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"The Hunger Games" Spurs an Ethics of Hunting Conversation

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March 23, 2012

"The Hunger Games" Spurs an Ethics of Hunting Conversation

By Chad Love

Out of all the possible catalysts for a broad discussion and debate on the ethics of hunting, a dystopian young adult novel would seem to be one of the most unlikely. But The Hunger Games isn't just another young adult novel, it's a worldwide phenomenon, and the weight of that incredible popularity has thrust the act of killing your own food into the national spotlight.

From this story on CNN:

Discussion about the franchise of "The Hunger Games," particularly its "bucking" of stereotypes, has led to passionate debating about killing for food on CNN's Eatocracy blog. People also talked about the movie, which comes out Friday, March 23, so if you've got an opinion, let us know what you think.

Here's the link to the original blog post.

“Within a few minutes, I spot a rabbit and make my first kill with the bow and arrow. It’s not my usual clean shot through the eye, but I’ll take it,” says the narrator in “The Hunger Games.” “The Hunger Games” is the wildly popular trilogy of dystopian novels by Suzanne Collins – and the narrator is not a stereotypical camouflage-clad hunter; she’s a 16-year-old girl. The eagerly anticipated first film of the series hits theaters on March 23, and with the growing popularity of protagonist Katniss Everdeen, aims to shoot down conventional ideas of people who hunt.

“When people hear that I hunt, their first reaction is usually either: ‘Huh? Not many girls your age can say that,’ or the standard ‘I-don't-know-how-to-react’ response which consists of the person raising their eyebrows to their hairlines and just saying, ‘Wow!’” says Mikayla Lewis, 15, from Bend, Oregon. Mikayla grew up in a hunting family, took up the bow at the age of two and passed Hunter Education by the time she was 10 years old. Her father is Gary Lewis, a popular outdoor writer and television host. “In our family, we try to eat mainly wild meat. Deer and elk are staples on our table,” he says.

Being part of the young adult demographic, Mikayla has read “The Hunger Games” and found more than entertainment within the pages - she found a little bit of herself. “Katniss is a good representation of female hunters. We're not what you expect,” Mikayla says. “We can be pretty just like any other girl, even if we're not afraid to get dirty.” Fifteen-year-old Savannah Rogers of Cleveland, Georgia, also grew up hunting and pored through the “Hunger Games” trilogy. “Katniss is a very independent young woman like me, who enjoys the outdoor environment. We both like the peace and tranquility offered by the cover of the trees,” she says. “Hunting offers an escape for the both of us so that we can forget our troubling lives outside of our territory.”

What do you think? Have you read the book(s)? What do you think of it? My wife and 11-year-old son are huge fans of the books, and forced me at gunpoint to read them. And I gotta say, they weren't bad.

Comments (17)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Bob81 wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

My question is: "What is going on with the arrow in relation to her forward hand in that picture". It looks like the arrow is resting on her wrist...

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pig Pen wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

I read the books. A lot of possibilities for different people to read into it what they want to with regard to politics and society. Hunting in the book is brief, and viewed more through memories as opposed to main events. I see it as a combination as a necessity for survival as well as a chance to experience freedom in nature for the protagonist. Its interesting that any form of hunting in the book is viewed as poaching by the government and all hunted game is either immediately eaten or sold on the black market.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Double D wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Oh God, the commentary on that article, from both sides, burns my eyes!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Ox wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

I'm reading the books right now- not bad. But the actress in the above pic isn't going to hit squat drawing a bow like that.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Ox wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

At the same time, 'The Hunger Games' is just what today's youth needs to get them off the couch, outta the malls & into the field.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steward wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Hmmm...I thought the movie was about representatives from different districts having to hunt down and kill each other. Sounds like I better read them.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from northtowntv wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

@Stewart: You have the premise of the movie correct, it's a survival story, not a hunting story. But the book does entail how she feeds/provides for her family before the real action starts. Classic feedback in regards to a photo posted on a hunting forum...people always like to jump all over it. Great book series for young adults, reading and outdoor skills!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from larson014 wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

its pretty disheartening reading how hateful those comments are on that cnn article, i would guess 75% of the comments are anti hunters

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from E_Blair wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

That is pure Hollywood archery in the picture. The bow probably pulls less than 10# and the arrow does not have a field point. Plus the archer has her fingers wrapped around the arrow. Not close to good shooting form, just good for a photo.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jnelson64 wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Here is my response on the original blog:

Jacob Nelson
As I've established, some of you dont like hunting, or rather, despise the idea of any human killing anything. Yes, there are some inhumane hunters, its bound to happen, but there are many people who still hold up the old traditions of eating what you kill. now you may be thinking so what, just buy your food at a market and you wont need to hunt. However, modern day hunting isnt just about food, its about conservation. It may sound like an oxymoron but its true. If the United States didn't have such a large hunting program, these animals we all love would die off. Hunters help control the populations from going out of control and becoming too high. If we were to stop hunting, the animals would reach their carrying capacity and they would eventually die from starvation, disease, and over crowding. If you dont believe me just research Reindeer on St. Paul's Island. All the money from licensees along with a small amount from guns and ammo go towards the efforts of preserving these species. So, if you dont agree with hunting thats fine, but I would appreciate it if you would consider buying a duck stamp, or a trout stamp. They are required for those who do pursue these species, but if the non hunter purchased them, it would bring in more money for the conservation of these animals, which is the ultimate goal for everyone.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from larson014 wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

i gave it some more thought and I've come up with a few questions:

are they so mad because the blog tries to break the stereotypes of "hunters", or that it maybe publicly portrays hunting in a positive manner?

just my thoughts...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bass bomber wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

larsono14, its CNN so thats not surprisng.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from J.B.H wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

theres way to many people out there that make un educated guesses ans assesments about hunting and the harvesting of wild game. if people took just a little bit to slow down and really took a deep look into the real hunting world, i think that many opinions will change. sure, hunting definetly isn't for everybody, but people should take the chance to reseach it, talk to actual, knowledgeble hunters and get a realistic understanding of it. I also have read all the hunger games books and have enjoyed them very much, although i think hollywood screwed it up a bit and suger coated it. Oh, and i got the hots for the actor who plays katniss

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Don Mitchell wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Blue ox, that was my thoughts also,I was wondering who ma have shown her how to shoot a bow,not a good anchor point for sure,but thats what happens in make be-leave.
MY QUESTION, What is unethical about hunting for food?
I love to hunt and eat what I kill.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from J.B.H wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

excuse me I ment actress

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jakenbake wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Haven't read the books but I saw the movie yesterday and I gotta say it was pretty darn good. The "hunting" aspect really isn't pushed at all, but in that regards it's even nicer to see - it's just part of the backdrop of life, rather than some bizarre tradition that only freaks and hillbillies take part in :)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greg Cook wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

I personally refuse to be ashamed or apologize for hunting. It is my right and my heritage and I am proud of who I am. It doesn't make me angry to hear people say it is not right to kill an animal I actually feel a bit sorry for them. Obviously they were never taught how to survive and provide for themselves or their family's. Not to mention they have never watched a sun rise from a tree stand or seen deer sparring and chasing one another around playing. I enjoy time to myself to reflect on life and just unwind. I would live completely off the land if I could but I just don't have enough time. Trust me it is a much healthier lifestyle than store bought anything. I do feed my family any animal that I harvest and I'm proud of it. I will continue to hunt and to introduce my children to the outdoors.
We as humans have done this since the beginning of time, why would it be wrong now?
To anyone that hates hunting I respect your opinion but please respect mine as well! Plus don't worry if someone breaks into your house I will respect your opinion and keep my gun in the safe and call 911 for you. Good Luck

+3 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Bob81 wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

My question is: "What is going on with the arrow in relation to her forward hand in that picture". It looks like the arrow is resting on her wrist...

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greg Cook wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

I personally refuse to be ashamed or apologize for hunting. It is my right and my heritage and I am proud of who I am. It doesn't make me angry to hear people say it is not right to kill an animal I actually feel a bit sorry for them. Obviously they were never taught how to survive and provide for themselves or their family's. Not to mention they have never watched a sun rise from a tree stand or seen deer sparring and chasing one another around playing. I enjoy time to myself to reflect on life and just unwind. I would live completely off the land if I could but I just don't have enough time. Trust me it is a much healthier lifestyle than store bought anything. I do feed my family any animal that I harvest and I'm proud of it. I will continue to hunt and to introduce my children to the outdoors.
We as humans have done this since the beginning of time, why would it be wrong now?
To anyone that hates hunting I respect your opinion but please respect mine as well! Plus don't worry if someone breaks into your house I will respect your opinion and keep my gun in the safe and call 911 for you. Good Luck

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jnelson64 wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Here is my response on the original blog:

Jacob Nelson
As I've established, some of you dont like hunting, or rather, despise the idea of any human killing anything. Yes, there are some inhumane hunters, its bound to happen, but there are many people who still hold up the old traditions of eating what you kill. now you may be thinking so what, just buy your food at a market and you wont need to hunt. However, modern day hunting isnt just about food, its about conservation. It may sound like an oxymoron but its true. If the United States didn't have such a large hunting program, these animals we all love would die off. Hunters help control the populations from going out of control and becoming too high. If we were to stop hunting, the animals would reach their carrying capacity and they would eventually die from starvation, disease, and over crowding. If you dont believe me just research Reindeer on St. Paul's Island. All the money from licensees along with a small amount from guns and ammo go towards the efforts of preserving these species. So, if you dont agree with hunting thats fine, but I would appreciate it if you would consider buying a duck stamp, or a trout stamp. They are required for those who do pursue these species, but if the non hunter purchased them, it would bring in more money for the conservation of these animals, which is the ultimate goal for everyone.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Double D wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Oh God, the commentary on that article, from both sides, burns my eyes!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Ox wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

I'm reading the books right now- not bad. But the actress in the above pic isn't going to hit squat drawing a bow like that.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from northtowntv wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

@Stewart: You have the premise of the movie correct, it's a survival story, not a hunting story. But the book does entail how she feeds/provides for her family before the real action starts. Classic feedback in regards to a photo posted on a hunting forum...people always like to jump all over it. Great book series for young adults, reading and outdoor skills!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pig Pen wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

I read the books. A lot of possibilities for different people to read into it what they want to with regard to politics and society. Hunting in the book is brief, and viewed more through memories as opposed to main events. I see it as a combination as a necessity for survival as well as a chance to experience freedom in nature for the protagonist. Its interesting that any form of hunting in the book is viewed as poaching by the government and all hunted game is either immediately eaten or sold on the black market.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Ox wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

At the same time, 'The Hunger Games' is just what today's youth needs to get them off the couch, outta the malls & into the field.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steward wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Hmmm...I thought the movie was about representatives from different districts having to hunt down and kill each other. Sounds like I better read them.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from larson014 wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

its pretty disheartening reading how hateful those comments are on that cnn article, i would guess 75% of the comments are anti hunters

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from E_Blair wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

That is pure Hollywood archery in the picture. The bow probably pulls less than 10# and the arrow does not have a field point. Plus the archer has her fingers wrapped around the arrow. Not close to good shooting form, just good for a photo.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from larson014 wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

i gave it some more thought and I've come up with a few questions:

are they so mad because the blog tries to break the stereotypes of "hunters", or that it maybe publicly portrays hunting in a positive manner?

just my thoughts...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bass bomber wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

larsono14, its CNN so thats not surprisng.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from J.B.H wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

theres way to many people out there that make un educated guesses ans assesments about hunting and the harvesting of wild game. if people took just a little bit to slow down and really took a deep look into the real hunting world, i think that many opinions will change. sure, hunting definetly isn't for everybody, but people should take the chance to reseach it, talk to actual, knowledgeble hunters and get a realistic understanding of it. I also have read all the hunger games books and have enjoyed them very much, although i think hollywood screwed it up a bit and suger coated it. Oh, and i got the hots for the actor who plays katniss

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Don Mitchell wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Blue ox, that was my thoughts also,I was wondering who ma have shown her how to shoot a bow,not a good anchor point for sure,but thats what happens in make be-leave.
MY QUESTION, What is unethical about hunting for food?
I love to hunt and eat what I kill.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from J.B.H wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

excuse me I ment actress

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jakenbake wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Haven't read the books but I saw the movie yesterday and I gotta say it was pretty darn good. The "hunting" aspect really isn't pushed at all, but in that regards it's even nicer to see - it's just part of the backdrop of life, rather than some bizarre tradition that only freaks and hillbillies take part in :)

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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