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The Kirby Misperton Effect


Over one weekend a friend and I were distressed by something on the net about turkey shooting in the US, but anger is an energy, and I'm feeling energised. Those of you of a nervous disposition should look away now. Lots of us will love the 'Bugs Bunny' cartoon. Naughty Bugs irritating the, on the surface, endearing Elmer Fudd. But Elmer's not so good when you think about it, as he tries to blast the "pesky wabbit" to kingdom come.

This article also appears in my book, Being St. Francis. More info here.

- Paul Rance.

Paul Rants: Time for Elmer Fudd's Extinction
Why Hunting's Time Is Up - a Personal View

An angry Paul Rance
Paul Rance

I don't like hunting, and the stories I've heard about hunters have certainly strengthened my point of view if anything.

Reasons that I don't like hunting? Some hunters will claim that they are killing animals for food, but I think food is just a consequence. I believe, for hunters, the frisson of killing, the 'thrill of the chase', is what motivates them. There are supermarkets for food, aren't there?

There's nothing noble about modern hunting, and it's why Native Americans were contemptuous of the white man, as he wiped out the buffalo with guns. A man with a gun against even a bear is no contest. Against a gentle deer it's pathetic, and sees man as a bully.

Some will also claim hunting is needed to control animals, but this is man at his most arrogant. It's OUR world, right? Er, no. Hunting is lazy population control. They're 'only animals', and so little time is spent on thinking out a solution.

In the UK, hunting with hounds was even worse than shooting animals, and thankfully was outlawed. Bullfighting is the worst of all. In Britain, the not so royal family will shoot just about anything that moves, and the idle rich generally do things to animals they used to do to people centuries ago. Their stony hearts must be filled with the joy of killing something. In the UK, most of the population strongly opposes the killing of animals for anything other than food, and only normally in slaughterhouses - not out in the open.

There seems to be a big cultural difference between Britain and America on this issue, as I remember the rather lame duck John Kerry going on a hunting trip to GAIN votes, and Hillary Clinton reminiscing about her happy childhood hunting ducks, when she was looking for votes. In Britain, politicians wouldn't play the pro-hunting card in fear of LOSING votes. Dubya shot deer, Eisenhower had cats shot because he hated them. I also remember Bill Clinton shooting a duck dead, and saying: "It didn't move, so I shot it." Then he started laughing. What a big man, eh? I won't waste time on that strange governor of Alaska, or the risible Dick Cheney (anyone fancy standing next to him on a hunting trip?)... Em, how many humans get injured or killed in hunting accidents every year in the US alone?

Hunters and their supporters often don't help to convince people that they're decent citizens by the way they behave generally. Some examples... A former girlfriend of mine from the US was anti-hunting, but worked with women whose husbands hunted. These women with hearts of acid would leave hunting mags on her desk just to upset her, and these bullies made her life hell. My Dad, who was 63 at the time, was threatened by hunters in the English village I used to live in, which probably brought on his slight heart attack. He was also once working on someone's garden, when a hunter came traipsing all over private property in pursuit of a pheasant. My Dad told him to go away, and the hunter showed his intelligence by calling my Dad the C-word, and a Communist of all things. So, the hunters argument is so weak they have to call us anti-hunters Communists and pinkos. How weird, and how deeply wounding. I'm being sarcastic, of course. I'd rather be a Commie than a hunter.

I see hunters, basically, as bullies, and at school I learnt to strike back at bullies. Some people are probably very anti-hunting, but feel too intimidated to speak out. It's like siding with the school bully, so he/she doesn't pick on you. The McCarthy effect if you like. But then I'm a Communist in the eyes of the hunters, probably, so I would bring that up, wouldn't I?

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