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Michael Scully has apparently decided to take leave of his senses and join PETA.
Then, to take a final illustration, we have the 5 or 6 percent of our population who still think it is normal, and indeed praiseworthy, to stalk, sneak up on, and dispatch animals for no better reason than the malicious thrill of it, memorializing these moments with their “trophies.” It’s a passion captured by an American bow hunter who wrote of deer, “I have so loved them that I longed to kill them,” and these days it extends well beyond deer to “game” of every kind. The creepiest of the lot is a type whose low character can escape no outsider to the trophy-hunting mania: thousands of people who compete throughout the world to kill the most and biggest animals. Members of outfits such as America’s own Safari Club International, these hunters are mostly men of means who still assume it is their prerogative to kill even elephants, rhinos, lions, grizzlies, and every other kind of creature in every place on earth.
Sorry, Michael, but being at the top of the food chain means we get to take our pick of everything that’s underneath us. To quote the inestimable Professor Reynolds, any creature that wants to knock me off the top of the food chain had better be prepared to wind up as a rug. Don’t like it? Slather yourself with bacon grease and walk through a pack of lions, then see how “humane” and “caring” they act towards you.
I will never understand why it’s considered more “humane” to let animals slowly and painfully starve to death rather than hunt them and ethically put them to use for humanity. Hunting conservancies provide much-needed job opportunities and food for some of the poorest people on Earth, and a properly-managed wildlife conservancy balances the needs of the hunter and hunted alike, preventing such tragedies like the forced culling of 200 lions in a Zimbabwe this year due to a lack of hunters.
I was born in western Canada, and I spent my summers on my uncle’s farms, raising chickens and hogs destined for the supermarkets of the world. Growing up, I learned to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation and understood that it is there for our use and should never, ever be abused or taken for granted. I know what’s needed to make a living as as a rancher or a hog farmer, and while I occasionally hunt, it is not my primary hobby. I do, however, have very good friends who are passionate hunters and very good friends who are professional wildlife managers in some of Canada’s largest national parks.
One thing that unites hunter and park ranger alike is a hatred for poachers and the understanding that what we enjoy most about the outdoors will go away unless we balance the needs of humanity with the needs of Mother Nature. Mankind is uniquely able to shape the world to suit ourselves, and acknowledging our place in this world and taking our responsibilities to ourselves and generations to come is at the core of the modern conservation movement and conservatism itself.
Let’s leave the histrionics to others, and go out for a nice steak dinner tonight.