Good ideas are hard to come by, so when we find one, like huntress and animal activist Pamela Bertch’s idea that hunting animals will save them from starvation and accidental death on roadways, we should put it to use whenever we can. Especially in analogous cases, in which the problem and its root causes are similar.
Hunting animals is a necessity, proponents say, because overpopulation and diminished food supply create hunger and overcrowding so intense that animals are forced onto highways where they are struck and killed by camper vans, semis, motorcycles and even diminutive European cars and electric vehicles. It is, say hunters/animal-lovers, a far better fate for an animal to be shot between the antlers than to starve or be run over by joy-riders; so much better a fate that it isn’t as illogical and crazy as it sounds to say that shooting an animal is “saving” it from death.
If that logic is true, then it will also be true in every sad situation created by diminished food supply, overpopulation and the proximity of roadways.
In America today over forty million people live without reliable access to food, on or below the poverty line, starving or at risk of starving and near a street. Many of those people are children. Would it not be more humane, kinder and gentler, as it is for animals, to save those children from a life of starvation and deprivation by hunting them? Dying from lack of food could take years, whereas being shot in the head from long range by a skilled hunter would be quick and painless.
A child on a swing set or playing in a sand box or riding a bicycle is momentarily happy, blissfully unaware of the lifetime of poverty and struggle ahead. Why not kill that child and make its last moment a happy moment? Why not take that child out of life while he or she is still enjoying it?
And if it is kinder to kill kids rather than let them grow up to die of malnutrition or in an automobile accident, then surely it is a good idea to hunt adults who are already suffering. There are too many people in America for too few jobs and that means hunger and desperation, and those conditions combined mean crime, mayhem and murder. Instead of extending health care to these people, thereby keeping more of them alive (upwards of forty-five thousand a year who are now dying without health care) and exacerbating the overpopulation problem, why not hunt them and “cull the herd”?
If we follow the example set by Kenya in regard to safaris, and charge for man-hunting licenses, trophy fees, and other management fees (government guides who certify legitimate targets, certificates of rightful death, surveyors and census takers to establish overpopulation zones where death will do the most good for the population, etc.) the money accruing from man-hunting can go to local towns and cities to help improve living conditions for the citizens who are not lucky enough to be shot. Imagine the benefits to Detroit of an exhaustive “hunt”. Unemployment lines would shrink, food supply among survivors would be increased and housing would open up. And it is a win-win situation because the “hunted” will have been “saved”, as hunters say, from a miserable life.
We already accept the correctness of euthanasia in the case of suffering animals. We are even beginning to accept assisted suicide as the right of suffering human beings. So what could the objection be to PRE-euthanizing animals before they suffer food shortages or collisions with cars and trucks? What could the objection be to pre-euthanizing humans, especially children, at risk of poverty and hunger?
I suppose a small objection might be that it is hard to tell which child or animal is actually going to starve or be hit by a car. We can’t tell the future, after all. Certainly, in the case of children, we can’t really know which at-risk child might beat the odds and grow up healthy and become a contributing member of society, perhaps even a very valuable doctor, scientist, musician or comedian. We can only hope that the kids we kill would’ve died anyway without ever having amounted to much. The same for the animals: we can only hope that each of them we kill is as happy to be dead as we are to have killed them. But while we take a risk when reducing to zero the potential suffering of the wrong child or animal, isn’t it a risk that all animal loving and life-affirming people have to take? Conscientious hunters know that we must risk the animal for the sake of the animals. We must also risk the CHILD for the sake of the CHILDREN.
(On a side note: if hunting animals “saves” them from worse fates, and if the same logic applies to people – and why wouldn’t it? what’s good for the geese is good for the hunter – and if we accept that life the world over is mostly tough and cruel and shortened by war, famine and disease, then isn’t abortion the ultimate kindness? Wouldn’t keeping people safe from having to suffer life at all really be the kindest, most compassionate course of action? It sounds counterintuitive, but if hunting helps animals, then isn’t a culture of death the best way to honor and promote a culture of life for humans?)
A secondary benefit comes when we are open and forthright about the modern motivation to hunt: the thrill of the kill. The vast majority of hunters do not hunt for food. Trophy hunters on safari, like Pamela Bertch’s husband and his fellow members of Safari Club International, are not hoping to bring home a couple tons of elephant burgers. They are hoping to experience the thrill of killing a large, dangerous animal, hopefully, at the very least, an endangered species, and especially a predator. What then could be more fulfilling for these hunters than hunting and killing the most dangerous predator on earth: Man. (And if we can kill enough “men”, maybe, “fingers crossed”, they’ll become endangered, too!)
As I said earlier, a good idea is a good idea and we should use it to improve life wherever and whenever we can. Shooting the homeless, the mentally impaired, the starving and poverty-stricken and their children to save them from lives blighted by bad diets, stupidity and dangerous roads is as humane and thoughtful to do as it is for animals similarly affected. And the thing about hunting our overpopulation of poor people is, not only is it the right thing to do, it is also fun! Remember how happy Sarah Palin looked squatting over her freshly killed moose?
If, as Pamela Bertch, the Safari Club International and others like them believe, we hunt and kill animals because we love them, don’t we owe our fellow citizens the same moral and ethical considerations? We have suffering people; we have their children who, if they are not already suffering, soon will be suffering; we have the guns. All we need is the political will to legalize shooting people and we can begin “saving” them as early as next fall, when hunting season begins. Let’s make the opening of hunting season “open season” on losers so that it can also be, for people as it is for the animals, the opening of the season of compassion.
Thanksgiving week, 2009