In the aftermath of the Cheney-shooting-a-man debacle, I still wonder why he, and hunters in general, do what they do.
This is not a man getting food for his family. This is not some conservationist move to thin the herd, always explained as for their own good, so they won’t starve, etc.
This is shooting and killing an animal for sport. For fun. As a hobby.
I eat meat, so I realize there is a certain hypocrisy in my feeling toward hunters and what they do. God knows how many cows or pigs are slaughtered every year, in no doubt horrendous manner, to feed man. But, it is what it is, and I doubt the workers in the slaughter houses take pleasure in those killings.
But hunters do take pleasure is killing their prey. That’s the part I don’t understand.
If, as they say, they simply enjoy the art of shooting, of targeting, why can’t they do that with skeet shooting? Some do, but those who don’t, I can only assume, actually enjoy the killing of the animal.
Matthew Scully, a former speechwriter for Cheney no less, as well as Bush, and many other conservatives, feels the same way, so it’s not a liberal-conservative thing. He wrote a powerful book, “Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy.”
He’s also written many articles over the years about man’s treatment of animals, among them a 2004 piece about politicians who feel the need to show their manhood by going out to shoot some living creatures.
Obviously written well before the Cheney brouhaha, this quote from it says it better than I could:
“Birds are not skeet. They are living creatures, "the fowl of the air," and it is unkind and dishonorable to treat them this way. The sportsman shoots in jest, to paraphrase a saying, but the creature dies in earnest.”
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