The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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Albert's note: I have bumped this up as Ms Bea Elliot of Provoked has kindly responded to me in a very thorough and thought provoking way. I'm going to have to take some time to formulate a proper response to her comments. As always I expect that all of us will maintain our usual respectful and constructive dialogues.
I don't look at my archives that often, usually I'm looking ahead. So imagine my surprise when I found that my post, PeTa: Why I Despise Them had taken on a life of its own!
There's the usual drivel from simpletons masquerading as saviors of humanity... You know something, and sorry to veer off here, but maybe they should all volunteer to go to Afghanistan and serve as advisers to the locals so that the Afghan people could feed themselves and feel good about it and not kill each others. Just a thought.
Anyway, the usual "animals are the same as us, but humans are evil, but we are the same, but animals aren't evil because they're not the same as people, I mean, we are but not exactly. All I know is I'm right and you're not!" type of commenter with their usual shenanigans of name calling and cowardice.
But occasionally I get someone with a lick of sense and something between the ears that will make a civil argument and go toe to toe with me. Brenden over at Screaming Chicken Activism is one, and now Miss Bea Elliot of Provoked is another.
The fact remains that Brendan and Miss Bea are unlikely to ever become hunters, (Though Brendan has honestly admitted that under certain circumstances he would. But for survival only.), but as it is true that knife sharpens on steel, man must sharpen on man. So I appreciate their passion and enthusiasm, that and I just like anyone that will walk into the this lion's den with nothing more than their wit and intellect. That takes chutzpah!
It might behoove everyone to go back to the original post, PeTa: Why I Despise Them, and read through the comments. I am going to answer section by section, and try to keep my answers within the intent of the comment.
Miss Bea responded to other comments with:
"Very interesting topic... indoctrinating kids. Hummmm.... Lets see, "indoctrinating" would be denying information to promote one's own agenda. "Brainwashing" would be an effort to prevent questioning or thought. I can't think of anything that brainwashes and indoctrinates kids more than the way society (and parents) bring up children to "pet the kitty, because it's good to be kind to animals - BUT eat the chicken because it's "normal".
I have little argument with that perspective. I might say that we as a species constantly indoctrinate our young with survival strategies that have been passed down over millions of years. I would also argue that as tool makers and users, we have evolved (albeit in a short time) to make and use living tools such as dogs, cattle, elephants, etc. That is one of the things that makes us different from animals, the ability to leverage our mental capabilities far beyond our physical ones. Kitty cats are a decorative item, useful in keeping bubonic plague carrying fleas on mice in check. Chickens lay eggs, and when they are older taste good in a soup. Different tools, different uses.
"Have none of you ever met adults with deep regrets of how the(y) were raised "indoctrinated" to deny that animals (food animals) matter or feel pain? Science has stood it's ground that there's absolutely no difference in the sentience between a dog, pig, cow or deer... or us. We all "feel pain". We are all aware of the world and wish to live."
Uhhhmm, no not really. Never hung around with that crowd. That's not to say I don't imagine there are those that might feel that way. But hey, that's their guilt trip, not mine. I have a couple regrets, not about hunting or fishing though. And I think we hunters that frequently take the life of another animal are more than amply aware of our capacity to inflict pain. That is why we are so careful of what and when we shoot. None of us want to cause any undo suffering if we can help it. So we practice, we self limit, we ascertain that we are taking our limits in the proper fashion.
Stealing an animals life is just that. Just because you can point a rifle or a captive bolt gun and pull the trigger does not mean you have a moral "right" to that life. We each only get ONE of these... and it is ours to live. Unless of course some brute who has more "might" takes it from you.
I think that at this point we take leave of what can be argued simply. A "moral right..." well you would have to pinpoint the immorality of taking an animals life, before we could even argue the moral issue as you put it. Morals are a slippery thing and subject to interpretation; even Socrates couldn't get to the root of what morals are. We tend to say things like, "Well this is moral because: I said so, I think so, or I feel it."
I find no moral objection to taking an animal, whether trophy or for food. As for food, I don't think that anyone can argue against it; I like meat, it is food, most primates will consume meat or animal protein given the opportunity. Trophy hunting has an other set of imperatives that are followed. Can we argue that it is immoral to waste an animal's flesh? I would agree it is, but you would have to take me to the rotted carcasses that presumably litter the landscape before I would agree that this is a problem. But yet, I see no argument that hunting in and of itself is immoral.
If you think this moral dissonance of being kind to some animals while eating others doesn't eventually catch up as an adult - you're sadly in denial. It's one of the most difficult conflicts to resolve as adults. This contradiction permeates our culture and it's time we grew up and faced it square in the eye - like "real men".
But there is no moral dissonance! I'm an adult, and your moral code is not mine. Your idea of what is moral and what is not is predicated on my accepting your system, a system that devalues the human mind, and places it squarely in the realm of an animal's. By extension, it requires that we accept that the least sophisticated have the right to my ability only because they exist. I refuse to be a subject to anyone or thing, except of my own volition. . The contradiction you speak of or dissonance as you put it, is a construct in your own "reality," not mine.
I find that the "Moral" argument promoted by most animal rights proponents revolves around the idea that killing is wrong. But no one ever defines why killing is wrong. Does killing a deer diminish me or harm me in any way, shape, or form? Let's see, I'm a successful hunter therefore,
1: I provide sustenance for my family.
2: Others see that I am a good provider.
3: Other men see my ability as proof of my capabilities.
4: I outsmarted a wily creature, I therefore am more capable than the next guy who didn't.
5: Breeding opportunities are increased exponentially by my prowess.
6: Due to the above, testosterone levels increase, thereby guaranteeing I won't lose my hair prematurely.
7: Now, because my testosterone levels are higher(Stronger), I still have hair (Big Mane), and I am more aggressive (Get more food.), I get the better job (Pride-Master), and live in the better neighborhood (Game rich territory.) I won't mention the pride...
Hey, you're the ones that say I'm equal to any animal, so now I'm playing by those rules too! And don't think I'm BSing there. All of the above is true if a little tongue in cheek.
Point #2 - Videos. They are all over! Thousands on youtube, and millions on the web. If anyone thinks they are going to gag this information and these truths from kids - You're dreaming!
That's all well and good for you, and after reading some of your blog, I think you don't actually mean it the way it came out. But you see, as long as I'm the Dad, things are done my way. That means no reality TV, no inappropriate clothes, yes sir and yes ma'am, the classics of literature, and a thorough grounding in all those dead white guys that everyone seem to want to discredit and forget. So when someone brings in a cruel and abhorrent video into her life without my permission, they're the ones that brought the consequences upon their own heads. PeTA used a psychological artifice to coerce agreement with their cause. Doom on them.
Now I would tread very carefully on this subject, those of you that would challenge me on this. I take child raising as a very serious responsibility, and though I make dozens of mistakes daily, I keep at it and I never quit. I would gladly give my life in defense of my family, and take as many lives as I need to, to protect my family.
You see, kids are a lot smarter than what we think. Nothing about "loving this animal" while "killing/eating this animal" makes sense to them. As it shouldn't. Thousands of kids wanted to become vegetarian/vegan after Charlottes Web and Babe... Are you saying those movies were made by "animal rights extremists" too? Should they be banned because they might get young people thinking things the culture wishes to keep hidden... like the dirty secret that it is?
Really... Kids today smarter... yeah... right. Spoiled, self-centered, products of the greatest period of prosperity in all known history, unable to write, read, or do simple arithmetic, rude, and undisciplined, yes. But they are no smarter than we were at their age. They just know more "things" than we did, and they don't have the maturity or wisdom to comprehend it.
All those movies are made to make money. They sold the sizzle and reaped the benefits. I don't know about you, but I've never heard an animal speak. It is easy to ascribe emotions and behavior to any object and create a sense of familiarity with the viewer. Just watch Beauty and the Beast; inanimate objects given "life" and all of a sudden we think they are real. But it is all a bunch of baloney. Substitute little children for the animals, and you would get the same reaction! You can dress a pig in a suit and it is still a pig.
And who's hiding what? We all know chickens are raised in little cages, and have half their beaks cut off. That's why the market demanded free range chickens. That's why cities are allowing folks to raise chickens within city limits. The Market self-corrects. Whereas animal rights activists think humans are intrinsically evil, the truth is most people will do the right thing, as long as they aren't hungry, coerced, or in fear.
And I'll give you this much... It would be totally understandable if it were a matter of "survival". If there was no other choice in the matter... If for some reason our bodies could not live without flesh and blood foods. But such is not the case... Clearly as the fastest growing dietary choice is towards a plant based diet. It's better for you... Better for the planet... Better for sustainability - and just plain better for us on a spiritual level. But, I'm not here to convert anyone - just laying down the reasons why it's not "necessary" to kill animals. Therefore killing animals is done for "pleasure"... Kids (and adults) aren't buying this line anymore. Find your "pleasure" without harm to others... that seems to be the compassionate choice.
Clearly, humans evolved as a result of switching from a vegetarian diet to an omnivorous one. I will grant you that we eat too much fat and chemicals, but it seems to me that we live a hell of a lot longer than our "healthy" ancestors, even with this crappy diet of pop-tarts and soda pop.
You can't use spirituality as a marker for ethics. It just doesn't work. Again it is too subjective. My perception of a spirituality is subject to my experiences. For instance I feel the connection to the animals I hunt deeply and keenly. From the cottontail to the wildboar, their existence is part of mine, and becomes part of me. I have an intimate relationship with the wild creatures that few will experience. Each animal gives me more than meat in the larder, it gives me an education.
And I have never hidden the fact that I enjoy hunting. But don't mistake my intense pleasure for the hunt with pleasure over the death of an animal. And I assiduously avoid harming others. Unless they start it first of course. Then I am an implacable foe.
And compassion is a luxury I can ill afford. It is the surest way to get taken to the cleaners by those that are lazy, shiftless, and unwilling to sweat for every morsel of food they get. I work for my keep, so can everyone else. And what I earn is mine by right; by the right of my superior mind, abilities, and the moral certainty that my hands, mind, and will worked together to gain me an advantage over others.
There again is part of the problem, I work hard, both in the market and on the field. I have yet to find an animal rights activist that didn't believe that they had a right to my efforts. If hunting was abolished, the costs borne by hunters would still be have to be paid. And that means there would be a demand placed on my hard earned income. And as it turns out, I get paid well to do what I do. As much as I respect Brenden, he doesn't make squat; why should I be coerced to subsidize his vision.
Finally, peta. PETA is associated with such a small, tiny little segment of the animal "welfare" issue... peta is NOT an animal "rights" organization.
I would think that everyone here... great warriors, soldiers, hunters would know the first effective rule of battle: Know your enemy.
PeTA does not hide the fact that they are trying to abolish all forms of hunting, animal use, animal ownership, lab use of animals, and everything else that relates to animal/human interaction.
HSUS is the same.
The ALF are just domestic terrorists that should be treated the same as the Weathermen, Red Faction, Taliban, and Al Queda.
I know my enemy Miss Bea, and I know the honest and compassionate also. I doubt that you would agree that force and coercion would be justified in fulfilling your agenda. There are others that believe that they can, through law, bear the armed might of the government against those that do not believe as they do. Members of animal rights groups forget that in this country we are free men, free to do as we please as long as it does not interfere with the rights of other free men. You have the right to say what you want, eat what you want, and pretty much do what you want. Coercing me at the muzzle of a gun is not in keeping with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights.
And I suppose that in the end, I sometimes resent that I am willing to risk my life so that you can speak your mind, even though I know, with a soldier's certainty, that you would never do the same for me. It is in my blood, my psyche, and my being, to uphold the the values of the Founding Fathers. I took an oath to defend the Constitution, and I continue do so.
Miss Bea, thank you for stopping by and sharing your perspective with us. As you will undoubtedly ascertain, you will be vigorously challenged by my friends and readers, but in a respectful and intellectual manner.
I look forward to your response.
Albert A Rasch™
Member: Kandahar Tent Club
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...
Though he spends most of his time writing and keeping the world safe for democracy, Albert was actually a student of biology. Really. But after a stint as a lab tech performing repetitious and mind-numbing processes that a trained capuchin monkey could do better, he never returned to the field. Rather he became a bartender. As he once said, "Hell, I was feeding mice all sorts of concoctions. At the club I did the same thing; except I got paid a lot better, and the rats where bigger." He has followed the science of QDM for many years, and fancies himself an aficionado. If you have any questions, or just want to get more information, reach him via TheRaschOutdoorChronicles(at)MSN(dot)com.
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