start here is a brainstorming session. In your mind, try to convince Susan Sarandon or Miss Feral of PETA that hunting is okay. The more valid, relavent knowledge we have, the better...
            And I'm not saying that we have to preach like pro-hunting evangelists. We just need to be prepared to answer the tough questions and provide provocative facts should the situation arise.


            • #7
              I'm not so sure you can change someones strong opinion in one conversation. Maybe if they hear enough positives over time then perhaps they may change. But, what about this one...

              The doctor mentioned above will have to agree that wild game red meat is acceptable in a low fat diet where beef is not allowed.
              Wild game is much healthier than store bought beef. Moose has 30% more protien ounce for ounce than beef and hardly any fat. Not to mention that if you process your own game you see how healthy or unhealthy the animal was and you know how the meat was handled. Also, the flavor. I prefer a good moose or caribou to most store bought beef. Ruffed grouse or pheasant to chicken any day and don't even get me started on sheep, elk, young corn fed whitetail or bison. If you cook duck right is fabulous.

              My .02
              A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again


              • #8
                Take them hunting

                The best arguement you can present is to actually talk them into going hunting with you one time. I had a buddy who was totally against hunting when I was living in the midwest. We would debate our points everytime we got together but nothing every worked until I finally got him to try it one time and keep an open mind about it. After one morning on the deer stand he wasn't ready to become a hunter himself but he finally understood why I hunted and my love for the woods.


                • #9
                  So Many Reasons to Hunt


                  I agree with everyone else that if the person is so emotionally charged, there is little chance of reasoning with them. With that kind of person I usually offer "Are you prepared to discuss this in a rational manner? If not, I won't waste my time and yours."

                  BUT - for those people not leaning either way, or who ARE willing to have a rational discussion, there are many points that can be made to help them better see the issue in a broader light. Some brief examples include:

                  - Sportsmen (hunters and fishermen) and sporting organizations contribute far and away the largest percentage of funds used to manage and preserve wildlife populations and wildlife habitat; ask her where those funds will come from, if we're not allowed to pay for the privilege to hunt and harvest our own meat;

                  - Sportsmen have played a large part in the restoration/resurgence of the white-tailed deer and wild turkey to records numbers across the United States;

                  - Sportsmen contribute millions of pounds of healthy, high-protein meat to homeless shelters and food banks annually; in my state of Maryland alone, I believe that over 400,000 pounds of meat were donated last year through Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry;

                  - Killing an animal via a bow or rifle is almost always more humane (the animal often dies before it's aware what happened, and dies in its natural environment) than killing livestock or chicken in a slaughterhouse; if they try to debate that one, ask them to take you to a slaughterhouse, where the cattle are often wild-eyed with panic due to being able to smell the blood of the already dead livestock, and due to the general panic-stricken nature of many of the animals;

                  - Everything that we do on earth leaves a footprint, and there are many ways other than hunting in which wildlife are impacted. For many of the wealthy tree-huggers, the destruction of natural habitat to build their 2nd and 3rd homes will destroy more wildlife than I will kill in a lifetime of hunting;

                  - Ask her why she can be so selective in her advocacy - many of the bambi lovers won't hesitate to stomp on a bug or kill a mouse - why are they so protective of only certain species of wildlife?

                  - If she's fashion-conscious, tell her based on her strong stance on the matter, you're awfully surprised to see her wearing leather shoes/belts, carrying purses made of leather, or having leather seats in her car; animals were killed to provide those baubles to her;

                  If none of that has any impact, piss her off and get her off the topic by saying that you think that anyone who wears makeup is an idiot, there's no redeeming or environmentally conscious reason for producing or wearing makeup, and people who wear makeup but worry about animals or the environment are hypocrites. At least then you'll be dumbing the debate down to her level.

                  Good hunting,



                  • #10

                    mdhunter is right on track. That's what I was hoping for. I used many of those arguments today and in the past. come on, I know we can come up with more. Perhaps make a topic sheet like politicians before a debate Like I said, I've debated these people into the dirt before, but more ammo is always good.
                    I agree that the lady today was untouchable. I even brought up the leather belt and shoes before calling her a hipocrite. Good stuff to know and use.....


                    • #11

                      I'd ask her if she hates people who drive cars, and if she drives herself. More animals are killed every year by cars than hunters by a long shot....and not just deer or moose or elk etc.,.....every kind of critter under the sun. And it's all done for convenience, not because they like the meat or will ever eat it. Most road kills go to waste or draw in more animals which are in turn killed by cars. Even household pets are slaughtered by cars. Also, more people die from cars every year in this country than by guns. even intentional gun killings. Now how can she claim it's ok to kill for convenience and you can't kill for food?
                      An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
                      - Jef Mallett


                      • #12
                        The way people think

                        Why are people locked into preconceived notions?

                        Tough to say.

                        In this thread I've read that women are irrational, and that opposition to hunting is somehow connected to political liberalism.

                        Neither of those statements is true, but I'm willing to wager the notions run deep.

                        I'm especially amused by the notion that political liberalism involves opposition to hunting. Or perhaps vice versa. Rupert was very perceptive in his observations about people who 'hate hunters' but like their friends who hunt. We see it all the time in politics: people who hate (insert party here) and know members of that party to be (choose one: corrupt, stupid, bigoted, greedy, unpatriotic, etc.), despite the fact that some of their own family members and friends and pewmates are of that party.

                        "Oh," they say, "but my friend is different."

                        Snyd is right when he says no one discussion will change people's prejudices. It takes time and work and exposure. I strongly recommend against deliberately pissing someone off if you can't bring 'em around in one conversation. That just reinforces the image of hunters as power-mad bullies who cause 'harm' or 'injury' for fun.

                        It also helps if we acknowledge our own faults. The Haul Road thread going on now makes it fairly clear that there are some bad apples in the barrel (to say nothing of the 'do you believe this excuse' thread). That's why some of us get so frustrated by (and so frustrate others of us by talking about) our fellow hunters' ethical lapses. To draw a parallel, few people bother my friends in the Native Sobriety movement as much as the few fellow Alaska Natives who are frequently publicly inebriated. We need to acknowledge the difficulties we're having and work to clean up our own collective act even as we work to bring others around.

                        Changing public perceptions and prejudices is like housework: you do it, then you do it some more, and when you've finished that, you've got more to do.

                        So, all of that said, others have posted some good arguments to make when the discussions come up. Here's one of my favorites that nobody's mentioned explicitly yet: An ethical hunter kills an animal far more humanely - with far less pain or fear - than Mother Nature does. Consider what it's like to starve to death. Imagine being run down and consumed by a pack of wolves or a brown bear. Wild animals don't have heart attacks or die of old age, and a responsible shot from an appropriate rifle, bow, or shotgun is kinder by far.

                        More important to me, however, is the fact that hunting is an activity of the soul. It requires taking responsibility in a direct, personal way for my life and the lives I end when I eat meat. In a way that makes me keenly aware of, and reaffirms my place in the natural order of our world. I have great respect for those who choose vegetarianism because they couldn't take an animal's life. If everyone had to kill their own meat there would be a lot more vegetarians in the world. But their choice is not mine. Hunting is one way that my choice is brought fully home to me and and grounded in my being -- through my actions.

                        The Jewish faith has no blessing to recite when killing or butchering an animal. There are blessings for everything (and I mean everything) else. That's not because Jews believe we shouldn't eat meat. The bible makes the contrary quite clear. It's because the act of taking a life is not one in which we involve the creator of all life. It's between us and the animal we will consume. It is an awesome and powerful thing, and it's good to be a little afraid of it. To do it oneself is to be fully aware of one's own life and its costs. And that is a spiritual act, no matter your faith or deity or nonbelief therein.

                        That, more than anything, is why I hunt. That's what I share with those who need to understand.


                        • #13
                          I'll second what 8x57 said. Amen.

                          Its not what you say, or how you say it, but what you do and how you do it. Let your actions speak for you. Its only in the manner with which we conduct ourselves that over time that will convince the masses. Lead by example.

                          I had a girlfriend that use to give me a world of grief over my hunting each fall. I tried to explain t oher the reasons why and why we should hunt. But she really didn't want to hear it. I think it was more because she wanted more time with me, so I evenually got her involved in shooting archery. We would spend time shooting together, but she was not interested in hunting. To make a long story short, we split up. Her next boyfriend was also a hunter and he eventually convinced her to go. It was a year later that she called me to tell me the story of her first deer she had within shooting range and how she couldn't draw her bow back due to "the shakes". She confessed that she finally "got it" and that she understands why I am so passionate about my time in the woods, irregardless of whether or not I harvest an animal.

                          Like I said, lead by example. Get those involved who are willing to participate. You can't force someone to understand. Eventually we'll bring some of the uneducated masses to our side of the table. Until then, conduct yourself as if there is always someone watching. Funny, I've had people who meet me and some who have known me for years who say things like, "I would never have taken you for a hunter." or " you don't seem like someone who hunts". I just say to myself.... one step closer to changing the mind of one more.

                          Last edited by Frankie 2 Times; 08-24-2006, 02:50.


                          • #14
                            Amen, Brothers

                            Frankie - I've had the exact same comments in terms of "I wouldn't have taken you for a hunter." I always ask them "How would you expect a hunter to look and act? Maybe that's the issue..." Or, I sometimes go with "So, are you saying that perhaps now I'm not quite as responsible/professional/educated/intelligent (insert word of your choice here) just because I hunt?"

                            8x57 - Great post. There's a study out somewhere done by a university in the Northwest (think it was Oregon or Washington, can't recall) that seemed to demonstrate that a vegetarian lifestyle had a very negative impact on the population of voles and field mice, due to the tilling practices used in domestic vegetable fields. I throw that one out every now and then when my veggie friends get uppity with me.

                            Good hunting,



                            • #15

                              Can you imagine, there are people out there that actually eat the embryos of unborn peas and tomatoes?


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