Have you ever wondered why people hunt? Why do people spend hours upon hours working for their food? Most people don’t; however, everyone has their story and this is mine. I myself am a proud hunter. I come from a hunting background and was taught from friends and family; It’s in my blood. Most people view hunting negatively; however, I believe hunting reconnects you to the world and helps you live a rich and meaningful life. For those who don’t eat meat, there is no judgement, I respect all choices. But, there is an untold side to hunting that most of you don’t understand. I would like to share this point of view.
Hunting is not new, it dates far back in history. Hunting lives in our DNA and is the reason we as humans are here today. It defines who we are as a species and how our past generations survived. Some might say that it is hard to show love for the wild when hunters “kill” and “take” from the natural world; however, this relationship is designed to exist and flourish. We hunt so wildlife doesn’t overpopulate but replenish. We hunt so we can feed not only ourselves but the people we love around us.
People often think that hunters should let the ecosystem control itself. They believe the environment will be better-off if it is left untouched; however, this is not the case. Allowing the natural world to self-control its own population can lead to overpopulation of species, which can not only have a negative impact on them but the environment as well. This is where hunters come into play. Our environmental ecosystem is controlled through predator management and regulated hunting. This makes hunting an essential part of maintaining the ecosystem, for two reasons. First, hunting is the most renewable, economical and ethical way of conserving. This means that hunting is not a free-for-all, as the general society seems to believe, but it is a monitored management system. Other options for wildlife management are poisoning or killing, however, this is an unethical way to maintain a balanced ecosystem, since no part of the animal is used. In addition, when hunting is not the solution, and predator control is not possible, protected areas and
sanctuaries for wildlife are implemented.
Secondly, hunting is the main source for funds towards environmental conservation. It is costly, but the money the government receives from hunters, as well as fisherman, are directly used to conserve our wild and provide greater environmental sustainability. In order to hunt, money must be invested, but, what you put into this lifestyle will graciously be returned in the future.
I do not just hunt to fill my freezer, but there is a reason that goes much deeper. Like life, it’s about the journey, this is the same for hunting. No hunt is an easy hunt, and if it is, it’s probably not that satisfying. Hunting builds perseverance, determination, ambition and character. In hunting, you set a goal, and you do whatever it takes to achieve that goal, enjoying the journey as it unfolds. Once achieved, you receive an amazing sense of accomplishment. It puts you in a place you’ve never been before.
Further, hunting not only is emotionally and physically satisfying, but it puts you in places you’d never known imaginable. The mountains submersed in the countryside, the sunset gleaming through the trees reconnects you to nature and allows you to experience life in its true form. Hunting humbles you. It makes you realize that there are far more important things to life than the materialistic lives that we as a society unknowingly cherish. When I tell people I hunt, the response I usually get in return is “How can you be so emotionless, cruel and cold hearted to kill a living animal. Poor Bambi.” Although I could just walk away and not say anything, I don’t. I tell them that I am the opposite of emotionless. Hunting is an emotional process that
involves great respect for the animals. I take pride in where they have come from.
Given the themed response above, there is often a huge disconnect between our society and the natural world. Many of those who eat meat are unaware of where their food comes from. They purchase their food in grocery stores but aren’t aware of the process involved in placing their meat in the aisles. However, in reality, when consumers step-out of the store with meat in one hand and a receipt in the other, they unknowing just payed for someone to kill their food for them. Why is this? Why are we as a society afraid to understand the truth? We have turned into a society that doesn’t want to imagine that the burger we ate last night was once actually a living animal. The meat we buy was born, raised, slaughtered and served to us in prepackaged containers. The cruelty involved in process of high production food industries is frightful. Many farmed animals live in locked enclosures their whole (short) lifetime, and are fed hormones and steroids that are unnatural to them and the human body. As a hunter, this is something that I do not want to be fed nor do I want to feed to others. I want to eat free-range, organic wild game. It is my ethical responsibility to give the animal a fair chance at life and to ensure that if it does end short, that it is done quick and clean.
In my opinion, hunting for my food is the most natural thing a human can do. And some may say that I am an emotionless, cold hearted killer; although, this is not the truth. The truth is, I am a bit saddened when I kill an animal. But, rather than remorse, I feel respect for the animal and the life it has lived. I also feel an immense sense of pride and gratitude from the hard work that I have put in. The meat that I kill allows me to provide natural protein for my body and those around me. As I hunt, I am contributing to my role in society. I work hard and am graciously rewarded. Hunting has made me learn a lot about myself, and I believe that I have become a better person who is more connected to the world because of it. It is apart of who I am, and who we all are. So next time you meet a hunter, think twice before you judge them, but rather, thank them for what they do, not only for the ecosystem but for staying true to themselves and embracing the hunter we all have within us.