Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Make it Simple?

After an afternoon bout of clearing heavy, wet, deep snow from around M’s car and little M’s car, I planned to sit down and work on a comment for the ethics thread. I almost made it—until sleep took over. I spent the entire next day recovering and then today was spent putting the finishing touches on the next issue of “The Pines Review.” It is now off to the final proofreading and now I can focus.

The Problem….. As I see it.

The more time I have spent reading about hunting ethics and the debate surrounding it, the more I am convinced we are all determined to create such a complicated issue that we’re doing more damage than good. Let’s return to something I offered at the start of this thread--early civilization. As Man moved from the hunter/gatherer to animal husbandry and agriculture the need to hunt for survival was replaced with sport hunting. Without drifting into the discussion of spiritual need being in our genes let’s try another approach and that is focusing only on the sport aspect of the hunt. In developing the sport of hunting it became essential for the hunter to have rules of conduct. You can return to the other post to review this evolution but the key is this statement:

Ethics = Skill U Nature

Simply stated: Ethics EQUALS The Sum of the hunter’s skills AND The Animal’s nature to survive.

Here is what I am advocating. (And, I think, Phillip, you and I are on the same page thought not saying it exactly the same way.) We need to stop trying to complicate the issue with complex definitions and limitations. If we agree that the key to being an ethical hunter is full use of skills and allowing the game to fully use their natural ability to survive then the outcome is ethical hunting. If we can accept that premise does this become a functional foundation to build on?

Is it a starting point?



Phillip said...

Simplify... funny, that this is exactly where we went on Eric Nuse's Fair Chase Hunting blog too...

I'll have to put a post together when I can sit and really collect my thoughts on this, but the central thing to me lately has been... what is the purpose of this discussion again? What is the goal, and what are the risks of attaining that goal?

Just thoughts... relatively random, or not...

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Eric C. Nuse said...

I'm beginning to think we are trying to find the answer thru too narrow a lens, that of philosophy. While I think that lens helps us think through why we have ethical codes and fair chase rules, it breaks down at the kill. There I think the rural wisdom of the sustainable use of natural resources makes more sense. This includes eating deer, and yes you have to shoot them first, and yes we have rules that make this harder, and yes we enjoy the challenge, but ultimately we enjoy both the process and the result.
Maybe we should open a booth at every urban/suburban farmers market informing shoppers of the benefits of regulated hunting and trapping o them and the value to organic farmers and gardeners. And the value of the organic, free ranging meat harvested to the friends and families of the hunters. And no they can't buy any of the meat, but they can share some with hunters by letting them hunt on their summer places and supporting them so they continue to do their valuable service to society and nature.
Now would't that be something!

Phillip said...

Eric, that's a truly interesting idea.

I am a firm believer that, should we offer to educate folks a little more about the things we do, that understanding and knowledge will go a long ways toward acceptance of our sport.

Galen Geer said...

I think that you've hit on something with that idea. Can you picture the impact of having booths on weekends at farmer's markets? Suppose the booth could have a grill set up to serve venison? Would that be possible? How could one go about it?

Galen Geer said...

The other part of your comment--regarding the ethic breaking down at the kill I can't agree. At the point of the kill doesn't the ethic remain valid? The hunt must have valid, ethical purpose (food, trophy, combination) and that purpose is beyond the moment of the kill.
That said, I don't believe that we can place the concepts of spending time with others, being in nature, and other benefit of a like nature as being part of the hunting ethic. They are benefits, just as the meat is a benefit of the hunt.
What do you think? glg