Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Killing Animals

I am an omnivore. My eyes are on the front of my face, giving excellent binocular vision for predatory pursuits and my teeth are suited to meat. Nice sharp incisors, good strong eye teeth for ripping and tearing and strong molars for the occasional bit of bone or gristle. My digestion is suited to meat, fish, insects and plants.

Personally, I like the taste of venison and wild duck. Fresh wild trout is a delight. I can butcher a hog and know how to get the hair off and scald it properly. I know how to hang meat. I've dressed my own deer, elk and one moose. I like to shoot and I'm as good a shot as hunting and the navy could make me. I don't fear firearms nor the people who own and use them. Living in the country as I do, I think it's a good idea to possess a good firearm.

Whenever I have shot and killed an animal, I've always felt a piercing sadness at ending the life of a being so beautiful, free and innocent. It's easy at such a moment to understand why native peoples offered a little prayer of apology and justification to their brother animal when they killed it. I no longer hunt. Balancing that sadness against the taste of wild game, I prefer to eat domestic meat from the local butcher. I'm a wuss, I guess. I do not now, nor have I ever, hunted for 'sport'. All of this maundering has been prefatory to noting that Pamela Anderson hosted the Juno awards in Halifax this year.

I do not subscribe to the theory that blondes with big tits have no brains. I think that they probably have IQs that are distinctly average, although it is true that if they are beautiful, they may not have had to survive on their wits to the same extent as ugly ol' me. Still, that being said, I wonder what idiot turned her loose? She came to Halifax, to the East Coast and proceeded to lecture one and all on the barbarity of the seal hunt. If nothing else, it was extremely bad manners. She could have slapped an old lady in a wheelchair and had the same effect. Don't misunderstand me, I don't much like the way seals are killed either. I'd prefer to see them shot, instead of clubbed to death. I'm not sure what market is served by killing seals, and I somehow doubt that 'culling' them helps the fishery very much. Still, that's the business of those who hunt seals.

These are not rich people. Newfoundlanders work hard; really hard, to wrest a living from that fog and rain enshrouded hunk of rock they call home. It isn't easy. They fish, hunt and garden when they can. Their annual incomes compared to say..... oh, say Pamela Anderson, are ludicrously small. That's what makes it so incongruous when some rich entertainment figure comes and lectures a subsistence fisherman or hunter on the barbarity of their lifestyle. I'm not sure how much of this earth's worldly goods someone like Pamela Anderson consumes in the run of a year, but I think her footprint is enormous compared to a subsistence hunter from Newfoundland. I dunno, maybe Pam gets by on a diet of granola and watercress and wears hand-me-downs and takes public transport, but I doubt it.

What I'd like Pam to do is to investigate barbarism in her adopted country. Just google for "hunting Texas exotics" if you want barbarous behaviour to protest and lecture about, Pam. Down in Texas, you can go hunting for bobcats, coyotes, wild boar, doves, Nilgai (from India), in fact, just about any captive bred big game animal you want, here or here or here, in this place, or in that one. They will pick you up at the airport, carry your bags, lead you to the animal, watch as you slaughter it, take your picture in just the right fearless pose, dress out the animal - not for food, but for taxidermy, pack the carcass back, listen to the tales of your exploits, carry your bags back out to the airport and wish you a fond farewell, all the while preparing for the next "hunter".

So, why don't you mosey on down to Texas there, Miss Pamela and explain their barbarous conduct to them. Be sure to lecture them about cruelty to animals. Let us know how you make out. I sincerely doubt you have the guts to try anything so foolhardy. Easier to come up and lecture a bunch of nice, polite folks who have little money, almost no resources and who don't carry firearms.

While we're mentioning very rich celebrities and their propensity to lecture about the seal hunt, maybe Paul McCartney could stay a little closer to home. Perhaps at the time the Queen knighted him, he might have mentioned her barbarous behaviour in murdering game birds on her estates, or maybe he could scold those who participate in Driven Game Shooting, or talk to these laddies here about the error of their ways. I'd recommend that he wear a flack jacket though. Seriously Paul, if you find animal slaughter so barbarous, why not give your knighthood back to one of the great animal slaughterers - HM Queen Elizabeth the Second? (I've always liked ya Queenie.)

This all amounts to the rich lecturing the poor for being poor, all the while studiously avoiding pissing off their rich buddies for the same behaviour.


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