Aversion to hunting
March 15, 2017, 9:01 pm
Filed under: Deer hunting | Tags: , ,


Seated in the grandeur of a 1920’s movie palace in Richmond, Virginia at the tender age of 4, I saw an animated deer shot by an animated hunter and cried.  The movie was Bambi. It was a big deal to be going to my first movie at the Byrd Theatre. It meant I was grown up enough to do so. It was an important outing therefore the emotional reaction to the killing of the deer was heightened. The message was clear:

Hunters are bad people. They make orphans.

Growing up in the sheltered suburbs, I never saw a person with a gun.

I should say, I never saw a person with a gun until my mother started dating a horrible, abusive man. He owned several guns and since almost everything I associated with him was awful, guns and hunting became awful to me as well. I recall one trip in which this man took me, then about 10 years old, and his three son’s out to practice deer hunting skills. It didn’t matter what I did, it was wrong. He berated me constantly over the course of the day, particularly after proving a better marksman than any of his sons.

No wonder I thought all hunters were ignorant and mean.

Fast forward a few decades to the day I interviewed Landers for the invasive species piece. Part of our conversation was about the sense of hunting animals for food. Here was this smart, relatively normal guy who was making a career out of the message that one way to control invasive species was to eat them. He got his start in this field by teaching adult beginners how to hunt deer as he had taught himself. His reasons for becoming a hunter intrigued me. Basically they were twofold:

  1. He had been raised in a vegetarian household and found himself disgusted by handling meat. He thought it might help to become more connected to his food sources.
  2. He had a family and had fallen into a situation in which finances were unstable. He lived in the country at the time and realized that there was plenty of food walking around on his six acres of yard and that with minimal investment ( he had inherited some firearms) he could have lots of meat in his freezer, fairly quickly.

In this era of superhuge grocery stores, people are vastly separated from their food sources. As part of my belief in Ayurveda (the yoga of healthy living) I am all about eating fresh,local, organic, food. Since my constitution requires me to eat some meat for optimal health free range and affordable is ideal. Killing what is roaming around in the wild is as close to that as you can get. Learning to hunt for deer myself sounded like a way to ensure  healthy food on my own table even when there are gaps between paychecks.

My conversion had started.




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