What Sayeth The Wise Hunter To The Young Boy?

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

What Sayeth The Wise Hunter To The Young Boy?
By Gary Yourofsky
An Animal Rights Poem from All-Creatures.org

All of God’s creatures have rights, a fact that most people don’t seem to recognize. This includes both human and non-human animals, but not all of them can speak for themselves.

What Sayeth The Wise Hunter To The Young Boy?
By Gary Yourofsky
Animals Deserve Absolute Protection Today and Tomorrow (ADAPTT)

Boy: O Wise Hunter, how can I learn to respect animals and to respect life?

Hunter: Buy a rifle and get a hunting license. Then hunt the animals down and kill them.

Boy: And that will help me attain a respect for animals and for life?

Hunter: Yes, of course it will, boy. Plus, if you go hunting with your father or your grandfather, then you can really bond with them.

Boy: But couldn’t I bond with them at a baseball game or at an amusement park?

Hunter: I guess so. But then you couldn’t kill anything.

Boy: O Wise Hunter, what happens to some of the deer during the winter?

Hunter: Well, some of the weak ones starve to death. And that’s a very cruel way to die. So – instead – hunters shoot some deer, cut off their heads for trophies, dismember their bodies and eat their flesh in order to save them from the cruelties.

Boy: But, uh, uh, how come hunters never shoot starving deer – only big, healthy ones?

Hunter: Uh, uh, uh, boy. Now you just keep quiet about that.

Boy: And another thing, Wise One, if hunters were really concerned about starving animals, wouldn’t they feed them?

Hunter: Let me get this right, boy. You’re saying that we should be feeding starving deer – instead of killing them? But…

Boy: Is it true, Wise Hunter, that deer-car accidents have more than tripled over the past 30 years?

Hunter: Well, uh, yeah.

Boy: But I thought hunters killed deer in order to reduce the herd so deer-car accidents would decrease.

Hunter: Well, uh, you sure ask a lot of questions, boy.

Boy: O Wise Hunter, how come the Department of Natural Resources always promotes the killing of animals?

Hunter: Well, just between you and me, the hunting community and the DNR are allies. You know, real good buddies.

Boy: You mean most of the people who work for the DNR – hunt?

Hunter: Yes, of course, boy. And those fees from the hunting licenses – around 90 percent of that money goes toward the hiring of DNR officers and the marketing of programs to recruit young people, like yourself, into the hunting community.

Boy: What about the commission that oversees the DNR in Michigan?

Hunter: You mean, the Natural Resources Commission?

Boy: Yes, Wise Hunter.

Hunter: Well, uh, eight of the nine commissioners ‘live to hunt and hunt to live!’

Boy: Ohhh. You mean, people who hunt make decisions about the fate of wild animals?

Hunter: Now, now, boy. You just keep that bit of information to yourself.

Boy: Would hunters ever try to conserve some of the land if they couldn’t hunt on it?

Hunter: Let me get this right, boy. You mean, we should just conserve some of the land and some of the animals that live on that land for the heck of it – with no killing. Uh, that would be a pretty kind gesture of humanity.

Boy: I know, Wise Hunter, I know.

Hunter: Well, uhhh…

Boy: O Wise Hunter, how can I help advance the, uh, sport of hunting?

Hunter: Tell people to have compassion for hunters.

Boy: You mean, tell people to have compassion for those who have no compassion?

Hunter: Yes, boy.

Boy: But, uh, Wise Hunter, these things you say make no sense.

Hunter: I know, boy, I know. But if we say these things enough, the public will eventually believe us and then they will make sense.

Boy: Ohhh!

Watch The Best Speech You Will Ever Hear – An extraordinary presentation on veganism by Gary Yourofsky

Animal rights: Clean kill still ends precious life

Wildlife Photography © Jim Robertson

Wildlife Photography © Jim Robertson

[The nice thing about letters to the editor is that this sometimes the truth gets published, even in Missoula, Montana.]
April 13, 2014 10:11 am

In so many ways, animals are the same as you and I. Mothers give tender loving care to their babies and will fight to the death to protect them. Parents may go without food to feed their young. They play games, have tempers, get jealous, frustrated, angry, feel the loss of loved ones, pain, anxiety, hunger, happiness, and sing with joy at just being alive and most of all, their lives are precious to them and they will fight tooth-and-claw to keep it. Yes, they have the same emotional attributes you and I have.

Best of all, the animals we call wild are free, free from human imprisonment and enslavement. They’ve managed themselves for millions of years without human interference.

Then, men with guns appeared. Five billion passenger pigeons once darkened the skies of this land, now not a single one is alive today. Sixty million buffalo were callously slaughtered, left to rot on the prairies, and had not 260 miraculously escaped detection, hidden away in a remote valley in Yellowstone, the bison too would now be extinct.

All the wolves were slaughtered by guns, poison and traps to the last whimpering pup; other animals were also victims of these idiotic genocides. And there are those who say the bison and wolves should be exterminated again. Some management.

A recent letter implied it was OK to kill an animal if the kill was clean. Well, no death in the wild is clean, no, not from the barrel of a high-powered rifle, or painfully caught in a steel trap waiting for their executioner to bludgeon them to death.

Yes, their lives are as precious to them as ours are to us. They are different in that they kill to survive and not for sport or a few silver dollars.

Leonard Stastny,


Most people are repulsed by hunting


Most people are repulsed by huntingThe survey cited in Ken Perrotte’s March 27 column wasn’t “recent” at all–it took place nine years ago ["Support for hunting continues to rise"].

It polled people by telephone from only one area of the country, and at the time it was conducted, fewer than half of respondents said they accessed the Internet daily.

Today’s generation considers animal rights to be one of the most important social justice issues of our time, and that’s why PETA created our youth division, peta2.

PETA has the most youth engagement of any social action group: We work with more than 300 college groups nationwide, and our Street Team has more than 83,000 dedicated high school and college-age supporters.

According to the youth-culture research company Label Networks, PETA is the No. 1 nonprofit for which 13- to 24-year-olds in North America would volunteer, and Elle Girl readers voted animal rights the “Coolest Political Cause.”

People of all ages want animals to be treated with respect and compassion, and only about 6 percent of the U.S. population hunts. The fact that pro-hunting organizations have to carefully choose their words to make the ugly, bloody reality of hunting more palatable to the public just goes to show that most people are repulsed by the idea of killing wildlife for “fun.”

Ryan Huling

Los Angeles

The writer is associate director, International Youth Outreach, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.


Who Should Read Exposing the Big Game?

Imagine you’re a hunter and you just bought a copy of Exposing the Big Game to add to your collection of books and magazines featuring photos of prize bull elk, beefy bison and scary bears (the kind of animals you objectify and fantasize about one day hanging in your trophy room full of severed heads). This one also includes pictures of “lesser” creatures like prairie dogs and coyotes you find plain ol’ fun to trap or shoot at.

You don’t normally read these books (you’re too busy drooling over the four-legged eye candy to be bothered), but for some reason this one’s burning a hole in your coffee table. So you take a deep breath and summon up the courage to contemplate the text and its meaning. Several of the words are big and beyond you, and you wish you had a dictionary, but eventually you begin to figure out that Exposing the Big Game is more than just a bunch of exposed film featuring the wild animals you think of as “game.”

This book actually has a message and the message is: hunting sucks!

You don’t want to believe it—the notion that animals are individuals rather than resources goes against everything you’ve ever accepted as truth. But reading on, you learn about the lives of those you’ve always conveniently depersonalized. Finally it starts to dawn on you that animals, such as those gazing up at you from these pages, are fellow earthlings with thoughts and feelings of their own. By the time you’ve finished the third chapter your mind is made up to value them for who they are, not what they are. Now your life is changed forever!

Suddenly you’re enlightened and, like the Grinch, your tiny heart grows three sizes that day. The war is over and you realize that the animals were never the enemy after all. You spring up from the sofa, march over to the gun cabinet and grab your rifles, shotguns, traps, bows and arrows. Hauling the whole cache out to the chopping block, you smash the armaments to bits with your splitting maul. Next, you gather up your ammo, orange vest and camouflage outfits and dump ‘em down the outhouse hole.

Returning to the book, you now face the animals with a clearer conscience, vowing never to harm them again. You’re determined to educate your hunter friends with your newfound revelations and rush out to buy them all copies of Exposing the Big Game for Christmas…

Or suppose you are a non-hunter, which, considering the national average and the fact that the percentage of hunters is dropping daily, is more than likely. Avid hunters comprise less than 5 percent of Americans, while you non-hunters make up approximately 90 percent, and altruistically avid anti-hunters represent an additional 5 percent of the population. For you, this book will shed new light on the evils of sport hunting, incite outrage and spark a firm resolve to help counter these atrocities.

And if you’re one of the magnanimous 5 percent—to whom this book is dedicated—who have devoted your very existence to advocating for justice by challenging society’s pervasive double standard regarding the value of human versus nonhuman life, the photos of animals at peace in the wild will provide a much needed break from the stress and sadness that living with your eyes open can sometimes bring on. As a special treat cooked up just for your enjoyment, a steaming cauldron of scalding satire ladled lavishly about will serve as chik’n soup for your anti-hunter’s soul.

So, who should read Exposing the Big Game? Any hunter who hasn’t smashed his weapons with a splitting maul…or any non-hunter who isn’t yet comfortable taking a stand as an anti-hunter. The rest of you can sit back and enjoy the pretty pictures.


The preceding was an excerpt from the book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport.


Anti-hunters Outnumber Hunters by Three to One


It’s like the 1% vs. the 99% ratio. This graph came from an opinion piece entitled, “Who Owns the Wildlife?” which starts out:

More and more we as a society are facing problems with how wildlife of all types are managed in the United States. We see increasing conflicts and polarization between hunting and anti-hunting groups. On the one side, invoking the pioneer tradition of our ancestors, hunting groups contend that the right to hunt is undeniable and is essential to the sound management of our wildlife resources. On the other hand, anti-hunting groups contend that the need to kill wildlife animals is no longer justified and hunting represents a next to barbaric act against living, feeling animals.

Long line of hunters on a mountain trail.

Long line of hunters walk a mountain trail. Hunters contend that they are the only ones who should have a say in how wildlife are managed.
[I just want to interject here that as a wildlife photographer/watcher, the parking permit I purchase (the same one that comes with a hunting or fishing license) allegedly goes toward enhancing habitat. I recently saw the results of my contribution when I pulled down what used to be a quiet road which ends at a river and found that the "game" department had built a huge paved parking lot with 20 lined, blacktop spaces for trucks and boat trailers. They also put in a boat launch with a brand new dock and installed a shiny new 2-seater pit toilet--all for the sake of duck hunters and sport fishermen. Meanwhile, they did nothing for ducks or wildlife habitat.]


On one side, hunters contend that because they pay the bills for the management of wildlife resources through their licenses and a federal excise tax on their hunting equipment, they are the only ones who should have a say in how wildlife are managed. On the other side, anti-hunters argue that moral objections to the slaying of innocent animals overrides any priority as to who has a say in these matters. 

And the arguments go on and on….

Anti-Hunting Group Gathers 78K Signatures to Ban Bear Baiting in Maine


by Gayne C. Young

Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting, a group that vehemently opposes hunting bears over bait, with hounds, and by trapping, delivered more than 78,000 signatures to Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap’s office on Monday in an attempt to ban such methods on November’s ballot, The Bangor Daily News reports.

The group claims that the signatures were gathered in 417 cities and towns throughout the state over the last four months.

“This is a very important issue to Mainers across the state. Unfortunately, Maine has the notorious distinction of being the only state that allows all three of these inhumane, unsporting and unnecessary practices,” Katie Hansberry, Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting Campaign Director, said upon delivering the signatures.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife disagrees. According to a fact sheet put out by the agency, roughly 80 percent of bears taken in the state are done so over bait. Eleven percent are done so with hounds. Three percent by trapping. Despite the high percentages for baiting and hunting with hounds, the statewide success rate for hunting bears with these methods stands at only 30 percent.

Because of this, and because these hunt methods are vital to the management of Maine’s bears, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, all three candidates for governor and the Maine AFL-CIO all oppose the ban.

Furthermore, David Trahan, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine Executive Director, said banning these methods would not only reduce the number of bears killed by hunters but would lead to an increase in nuisance bears that would have to be killed by the state.

Maine has 30 days to certify the petition before it can be placed on the ballot. A similar ban was rejected by voters in 2004.

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, All Rights Reserved

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, All Rights Reserved

Spain animal rights groups call for ban on hunting with dogs



Animal rights groups on Thursday urged Spain to ban the use of dogs in hunting, which they said leads to the abandonment of roughly 50,000 greyhounds each year when they become too slow to hunt with.

Greyhounds, known as “galgos”, are used in Spain for hunting, but when the end of the November-February hunting season comes around their owners often decide they have no further need for them.

Campaigners say many are just abandoned and often starve to death or die in car accidents.

In some cases hunters dispose of their greyhounds by hanging them from trees or throwing them down wells, or they torture poorly performing dogs by breaking their legs or burning them.

“For them they are not pets, they are tools just like a wrench is to a plumber, they have no affection for the greyhounds,” Beatriz Marlasca, the president of BaasGalgo, an association dedicated to the rescue of abandoned greyhounds, told a news conference.

“We either stop this from above or else it will never end. We must eliminate the root of the problem starting by banning hunting with dogs,” she added at the news conference attended by three other animal rights groups.

Marlasca’s group alone finds homes for around 200 abandoned greyhounds a year in Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands.

“A ban on hunting with dogs, as already exists in other European nations, would be a measure that would avoid much suffering to all these animals,” said Silvia Barquero, the vice president of Pacma, a small animal rights party.

Hunting by any other name is still hunting

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson


By Gordon Douglas Special to the Arizona Daily Star

It’s hard not to chuckle at how hard some people have to work to not say something. A great example is Gerry Perry’s Dec. 23 guest opinion, “Hunting benefits Arizona.”

He extols the virtues of “harvesting nature’s surplus” and “reconnecting with nature’s ecosystems in a meaningful way.” You’d almost think he was talking about catching apples falling from a tree or hiking a wilderness. What he’s desperately avoiding are the words shooting, killing, wounding or suffering. That “meaningful connection” he’s talking about is going into an ecosystem, finding an animal and killing it.

Even the use of the word hunting is basically a way to avoid describing the actual intent of the activity. Photographers, naturalists and those who enjoy observing wildlife all “hunt” for wild animals. What sets “hunters” apart is killing the animals once they find them.

He notes game may be killed for food, but does not acknowledge that many animals are not eaten but are killed for trophies, so the hunter can brag “I killed that,” or are just killed for the fun of it. Those of us who eat meat recognize it is necessary to kill animals for that purpose, but we call the place for that a slaughterhouse, not a chicken collection center or cattle aggregation area.

[Ok, here the article's author lacks insight into his own complicity in killing farmed animals--he doesn't have to eat meat. But read on; he makes some great points in the next few paragraphs...]

He correctly points out how hunters provide funding for wildlife management. What he doesn’t say is that through this funding mechanism hunters essentially control how wildlife is managed.

Public lands and their wildlife are operated as a shooting preserve for hunters. Rather than a responsibility of all Arizonans, game animals are looked at as the private property of hunters to be exploited to the maximum extent possible. Natural predators are usually reduced or eliminated, since the value of animals is measured in the number of targets and carcasses for hunters.

He lauds hunting as making it possible to bring back many species from near extinction, which is a mind-boggling reversal of reality. The species were nearly made extinct by hunting. Species are not saved by killing; they are saved by not killing. Animals can be saved for their intrinsic value, instead of bred to be slaughtered for pleasure. The endangered species act was not passed so we could shoot pandas.

A few other items carefully avoided in the piece are the number of people accidentally killed or wounded in hunting accidents, the number of children killed or wounded in accidents from hunting weapons carelessly left in homes, and the general gun carnage in our nation fueled in part by the fanatical resistance of many hunters to any sort of reasonable restrictions on guns of any type.

Hunting involves the use of lethal weapons, and that always carries a tragic price.

Much money is indeed spent on hunting, but this money would be spent in other ways if not for hunting. These other ways could well provide even more significant benefits to our state.

America has a centuries-old hunting tradition. In all likelihood that tradition will continue into the foreseeable future. But in the mean time, let’s stop playing word games, honestly face what we are doing, and recognize the costs as well as benefits.

Humans Suddenly Get It, Go Vegan En Masse

The species Homo sapiens woke up this morning to a sudden collective realization that they are plant eating primates, not some Tyrannosaurus-like super predators. Instantly, as if waking with a start from a bad dream, it came to each and every human at exactly 8:00 a.m. that all their problems would be solved if they changed their carnivorous ways.

By day’s end, with the whole of humanity now born again vegan, people begin to feel better than ever—revitalized—with a glow of guilt-free contentment. World hunger eases and peace seems actually attainable since folks have moved beyond their self-centered lust for animal flesh. And the once hunted and farmed animals rejoice, knowing that fleshy two-leggers are over their foolish power trip and are now treating them with fairness and respect.

It’s been a long time coming and not a moment too soon. Starting today, winter solstice, December 21st, 2013 will be known as Happy Vegan Day, a time when all people exchange cruelty-free gifts in honor of the glorious occasion.


(This has been another installment in EtBG’s “Headlines We’d Like to See.”)