Welcome to the darker side of the Hog Blog.
When I started out to write the How Much is Enough series, I had a specific goal in mind. I wanted to take some of the most common challenges I hear from anti-hunters and couch them in the terms of a discussion about hunter ethics. I wondered how it would sound if these same challenges were coming from a hunter… particularly from someone like myself who’s been so deeply involved in many discussions of hunter ethics, as well as discussion and debate with anti-hunters. I thought it would be an interesting opportunity to see how other folks would rise to the challenge, as well as to see if anyone caught on to the source of my arguments.
I think I fell short.
Part of the problem was timing. Just as I was getting started on the first post, Tovar put up his Wounded Animals post. Folks got pretty involved in that very worthwhile discussion, and that didn’t leave a lot of energy or attention for other potentially loaded conversations.
But the bigger problem was that I think I made it too subtle. I put a lot of thought into the posts, and a lot of honesty. While I was going for irony, I do think we need to dig deeper into our motivations and justifications for hunting… and understand where some of our justifications and arguments come from. As a result, I put a lot of pretty serious personal introspection into the discussion. I’ve been doing some some pretty intensive soul-searching of my own lately, which also flavored the tone of the posts. In retrospect, this probably wasn’t the best time for me to try this little exercise. It’s a little too close to home right now.
So how do I leave this?
First of all, the challenges are real. Anti-hunters will continue to ask the hard questions, such as how we can justify hunting (which includes killing) as a recreational pursuit, and how we can continue to use methods that we know have a relatively high probability of wounding wildlife (archery, wingshooting, etc.) when we all make claims to be conscientious about making a humane, quick, kill. They’re hard questions because I think they carry some validity. A truthful answer is going to require us to examine our motivations and personal ethics pretty closely.
And that was the goal of the exercise. I’m not sure I got it there, but it certainly stimulated at least a little bit of pretty serious conversation. If feelings were hurt or sensibilities offended, I can only say that was never the intent. It’s not a discussion for the thin-skinned, nor is it one that can be entered obliquely.
With that last in mind, I wasn’t going to put this redux post up just yet. However, before I further offend good people like Tovar, I thought I should tip my hand to what I was up to.