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May 06, 2010

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You've hit the nail on the head - that's the hardest part about hunting, definitely harder than just the killing. And if you hunt, you will wound an animal, and there are some you will never find. It's inevitable. That's definitely one of the tradeoffs, when compared with animal husbandry (and I've done both).

But there's something hunting did that animal husbandry didn't do for me: It taught me to respect animals a lot. The best theory I can come up with - and some will disagree with me on this - is that pets and farm animals are essentially our slaves, dependents at our mercy. We own them and do with them what we like. And even if you feel compassion toward them and treat them well, you don't see them at the height of what they can be, because they just wait for our handouts. Wild animals - which you get to know very well when you hunt - are smart, crafty and immaculately self-sufficient.

And when you hunt - or at least when I do - I feel a little bit less like a domestic animal myself, a little less like I'm waiting for the grocery store to hand me something, a little more like I'm fulfilling my potential as a member of this species.

Thank you for sharing your unique perspective, Holly. I appreciate your being honest about the inevitability of wounding in hunting, rather than trying to minimize it.

I don't see as much of a distinction between domesticated vs. wild animals (or humans) as you do, in terms of fulfilling our potential. However I do think that taking a life for food, whether through hunting or farming, allows for a kind of activity that is very primal. I can see how that can be a very compelling experience.
Again, thanks for your valuable comment.

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