The first day of August: summer is at its peak, young birds have fledged and the wild berries are just now ripening up…
But on this very same day, demonic dimwits and narcissistic nimrods that enjoy making sport of murdering animals are out trying to end the life of a humble being whose only focus lately is filling up on fresh fruit.
That’s right; believe it or not, August 1st is the beginning of bear season across much of Washington! From today until November 15th, any loathsome scumbag with a bear tag and an unwholesome urge to kill can “bag” himself a bruin—just for the sport of it—in this presumably progressive state.
Sure, one or two people may be killed by bears in a given year, but over that same time period 50 will die from bee stings, 70 will be fatally struck by lightning and 300 will meet their maker due to hunting accidents. A person has about as good a chance of spontaneously combusting as being killed by a bear.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of bears are killed by people each year, and no one is keeping track of how many are wounded, only to crawl off and die slowly without hospital care to pamper them back to health. 30,000 black bears are slain during legal hunting seasons in the US alone. Possibly another 30,000 fall prey each year to ethically impotent poachers seeking gall bladders to sell on the Chinese black market. Victims lost to that vile trade are eviscerated and left to rot, since bear meat is not considered a desirable taste treat. To make it palatable, backwoods chefs traditionally douse the flesh and offal with salt and grind the whole mess into sausage.
Why then, is it legal to kill bears when we have long since concocted a myriad of ways to turn high protein plant foods (such as soy, seitan or tempeh) into a perfectly scrumptious, spicy sausage, sans intestines? Unquestionably, the hunting of bears is nothing but a warped distraction motivated by a lecherous desire to make trophies of their heads and hides. But, dangerous and terrifying as they must seem to trophy hunters out to prove their manhood from behind the security blanket of a loaded weapon, they aren’t the “most dangerous game,” as the serial killer, Zodiac (an avid hunter who grew bored with “lesser” prey and progressed to hunting humans) divulged.
An irrational fear of bears dates back to the earliest days of American history and is customarily accompanied by obtuse thinking and quirky spelling. The most famous inscription (carved into a tree, naturally) attributable to Daniel Boone (that guy who went around with a dead raccoon on his head) bragged how he “…cilled a bar…in the year 1760.” The bears Boone killed (and there were many) in North Carolina and Tennessee were black bears, a uniquely American species that, like coyotes, evolved on the Western Hemisphere.
Every year a fresh crop of Elmers decides to play Daniel Boone and blast a poor little black bear with a musket ball (which, although extremely painful and traumatic, often isn’t enough to kill them outright). Others prefer the test of archery, savagely impaling innocent bears who are just out trying to find enough berries to get them through the winter.
Rachel Carson, whose 1962 book, Silent Spring, advanced the environmental movement, saw the brutality of hunting as a detriment to civilized society:
“Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is—whether its victim is human or animal—we cannot expect things to be much better in this world. We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set back the progress of humanity.”
The question is, how long will society continue to tolerate the moronic act of sport hunting?
This post contained excerpts from my book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport