If you’re strolling through the woods today in PA, make sure to put on your brightly colored clothing, or if you have one, an orange hat. Today marks PA’s opening day for the firearm deer hunting season, which lasts for a period of 12 consecutive days. As reported by ABC 4, approximately 80,000-90,000 deer will be killed within today alone.
If you’re a consistent reader of my blog, you’re probably wondering why I would be writing about opening day considering I don’t eat deer, or any meat for that matter (with the exception of seafood). I would never hunt, nor have I ever particularly enjoyed opening day, for while I was living at home in the country, I couldn’t go two minutes without hearing the annoying noise of a gun shot echoing through my windows. Around where I lived during my high school years, hunting was pervasive. In fact, every year when opening day would roll around, my school would even give us the day off.
Throughout the weeks leading up to hunting season continuing into the actual season itself, I’d wake up to persistent gun shots and be forced to listen to them throughout the day. I can’t say this is a vegetarian’s dream-like ambient sound. And, since I wasn’t willing to let hunting restrict me from my love of the outdoors and from preventing me to take my usual, frequent hikes/runs, I’d spend 12 days walking on edge through the woods near my house, thinking about having-to-dodge-bullet-scenarios rather than fully taking in my beautiful surroundings.
However, as much as I dislike opening day, I fully believe that if you’re going to eat meat, hunting is the way to get it. My feelings towards hunting are similar to some of the reasons why I advocate gardening. Progressively, there has become a palpable disconnect from producer to consumer.
This disconnect is part of the reason why the food industry is able to run wild. Large corporations can do almost anything they want to the food we eat without ever even telling us. Ground beef can be scoured in ammonia and numerous other items can be filled with ingredients that have been tainted with artificially injected genes, known as GMOs, without the majority of consumers even having a clue.
The food industry is so furtively hidden from us that we often have no clue where the food on our plate even comes from, let alone how it’s been processed,
and this presents a problem because it limits the say we have about the quality of the food we are putting into our bodies. The food industry increasingly focuses more on producing a profit than producing fresh, qualitative food.
Animals raised commercially are forced to live in squalor and under inhumane conditions, treating them as though they were objects, and then haphazardly processing them as though the consumers they are producing them for are nothing more than objects themselves. When meat-eaters buy from the traditional consumer market, they are often unconsciously consuming chickens afflicted with cancer, cows smeared with feces due to being forced to live knee deep in it, and pig meat filled with laundry lists of chemicals. This isn’t healthy for our bodies or the overall well-being of life on this Earth.
By hunting, one can at least lessen their contribution to the meat industry, an industry of which often forces animals to live in darkness, smacked right up against one another. The animals being killed through hunting get to roam around amidst green grass and sunlight for at least a portion of their lives. While some consider killing animals for food inhumane all together, I’d rather see meat-eaters move towards obtaining their meat from free-roaming, happily living animals. By hunting, one becomes aware of the process of obtaining meat (a process much different than the meat industry, but a process nonetheless). One becomes conscious of how the animals used for meat breathe, eat and live. One can really get to know an animal, learn about it, and become in touch with what he/she will be consuming, closing of the isolation of the producer from the individual. One can refreshingly be able to see from where and how their food got to their plate. Additionally, if hunting is relied upon as the sole source of obtaining meat, this will usually require the individual to eat less of it, ultimately contributing to their health. (Not to mention, deer meat is leaner and healthier than other massively sold meats, such as beef. This is probably because they live a happier life that allows them to exercise, breathe fresh-air, and grow naturally).
Becoming a vegetarian was a choice, and with that being said, I don’t look down upon people who choose not to follow my same path. If I did eat meat, while I can’t say I could ever be a hunter, I’d at least try to rely on friends or family who were. For the same reasons I enjoy growing fruits and vegetables, I’d want to know where my food was coming from, how it has been treated, and how it’s being processed. I wouldn’t want chemicals in meat I would be consuming, just like I don’t enjoy chemicals on my produce.
What are your thoughts about this? If you are a vegetarian, how do you feel about hunting? If you eat meat, are you a hunter? If so, what do you feel you get out of it?