Monday, 19 October 2009


"You choose to exploit animals by keeping them as pets to satisfy your emotional needs. I choose to exploit rabbits by killing and eating them to satisfy my dietary needs. The rabbits I exploit roam free until the moment they’re killed, the ones you exploit are kept in some sort of confinement. Don’t pretend you’re somehow morally better simply because you choose a different form of exploitation".

Dear PETA supporter

Can I ask you a question? A question about the things we do to be who we are.

If I am to understand you. You are a courageous defender of those without a voice. You strive to be a benevolent hand, altering the rules, leveling the playing field, so nature conforms to your sense of fair play. You look into animals eyes and see the goodness of a soul that knows none of the cruel ways of man, a soul that looks back in gratitude for your efforts.

I think you're wrong, Walt Disney was an entertainer, David Attenborough is the educator, but I salute your passion and stand in defense of your right to be wrong.

I am a participant in the wonder of nature, the often violent wonder of nature. I have hunted to fulfill my dietary needs, and given the opportunity will do so again. Taking what I need to live, letting everything else live the life it was born to live. Regretfully accepting that life for wild animals will be short and either end in starvation or violence. Sorry but that's just the way it is, always has been and always will be. Wild free animals either starve or are eaten alive by predators. My personal ethic in my role as predator is make sure that when i kill, i do so as suddenly and as comprehensively as possible. I don't wish to see any more suffering, I've seen enough and the human world provides more of that than I can bear to watch most days.

My default setting is to support the underdog, especially when the underdog is trying to act beyond the narrow confines of the accepted wisdom. So naturally my interests and sympathies lie with the Greens. I've even voted for them.

Once upon a time a very nice woman (we've never met, but I project very-niceness on to her) sent me a letter explaining that in the Peoples Republic of Hackney the Labour Party (as it was then known), would be getting elected sure as eggs is eggs. But if I so pleased, my vote (for her) could be used as a gentle reminder that the natural world mattered and was worth preserving and defending. If enough people sent this message such issues would move into the mainstream of political thought.
WOW it's not every day you get to vote for an honest politician! I took up her offer, imagining it to be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Sadly it was, it seems a once in a lifetime opportunity. As I WILL NEVER VOTE FOR CRUELTY.

The thirst for votes, votes at any cost, means The Green Party is offering it's self up to the 'single issue activists' a strategy that will keep them sidelined, just at a time when they should be finding their natural authority.
Instead of moving to the centre of political debate the Green Party have decided that we should first: have so many rabbits that we are unable to grow crops, then as the food source has multiplied, we should have lots and lots of foxes. Foxes who when they've eaten the rabbits will eat, what? Chickens, Ducks, Geese and then?

Apparently we are also to have more of those lovely deer, with their honest soulful eyes, they will eat anything the rabbits can't reach, and for a few years there'll be more and more of them. Many will die agonizing deaths after road traffic accidents. The survivors will starve as soon as their numbers are greater than the food sources will support.

Sadly that's what a total ban on hunting means. I could not support animals being treated in that way. It would be cruel.

I have never met a vegan who knew as much about animals as the hunters I've met. Although I have met vegans who advocate violence towards people who eat meat. Not all vegans are fascist hate mongers, not all people who kill animals do so for the thrill of killing.

I'm not going to dress it up as anything it isn't. There are people who lust after the thrill of killing, you may think of them as a subset of 'hunters' I think of them as criminals. Criminals who are most likely to be reported to a disinterested and under resourced police force, by hunters. Why? Because hunters have the most to lose if 'thrill killers' are afield. Thrill Killers don't need a license, they don't need to put anything back in terms of supporting habitat or managing resources. They are the kind of people who are involved in other acts of cruelty, to humans and animals.

Not all vegans or vegetarians are supporters of PETA, and its immediately obvious that not all PETA supporters are even vegetarian, let alone vegan. I believe myself to be a person who wishes to see the ethical treatment of animals. I just don't happen to be using the same definition of ethical as Ingrid Newkirk and her unthinking supporters. Some people see the horror of factory farming and want never to eat meat again, I see the same horror and wish only to eat meat that lived wild and free. The way i wish to live myself, a freedom I'd extend to you too.

To me there are certain forms of coercion that are way outside of any ethical position I could ever defend. Causing shock and terror in children then telling them that the only way to stop the feeling of fear is to comply with the wishes of the person causing the fear is despicable. It's despicable in a 'religious' children's home where the wrath of the big bully in the sky will be visited on any child who dares to speak out against the nocturnal visits of that bullies emissaries on earth. Just as it's despicable to show children exceptional images of animal suffering while implying those images are the norm. To me it's not right to attempt to traumatize children in the hope that what marketers call 'pester power' will coerce those children's parents into your chosen belief. It would not be ethical for me to treat another person in that way. That's why I propose 'People for the Ethical Treatment of Each Other'.

All comments welcome, even from those of you whose rage needs to hide behind anonymity.

The Bushwacker.

PS This post was influenced by posts from Hubert Hubert, well worth a read.