The experience of kneeling in the dust with the dying kangaroo has stayed strongly with me. It reminded me of another lesson I received from an animal. I once worked as a ranger in a mountain national park. Lost in a white-out on an autumn mountainside, I became increasingly close to panic, starting to run across the snow-covered rocks trying to get my bearings. Momentarily pausing to catch my breath, I saw a rabbit. It was casually hopping around, finding tufts of grass poking out of the snow, and nibbling the tips. I straightened up and watched it, as it went on with its life being a rabbit on a mountain. My breathing returned to normal, I realised I just needed to relax, let the looming panic drop away, and think sensibly about my situation. Ten minutes later I had found my way back to the path. It was seeing the rabbit so at home among the black and white rocks and rising blizzard, so relaxed and competent, that let me find my own centre and strength.
Hunters who are serious about their ethical responsibilities—who prioritise safety, who aim for clean kills, who scrupulously use the meat and other products from their kill—seem to be absent from much of the public discussion. Possibly it is because at least a number of these people work in professional, middle class jobs, where there is routinely acute criticism about hunting, and they want to spare themselves the circularity of the arguments that ensue if they out themselves.Boy, is he wrong. First there’s the militant vegans:
Then there’s the anti-hunters:
And then there’s those who think it’s OK to wish misfortune on those with a hobby they disapprove of:
And that’s just the start. Soon more unhinged souls jump on the bandwagon, suggesting he should be hunted & shot himself!