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How Do You Defend The Decision to Kill the Meat You Eat?

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September 12, 2012

How Do You Defend The Decision to Kill the Meat You Eat?

By David Draper

I’m always curious how other hunting omnivores defend their decision to not just eat meat, but also take part in the killing of that meat. There are many arguments to make—some valid and others just reactionary—but the one I gravitate toward is that humans are animals and hunting is simply the moral choice to participate within the natural ecosystem. To me, that is the simplest and most clear-cut answer. The counter point to that is modern man now exists outside that ecosystem, though I think most rational humans who have any understanding of agricultural systems would reject that argument. A soybean field may be less visually jarring than a clear-cut forest, but in reality there isn’t a lot of difference—the resulting monoculture is just a clear-cut prairie.

In the video clip above, author Steven Rinella (who I interviewed a while back) does a pretty job of defending his position to hunt and eat meat. I particularly like his point about veganism being a clearer ethos than anti-hunters who still eat meat.

I am interested in how Wild Chef readers would respond to the same question from a vegan. Rinella answers rationally and without attacking the questioner or his way of life. Would you do the same?

Comments (39)

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from Koldkut wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I always point out that a vegan(or any vegetarian) who makes solid decisions about their choices is much better than a meat eating anti-hunter. I also like to take a phrase away from uncle Ted's show, Wanted: Ted or Alive. He has his shows guests/contestants a chicken to kill and cook and he says "Isn't the person who hired the assassin just as guilty of the crime" and that usually puts some throughts between the 'ol ears and stops the conversation.

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from smccardell wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I don't know if I could have acted so cool headed. At one time I probably would have went on the defensive and then the offensive; for all the wrong reasons. But after reading The Mindful Carnivore by Tovar Cerulli, I probably would have tried to enlighten the vegan about how just about everything we buy, consume, do has an impact on the wildlife around us. From the pollution that kills and posions the fish in our waters to the animals killed on farm fields either through harvesting the produce or in protecting it. By becoming a hunter we play an active and truthful role in the procurement of our food. Just the same as a gardener.

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from shane256 wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I've taken to go the other way strongly, too (not due to Ted). I basically say that someone who wants to eat meat should be able to do the dirty work themselves (killing the animal) or they are a hypocrite. Show the animal some respect by taking the responsibility for yourself to end its life in order to eat its meat (be it cow, chicken, or deer).

As far as vegetarians and vegans, I simply point to my canine and incisor teeth. I support their choice in following the path they've chosen but that doesn't mean I'll choose that path for myself.

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from rock rat wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

This clip was making the rounds on facebook yesterday, saw it posted by RMEF and Mindful Carnivore at same time. The guy posing the question for sure was making an adversarial statement, not asking a question at all. Rinella did very well to use it as an educational moment.

Most people I hear saying things like "murdering defenseless innocent animals" or whatever it was he said, I don't even respond to.

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from ENO wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

The conversation in itself, regardless of which side of the issue you stand,is a reflection of how strange our society has become. Just having the luxury of choosing what you want to eat when, according to some figures, half of the world doesn't have enough to eat is something to be thankful for.

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from VAHunter540 wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I have had solid conversations with friends of mine and strangers about choosing to hunt and most of those conversations have been cordial. Most people are inquisitive and have questions like “does the deer REALLY suffer?” or what happens to the babies or the families if you shoot the mommy or daddy. Those conversations I can tell right off are sparked from a lack of knowledge not necessarily contempt. And I explain things the best I can and offer to take them along sometime if they would like to experience it. I have on fewer occasions run into someone who no matter my argument they are unwilling to accept any answer I give as reasonable or plausible and I usually end those conversations abruptly. Mr. Rinella does a great job of explaining his “perspective” and the point that he makes when the fella says “all life is sacred” about how he as a hunter knows more and cares more about his quarry than someone removed from the situation is spot on. When is the last time a “vegan” group set aside 50,000 acres of land as a sanctuary or preserve for the animals they so vehemently defend.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Here is a fact. The anti's want to get a pro-hunter into that discussion. If you make it a discussion, and you get into the academic arena hunters lose! Don't give it much thought. We've been a hunting nation for a long, long time, and hunters support the improvement of habitat with their license fees, and donations. Portions of our purchases of hunting items even get contributed. Beyond that, stay away, The anti's know they win given that discussion.

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from WVOtter wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I agree that vegans at least have a leg to stand on in their argument. The hypocricy of antihunters who eat meat, then get on their soapbox, makes my blood boil. As far as backing my practice, my points vary from man having canine teeth and brain that could have only developed from high protein diet to all the benefits of wild game over store bought meats to population control in urban areas. But my debates don't often going too long or in depth because typically a self-righteous meat-eating antihunter has simply been brainwashed so much their's no logic or point to their argument, so don't waste my time.

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from elkslayer wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Prey animals have eyes on the side of their heads, to better alert them to the presence of predators. Predators have eyes on the front of their head for better forward focus in pursuit situations.

I don't know about you, but my eyes are in the front of my head, I am a predator.

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from hermit crab wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

"If you make it a discussion, and you get into the academic arena hunters lose!"

I couldn't disagree more. As others have pointed out, a lot of people are genuinely curious about it. In some ways, a lot of people are now more than ever interested in it with the whole organic/nose-to-tail/locavore trends in our culture. You should be able to logically defend your choices. If your viewpoint isn't logical, its flawed. I truly believe that more open discussion would turn more people on to hunting, not the opposite.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Many aren't curious, they want the discussion to get into the academic arena, and then pursue the position no one needs to be a food gatherer today. No one has to pursue their basic animal instincts to hunt. The hunter always comes away as a loser. As an older person now that gives a great deal of emphasis to the value of life, I can buy into some of the antihunter positions...(ie) like all the poor hunter ethics that are out there..the road hunters, the duck and geese skybusters that wound a lot of game only to see them fly away and die. There are an estimated 3 million ducks and geese that experience that fate every year. Twer I, and at my age now, I would make a hunter pass a rigorous course/test they had to pass to get a license. There are way too many slobs are out there. And I am an avid hunter spending way more days afield than most hunters on this thread by far. I sure would like to get any of you in a debate room, and have the room full of women. I'd bet on ME as to who would win the debate given I was given the anti-humter position. You surely had better not come unarmed.

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from Walt Smith wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I say vegans aren't any better than hunters, plants are living breathing organisms just like anything else on earth. That plant has to die before they eat it just like a fish, chicken, or a deer.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Walt..Do you go around carrying on conversations with plants? I talk to animals all the time.

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from CL3 wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

When the vegan gentleman uttered the words “innocent animal” my mind immediately went to a thought Allen Morris Jones has in his book “A Quiet Place of Violence;” If we as humans try to apply the idea of “innocence” onto animals like deer, it implies that that same animal could be guilty of something, which we know is not possible. To hunt is the original activity (or project as Jones call it in his book). It is how we are all here, continuing to struggle our own human-ness.

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from Greenhead wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

As some have alluded to above, I have a lot more respect for vegans than I do meat eating anti-hunters. They are at least not hypocrites.

I would point out that humans have evolved to be meat eaters, and that the big brain that lets us choose what we eat was only possible because we ate meat. I would argue that the clear cutting of Amazon rain forests to grow the soybeans so prized by vegetarians lead to the destruction of more animals than I will ever kill. I would also present the argument made by so many that hunting allows me to be a participant in the natural world, rather than a spectator.

Finally, I would make sure not to be confrontational or aggressive, as that would only add fuel to the anti-hunting crowd's fire.

At the end of the day, though, I would hope to find a common ground in which we let each other be. I think the best argument for that would be pointing out that hunters do more for conservation than any other group, and that without us, most waterfowl would be extinct, and deer, turkey, and most birds (not only game birds) would have vastly reduced numbers. Anyone that argues that it would be better for ducks to be extinct than for me to shoot a few every fall has abandoned logic and is not worth arguing with.

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from ITHACASXS wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I like meat, it tastes good and is good for my family and me. Therefore, I can and will kill animals to make meat. Sometimes the meat is made from hunting and sometimes it's from the killing of domestic animals (prefer to buy domestic rabbits alive). It's done as quickly and neatly as possible. Most of the meat I eat is purchased,and I also would not hunt if I didn't eat meat. Which is not to say that I hunt just for meat,I also enjoy it immensely. In a debate with a Peta person, I stated if ''rat is a pig is a dog is a fox is a boy'' ( a peta term), than I have just as much right to kill a plump, tender, rabbit for my supper as the fox does. I don't rub my views in people's faces, and I respect their right to their opinions. I do not, however, apologize or tuck my head down. By the way, if I'm stuck with the family sedan when I'm deer hunting, should I be blessed with a kill, the deer is tied on top of the trunk, not stuffed inside.

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from Hunter_Fass wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Steve Rinella said it very well. I believe that as hunters we have a relationship that non or anti-hunters just can’t comprehend. Trying to explain that relationship is amazingly difficult and something I rarely find that I have the patience for. I do not scrutinize their position as vegan or vegetarian or whatever it may be and only ask those to be open-minded to my point of view and choices. IMO as responsible hunters we need to be accountable for the game we decide to kill and to do so with respect.

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from Dcast wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I would ask them the following question: What is worse a human being shooting a game animal whether with arrow or gun and killing the animal or other carnivors that kill by suffocation, asphixiation, or bleeding to death while being eaten alive? There is no reason to discuss this with the nimble minded vegeterians/vegans, they are out to paint you in a bad light with their Bambi stories and so on. Also if they bring up the the sob story of pain I point out the fact that vegetables are living organisms and also suffer although inaudible. "Don't argue with idiots they will bring down to their level and beat you with experience"~ Unknown.

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from srlarson wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

To me whatever others want to do go ahead....I hunt to have control over the food in my diet....in my freezer is salmon, halibut, and venison....all caught/shot, cleaned, packaged and will be cooked by me......I know where it's been since it's heart stopped beating....plus I enjoy the pursuit and the sharing of game with others.

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from Steward wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

When you talk to the animals, do they answer?

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from Carl Huber wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I believe the best defence for any sort of flesh is to make it taste good. My parents and in laws where immigrant stock. A Lot of these cuisines have their bases in making due and using everything. Maybe even "I bet you can't eat his" might come into play. I have two childhood memories that I thank God for. The first "eat everything on your plate". Sweet and sour lung and heart with dumplings is really very good. The second decades ago was fluke fishing with my Dad. Cleaning squid he remarked "its amazing no one ever learned to clean and cook this nice piece of white meat". Not even if you bought me a Schwinn was my first thought. Later that little boy would marry into a family that would make that and many more invertebrates for Christmas eve. My point just like any little Vegan that refused his first plate of spinach. Taste is acquired not cajoled

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Steward. They sure do, and loud and clear. We even have a body language that both understand. I have a squirrel out back that tells me when he wants me to give him somemore nuts. Most of my best friends are animals. You can't talk to them? Many dogs can understand your dislike for them, and recognize it. I sure would hate to be seen carrying on a conversation with a tomato plant out in my garden. They might haul me away.

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from Captjim wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

First of all killing wild game for food has the least amount of impact on the environment because there are no machines, fuel, fertilizer, land clearing, chemicals, etc. involved in growing the animal so it's as "green" as you can get. Second, deer and other game reproduce so fast that overpopulation would starve many of the animals which is way more cruel than harvesting by sport. Third, the meat is far more healthier than commercial raised meat. Forth, it satisfies the hunting instinct that's imbedded in our DNA from thousands of years of doing it and acts like a safety valve to help us cope with civilized society and gives us a feeling of accomplishment, bonding, and conquest that is also in our DNA.

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from Carl Huber wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Just got done watching Jacque Pepin a classically trained french chef on TV. He just gave four reasons for eating wild game. Venison in a sweet and sour raspberry sauce. Duck confit over red oak salad with dressing made from duck fat, red wine vinegar with duck crackling. Quail stuffed with pine nuts and rice. Finally rabbit with morel mushrooms, pearl onions in a mustard sauce. You can probably google his site for complete recipes at kqed.org/jacquespepin. Or as he put it so well "if you have ordinary ingredients you will have ordinary food".

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from coachsjike wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

because it's my god given right, that's why! why should we have to defend ourselves? when michael vick did what he did with those dogs and then was arrested it for it, nobody was on his case after he was released from prison and allowed to play professional football again. or yet plaxico burress for carrying an unregistered handgun into a night club and then shooting himself in the foot while putting everyone around him in harm's way. it's my god given right to hunt the meat i eat, plain and simple.

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from coachsjike wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

oh yeah it tastes better than the $hit you buy in a local supermarket for the outrageous prices it sells for!

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from Hil wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I eat what I like and I don't explain, justify or defend it to anyone. And I let the vegans and antis eat what they like and rot in their own hypocrisy (in many cases).

There are no circumstances under which having this conversation with an anti will change my mind, and there's usually no chance I will change his mind. So I don't weary myself by having the conversation at all.

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from country road wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

How do I defend my decision to hunt the meat I eat? I don't, and if you don't like it, sit on the pointy end.

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from Buckshott00 wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I used to try and logically and legitimately defend my hunting and eating my harvest to others, but more often than not they don't want to listen to reason. They don't care your reasons their just looking to rake you over the coals. So I started to troll them. Now when they ask I say "I DON'T KNOW!!!! I JUST LIKE TO KILL THINGS!!! IT MAKES ME FEEL GOOD!!!"

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from MaxPower wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I hate the "innocent animals" argument. How can an animal be innocent unless it has not only the ABILITY to choose between good and evil, but that it also actually made that conscious decision to choose good??

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from Nyflyangler wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Why should you have to defend your position? Because you're no more entitled to a opinion you can't defend, then you are to a bottle of beer you can't pay for.

One thing to remember about the animal rights movement is that for many it's about worship of animals as superior life forms. So it's a religion.

My parents alway told me that nothing is ever gained from arguing with someone about religion. One simply accepts it for the same reasons that one accepts that someone else's wife is pretty and their children are smart.

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from larson014 wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

how bout all the animal control that is done to protect all those fields of soybeans for the vegans? without federal trappers or private trappers and hunters, the coons, deer, turkeys, pheasants etc would do some serious damage to all the veggies that vegans love so much. ya they might feel better about themselves but any way you slice it, animals die so humans can live...

btw anyone ever seen a healthy looking vegan? gosh that guy looked sickly...

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

I'd say that in a national debate viewed on tv. like they do a presidential debate the pro-hunter group would get sent packin. There are far more intellectuals armed with good English, and facts than hunters can muster up. It is about dollars. If the pros can create more dollars contributed than the cons the hunters will win the debate. But I would stay away from the debate like I said. This group especially. Many can't afford a used, single shot JC Higgins.

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from Hornd wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

Jesus took the disciples fishing and if he thought it was immoral he would have said so then. What man has to say really doesn't matter.
I'm a huge fan of a clean kill (ie no sky-busting, minimize suffering). I also despise waste of any resource. I don't have a prblm with vegans/vegetarians, but just don't push me to follow. A person that raises their own food (garden, harvest, hunt, fish) is inevitably more in-tune with nature than someone that doesn't. I think the "horn" obsession a lot of deer hunters have is over the top. We are very blessed in this country with unspoiled natural resources and the ability to use them wisely. A lot of times, I don't think we realize how good we have it.

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from MICHMAN wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle and over all the earth and over ever creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Genesis 1:26

“Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.” Genesis 9:3

“Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow and go out to the field and hunt game for me.” Genesis 27:3

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from pmdockins wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

I tell people it is part of my heritage. My father hunted, my grandfathers hunted. My great grandfathers hunted, etc. I feel that it is more honorable to kill my own food than to buy it in a store; and it is better for me. That hunting for me is never about a trophy. It is about spending time in nature and providing food for my family. With a few exceptions, if I can't eat it, I don't shoot it. I respect the animal and its sacrifice for my family. I sympathize with people that find it wrong and try to understand their position. I am a legal and ethical hunter. Plan and simple. They don't have to like it, they just need to respect and I will do the same for them. I always ask the question....which is better....for me to legal/ethically hunt and kill a deer or to have it be hit by a car, suffer and eventually die and rot on the side of the road? Me taking the animal provides food for my family and jobs to people in involved in the hunting industry. What does a dead deer on the side of the road provide besides carrion?

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from Longbeard wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

Steve Rinella for President!

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from 268bull wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

I don't have to defend that what I shoot, I eat! I hunt, I shoot certain animals, I carefully take care of the meat, I eat the meat. It's what I do, lawfully, legally. There's no point to defend as it is know one else's business!

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from DakotaMan wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

I doubt that I would be so eloquent but I would give it a shot. One thing I notice is that some of us seem to have inherited a hunting gene similar to any animal of prey. Some of us just can’t avoid being outdoors, sneaking through the trees, eyes alert for the slightest movement, ears listening intently for a twig to break, watching the wind without even thinking about it. I don’t think everyone has this gene but thankfully they can still get steak at the neighborhood store when they are hungry.
For those of us with this gene, the meat we harvest just seems to spark our taste buds better than the best of what is available from the store. Fortunately for us, being at the top of the food chain gives us the choice to eat what we want. However, it doesn’t give us the choice to make others eat what we want.

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from elkslayer wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Prey animals have eyes on the side of their heads, to better alert them to the presence of predators. Predators have eyes on the front of their head for better forward focus in pursuit situations.

I don't know about you, but my eyes are in the front of my head, I am a predator.

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from Koldkut wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I always point out that a vegan(or any vegetarian) who makes solid decisions about their choices is much better than a meat eating anti-hunter. I also like to take a phrase away from uncle Ted's show, Wanted: Ted or Alive. He has his shows guests/contestants a chicken to kill and cook and he says "Isn't the person who hired the assassin just as guilty of the crime" and that usually puts some throughts between the 'ol ears and stops the conversation.

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from smccardell wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I don't know if I could have acted so cool headed. At one time I probably would have went on the defensive and then the offensive; for all the wrong reasons. But after reading The Mindful Carnivore by Tovar Cerulli, I probably would have tried to enlighten the vegan about how just about everything we buy, consume, do has an impact on the wildlife around us. From the pollution that kills and posions the fish in our waters to the animals killed on farm fields either through harvesting the produce or in protecting it. By becoming a hunter we play an active and truthful role in the procurement of our food. Just the same as a gardener.

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from hermit crab wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

"If you make it a discussion, and you get into the academic arena hunters lose!"

I couldn't disagree more. As others have pointed out, a lot of people are genuinely curious about it. In some ways, a lot of people are now more than ever interested in it with the whole organic/nose-to-tail/locavore trends in our culture. You should be able to logically defend your choices. If your viewpoint isn't logical, its flawed. I truly believe that more open discussion would turn more people on to hunting, not the opposite.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MICHMAN wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle and over all the earth and over ever creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Genesis 1:26

“Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.” Genesis 9:3

“Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow and go out to the field and hunt game for me.” Genesis 27:3

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane256 wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I've taken to go the other way strongly, too (not due to Ted). I basically say that someone who wants to eat meat should be able to do the dirty work themselves (killing the animal) or they are a hypocrite. Show the animal some respect by taking the responsibility for yourself to end its life in order to eat its meat (be it cow, chicken, or deer).

As far as vegetarians and vegans, I simply point to my canine and incisor teeth. I support their choice in following the path they've chosen but that doesn't mean I'll choose that path for myself.

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from ENO wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

The conversation in itself, regardless of which side of the issue you stand,is a reflection of how strange our society has become. Just having the luxury of choosing what you want to eat when, according to some figures, half of the world doesn't have enough to eat is something to be thankful for.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from VAHunter540 wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I have had solid conversations with friends of mine and strangers about choosing to hunt and most of those conversations have been cordial. Most people are inquisitive and have questions like “does the deer REALLY suffer?” or what happens to the babies or the families if you shoot the mommy or daddy. Those conversations I can tell right off are sparked from a lack of knowledge not necessarily contempt. And I explain things the best I can and offer to take them along sometime if they would like to experience it. I have on fewer occasions run into someone who no matter my argument they are unwilling to accept any answer I give as reasonable or plausible and I usually end those conversations abruptly. Mr. Rinella does a great job of explaining his “perspective” and the point that he makes when the fella says “all life is sacred” about how he as a hunter knows more and cares more about his quarry than someone removed from the situation is spot on. When is the last time a “vegan” group set aside 50,000 acres of land as a sanctuary or preserve for the animals they so vehemently defend.

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from Walt Smith wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I say vegans aren't any better than hunters, plants are living breathing organisms just like anything else on earth. That plant has to die before they eat it just like a fish, chicken, or a deer.

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from Greenhead wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

As some have alluded to above, I have a lot more respect for vegans than I do meat eating anti-hunters. They are at least not hypocrites.

I would point out that humans have evolved to be meat eaters, and that the big brain that lets us choose what we eat was only possible because we ate meat. I would argue that the clear cutting of Amazon rain forests to grow the soybeans so prized by vegetarians lead to the destruction of more animals than I will ever kill. I would also present the argument made by so many that hunting allows me to be a participant in the natural world, rather than a spectator.

Finally, I would make sure not to be confrontational or aggressive, as that would only add fuel to the anti-hunting crowd's fire.

At the end of the day, though, I would hope to find a common ground in which we let each other be. I think the best argument for that would be pointing out that hunters do more for conservation than any other group, and that without us, most waterfowl would be extinct, and deer, turkey, and most birds (not only game birds) would have vastly reduced numbers. Anyone that argues that it would be better for ducks to be extinct than for me to shoot a few every fall has abandoned logic and is not worth arguing with.

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from Captjim wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

First of all killing wild game for food has the least amount of impact on the environment because there are no machines, fuel, fertilizer, land clearing, chemicals, etc. involved in growing the animal so it's as "green" as you can get. Second, deer and other game reproduce so fast that overpopulation would starve many of the animals which is way more cruel than harvesting by sport. Third, the meat is far more healthier than commercial raised meat. Forth, it satisfies the hunting instinct that's imbedded in our DNA from thousands of years of doing it and acts like a safety valve to help us cope with civilized society and gives us a feeling of accomplishment, bonding, and conquest that is also in our DNA.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nyflyangler wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Why should you have to defend your position? Because you're no more entitled to a opinion you can't defend, then you are to a bottle of beer you can't pay for.

One thing to remember about the animal rights movement is that for many it's about worship of animals as superior life forms. So it's a religion.

My parents alway told me that nothing is ever gained from arguing with someone about religion. One simply accepts it for the same reasons that one accepts that someone else's wife is pretty and their children are smart.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rock rat wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

This clip was making the rounds on facebook yesterday, saw it posted by RMEF and Mindful Carnivore at same time. The guy posing the question for sure was making an adversarial statement, not asking a question at all. Rinella did very well to use it as an educational moment.

Most people I hear saying things like "murdering defenseless innocent animals" or whatever it was he said, I don't even respond to.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Here is a fact. The anti's want to get a pro-hunter into that discussion. If you make it a discussion, and you get into the academic arena hunters lose! Don't give it much thought. We've been a hunting nation for a long, long time, and hunters support the improvement of habitat with their license fees, and donations. Portions of our purchases of hunting items even get contributed. Beyond that, stay away, The anti's know they win given that discussion.

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from WVOtter wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I agree that vegans at least have a leg to stand on in their argument. The hypocricy of antihunters who eat meat, then get on their soapbox, makes my blood boil. As far as backing my practice, my points vary from man having canine teeth and brain that could have only developed from high protein diet to all the benefits of wild game over store bought meats to population control in urban areas. But my debates don't often going too long or in depth because typically a self-righteous meat-eating antihunter has simply been brainwashed so much their's no logic or point to their argument, so don't waste my time.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Many aren't curious, they want the discussion to get into the academic arena, and then pursue the position no one needs to be a food gatherer today. No one has to pursue their basic animal instincts to hunt. The hunter always comes away as a loser. As an older person now that gives a great deal of emphasis to the value of life, I can buy into some of the antihunter positions...(ie) like all the poor hunter ethics that are out there..the road hunters, the duck and geese skybusters that wound a lot of game only to see them fly away and die. There are an estimated 3 million ducks and geese that experience that fate every year. Twer I, and at my age now, I would make a hunter pass a rigorous course/test they had to pass to get a license. There are way too many slobs are out there. And I am an avid hunter spending way more days afield than most hunters on this thread by far. I sure would like to get any of you in a debate room, and have the room full of women. I'd bet on ME as to who would win the debate given I was given the anti-humter position. You surely had better not come unarmed.

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Walt..Do you go around carrying on conversations with plants? I talk to animals all the time.

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from CL3 wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

When the vegan gentleman uttered the words “innocent animal” my mind immediately went to a thought Allen Morris Jones has in his book “A Quiet Place of Violence;” If we as humans try to apply the idea of “innocence” onto animals like deer, it implies that that same animal could be guilty of something, which we know is not possible. To hunt is the original activity (or project as Jones call it in his book). It is how we are all here, continuing to struggle our own human-ness.

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from ITHACASXS wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I like meat, it tastes good and is good for my family and me. Therefore, I can and will kill animals to make meat. Sometimes the meat is made from hunting and sometimes it's from the killing of domestic animals (prefer to buy domestic rabbits alive). It's done as quickly and neatly as possible. Most of the meat I eat is purchased,and I also would not hunt if I didn't eat meat. Which is not to say that I hunt just for meat,I also enjoy it immensely. In a debate with a Peta person, I stated if ''rat is a pig is a dog is a fox is a boy'' ( a peta term), than I have just as much right to kill a plump, tender, rabbit for my supper as the fox does. I don't rub my views in people's faces, and I respect their right to their opinions. I do not, however, apologize or tuck my head down. By the way, if I'm stuck with the family sedan when I'm deer hunting, should I be blessed with a kill, the deer is tied on top of the trunk, not stuffed inside.

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from Hunter_Fass wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Steve Rinella said it very well. I believe that as hunters we have a relationship that non or anti-hunters just can’t comprehend. Trying to explain that relationship is amazingly difficult and something I rarely find that I have the patience for. I do not scrutinize their position as vegan or vegetarian or whatever it may be and only ask those to be open-minded to my point of view and choices. IMO as responsible hunters we need to be accountable for the game we decide to kill and to do so with respect.

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from Dcast wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I would ask them the following question: What is worse a human being shooting a game animal whether with arrow or gun and killing the animal or other carnivors that kill by suffocation, asphixiation, or bleeding to death while being eaten alive? There is no reason to discuss this with the nimble minded vegeterians/vegans, they are out to paint you in a bad light with their Bambi stories and so on. Also if they bring up the the sob story of pain I point out the fact that vegetables are living organisms and also suffer although inaudible. "Don't argue with idiots they will bring down to their level and beat you with experience"~ Unknown.

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from srlarson wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

To me whatever others want to do go ahead....I hunt to have control over the food in my diet....in my freezer is salmon, halibut, and venison....all caught/shot, cleaned, packaged and will be cooked by me......I know where it's been since it's heart stopped beating....plus I enjoy the pursuit and the sharing of game with others.

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from Steward wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

When you talk to the animals, do they answer?

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from Carl Huber wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I believe the best defence for any sort of flesh is to make it taste good. My parents and in laws where immigrant stock. A Lot of these cuisines have their bases in making due and using everything. Maybe even "I bet you can't eat his" might come into play. I have two childhood memories that I thank God for. The first "eat everything on your plate". Sweet and sour lung and heart with dumplings is really very good. The second decades ago was fluke fishing with my Dad. Cleaning squid he remarked "its amazing no one ever learned to clean and cook this nice piece of white meat". Not even if you bought me a Schwinn was my first thought. Later that little boy would marry into a family that would make that and many more invertebrates for Christmas eve. My point just like any little Vegan that refused his first plate of spinach. Taste is acquired not cajoled

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Steward. They sure do, and loud and clear. We even have a body language that both understand. I have a squirrel out back that tells me when he wants me to give him somemore nuts. Most of my best friends are animals. You can't talk to them? Many dogs can understand your dislike for them, and recognize it. I sure would hate to be seen carrying on a conversation with a tomato plant out in my garden. They might haul me away.

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from Carl Huber wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Just got done watching Jacque Pepin a classically trained french chef on TV. He just gave four reasons for eating wild game. Venison in a sweet and sour raspberry sauce. Duck confit over red oak salad with dressing made from duck fat, red wine vinegar with duck crackling. Quail stuffed with pine nuts and rice. Finally rabbit with morel mushrooms, pearl onions in a mustard sauce. You can probably google his site for complete recipes at kqed.org/jacquespepin. Or as he put it so well "if you have ordinary ingredients you will have ordinary food".

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from coachsjike wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

because it's my god given right, that's why! why should we have to defend ourselves? when michael vick did what he did with those dogs and then was arrested it for it, nobody was on his case after he was released from prison and allowed to play professional football again. or yet plaxico burress for carrying an unregistered handgun into a night club and then shooting himself in the foot while putting everyone around him in harm's way. it's my god given right to hunt the meat i eat, plain and simple.

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from coachsjike wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

oh yeah it tastes better than the $hit you buy in a local supermarket for the outrageous prices it sells for!

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from Hil wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I eat what I like and I don't explain, justify or defend it to anyone. And I let the vegans and antis eat what they like and rot in their own hypocrisy (in many cases).

There are no circumstances under which having this conversation with an anti will change my mind, and there's usually no chance I will change his mind. So I don't weary myself by having the conversation at all.

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from country road wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

How do I defend my decision to hunt the meat I eat? I don't, and if you don't like it, sit on the pointy end.

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from Buckshott00 wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I used to try and logically and legitimately defend my hunting and eating my harvest to others, but more often than not they don't want to listen to reason. They don't care your reasons their just looking to rake you over the coals. So I started to troll them. Now when they ask I say "I DON'T KNOW!!!! I JUST LIKE TO KILL THINGS!!! IT MAKES ME FEEL GOOD!!!"

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from MaxPower wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I hate the "innocent animals" argument. How can an animal be innocent unless it has not only the ABILITY to choose between good and evil, but that it also actually made that conscious decision to choose good??

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from larson014 wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

how bout all the animal control that is done to protect all those fields of soybeans for the vegans? without federal trappers or private trappers and hunters, the coons, deer, turkeys, pheasants etc would do some serious damage to all the veggies that vegans love so much. ya they might feel better about themselves but any way you slice it, animals die so humans can live...

btw anyone ever seen a healthy looking vegan? gosh that guy looked sickly...

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from Sayfu wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

I'd say that in a national debate viewed on tv. like they do a presidential debate the pro-hunter group would get sent packin. There are far more intellectuals armed with good English, and facts than hunters can muster up. It is about dollars. If the pros can create more dollars contributed than the cons the hunters will win the debate. But I would stay away from the debate like I said. This group especially. Many can't afford a used, single shot JC Higgins.

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from Hornd wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

Jesus took the disciples fishing and if he thought it was immoral he would have said so then. What man has to say really doesn't matter.
I'm a huge fan of a clean kill (ie no sky-busting, minimize suffering). I also despise waste of any resource. I don't have a prblm with vegans/vegetarians, but just don't push me to follow. A person that raises their own food (garden, harvest, hunt, fish) is inevitably more in-tune with nature than someone that doesn't. I think the "horn" obsession a lot of deer hunters have is over the top. We are very blessed in this country with unspoiled natural resources and the ability to use them wisely. A lot of times, I don't think we realize how good we have it.

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from pmdockins wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

I tell people it is part of my heritage. My father hunted, my grandfathers hunted. My great grandfathers hunted, etc. I feel that it is more honorable to kill my own food than to buy it in a store; and it is better for me. That hunting for me is never about a trophy. It is about spending time in nature and providing food for my family. With a few exceptions, if I can't eat it, I don't shoot it. I respect the animal and its sacrifice for my family. I sympathize with people that find it wrong and try to understand their position. I am a legal and ethical hunter. Plan and simple. They don't have to like it, they just need to respect and I will do the same for them. I always ask the question....which is better....for me to legal/ethically hunt and kill a deer or to have it be hit by a car, suffer and eventually die and rot on the side of the road? Me taking the animal provides food for my family and jobs to people in involved in the hunting industry. What does a dead deer on the side of the road provide besides carrion?

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from Longbeard wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

Steve Rinella for President!

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from 268bull wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

I don't have to defend that what I shoot, I eat! I hunt, I shoot certain animals, I carefully take care of the meat, I eat the meat. It's what I do, lawfully, legally. There's no point to defend as it is know one else's business!

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from DakotaMan wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

I doubt that I would be so eloquent but I would give it a shot. One thing I notice is that some of us seem to have inherited a hunting gene similar to any animal of prey. Some of us just can’t avoid being outdoors, sneaking through the trees, eyes alert for the slightest movement, ears listening intently for a twig to break, watching the wind without even thinking about it. I don’t think everyone has this gene but thankfully they can still get steak at the neighborhood store when they are hungry.
For those of us with this gene, the meat we harvest just seems to spark our taste buds better than the best of what is available from the store. Fortunately for us, being at the top of the food chain gives us the choice to eat what we want. However, it doesn’t give us the choice to make others eat what we want.

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