America’s Earliest Elmers Overhunted Elephants

Early Americans dined on four-tusked elephant relative, say scientists

Archaeologists have unearthed 13,400-year-old weapons crafted by the Clovis people mixed in with bones from an extinct elephant relative.

By Becky Oskin,

LiveScience Senior Writer July 15, 2014

  • A gomphothere jawbone as it was found in place, upside down, at the El Fin del Mundo site in Mexico. Vance Holliday/University of Arizona

     

There’s a new mega-mammal on the menu of America‘s first hunters.

On a ranch in northwestern Sonora, Mexico, archaeologists have discovered 13,400-year-old weapons mingled with bones from an extinct elephant relative called the gomphothere. The animal was smaller than mastodons and mammoths, but most had four sharp tusks for defense.

The new evidence puts the gomphothere in North America at the same time as a prehistoric group of paleo-Indians known as the Clovis culture, whose beautifully crafted projectile points helped bring down giant Ice Age mammals, including mammoths. This is the first time gomphothere fossils have been discovered with Clovis artifacts.

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“The Clovis stereotypically went out and hunted mammoth, and now there’s another elephant on the menu,” said Vance Holliday, a co-author on the new study, published today (July 14) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

More: http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2014/0715/Early-Americans-dined-on-four-tusked-elephant-relative-say-scientists

The meat industry could be driving wildlife extinct

http://www.salon.com/2014/03/21/its_not_just_cows_the_meat_industry_could_be_driving_wildlife_extinct/?source=newsletter

by Lindsay Abrams

Ok, so you don’t feel bad about cows having to die in order for you to enjoy a hamburger. That’s fine — most people feel the same way. But what about the grizzly bears? Or the wolves? Or the 175 other species threatened by extinction? Would you keep eating that burger if you found out it was endangering all of those animals, too?

Well, would you?

A new campaign from the Center for Biological Diversity is presenting a broader perspective on the environmental damage wrought by the livestock industry. NPR has the scoop:

The conservation group says that some populations of grizzly bears and wolves have already been driven extinct by the livestock industry, and an additional 175 threatened or endangered species, like the prairie dog, could be next. Most of this drama is playing out on federal lands, where the needs of wildlife conflict with the needs of grazing cattle, says [population and sustainability director Stephanie Feldstein].

The federal government has for decades promoted and subsidized cattle grazing on 270 million acres of public lands in 11 Western states. According to Feldstein, one of the hot spots of livestock-wildlife conflict is predator species like wolves and bears preying on cattle.

The California grizzly subspecies, for example, was driven extinct in the 1920s by hunters assisting farmers and ranchers, according to historical documents at the University of California, Berkeley.

Ranchers also all but wiped out the Mexican gray wolf, the most endangered wolf species in the world, in the U.S. (A few survived in Mexico and in zoos, and scientists have been trying to bring them back through breeding, the group Defenders of Wildlife says.)

A study published back in January adds large carnivores, like pumas, lions and sea otters, to the list of meat industry casualties. All that, of course, comes along with the major impact our growing demand for meat has on the climate. Taken together, it’s worth considering whether that burger is, in fact, worth it.

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Good News for the Earth: Humans Will Soon Be Extinct

http://www.eutimes.net/2010/06/human-race-will-be-extinct-within-100-years-claims-leading-scientist/

    on    Jun 21st, 2010

As the scientist who helped eradicate smallpox he certainly know a thing or two about extinction.

And now Professor Frank Fenner, emeritus professor of microbiology at the Australian National University, has predicted that the human race will be extinct within the next 100 years.

He has claimed that the human race will be unable to survive a population explosion and ‘unbridled consumption.’

Fenner told The Australian newspaper that ‘homo sapiens will become extinct, perhaps within 100 years.’

‘A lot of other animals will, too,’ he added.

‘It’s an irreversible situation. I think it’s too late. I try not to express that because people are trying to do something, but they keep putting it off.’

Since humans entered an unofficial scientific period known as the Anthropocene – the time since industrialisation – we have had an effect on the planet that rivals any ice age or comet impact, he said.

Fenner, 95, has won awards for his work in helping eradicate the variola virus that causes smallpox and has written or co-written 22 books.

He announced the eradication of the disease to the World Health Assembly in 1980 and it is still regarded as one of the World Health Organisation’s greatest achievements.

He was also heavily involved in helping to control Australia’s myxomatosis problem in rabbits.

Last year official UN figures estimated that the world’s population is currently 6.8 billion. It is predicted to exceed seven billion by the end of 2011.

Fenner blames the onset of climate change for the human race’s imminent demise.

He said: ‘We’ll undergo the same fate as the people on Easter Island.

‘Climate change is just at the very beginning. But we’re seeing remarkable changes in the weather already.’

‘The Aborigines showed that without science and the production of carbon dioxide and global warming, they could survive for 40,000 or 50,000 years.

‘But the world can’t. The human species is likely to go the same way as many of the species that we’ve seen disappear.’

A map of the world from an atlas which concentrates on population rather than land mass released last year. The Earth’s population is due to hit 7bn by next year

Retired professor Stephen Boyden, a colleague of Professor Fenner, said that while there was deep pessimism among some ecologists, others had a more optimistic view.

‘Frank may well be right, but some of us still harbour the hope that there will come about an awareness of the situation and, as a result the revolutionary changes necessary to achieve ecological sustainability.’

Simon Ross, the vice-chairman of the Optimum Population Trust, said: ‘Mankind is facing real challenges including climate change, loss of bio-diversity and unprecedented growth in population.’

Professor Fenner’s chilling prediction echoes recent comments by Prince Charles who last week warned of ‘monumental problems’ if the world’s population continues to grow at such a rapid pace.

And it comes after Professor Nicholas Boyle of Cambridge University said that a ‘Doomsday’ moment will take place in 2014 – and will determine whether the 21st century is full of violence and poverty or will be peaceful and prosperous.

in the last 500 years there has been a cataclysmic ‘Great Event’ of international significance at the start of each century, he claimed.

In 2006 another esteemed academic, Professor James Lovelock, warned that the world’s population may sink as low as 500 million over the next century due to global warming.

He claimed that any attempts to tackle climate change will not be able to solve the problem, merely buy us time.

Source

Bonobo’s hurtling towards extinction

Wednesday, November 27, 2013, 16:20

Washington: A study, which is the most detailed range-wide assessment of theelephant-range-map
bonobo- formerly known as the pygmy chimpanzee- ever conducted, has revealed
that this endangered great ape is quickly losing space in a world because of
forest fragmentation and poaching.

The research was conducted by University of Georgia, University of Maryland,
the Wildlife Conservation Society, ICCN (Congolese Wildlife Authority),
African Wildlife Foundation, Zoological Society of Milwaukee, World Wildlife
Fund, Max Planck Institute, Lukuru Foundation, University of Stirling, Kyoto
University, and other groups.

Using data from nest counts and remote sensing imagery, the research team
found that the bonobo avoids areas of high human activity and forest
fragmentation.

According to the model developed by the researchers in the study, as little
as 28 percent of the bonobo’s range remains suitable.

“This assessment is a major step towards addressing the substantial
information gap regarding the conservation status of bonobos across their
entire range. The results of the study demonstrate that human activities
reduce the amount of effective bonobo habitat and will help us identify
where to propose future protected areas for this great ape,”
lead author Dr. Jena R. Hickey of Cornell University and the University of
Georgia, said.

The bonobo is smaller in size and more slender in build than the common
chimpanzee. The great ape’s social structure is complex and matriarchal.
Unlike the common chimpanzee, bonobos establish social bonds and diffuse
tension or aggression with sexual behaviors.

Second author of the study, Dr. Janet Nackoney, said Bonobos that live in
closer proximity to human activity and to points of human access are more
vulnerable to poaching, one of their main threats. The results point to the
need for more places where bonobos can be safe from hunters, which is an
enormous challenge in the DRC.

The study is published in journal Biodiversity and Conservation.

http://zeenews.india.com/news/eco-news/bonobo-s-hurtling-towards-extinction_

892729.html

Columbus Day: Humanists’ Holiday, Misanthropists’ Lament

No matter how you celebrate it, Columbus Day is a holiday for humanists. By “humanist,” I’m referring to “the concern with the needs, well-being, and interests of people.” Non-humans be damned, this holiday is a celebration of and for “people.”

Some who don’t like the moniker “Columbus Day,” (because of the implication that Columbus “discovered” the Americas and consequently set off the chain of events that led to the demise of the “native” Americans) want to see the name of the day changed to “Explorer’s Day,” or some such. The problem to us biocentrists is that any branching out and exploring of new territory by human beings, arguably the most destructive of all species ever unleashed on the planet, bar none—including the unwieldy dinosaurs—has resulted in the extinction or damn-near eradication of untold other incredible species.

Others want the name changed to “Native American Day,” conveniently ignoring the fact that the first Homo sapiens to make it over here (in their case, across the Bering Land Bridge), were big game hunters who followed their migratory prey species and laid waste to all the isolated, uncorrupted animals they could train a spear on. Animals like horses, camels, ground sloth and mastodon were victims of the “American Blitzkrieg,” the first stage of our ongoing anthropogenic mass extinction event.

No, to those of us who delight in the diversity of life on Earth and pine for the good old days, before the noxious spread of humanity, any day celebrating discovery for the species is a day of grief and sorrow, not festivity.

00-intro

Chronicling the End, Part 1

The End. Everybody has one. Some are nicer than others. The end is not necessarily a bad thing, just an inevitability. What goes up must come down, but the end of one era can be a new beginning for another. Not all endings are unwelcome.

For instance, while the NRA and the Safari Club view the end of hunting as a bad thing, it would actually spell the beginning of a more agreeable era for wildlife—a time when human beings treat animals with respect and compassion, rather than objectifying and maltreating them.

Just as the end of winter brings the promise of spring, the end of the Anthropocene age will bring hope for new life to flourish.

Now, rumor has it there are those who think I’m too negative when referring to the future of humankind. But although I’m a realist when it comes to the future of our species (or rather, the lack thereof) I don’t secretly hope for the violent demise of humanity. If I hope for anything, it’s that people will learn to accept new ways of living lightly on the planet that include eschewing meat, treading softly rather than stomping out gargantuan carbon footprints everywhere, and of course, voluntarily reducing our population in a big way.

Barring that—and if Homo sapiens continues on the currently charted course—then I’m afraid to say I feel the species’ days are numbered. Call me Malthusian (as detractors call Paul Ehrlich for his theories outlined in The Population Bomb), but I’d have to say Thomas Malthus was far ahead of his time when he published the essay, Principle of Population in 1798, wherein he wrote:

“The power of population is so superior to the power of the earth to produce subsistence for man that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race. The vices of mankind are active and able ministers of depopulation. They are the precursors in the great army of destruction, and often finish the dreadful work themselves. But should they fail in this war of extermination, sickly seasons, epidemics, pestilence, and plague advance in terrific array, and sweep off their thousands and tens of thousands. Should success be still incomplete, gigantic inevitable famine stalks in the rear, and with one mighty blow levels the population with the food of the world.”

It’s hard to believe that Malthus saw all that as far back as 1798. Even harder to believe is that his predictions have not yet come true. The only two things preventing a “Malthusian catastrophe” are technology and mechanization—neither of which I have much faith in. Now, before you go accusing me of being negative, a pessimist or worse, a misanthropist, at least give me credit for seeing the silver lining in every instance. Why, just today I spotted the following article sharing the uplifting news that “Bird flu brings windfall for businesses”…

BEIJING, April 22 (Xinhua) — A new strain of bird flu that has been spotted across China has brought vegetable dealer Xu Jialiang mixed feelings.

For Xu, who has been selling veggies for 20 years in Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei Province, the virus is a cause for concern, but also a commercial opportunity.

“Cabbage that was once left to rot has become a hit,” said Xu, adding that he recently sold more than 50 tonnes of cabbage in a single day, double the amount he was selling just two months ago.

“People have become more reluctant to eat poultry, so vegetables have become much more popular,” he said.

The Wuhan municipal bureau of commodity pricing said vegetable prices have surged since the end of March.

The first human H7N9 infection was reported in late March. A total of 102 cases have been reported to date, resulting in 20 deaths.

The poultry-raising industry, restaurants that sell poultry and even producers of shuttlecocks, which are made using bird feathers, have been impacted by the virus.

Figures from the China Animal Agriculture Association showed that direct economic losses for broiler chicken breeders have exceeded 3.7 billion (593 million U.S. dollars).

However, other sectors have been boosted by the virus’s arrival. In addition to vegetable vendors, sellers of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) have also profited.

At the Zhangshu TCM Wholesale Market, a major TCM market in east China’s Jiangxi Province, the purchase price of processed isatis root surged from 13 yuan per kilo to 22 yuan after health experts claimed that the root can prevent infection.

Lei Da, head of the purchase department at Zhangshu Tianqitang TCM Co., Ltd., said processed honeysuckle, which some have claimed can prevent bird flu, sold out after the infections were reported.

Lei said the company is watching the status of the epidemic closely to decide whether it will increase its stores of the two items.

Insurance companies are also using the virus as an opportunity to boost income. Ping An Insurance, one of China’s largest insurance companies, is selling bird flu insurance that offers 20,000 yuan in compensation if an insurant is confirmed to have become infected. Other companies, such as Taikang Life and Sinosafe Insurance, are also offering bird flu insurance.

However, health experts say poultry products are still safe to eat as long as they are purchased through regulated channels and are thoroughly cooked.

Li Lanjuan, an academic with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said the virus is sensitive to high temperatures, ultraviolet rays and several kinds of sanitizer.

She ate chicken meat in front of reporters last week to dispel public worries.

“The virus will be killed in two minutes after the temperature reaches 100 degrees Celsius or half an hour if the temperature is 60 degrees Celsius,” said Li.

If Mr. Malthus were here today I’m sure he’d agree that the act of eating Chinese chicken (even if purchased through regulated channels) is one of those “vices of mankind” and an active and able minister of depopulation. …

Consider this the first installment of a new series which will chronicle the ways in which humans are instigating their own undoing. I’m considering starting a new blog and/or book “Chronicling the End,” depending on the feedback I receive. If you like the idea, “Like” this page, or leave a comment below…

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

Hunting Conditions Us to Killing

The Following is an Op/Ed I sent to the New York Times in response to a recent article they featured glorifying hunting. For some reason, they didn’t print this—it must have fit in with their agenda…

 

Hunting Conditions Us to Killing

I’d like to thank the New York Times for inadvertently giving us a glimpse inside the hunter’s mind, through their recent article, “Hunting your own dinner.” In my book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport, I spend an entire chapter probing “Inside the Hunter’s Mind” and I’m here to tell you, it’s a dark and disturbing place in there—and no one divulges that better than the hunters themselves. Here are a couple of quotes from hunters waxing poetic on the thrills they get out of killing:

“I had wondered and worried how it would feel to kill an animal, and now I know. It feels — in both the modern and archaic senses — awesome. I’m flooded, overwhelmed, seized by interlocking feelings of euphoria and contrition, pride and humility, reverence and, yes, fear. The act of killing an innocent being feels — and will always feel — neither wholly wrong nor wholly right.”

“You’re the last one there…you feel the last bit of breath leaving their body. You’re looking into their eyes and basically, a person in that situation is God! You then possess them and they shall forever be a part of you. And the grounds where you killed them become sacred to you and you will always be drawn back to them.”

Both quotes were from people who considered themselves hunters—men who stalked and killed innocent, unarmed victims. The first was taken from the aforementioned Times article written by Bill Heavey, an editor at large for the “sportsman’s” magazine, Field and Stream. The second one triumphantly reliving his conquest was none other than the infamous Ted Bundy, as he sat on death row musing over his many murders to the authors of The Only Living Witness.

It seems that, whether the perpetrator is engaged in a sport hunt or a serial kill, the approach is similar. Though their choice of victims differs, their mindset, or perhaps mental illness, is roughly the same.

Even our former cold war enemy seems to be light years ahead of the U.S. in moving beyond the barbarity of hunting. Oleg Mikheyev, MP of the center-left Fair Russia parliamentary party, told daily newspaper Izvestia just what I’ve been saying all along: “People who feel pleasure when they kill animals cannot be called normal.”

Mikheyev entered a draft law to ban most hunting in Russia and expressed his belief that hunting is unnecessary and immoral, regardless of whether one sees it as a sport, a pastime or an industry. According to the bill, forest rangers will still be allowed to hunt but must first pass a psychological test, which Mikheyev points out, “…can help us in early detection of latent madmen and murderers.”

Here in the states, Heavey went on to write, “What ran in the woods now sits on my plate… What I’ve done feels subversive, almost illicit.”

Then why do it?

Though some hunters like Heavey may put on a show of innocuousness by temporarily eschewing guns and choosing to test their skill at bowhunting—arguably the cruelest kill method in the sportsman’s quiver—the typical American hunter sets out on their expeditions in a Humvee or some equally eco-inefficient full-sized pickup truck, spending enough on gas, gear, beer and groceries to buy a year’s supply of food, or to make a down payment on a piece of land big enough to grow a killer garden.

Clearly the motive for their madness is more insidious than simply procuring a meal.

There’s been plenty of discussion about controlling weapons to stave off the next school shooting, but the media has been mute over the role hunting plays in conditioning people to killing. And the New York Times article is a shameful example of the press pandering to the 5 percent who still find pleasure in taking life. Do we really want to encourage 7 billion humans to go out and kill wildlife for food as if hunting is actually sustainable and wild animal flesh is an unlimited resource?

Overhunting has proven time and again to be the direct cause of extinction for untold species, including the passenger pigeon, the Carolina parakeet and the Eastern elk. Meanwhile, hunters out west are doing a bang-up job of driving wolves back to the brink of oblivion for the second time in as many centuries.

Heavey ended his Times article gloating, “I have stolen food. And it is good.” Like serial killers and school shooters, hunters objectify their victims; so insignificant are they to them that hunters don’t even recognize them for what they are—fellow sentient beings. Does somebody have to point out the obvious—he didn’t just steal “food,” he stole a life.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

Wolves Are the Only Management “Tool” Necessary

I didn’t mean to set off a pissing match in my last blog post by quoting a group’s recent statement to the Missoulian, “We at Wolves of the Rockies understand and acknowledge the importance of hunting as a tool for managing wolves, and we stand beside the ethical hunter in doing so.” I’m sorry if I misinterpreted that statement, but I thought it made their position on wolf hunting pretty clear: they support it.

And I think it’s obvious what they’re saying with the lines, “We are not advocating the end of wolf hunting. We have only asked for a slight modification to the state wolf management plan to accommodate other legitimate values in this specific locale. Remember, Montana’s wildlife is owned by ALL the people, not just hunters.”

It sounds to me like they feel that wolf “management” through hunting and trapping is acceptable, as long as it doesn’t conflict with another “legitimate value” some other human being has placed on the canines. I would argue that wolves themselves have intrinsic value, as individuals and as a species.

While I whole-heartedly applaud this group’s part in getting a buffer zone closed to hunting and trapping implemented around Yellowstone National Park in Montana (“only for this year,” according to the Montana Wildlife Commission chair Bob Ream), I have to question whether anything is worth legitimizing wolf hunting and trapping as “management tools” like they did in their articles to the press. When the back-patting and back-pedaling are over, it’s time to bring the focus back on the real problem—the fact that wildlife are considered “property” of the states, to be “managed” as they see fit.

Commissioner Ream said they made the closure because of the “particular and unique situation” of collared Yellowstone wolves being shot. He assured hunters and ranchers that the closure will not affect the goals of the commission for the overall Montana wolf hunt and trapping season in any significant way because this is such a small area, and one with almost no winter livestock.

Still, it could have a big effect conserving Yellowstone’s small and shrinking wolf population, now down to only about 80 wolves. The park’s wolf population of 170 wolves three or four years ago began to drop when inter-pack rivalry and low surviving pup numbers took their toll. Clearly, wolves have self-regulating population control systems which kick into play before their numbers get too far out of hand (which is more than can be said for hunters and trappers).

Wolves play an important part in nature’s narrative, a role that has served both predator and prey for eons. Rightful kings returning from exile, wolves are far from new to the Yellowstone ecosystem. Their 71-year absence was the result of a heartless bounty set by the real newcomers to the fine-tuned system of checks and balances that has regulated itself since life began.

New to the scene are cowboys on four-wheelers with their monoculture crop of cows and ubiquitous barbed-wire fences. New are pack trains of hunters resentful of any competition from lowly canines, yet eager to take trophies of wolf pelts, leaving the unpalatable meat to rot. And new is the notion that humankind can replace nature’s time-tested order with so-called wildlife “management,” a regime that has never managed to prove itself worthy.

Unmatched manipulators, modern humans with their pharmacies, hospitals, churches, strip malls, sporting goods stores, burger joints and fried chicken franchises have moved so far beyond the natural order that population constraints, such as disease or starvation, are no longer a threat to the species’ survival (as long as society continues to function). Hunting is no longer motivated by hunger. Twenty-first century sport hunters are never without a full belly, even after investing tens of thousands of dollars on brand-new 4X4 pickups, motorboats, RVs and of course the latest high-tech weaponry.

But wolves can’t afford to be acquisitive; if they run low on resources, they must move on or perish. Theirs is a precarious struggle, without creature comforts or false hopes of life everlasting.

~ From the book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2012. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2012. All Rights Reserved

On the Death of Hunting

Literally, figuratively and statistically, hunting is a dying sport—it just hasn’t accepted that fact yet. Over the centuries, hunting in this country has been on a slippery, downward slope. It’s gone from being an almost universally practiced, year-round method of meat-gittin’ and “varmint” eradicatin’ (during the pioneering, God-given “Manifest Destiny” days that near-completely brought an end to the continent’s biodiversity) to the desperate, “sportsmen are the best environmentalists” perjury of present day—a laughable last-ditch attempt to stay afloat if you ever saw one.

Whether consciously aware of it or not, hunters, individually and as a well-funded whole, are in the process of grieving the impending demise of their favorite pastime. The question is, which stage of grief are they currently in, and more importantly, when will they finally give up the ghost and leave the animals alone?

If we apply the Kübler-Ross model (a hypothesis introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying, commonly referred to as the “five stages of grief” including denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance) to the death of hunting, it would appear that hunters are somewhere between the first and the middle stage in their emotional journey toward acceptance. Kübler-Ross originally applied these stages to people suffering from terminal illness, later expanded this theoretical model to apply to any form of catastrophic personal loss, which could include job, income, freedom or some other significant life event. To a dyed-in-the-wool nimrod, the death of hunting definitely qualifies.

Known by the acronym DABDA, the five stages of the Kübler-Ross model include:

1)    Denial — “I feel fine.” “This can’t be happening, not to me.”

Denial can be a conscious or unconscious defense mechanism; a refusal to accept facts or the reality of the situation. This feeling is generally replaced with a heightened awareness of possessions that will be left behind after the death—in this case, after the death of their blood sport. For hunters, these possessions might be their beloved weapons, which they covetously cling to with Gollum-like obsession and zeal. Whenever the specter of gun control rears up after a mass school shooting, you can hear them breathlessly whispering, “My precious, my precious.” Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the individual, but some can become locked into this stage…

2) Anger — “Why me? It’s not fair!” “How can this happen to me?” ‘”Who is to blame?”

Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to be around due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Anger can manifest itself in different ways. For hunters, it’s usually directed toward non-hunters, especially environmentalists or animal advocates, but is often also directed against species they view as competition, such as coyotes or wolves. It is important to remain detached when dealing with a person experiencing anger from grief.

3)    Bargaining — “I’ll do anything for a few more years.” “I will give my life savings if only…”

The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow postpone or delay death (or the death of their favorite lethal hobby). Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. Psychologically, the individual is saying, “I understand I will die, but if I could just do something to buy more time…” In the case of hunting, this negotiation is with the non-hunting majority and includes reinventing their persona, trying to sell themselves as “the best environmentalists;” pitching hunting as an admirable part of our heritage and trying to get laws passed to enshrine it; or recruiting women and young children into the fold.

4)    Depression — “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?” “I’m going to die soon so what’s the point?” or in the case of the hunter, “If I can’t have my beloved blood sport, why go on?”

It’s natural for the hunter to feel sadness, regret, fear and uncertainty when going through this stage. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer up an individual (or a hunting organization, such as the NRA or the Safari Club) who is in this stage, as these emotions indicate their acceptance of the situation.

5)    Acceptance — “It’s going to be okay.” “I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it.”

In this last stage, individuals begin to come to terms with their mortality or another tragic event, such as the loss of a loved one…or, for the hunter, the long-dreaded ceasefire in the war waged against the animals.

One of the most popular arguments for hunting is, “But humans are carnivores, we’ve always been hunters.” The fact is, human predatory behavior is killing the planet. The only way any of us are going to survive is if we lay down our weapons and return to our plant-eating origins.

Sound radical? Arthur Schopenhauer spelled out his own set of stages that undeniably applies here: “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

DSC_0056