Bad Will Hunting

Don’t know how much more there is to say about this week’s Dustinland. I think I covered most of my feelings on hunting in there. It’s weird. For a liberal like me, there’s that initial instinct to say, hey, killing animals for pleasure is sick and unfair. But unless you’re a vegetarian or eating nothing but organic, free-range animals, you’d be a hypocrite to tell a hunter he’s mistreating animals. I can also imagine that hunting can be fun. Being outdoors, silently stalking your prey, at one with nature, basically getting back to your animal roots. I mean, hell, some people hunt with bows. That’s just ill right there.

But you know, I just don’t really feel like killing things. Maybe if I was going to eat it. I just would feel bad if I had to finish it off close range.

P.S. Also bad: killing cool endangered animals.

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6 responses to “Bad Will Hunting

  1. Regarding endangered species: one of the cooler things about Binghamton was that the city’s Roberson Museum is home to the fifth largest taxidermy collection in the country, including many preserved members of endangered and extinct species (mostly birds).

    It’s a real treasure (and all the work of one man), but when we lived there the museum had no idea what to do with it. I remember learning about the collection when the museum dressed the animals up like elves for a Christmas display.

  2. What? Oh man, I wish I would have known about that. Well, chalk that up to being a surly, dissatisfied youth more obsessed with partying than taking part in any sort of cultural activities.

    I did see some deer in the nature preserve once though, so that counts for something.

  3. I only really learned about things like this in my senior year, when I began freelancing for a weekly newspaper based in Endicott called the Valley News. Up until that point, I was like anyone else at our college: aside from our campus, the Wal-Mart, and the downtown bar scene, I didn’t think there was anything else to that area.

    The newspaper work really opened my eyes to everything around us.

    As for the taxidermy collection, I wound up writing a two-part article about it. The collection’s curator submitted it to the Broome library’s file on the taxidermist, Lee Loomis, and though I haven’t been back to check I assume it’s still there.

  4. One thing I know about hunters is, for a macho bunch of guys, they’re surprisingly touchy about criticism of hunting.

    FWIW, I agree with Dustin: If you like hamburgers, STFU about hunting.

  5. Man. Now I have a craving for venison.

  6. Hunting is good because it reminds us of how precious each animal is and that it gave up its life for us. That concept, and our relationship to nature, the earth itself, and what we use for sustenance is missing in today’s world of prepackaged processed foods.

    We are ultimately responsible for ourselves in life, in my opinion. The more independent and self-sufficient we are, the better. Today, beef is often imported from Uruguay, Brazil and other South American countries. There’s a long supply chain from ranch to table, and I wouldn’t choose that compared to hunting and butchering my own meat. I think hunting leads to greater respect for God’s creations and the natural world overall.

    Also, there’s a fairy tale notion of life that it does not involve suffering and sacrifice, often situations and circumstances come down to “him or me,” and people are always being told that it’s best to outsource “dirty work” to others. People are being told to call the people for help if you’re in trouble, but the police can’t be everywhere, and they’re not every individuals’ personal defense detail. Would that woman in Brooklyn who was stabbed to death with her two kids a few weeks ago be alive if she was trained in the use of firearms and had a few personal guns of her own at home? Maybe. People need to be empowered, over their own security and shouldn’t be afraid to control their own food too. Given the choice between irradiated, feed-lot raised, cannibal meat from a 3rd world country, or something I hunted and butchered myself, I would choose the latter.

    Check out General Butt Naked of Liberia – he was a hunter and butcher – of humans. A real life modern, urban cannibal who avoided prosecution by converting to Christianity and becoming a pastor. He talks of cutting open a child from the back, ripping out the beating heart with his bare hands, then cutting up the heart, eating it, and drinking the child’t blood. In Liberia he actually asserted that cannibalism isn’t uncommon. By comparison, it makes killing Bambi not look so bad… or even worse due to the similarities. Who wants chowder?

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