On Hunting and Veeps
Yesterday, Charlotte asked whether Michelle Obama is a spokesperson for vivisection.
And Patty asked: "Is there a measureable difference between those that hunt nonhuman animals and those that pay others to breed, torture, and kill nonhumans and wrap chunks of their flesh in cellophane?"
As vice president of the University of Chicago Medical Center, that might make Michelle Obama a spokesperson. Apparently she has scaled back and in this interview she says, regarding maintaining an independent career as a First Lady, "“Absolutely not. I don’t think that’s possible or realistic or desirable. Everything I do on my job would pose some huge conflict.”
She eats meat, wears leather and her husband’s platform includes expanding access for hunters, so I think any way you look at it, Team Obama isn’t all that animal friendly.
And of course, neither is the other camp.
As for Patty’s great question, here are my thoughts . . .
I do think that there is a difference between hunting and paying others to kill, process and package for you. Simply put, I’d never hunt. I wouldn’t be able to stalk someone with the intent to kill them. I just don’t have it in me to do the stalking and causing them fear or terror, or the killing. While the end result is the same–unnecessary killing of a sentient nonhuman–the mentality is different.
Also, there’s a difference in intent. When you hunt, your intention is to kill someone. When you buy a package of chicken’s wings, you didn’t intend to kill anybody. You’re intending to eat their body parts, for certain, but in my mind you’re not intending to kill. (Yes, it’s impossible to get the parts without the killing, and I’m sure you can draw some kind of logic flowchart that proves me misguided, but if I ask all of my neighbors if they intend to kill scores of animals per year, they’d say no. When I ate animals, I would never have said I intended to kill anybody. Maybe it was denial, but it would have been my answer.)
I have a problem with people who delight in killing others, and for
me that’s the difference. And when you add something as draconian as
aerial hunting of predators into the mix, I have an even bigger problem.
If the abolitionist in you desires, you can pick out at least a
dozen quotes in this video that are objectionable. But I chose to go in
a different direction and listen to people (mostly men) who are or used
to be hunters, to listen to the scientists who talk about what a sham
the aerial predator control program is, and to watch as men in a plane
exhaust and injure wolves to death in the ultimate game on an unlevel, unfair
playing field. As Sean McGuire, who is a hunter and has "also done some
trapping" says (in the video): "If you want to talk family values, look
at wolves." And later: "In my opinion, and I’ve seen these guys, I’ve
met them, and a lot of this is just thrill killing."
For me, Sarah Palin represents the most heinous form of thrill
killing (please don’t write with the grisly details of examples you
think are worse; I’m trying to have an upbeat day). Is there a
"measurable difference" between hunting and buying animal parts after
someone else has done all the dirty work for you? (I’m not asking if
there’s a measurable difference between hunting and factory farming, as
most people buying animals parts aren’t setting out to do what is done
to animals in factory farms.)
What do you think?
And is your answer the same when you factor in aerial hunting?