The following are my answers to interview questions posed by a journalism student who so was moved after reading my book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport, that she decided to undertake a project on the psychology of hunting…
1. Have you come into contact with anyone (especially hunters) who has stated that your book changed their view on the game of hunting and the mistreatment of animals?
Answer: Yes, I’ve heard from several non-hunters who have thanked me for exposing the truth about big game hunting. No longer ambivalent about the unnecessary cruelty of sport hunting, they are now active anti-hunters.
But I have yet to meet a hunter introspective enough to allow anything to change their inbred, imbedded views on killing wildlife.
2. Have you received any ‘backlash’ since publishing this book?
Answer: For what, for urging hunters and trappers to be more compassionate to our fellow beings? No, and they haven’t received any backlash from me for tormenting and killing my friends the animals (aside from my book and blog).
Deep down hunters and trappers know what they are doing is wrong; they just hope we’ll continue to let them get away with it.
3. Are you friends with anyone who avidly hunts? Do any of your family members hunt?
4. In the beginning of the book, it states that you have always been a man of compassion towards animals. Why do you think that spreading the word of being kind to animals is important?
Answer: I’m going to answer that question with another question, a couple of other questions, actually: Why did the emancipators think freeing the slaves was important? My grandmother and great aunts were suffragettes, why did they fight for women’s right to vote? Why did people push to ban kiddie porn or crush videos? Why? Because speaking out for innocent victims of exploitation is the right thing to do.
5. What do you say to those who hunt for food and not sport? Many hunters believe that it is more humane to hunt for food than it is to buy meat from a slaughter house.
Answer: First of all, most people who claim to hunt for food not sport are living far above the poverty level. They are not starving and they don’t need to kill animals to survive. They do it because they want to—it’s “fun.” In many cases they spend far more on the hunt than it would cost them to get their food from the markets where they buy their beer, tobacco and Twinkies. They can boast all they want about “using the meat”—hell, even wolf or cougar hunters will claim that they plan to eat what they kill—but they’re just trying to make their trophy hunt seem palatable to the unwary public.
And the claim that hunting is more humane than what cows go through is exaggerated at best. While there’s absolutely no denying that what cows at the slaughterhouse are forced to endure is appallingly cruel, hunters conveniently forget that the animals they stalk are stressed out from the time they hear the first gunshots fired by someone sighting in their rifles for hunting season.
The myth of that “good clean shot” is a grim fairytale in most every case. Hunters expect to have to track down and finish off an animal they’ve shot or impaled with an arrow. In reality, “game” animals probably suffer longer than those at the slaughterhouse (though this is in no way meant to condone factory farming).
When it comes right down to it, hunters don’t give a shit about being humane, or they’d quit eating meat and join the millions of people who are living proof that human beings can live longer, healthier lives if they swear off flesh foods and get their nutrients from the plant kingdom.
Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved