Monday, May 30, 2011

Meat Monologues Part 2: I'll Show Ya Suffering

It's an old argument between those who think hunting is cruel, and those who love venison. I bet you can guess which group I'm in, huh? Yup. I love me some venison. It has been forever since I've had it. Pretty common in the towns I lived in back in PA, not so common in Los Angeles. Where I come from, men hunt. And then we eat what they hunt. Seems pretty straightforward. No "sport hunting" I knew of. We were also known to go fishing for food too. One of my favorite meals ever was fresh-caught river trout, hard-won, pan-fried when we got home. YUM. This was a great way to get food. I've even cooked bunnies into a lovely stew. You hunt, you kill, you eat. It's the equation with which I grew up. Someone I knew even had a great relationship with the local game warden, and when a poacher was caught, that guy got the deer. You see, the poacher couldn't keep it, but something had to be done with it... and it got ate, believe you me.

OK, wait, where was I? Oh yeah, the argument. "Hunting is so cruel" versus "If we don't hunt the deer, they'll overpopulate." Allow me to REALLY break this down for all y'all. This is the reality in which we live. This is how it is. Feel free to debate, but... well, I'm right. Deer populate certain areas. Those areas used to have their predators to keep their numbers in check, but because we humans have encroached so much, we tend to knock out the deer's predator because the predator poses a "threat" to us and our way of living, too. So, with Nature's control gone, deer are free to roam and proliferate. Which they do. So then THEY get out of control and eat stuff we don't want them to eat, like OUR crops. So now we have to control their numbers, as we have interfered with Nature and her control. We hunt them. We eat them. It's a controlled hunt; we don't go all out and slaughter them, but we keep their numbers manageable. I'm OK with this, because, as stated, I love me some venison. Cruel?

Yeah, you say. Cruel. I'll TELL you what "cruel" is. We stop hunting altogether and abruptly, because hunting is "cruel". But no: cruel is a bunch of deer, untouched by hunters, protected and free to do as they please, suddenly populating as they would anyway, suddenly faced with a major shortage of food. They are starving in the woods. They raid our fields and gardens. That's not cool, but what to do? Higher fences? Snort. They compete with all those cows we just set free because it was cruel to keep them. Now everyone's starving and SUFFERING and dying. Dying because they are starving. Because we thought it kinder and happier to let them be. SUFFERING. Think about the starving animals. I'll wait.

Sure, sure, the population will eventually balance, if we just left well enough alone. But when, how long? Plus, necessarily, we would see an increase of the predators as Nature tries desperately to balance her creatures. Now there are more predators killing our cats and dogs and cows and horses and chickens, not to mention our children playing in the back yard. What happens to them? We can't be cruel, so we can't kill them either. So I ask, how much starvation and death and stalking predators equals the sudden compassion and "civility" of not hunting anymore? How many years of waiting for that cycle to correct what we humans have effed up in the first place? What is the acceptable, palatable number here?

I'll wait. Go ahead and think on it.

And as you finish reading this and think, "Hm, what's green about THIS topic, GG? Do you have BBQ on the brain today, or something? This isn't your usual green fare," I say this: Green living to me means living WITH Nature, according to Nature, respecting the rules of Nature. Those rules are pretty clear. All other creatures on this planet live with Nature, by her rules. We do not. So now there are too many people and too many dogs and too many cats and too many deer and too many people (yeah I know) and not enough predators and the equation is skewed... and we hunt. And we can't just plain stop. THAT would be cruel.

I just want people to think beyond their own noses for a change. There are consequences to things.

Go ahead. I'll wait.