Visceral – A Rant

Visceral – coming from strong emotions and not from logic or reason (Merriam Webster)

I had a brief Twitter encounter today. Actually it was more like a mugging from the thought police, because I retweeted a story about hunters who are coming to hunting in mid life. The new hunter, in his mid 40’s, is blogging about his experience in an effort to encourage others who may not have had the opportunity to hunt growing up, to give it a try. In my opinion, a grand and noble thing.

So imagine my surprise when I was lambasted by a self-appointed defender of all things conservative for retweeting such a clearly dangerous story.

He took issue was the original article’s use of the phrase “It seemed wrong to me that I have never had a real, visceral connection to my food.”

He then proceeded to tell me that I had “Better start farming your own beans then too. I’m pro-hunting, but anti- thank- the- animal BS.”  (Note -I in fact do grow my own produce, thank you very much)

I responded that I thought the article indicated the author was taking responsibility for his own place in the food chain beyond swiping a debit card at the grocery store. He was not outsourcing his taking a life for his food.

My Twitter zealot pounced, announcing that “taking of a life for food” – that’s liberal speak for hunting. Don’t worship the animals. They are here for food.”

I have been accused of a lot of things in my life, some with merit. But I was never called a liberal until today. I sure hope the NRA doesn’t revoke my life membership.

I was raised to respect all life. Because I respect the animals I hunt and the fish I catch, it doesn’t mean I worship them. I practice with my guns and bow to effect a clean, quick kill. I study the animal’s  habits to be a more effective hunter. I eat what I kill, and take great pains to properly care for the meat to insure none of it is wasted. I follow game laws, and work to improve habitat. That is respect, not worship.

I respect my parents, my wife, and those given authority over me…but my worship is reserved for God alone.

Just because someone says they are looking for a visceral connection to their food doesn’t mean they are taking up animal worship. It does mean that they are choosing not to be numbed by picking up their meat in a plastic wrapped Styrofoam tray, paying others to do their killing and processing for them. It means they want to participate in the process, and yes they want the satisfaction of eating a meal that they worked for…not simply paid for with dollars.

It does mean they wont likely become slob hunters, who would kill just to kill and leave the animal in the field because they were too lazy to field dress it.

They aren’t likely to shoot up road signs, cut fences, or exceed bag limits. I even suspect they will leave their adult beverages in the cooler until the hunt is over, firearms safely unloaded and cased.

In short – these are people I would be proud to hunt or fish with because they have decided to be stewards, rather than consumers and conquerors. If that makes me a liberal, then paint me blue. It will blend nicely with my red neck.

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One Response to Visceral – A Rant

  1. Well said, Mark. I always taught my kids that’s it’s no small thing to take the life of an animal, but that doesn’t make it wrong. Not everything that’s right is easy. I don’t worship animals or nature, but realize a great responsibility to be a good steward of all our natural resources.

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