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By: Murray Mitchell

If the nation as whole is content to eat farm meat, killed in abattoirs, where lies the objection to the eating of meat obtained from wild stocks of common, endangered animals? You can ask this question of any ‘anti’ but you are unlikely to get a direct answer. How can that be,for it is a simple matter requiring no great intellect to comprehend? And in the matter of health, would you rather eat meat which is intensively reared, disease prone, hormone injected, artificially fed, chemically coloured, and genetically debased. Or something wild and natural?

And if you yourself are unable to kill and dress an animal, why try and prevent others from doing so? Why not assist in yarding and trucking stock to the abattoir; then spend an afternoon inside the slaughterhouse itself? Then come back and state your objections to hunting.

Human instinct : a famous writer once wrote that the horn of the hunter sounds within all of us. That it is stronger in some people than others is also apparent. Could not competition in commerce be an unrecognised form of hunting?

The urge to hunt is timeless; part of the instinct for survival. Give a starving libber a live animal and watch what happens! Man has always been a hunter, long before farming, and that the hunter-gatherer as popularly thought of would have become extinct.

To be ignorant of hunting is to miss a vital and valid part of life. To be out and about in beautiful and inspiring surroundings free of artificiality. Walking for miles; keeping quiet; vividly aware of nature at work; observing things which only hunters are privileged to see. And to return, happily tired, to feel greatly fulfilled. This is part of our real heritage and there is no substitute for it.

Game taken adds to the picture but lack of it in no way detracts from the totality. Even so, there is something very satisfying about eating food obtained by one’s own labours.

There is a popular description of low-intellect, blood-lusting vandals shooting up the countryside, determined to kill something, leaving blood and suffering along the way. This is as true as that of a horned-headed, forked-tailed, knuckle-trailing citizen shambling into the butcher’s shop and looking at a lamb’s fry with orgasmic pleasure whilst abattoirs scenes trip lovingly through his tiny mind.

Which shows that there is either confusion in thought or deliberate calumny when condemning hunting. Who conceals the truth? Hunters as a whole behave responsibly. They respect and admire all animals, they kill cleanly, and utilise the results. They keep vermin in check at no cost to the community. They do more for conservation than all the rest put together.

Hunters and their clubs study ecology. They conserve endangered species. They provide needed habitat; they work on providing sanctuaries, wetlands and nesting boxes. They observe hunting seasons and bag limits. They put their money directly into this and don’t spend it on offices, big staffs and political posturing.

Hunting indirectly employs thousands of people. Vested interests? Of course! What is wrong with that? One cannot live on sentiment. Good providers always tend to their land and stock.

Hypocrisy ? like people who dote on darling, woolly little lambs and “skippies” and go home to a feed of spare ribs for themselves and ‘roo meat for the cat!

As for the Bambi syndrome ; a fairy tale wonderland of sweet creatures and all mankind living in pink candy-floss world of make-believe, well, growing up on a diet of Disneyland does tend to divorce us from reality.

Real life is not like that, as modern wildlife , films confirm very well. Human beings are part of real life. Anyway, the worst thing you can do for wild animals is to make them tame and confiding. A healthy fear of mankind contributes to survival.

Conversation does not necessarily equate with non-harvesting. It may come as a shock to animal libbers to find that legitimate elephant hunters do more to protect such animals that all the rest; something which other African states have now come to realise.

Hunters who are prepared to spend big money harvesting a sustainable yield ensure that the species will be there next year , because both national and village economy benefits. There is an incentive to protect the species which otherwise does not exist and where extinction was only a matter of time by ivory poachers. Governments which heretofore turned a blind eye or even permitted ivory poaching, now enforce conservation.

That some elephant hunter’s motives may only be self-aggrandisement is of less importance than survival of the species.

Small game : a single example may suffice. There is a video documentary called “Grouse Shooting”. All about rearing , preserving , and harvesting the red grouse of UK. And when the video runs out, the narrator simply says, “without grouse shooting and the money it attracts, the moors would be planted with pine trees and there would be no more grouse!”