Sunday, December 2, 2007
On hunting and an honest relationship with the world
Recently, on a pro-AR blog, the blogger commented, and I'm paraphrasing here, that, in his opinion, that by going vegan, one enters into a more honest relationship with the world. This is a comment that piqued my thoughts. I began to consider that, in fact, it is not the vegan who has the most honest relationship with the world around them, but rather it is the hunter. Few understand the circle of life and sustenance, which always includes death, better than the hunter. In this natural world in which we live, life must feed upon life in order for life to continue. That is the natural way of things. It has been this way since before the evolution of humankind, and it will be this way long after we have gone extinct. This cycle of life consuming life is not evil or immoral, it simply is reality. When one hunts, one becomes an active part of this cycle in the most intimate and connected of ways. By doing the stalking, the killing, the preparation, and then the eating, the hunter comes to develop a true relationship with the natural world that is far more honest and fulfilling than the vast majority of humanity will ever experience. Few, save for those that raise and slaughter their own domesticated animals (and to some extent, those who grow and harvest their own fruits/vegetables) , understand where their food comes from, or the nature of the cycle of life, quite like the hunter does. The masses that purchase meat at the super market don't experience this honest relationship because the realities of the cycle of life are largely hidden from them; they simply are purchasing a convenient finished product. They miss out on the honest relationship with the world mostly through ignorance ( sometimes willful ), or laziness. The ARA/"ethical vegan" also misses out on a truly honest relationship with the world, and indeed has a DISHONEST relationship with it, but for a different reason. It comes in the form of denial about, or disdain for, the natural ways of this world. This denial or disdain can be either conscious or subconscious. In my experience, The ARA/"ethical vegan" frequently yearns for a world in which there is no "exploitation" ( they sometimes call such a vision a "peaceable kingdom" in AR-speak ), and they often seem to believe that they can make this world vision a reality through their lifestyle choices. This, of course, is not realistic, and is a form of Utopianism. And as is often proven time and time again, there are few relationships, whether they be between people and other people, or people and the world around them, that are more dishonest, and often more destructive and dangerous, than those based upon Utopian visions.