5@5 - Why hunting your own dinner is an ethical way to eat
July 2nd, 2012
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Editor's Note: Lily Raff McCaulou is an award-winning journalist, Knight-Wallace Fellowship recipient and a columnist for The Bulletin in Bend, Oregon. Her first book, "Call of the Mild: Learning to Hunt My Own Dinner" was published in June.

Growing up, I didn’t know anyone who hunted. Hunters, I figured, were probably just barbaric gun nuts. Then, eight years ago, I moved from Manhattan to rural Oregon, to write for a small newspaper. My perspective shifted when I began interviewing hunters for my articles and realized that although I had long considered myself an environmentalist, these hunters – most of whom scoffed at the “E” word – were more knowledgeable and thoughtful about animals and nature than I was.

Eventually, I decided to buy a gun and join them. But don’t worry, I’m still an environmentalist, loud and proud.

Five Reasons Why Hunting a Wild Animal Makes an Ethical Dinner: Lily Raff McCaulou

1. Hunting has a light environmental footprint
No antibiotics, artificial hormones, pesticides, herbicides, or unnatural feeds were used in raising this meat. Unlike farmed animals, a wild one doesn't contribute to soil erosion, water pollution, or the displacement of native plants in favor of a monoculture. No land is tilled to feed a wild animal, so additional carbon isn’t released into the atmosphere.

2. Wild animals aren’t subject to the misery of factory farming
My venison was never confined, castrated, or branded the way most farmed steers are. My duck was never caged, de-beaked, or toe-clipped the way most domesticated poultry is. Wild animals, unlike many domesticated ones, aren’t bred, fed and medicated to achieve rapid weight gain so that they can be killed at just a few weeks of age.

3. None of the meat is wasted
After I shoot an animal, I gut it and butcher it myself (or, in the case of an 800-pounds bull elk, with some help from friends). This way, I know the meat was handled safely. I don’t have to worry about listeria or trichinosis. And I’m confident that as much of the animal as possible is used. To hunt and butcher an animal is to recognize that meat is not some abstract form of protein that springs into existence tightly wrapped in cellophane and styrofoam. Meat is life. So I seek out recipes that make the most of it. I cook it with care. I share with friends and family. I make sure eat every bite gets enjoyed.

4. Hunting pays for conservation
To hunt for elk this fall, for example, I’ve already bought an Oregon hunting license for $29.50, paid $8 to enter a lottery for the right to hunt in a particular spot, and purchased a $42.50 tag. That means I’ve already paid $80 toward wildlife research and habitat protection in my home state. Bird-watchers and hikers haven’t paid anywhere near that much.

With approximately 12.5 million hunters nationwide, we’re talking about real money. Proceeds from the Federal Duck Stamp – a required $15 annual purchase for migratory waterfowl hunters – have added more than five million acres to the national wildlife refuge system. And federal excise taxes on hunting equipment and ammunition garner more than $200 million a year for wildlife management and the purchase of public lands.

5. Hunting promotes conservation
To hunt is to participate in the ecosystem rather than just watch from the sidelines. When I track an animal, I use all of my senses to take in my surroundings, as if I were a wild animal myself. So by the time I actually shoot something, I’ve developed a deep connection to the species and to the land. I considered myself an environmentalist before I started hunting. But back then, all of my reasons for conservation were theoretical. Now that I hunt, I have a real-life, vested interest in seeing places – and wildlife populations – preserved in the long-term. Someday, I want take my son hunting in all of my favorite spots.

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

Previously - 'The Hunger Games' bucks hunter stereotypes and Chef Dan Barber: Killing your own food is an incontestably moral act and 5@5 – Five ways to eat more duck

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Filed under: 5@5 • Animal Rights • Food Politics • Hunting • Path to the Plate • Think


soundoff (1,461 Responses)
  1. Rob

    While it may be true that hunters contribute, through licensing fees, etc. to conservation, and that hunting one's food may be ethical, a concept such as "hunting" is too broad to lable as ethical. For instance, a typical hunting rifle, such as a .30/06 fires a typical 180-grain bullet with a velocity of about 2,700 feet per second, generating 2,700 foot-pounds of energy.

    So, a bullet fired from the above rifle at an animal 100 yards away from the shooter will reach the animal in .1 seconds. However, the sound of the shot will take .29 seconds to reach the animal. How exactly is this type of "hunting" "ethical"? Moreover, current scopes can read the date on a nickel at that distance, and these hunters typically use 4-wheelers and other mechanical means of assistance to reach their preferred hunting grounds, as well as to bring their kill back to be cleaned and dressed. Furthermore, hunters typically bait their fields with all sorts of sweets designed to lure the animal into their sights. Again, how is this ethical?

    As well, I wonder if Ms. McCalou makes as much use of the animal as she claims. Does she eat the tongue? the liver? the thymus gland (sweetbreads)? the pancreas? Does she use the hides for clothing and shelter? Does she use the sinew for ropes and other tethering uses? Does she use the hooves? Is she familiar with all the ways that primitive cultures, as well as some current cultures, use their kill in its entirety? Does she view the animal as her spiritual ancestor, and say prayers and chant incantations for the animal that offered itself in sacrifice so that she can have such enlightened views?

    National Geographic aired a program years ago called "The Art of the Hunt" in which it followed a small band of African bushpeople as they literally chased their prey, running as much as 20 miles a day for several days, in hopes of running the animal into exhaustion so that they could get close enough to kill it by hurling rudimentary spears and arrows into its flesh. Once this was accomplished, the hunters had a small celebration, quickly field dressed the animal, and then traveled back to their homes to feed their families. Mind you, these hunters are carrying fresh kill for several days, undoubtedly being tracked themselves by predatory animals. Once home, a few days rest, and then back to it. That's ethical hunting!! As well, I'm reminded of the scene in the movie "First Blood" where Rambo drops out the tree to spear the wild boar, a most ferocious animal. That's ethical hunting!!

    July 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Reply
    • wildone

      If you want to get all-technical on us, what would you call trout fishing with a rod and reel filled with 15# test line and Mepps spinning lures? I would call that "catching dinner".

      July 3, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Reply
    • ONTHunter

      The tools used in a hunt have nothing to do with whether its ethical or not. Some people want to ensure that they dispatch the animal quickly and efficiently. Therefore, they use high powered rifles with scopes. It allows them to take the best shot in the given situation. I would think that a conscious regard for the suffering of an animal would be considered "ethical" wouldn't it? Or should I take out grandpa's old 30-30 lever gun and just send 10 bullets down range and hope for the best?

      July 3, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Reply
    • Lindsey

      Bahaha. You know nothing about ballistics or hunting. No most hunters do not use 30-06, and no they dont shoot 180 grain bullets out of them and no they are not traveling at 2700 fps.
      Try this. I shoot a 300 win mag, 165 grain Nosler Ballistic tips traveling at 3200 fps. They are cranking. I hit deer right behind the shoulder and they drop immediately.
      I do not use an ATV to hunt. I walk, ALWAYS. I pack out the meat on my back to the road where my rig is parked on a legal roadway.
      I feed my family with this meat all year. I butcher and wrap all of my meat. I dont go for antlers, never have. I go for the healthy, lean, un messed with meat it provides.
      We as humans are omnivores. You can choose to go against nature, be my guest.. but dont you for one second act like you know me or what I do to prepare for successful one shot clean harvests on the deer and elk i hunt.
      I go to great lengths to do it old school, work hard, hike, shoot alot, and treat the animals with respect for giving my family food.
      I was raised to be respectful and honest. Work hard and do whats right. Some of you need your butts spanked and put on a farm where your precious wheat and grain products you love so much is raised and harvested. Might change your perspective.

      July 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Reply
    • gen81465

      Are you so sure that Rambo was an "ethical" hunter? If I remember the movie First Blood correctly, he only cut off and used one hind quarter (haunch); that would mean he left the rest of the pig's carcass lying around and going to waste.

      July 5, 2012 at 12:12 am | Reply
  2. ease

    There is nothing ethical about taking the life of another, so don't bother padding yourselves on the back. The author is completely off base and probably is paid by the NRA and the hunting and fishing industries. Follow the money. You'll see.

    I do agree that it's better to hunt and fish for your food than eat food that comes from factory farms and fisheries, that's if you only eat food that has been hunted or fished. If you still shop at grocery stores, than you're defeating the purpose.

    However, hunting (and fishing) are not a sport. I wish people would stop calling it that. Calling it a sport, harvesting, culling, and other such terms are used to sugarcoat what's really going on. Just call it what it is, killing defenseless animals.

    It's also not conservation. True conservation is when you protect an area so that nature can thrive without human interference, encroachment, or use. The only reason why hunters and fisherman protect these areas is so they can have an area to kill and destroy the nature they are protecting. I guess putting up a fence, with a "Do not Trespass" sign, around an area that's about to get a mall is conservation too.

    Then there is the topic of Wildlife Management. Wildlife doesn't need management. Nature knows what it's doing. It's humans that need management. We need to learn to live in harmony with the world instead trying to take it over. We don't own it, it owns us.

    I also question the mentality of those who love to kill defenseless animals, and even hang the head of an animal on their wall.

    Now, I've known some hunters and fisherman to "genuinely care" about the animals they're killing who are against keeping trophies. They are also against hunting animals released in small areas, fish thrown in a pond, and killing in a inhumane way where instantaneous death is preferred. Their only reason is to eat and provide food for nature afterwards–Native style.

    However, those who take joy in taking the life of another should have their heads examined. Many have the same mentality as serial killers, although in a way, they are serial killers, but instead of human, they kill non-human. There must be a study somewhere. If not, there should be.

    I feel the same way about those in the military. If they come back with PTSD, they're normal.

    In the end, there is no need to take life when it's healthier, more environmentally friendly, and more humane to be a Vegetarian or more importantly a Vegan.

    What's the point in human existence if we don't aspire to evolve in life and create a more peaceful world for all. Certainly nature would be much better without us. Human activity is destroying the world. Don't think for a second that the world will tire of us and find a way to take us out. It's already started.

    Remember we are problem, but we can also be the solution.

    Peace:)

    July 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Reply
    • wildone

      Your comment is so long winded and off base that it is difficult to even respond to. Just about everything you said is wrong, wrong, wrong, and you offer no facts to back up your anti-hunting opinion. All I can say is that you need to stop with the generalities that support your anti-hunting agenda and look at it from a "hunter/conservationist" perspective based on facts and not rhetoric.

      July 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Reply
    • Redeye Dog

      Your diatribe makes it quite evident that you are the problem and should consider taking the steps to rid yourself of it in the best interest of humanity.

      GOT GAME???

      July 3, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Reply
    • mitebite

      Animals and insects are not people nor equal to people. Squirrels and rabbits are tasty. Anyone who thinks that dogs, cats, and deer possess the same rights as humans are un-compassionate and deluded. I weep for society and laugh at the irony. I am looking forward to the 4th of July where I will celebrate that we can all state our opinions while I grill a hamburger, a pork chop, and drink a beer.

      July 3, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Reply
    • Orion307

      Whens the last time you brushed your teeth? Please notice that through evolution or if you believe in God, which i doubt, you were givin 32 omniverous teeth. Pure and simple.

      July 3, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Reply
    • IgnoreThem

      Ease, ignore the trolls. It's fine if people want to disagree, but some of these posters are so angry and insulting. Especially the ones advocating hunting; isn't that interesting? Your post was thoughtful and had a lot of good information in it.

      July 3, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Reply
      • Orion307

        You're right. Due to the fact that I hunt and provide "healthy" food for my friends and family i am a blood-thirsty barbarian. I am devoid of any form of compassion or remorse. I am short tempered and angry at the world.

        July 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Reply
    • Unbelievable!

      All that I have to say is that I grew up my whole life hunting to feed our family! I have never said anything bad about anyone who is vegetarian or vegan the way I view it is that's your opinion and do what you like don't preach it on others. I found it very offensive when you said that people who hunt should have there head examined!! I am not going to get into all the bs about hunting and vegetarians but I just think that you don't really have to go on calling other people down because they don't agree with you!

      The article has a lot of very good points but as for the commenters wtf!! To go as far as bringing serial killers and people at war into this isn't that a little much?? People that are proud to call them selves hunters are the farthest thing from serial killers! You should really do more research before blasting other people for what they do!!

      July 3, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Reply
      • ease

        I realize I can’t change people. They have to change themselves, but my point about hunters (and fisherman) being like serial killers relates to a state of mind that sees the victim as a thing with no feelings.

        If you read my point carefully, I was talking about those who enjoy killing, those who take trophies, etc. One must become apathetic in order to enjoy such a thing.

        I don’t know. I’m sorry I don’t understand that, but that’s me, and many others like me who are sensitive to all living beings.

        I believe, for me, to understand others, it’s important to understand why certain people do what they do.

        I apologize if I’ve insulted anyone.

        July 3, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Reply
        • Redeye Dog

          It would take more space than possible here to delve into the "deep" sensitivity levels you seem to hold passionately. You can do some research and verify this. This planet will reach unsustainable "human" population levels in just 100 years based on the rate of current growth.

          I'm sure you have heard about Obamacare leaving out a provision for seniors. Do you think that was by accident? No. It was by design to help curb this rate of growth by allowing senior citizens to "pass on" sooner than later. So how does this behavior make you feel about the human condition that you portray? "All things living." We're already killing old people off!, Yeah, not with a shotgun and we're not making trophies of them and we don't like the taste of human meat. We bury them and place an epitaph on their place of rest.

          So when you compare people to animals, you must consider the rules of natural selection and how that affects the survival of the human race. If you don't like meat. Fine. If you don't hunt. Fine. But to demean others because of your personal choices is misguided, at best.

          July 3, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • PF

      There is nothing unethical about killing an animal for food.

      July 3, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Reply
    • Primal 4 Life

      LMAO you are absolutely pathetic. Glad I will never meet such a loser.

      July 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Reply
    • Lindsey

      Life of another?? You act as if we are killing humans for consumption. Ridiculous left wing liberal nuts.

      July 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Reply
    • ease

      If my post is too long and too hard to understand I apologize. Maybe I should’ve put it all in bullet points. I should be writing a blog instead.

      My point was although a hunter and fisherman kill their own food is better than getting food from factory farms and fisheries, there is nothing ethical about killing another sentient being. It’s not a sport nor is it conservation. It’s killing a defenseless animal, nothing more, nothing less.

      Maybe it’s a way to get out ones violent tendencies. I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure it out why one would kill another. There is a definite lack of empathy toward others whether it be a human or non-human. It’s all about difference though.

      Just remember, those you treat badly, have feelings and emotions just like you. Before doing something to another, imagine it happening to you first. Go through the experience yourself. There is a sentient being with family members on the other side of that gun or hook.

      I’m not stopping you from what you’re doing. I’m just asking you to think about it. That’s all.

      I have empathy for others which is why I’m involved in not only animal rights, but also human rights, and the environment. We’re all connected my friends, we’re all connected.

      Peace:)

      July 3, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Reply
  3. thetrueworth

    What bothers me most here is not the article, but the inability of the commenters to have any kind of intelligent and civil discussion. It's all attack, attack and "I'm right and you're wrong." Here's what I think. The author is right in a lot of ways–if you're going to eat meat, hunting is the most ethical way of doing so for the reasons she listed above. It's a good argument, and one that I, as a vegetarian, agree with. I don't eat meat for my own reasons and a big part of that is the way commercially raised animals are treated. I'm not vegan, I raise my own hens and ducks for eggs and they are well-cared for and loved as pets, I try to go easy on milk and cheese or buy it from local farms. We all do what we're willing to do to improve the planet. But for those of you blasting vegetarians and vegans, grow up. Humans eat meat because as we evolved, we had to eat what we could, plus we were constantly moving as well as weathering the cold and other temperature shifts, plus the human life span was pathetic. But, as we evolve socially, we need less meat. Eating too much of it causes obesity., contributes to diabetes and heart disease and uses too much of the world's resources to produce too little food. Go do the research–it takes enough resources to feed four to five humans to produce enough beef to feed one. That makes NO sense at all as our population continues to expand at an alarming rate. Now, what each individual chooses to do about it is his/her decision. I'd hope that we'd cut back on our meat consumption, maybe consider eating more ethically-produced meat and I really hope we all stop slamming on one another for being different. People, we're not in fifth grade here.

    July 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  4. Mike

    There is only one truly ethical dietary choice, and that is veganism.

    July 3, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • Tim

      Then why do you have pointed teeth called canines? Tearing vegetables? Not hardly! For tearing meat.

      July 3, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Reply
      • Amy

        We also have tonsils and an appendix. I'm married but daydream about handsome strangers, and I'd really love wash down some Vicodin with a glass of bourbon right now. Do we have to act on every impulse that comes our way, or is there a better way of doing things? We have brains, let's use them. Unlike your tonsils, appendix, or canine teeth, our minds can serve a valuable purpose. Veganism is the only truly ethical dietary choice out there, and as an added bonus you'll be healthier than ever before and drastically reduce your negative environmental impact. Makes sense to me.

        July 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Reply
        • 2el8

          Haven’t you heard that PETA was blaming global warming on Canadian Moose farts? True story, look it up.

          July 3, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
        • Amy

          I'm certainly not a member of PETA. What does that have to do with anything?

          July 3, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
        • Tim

          Not to me. Your tonsils and appendix are vestigeal organs, your canines aren't. They are still used for something. You can't get all the nutrients your body needs just from vegetables. I will grant you that you can't from meat either. the two go together. Humans are predatory animals by nature. Are there unethical hunters? Yes. Are there a vastly larger number of ethical hunters? Yes as well. I love to hunt and I use the meat and hide. Some say it's not fair. I am in their environment. Animals can typically hear and smell a heck of a lot better than humans. My sucess/hunt ratio is not 1:1. But I don't mind if I come back empty. I enjoy being out in nature.

          July 3, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
        • Amy

          Tim, I respect your opinion and your love of nature. I too love nature, although I prefer to leave a light footprint. I might take a rock home with me once in a while, but never a life. I just wanted to add that the idea that you can't get all your nutrients from a vegan diet is false. B-12 is the only nutrient a vegan diet is missing, and from what I've read it might have something to do with our obsession with sanitizing every vegetable before we eat it. Which, of course, is a good idea when you grow your veggies in sh*t. But I digress :-) The problem is easily solved with a supplement. The B-12 it contains is produced by bacteria. So if the nutritional 'debate' is the only thing standing in your way on your path to health and true communion with nature, problem solved.

          July 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

          >I'm married but daydream about handsome strangers, and I'd really love wash down some Vicodin with a glass of bourbon right now.<

          I’d say you are in position to talk about ethics.

          July 5, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • 2el8

      Along with a steak and fois gras.

      July 3, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Reply
    • 2el8

      I'm a vegan meat eather. I eat a salad before my steak.

      July 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Reply
    • wildone

      "Eat the rich".

      July 3, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Reply
    • Ryan

      ...for you Mike, not for everyone. Your personal ethics are just that, yours.

      July 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Reply
    • Primal 4 Life

      You can shove your hoiler than thou patheticness right up your you know what. Your ethics are not anyone's but yours. You will not foist your nonsense on me.

      From now on I dedicate every kill to you and all other losers like you.

      July 3, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Reply
    • ONTHunter

      I just realized that my food poops on your food...just saying.

      July 3, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  5. KD

    Oh, lord. Hunting is killing, plain and simple. It is barbaric and unnecessary. Just leave the animals alone!

    July 3, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Reply
    • 2el8

      OH Lord your'e killing me with your lame ass comments.

      July 3, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
      • IgnoreThem

        Then you're just about ready to slay an entire population, because your comments are lamer.

        July 3, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Reply
    • Sasquatch

      Oh lord, stfu

      July 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Reply
    • ONTHunter

      The human body requires certain nutrients that are found in meat. This is why vegans need to supplement their diet with pills or they will become seriously ill. The killing of animals isn't barbaric, it is a necessity for human life. I guess the Health Department has it all wrong when they recommend 2-3 servings of meat products a day....some uneducated granola muncher on a public forum is right.

      July 3, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Reply
      • KD

        From the American Dietetic Association: "It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes."

        Also, the USDA recommends protein, not meat.

        July 3, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Reply
  6. t3chsupport

    Hunters do a TON for conservation. The most I see environmentalists do is complain about what everyone else is doing, but hunters go out and GET IT DONE. Some examples of things I did in my youth, volunteering with organizations such as the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, and Oregon Hunters Association –

    -Plant aspen saplings for miles along riverbanks
    -Build barbed wire enclosures around mature aspen stands
    (aspen bark is a food source for deer and elk in the winter when they can't get to grass, cows tend to eat it, and then there's none for the cervids in the hard winter months.)
    -Pick up trash in the wilderness
    -Raise THOUSANDS of dollars through fund raisers and banquets, that hunters from counties around travel to, in order to raise money to preserve wetlands and wilderness.
    -rescue orphaned critters from road kills, and raise them to be able to be released back into the wild.
    -reporting, collecting, and destroying invasive plant species

    Those were just a few things. What do other 'environmentalists' do? Hold a sign (which they'll throw in the trash) and complain.

    There's a good reason I can't take those types seriously.

    July 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      This post seems to imply that the only way to be a meaningful conservationist is to hunt.

      July 3, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Reply
    • t3chsupport

      Not really, but you did hit on a key word – 'meaningful'. You can be a meaningful conservationist without being a hunter, but most of them aren't, because they really aren't all as vested in the wilderness as they think they are. Hunters have something at stake, so tend to work harder at making it all work.

      For example, take the Peregrine falcon, and falconers. The Audubon hates falconers, because they're a bunch of bird watchers, and falconers take birds from the wild and use them to hunt other birds. So they assume falconry = bad. Then you have the Peregrines going almost extinct, and falconers bringing them back from that brink by breeding them, taking young from the wild and teaching them to hunt before releasing them (falcons are never pets, always a wild animal, and usually go back to the wild after the season- birds in the wild don't have a very high chance of making it to adulthood even when the population is healthy). So hunters may have completely saved the species, and all the Audubon Society wanted to do was take donations and complain about falconers.

      It's different when you have something you love on the line, versus something you are in love with the idea of being in love with.

      July 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply
    • lena

      We shouldn't kill and eat animals in the first place and then we wouldn't need hunters to do all these things. Switching to a plant-based diet would free up most of our tillable land; will protect the forests from cutting; we would preserve 70% of our fresh water (that is how much we use for meat and dairy production); we would not use so much pesticides and chemicals; we will protect our rivers, lakes and oceans... read some of the reports that started revealing the damages done to our planet by eating an animal based diet. Hopefully the doctors will also accept and look into the plant-based diet. All it takes is for the governmental departments to start a research and compare vegans verses meat-eaters. They will be surprised by how much healthier we vegans are….

      July 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Reply
      • t3chsupport

        You seem to think that a plant based diet means animals won't still die.
        They do. All the time. Animals die every day for you food. Is the life of a deer more valuable than that of the mouse or rabbit that was caught up in the combine that harvested your vegetables? What about those animals that live on that land you want to till, they still need to eat as well.

        There's a saying I really like, "If 'ifs' and 'buts' were candies and nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas". Meaning, you can say 'if people would blah blah blah' all you want, but you're not helping anything at all, and your ideals really aren't even as ideal as you think they are.

        July 3, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Reply
        • Orion307

          OK so we go to plant-based diet. Farming increases substantially causing more use of pest/herbicides, increased erosion etc. Now since hunting has become unpopular for management of numbers populations explode and in return we have wholesale killing of those wild animals to "protect" the crops. Furthermore your statement on saving the forests is ludicrous. The litigation of timber sales across the country for the last 50 years has created extremely unhealthy habitats. Damaging all types of flora/fuana. Hence the catastrophic fires occurring in the mtn states right now.

          July 3, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
      • Primal 4 Life

        You are 100% wrong and this is backed by proven science. Please just shut up.

        July 3, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Reply
  7. PIGNEWTONS

    HUNTING IS NOT A SPORT. "Sport is when individuals or teams compete against each other under equal circumstances to determine who is better at a given game or endeavor. Hunting will be a sport when deer, elk, bears, and ducks are given 12-gauge shotguns."

    July 3, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Reply
    • Tim

      Who said it was a sport?

      July 3, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Reply
      • hunters are anti-wildlife terrorists

        You hunters did. Why do you call yourselves "sportsmen"? You don't really think dressing up in camo and shooting wild animals dead from a safe distance away with your high powered rifle is considered a sport now do ya? It it was a sport, it would be considered a sport for cowards who love killing wildlife.

        July 3, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Reply
    • 2el8

      Spare us of your own definitions of a word. Sport (or, in the United States, sports) is all forms of competitive physical activity which,[1] through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical fitness and provide entertainment to participants.[2] Hundreds of sports exist, from those requiring only two participants, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals.

      July 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  8. possum

    I pretty much agree with her views but would point out that one is probably more likely to get trichinosis from bear meat than from pork and there is also tularemia from rabbits. I would add fish to the menu – I have a little less compassion for them.

    Antibiotic use in agriculture is a major factor in the development of resistance. Bacteria trade resistance genes like kids used to trade baseball cards. It takes a prescription to get an antibiotic like cipro at the local pharmacy but only a 20 dollar bill to get a few pounds of it at your local feed store – same drug. I believe the impact of hormone use is largely unexplored but is probably similar.

    After seeing the movie of folks using an end loader to move a downed cow, I have real problem eating beef. At least I am doing my own dirty work when I pop a squirrel or arrow a doe. I smell the warm guts and get their blood on my hands. I know that they died so that I could eat and am grateful for that fact. OTOH thee are those that are incredibly smart and I admire their will to live.

    July 3, 2012 at 11:40 am | Reply
    • lena

      A vegan diet is the best. Not only it boosts the immune system, but it does not come with hormones, antibiotics, cholesterol, saturated fats, denatured protein, all kinds of bacteria, feces and other unwanted elements. It comes with all the vitamins and essential amino acids (some doctors still did not update themselves with the newly discovered facts about the plant-based diet, too bad). If you started to feel sorry for an animal, think about it and expand the feeling. Eventually you will feel the same about all the animals…. Eating a plant-based diet will also keep you healthier and younger...

      July 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Reply
      • Primal 4 Life

        NOPE! Not even close to the best. the Primal Blueprint is superior to the vegan diet in every possible way. This is an undeniable fact.

        July 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  9. wildone

    People like Sarah Palin and Dick Chaney should not be allowed to hunt. They give hunting a bad name.

    July 3, 2012 at 11:40 am | Reply
  10. wildone

    I hunt. I kill. I eat what I kill. As far as I'm concerned, Lily is spot on. But, unfortunately those who detest hunting and raise their angry voices against it will someday outnumber those who support it. Just like Presidential elections, the majority isn't always right. Hunting for ones meat is the purest form of naturalism that one can achieve. As a hunter, I am one with the natural world and have a deep respect for the animals that provide me with nourishment. Can you say the same when you buy your meat that is prepackaged and of unknown origin and quality? I think not. The deer I kill during the hunting season provides me and my family with a years worth of meat and helps keep them off the hood of your car.

    July 3, 2012 at 11:33 am | Reply
    • Mike

      Yes, your respect is so deep that you put a chunk metal through its body. How "natural."

      July 3, 2012 at 11:40 am | Reply
      • wildone

        I guess you would prefer to hit it with your 2000 pound car and share your front seat with a deer. Be my guest.

        July 3, 2012 at 11:42 am | Reply
        • Mike

          Ah, so now you are an officer of protection, gallantly shielding citizens from the destruction of the deer. I salute you!

          July 3, 2012 at 11:46 am |
        • wildone

          And I as well salute you. With a one-fingered salute and a "raspberry" trumpet call.

          July 3, 2012 at 11:54 am |
      • John

        What is unnatural about choosing to be an active member in the food chain? Is it not as natural as it gets?

        July 3, 2012 at 11:47 am | Reply
      • possum

        The species evolved a brain and tool making to make up for our stubby teeth, puny little nails and relatively poor running ability (good endurance but poor speed). The result is a Hoyt or Browning. Shrimp and oysters are animals just the same as cattle and plants are living too. Try as I may, I can't come up with a good recipe for rocks that does not involve something that was once living.

        July 3, 2012 at 11:48 am | Reply
        • Mike

          The issue here is not whether something is alive, it's whether it is sentient.

          July 3, 2012 at 11:55 am |
        • wildone

          "A rock feels no pain. And an island never cries."

          July 3, 2012 at 11:57 am |
      • Tim

        So it's MORE natural at a slaughter house?

        July 3, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  11. John

    One very important difference to consider with hunting compared to a natural ecosystem is this: In a natural ecosystem, it's survival of the fittest. The old, sick and crippled animals can't compete for food and can't escape from predators as well as the fittest, so they get eaten. Only the strongest animals survive to reproduce. Over time, the herd or flock gets stronger and better adapted to their environment. After hunters are introduced in this ecosystem, they mostly want to take home the biggest goose, duck or that trophy buck. By taking the strongest, most fit individuals from the herd, over time the herd gets weaker and less adapted, leading to decline. Hunters need to take the weaker animals if they truly want to be conservationists.

    July 3, 2012 at 11:27 am | Reply
    • Chrissy

      John,
      Regardless of what I think of your comment, you should know that the common use of "Survival of the Fittest" is incorrect. In science, it actually refers to one's ability to reproduce, i.e., someone with 5 offspring is more 'fit' than someone with just 3. When people use this term incorrectly, it's like nails on a chalkboard to me!

      July 3, 2012 at 11:41 am | Reply
    • Also John

      John- I find your comments interesting...I can tell you are not a hunter, and that is not to be condescending, just merely an observation. To say hunters alter the health of a herd of deer of flock of birds is simply unfounded in any sort of research. Let's take snow geese, for example. Their overpopulation has reached an almost epidemic level that is resulting in average adult weight being significantly less than it was a decade ago, because there are too many birds for their arctic habitat. If there was not a special conservation season for these waterfowl, who knows how much the situation would have been exacerbated. Also, to generalize hunters together as wanting to harvest the biggest of everything they can seems unfair to me. I think if you asked most hunters about their most memorable hunts, many would tell you of a great sunrise enjoyed with friends. Thanks.

      July 3, 2012 at 11:45 am | Reply
    • FishMonger

      Mike, I understand where you are coming from with your argument about survival of the fittest however a very small percentage of animals today have any natural predator other than man. As a result populations grow unchecked, disease spread quickly and overgrazing leads to nutritional issues. Additionally, regulated hunting provides financial support to the vast majority of wildlife management (Depts of Natural Resources) today. Like it or not hunters are necessary to the existence of many species today.

      July 3, 2012 at 11:47 am | Reply
    • wherecanigetsomeobjectivity

      If you have ever hunted, particularly birds you would know that it is near impossible to choose the "quality" of your game. It is simply too hard to identify if it is the appropriate species, and legal (male female) before your shot opportunity is gone. As for big game, 97% of hunters are public land hunters. That "trophy buck" hunter you see is the product of television and we all know what the reality of those on TV is.....not very close to everyday people like you and me.

      If it was all about "trophy" hunting then states would not provide tags for females or have antler restrictions such as "spike only" on males.

      July 3, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Reply
    • t3chsupport

      That's an assumption of someone who doesn't know anything about hunting.

      Not all hunters are only out for the trophy, they're actually a minority. And I'll tell you why, because it's very easy to see.

      Most hunters want some meat in the freezer. Hunting season only lasts so long. I don't know what you think about deer and elk, but the ones from my neck of the woods somehow KNOW when it is hunting season, and they get the hell out of dodge for the most part. So you've got a hunter who's been out in the woods for a few days, it's cold and wet, and where the hell are the animals? THERE'S ONE SHOOT IT! Who cares if it's a little spike buck or Bambi's dad, they just want to fill their tag.

      Exclusive trophy hunters are their own breed of people, but they certainly don't represent most hunters.

      July 3, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
    • PelhamPete

      Well-said John and I'm REALLY glad you brought up this point. It is the extent that a hunter will seek out and kill ONLY the genetically weaker animals - the animals that would have otherwise been killed and eaten by mountain lions, etc. - that is the extent to which they are participating in the natural system. Otherwise they are acting absolutely against it … and I have yet to meet a hunter that has shown a sensitivity to this concern, much less been aware of it prior to my pointing it out to them.
      No animal can outrun a bullet or survive having both of their lungs collapsed by an arrow, ETC. therefore humans hunting can never be a part of a truly wise wildlife management program.

      July 3, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Reply
    • Jack

      Hunting seasons are timed so they do not interfere with breeding season. Genes of the strong and fit carry on. There's no net impact to the genepool.

      July 3, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  12. Chris

    As a hunter and fisher with an anthropological background, this argument has sparked my interest. Especially the statement, "why do we still have to cause screaming and pain when we can be healthy and happy without doing it? it's the 21st century... time to elevate ourselves higher. .... be humane (humane means no killing)" I get it, there is a concern for the death of an animal and the suffering. A true hunter knows that its about the best shot, not the first shot, so there is no suffering. However, I am more intrigued by the idea that we would be elevating ourself higher by becoming vegan or vegetarian... if i am understanding that statement correctly, retracing our evolutionary footsteps by about 3.5 million years would be elevating ourself? Elevating ourselves should involve moving forward, not backward... it should involve embracing the fact that we succeeded as a species and we are not still trying to remove ants and termites from their homes using a stick. Also, before you bash hunters, you should become informed, I will not say much about your lifestyle because I am not fully informed, all i know is that it is not for me, if it makes you happy good for you, thats what this life is about, being happy. Happiness to me is sunrise over duck decoys or white tail running through the woods. to each his own, right?

    July 3, 2012 at 11:23 am | Reply
    • lena

      Elevating ourselves means elevating to a higher level of conscious, be more compassionate and loving – we must treat others as we wish to be treated. We elevated when we stopped the sacrificing of others, slavery, implementing the human rights and others. If you think that killing animals is not in the same category, how come we love our pets and know that they have pain and are smart and love life…. In China is normal to torture and eat dogs – the more they torture the more they think the meat tastes better…. I am happy when I know someone else (including an animal) is happy… but I guess you are of a different kind…

      July 3, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
      • Primal 4 Life

        OMG what an absolutely pathetic philosophy. There is no end goal of humanity. There is no requirement to become what you think humanity should become. People like you are the scum of the earth.

        I'll hunt till the day I die and while I am enjoying my harvests I'll think of losers like you and laugh.

        July 3, 2012 at 11:49 am | Reply
    • lena

      People in China are also very happy when they eat the ‘tasty’ flesh of a tortured dog. I’ve been vegan for 6 years, I don’t need to eat ants and termites and I’m healthier than ever. They might taste good, but not necessary for our diet. Humans started eating them not because they needed them, otherwise me and many other people, some who were vegans all their lives, would be dead by now. I also raised 2 children with no meat and dairy in the fridge and both excel in arts, music and very intelligent. I wish you could see them or I could send you some of their work  They are not skinny either

      July 3, 2012 at 11:48 am | Reply
      • Primal 4 Life

        Sorry Vegans are not as healthy as people who eat properly raised animal products. That is an undeniable fact. You can take your holier than thou arrogance and stick it you know where.

        July 3, 2012 at 11:51 am | Reply
        • guest

          really?? you can say that you don't want to be vegan or vegetarian, and I respect that. but you need to study your health science. Vegans are extremely healthy people, unless they don't eat properly. which is true for all types of eaters. my vegetarian 10 year old goes to the doctor once ayear, for a physical, where she is in the 90th percentile for height and weight and is in perfect health. she's never had a stomach "virus" and missed school one day for a cold. I can't find a single omnivore or carnivore friend of hers who is as healthy. go figure...

          July 3, 2012 at 11:59 am |
        • guest

          i respect your desire to eat meat, but your science has no factual basis. my vegetarian 10 year old goes to the doctor once a year, for a check up, and she is in the 90th percentile for height and weight and is very healthy. she never has gotten a stomach "virus" and missed one day of school for a "cold". I cannot think of one omnivore or carnivore friend of hers with such a great track record. also, colon cancer runs in my family, and my doctors are very happy that i eat a plant based diet to reduce my risks of getting that disease.

          July 3, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
        • IgnoreThem

          Primal4Life, grow up. The vegan diet works for her and her kids, and it does work quite well for many others. Maybe you should stick it and stick it hard.

          July 3, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
        • Primal 4 Life

          So sad. My comment is 100% correct and backed by science. Do some research for yourself. I feel sorry for your kids.

          July 3, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  13. Snorlax

    Every vegan I know is a retard. EVERY one.

    July 3, 2012 at 11:16 am | Reply
    • Mike

      Mature.

      July 3, 2012 at 11:18 am | Reply
    • John

      You must REALLY be a vegan.

      July 3, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
    • guest

      name them, please, and explain in what way they are retarded. Einstein? Ghandi? Socrates?

      July 3, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • sam stone

      wow. such a convincing argument....

      July 3, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  14. Hypatia

    Pretty girl. Too bad about the brain damage.

    July 3, 2012 at 11:09 am | Reply
  15. Cookie

    When you try to justify hunting by combining all the different points, which, by the way, are all well-known, you get a very superficial argument. The resulting word "ethical" becomes pretty much meaningless. You can argue against each and every one of the 5 points and worse, most if not all the points are not complementary with each other. Many people who are against factory farming are so because of compassionate and not environmental reasons – food factory might actually create a smaller overall footprint on the environment., etc. etc.

    So my conclusion is that the author dump her her claim as a "environmentalist, loud an proud" and just say that she's a "hunter, plain and simple"..

    July 3, 2012 at 11:02 am | Reply
    • Primal 4 Life

      Just completely wrong.

      July 3, 2012 at 11:53 am | Reply
  16. Obsthetimes

    I agree with the writer but her viewpoint can be an answer only for a few.
    Reason being, every wild animal in the world would have to be killed and that would still not satiate the human appetite for meat. Farming animals is the only way to do that. The real answer it to reduce meat consumption. Consume it once/twice a week at most.

    July 3, 2012 at 10:50 am | Reply
    • lena

      meat and animals products is like alcohol or chocolate or sweets.... if you like it and you are not strong enough you will eventually eat more... we crave what we have in the blood. when one quits eating animal protein, in a matter of weeks the taste buds change and you don't crave it anymore. Why not eliminate completely animals products from our diet..... cooked blood is still blood... we are not vampires...

      July 3, 2012 at 10:57 am | Reply
      • Fred Evil

        You sound like a mental patient lena. If I go off meat for a period, I'm simply going to eat twice what I missed when I'm allowed to go back.
        Meat TASTES GOOD!
        Why be at the top of the food chain, if you can't enjoy the fruits of such a position?
        Seriously, just turn in your incisors and canines if all you're going to do is chew your cud.

        July 3, 2012 at 11:03 am | Reply
        • Mike

          Fred I doubt you could be any more shallow if you tried.

          July 3, 2012 at 11:04 am |
        • lena

          i bet you are very proud of your name 'Fred Evil' and consider yourself mentally stable... i wish we would have less like you

          July 3, 2012 at 11:09 am |
        • Fred Evil

          Sure I could Mike, I could trot out all sorts of silly hyperbole about the sanctity of 'eating vegan' or I could wax eloquent on the 'emotional high' I get from eating leaves and twigs.
          Shallow works for me just as well as duma$$ seems to work for you.
          I, and my family, eat well and live better.
          Hope that puts a twig in your craw!

          July 3, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
        • Fred Evil

          Sure I could, I could pretend to be 'holier than thou' like the rest of you vegans tw 1ts.

          July 3, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
      • Nick A

        lena your argument is weak... The only reason humans are where they are today is becasue we EAT meat... Our brains would never have developed to what it is today without meat protein... I assume if the human race went vegetarian as you are suggesting, in a few million years we would probably revert back to some subspecies... use it or lose it....

        July 3, 2012 at 11:04 am | Reply
        • Mike

          Nick your argument would be much more persuasive if we were still int he early stages of human evolution. We aren't. It's time to grow up.

          July 3, 2012 at 11:09 am |
        • lena

          I think we use only about 3% of our brain... do you think that if we didn't search and kill (which does not require too much science) but instead grown our grains, vegetables and fruits, we would be more limited? An European study shows that vegetarians (vegans) children have a higher IQ by about 15%. All the philosophers and great inventors were vegetarians. (Leonardo Da Vincy, Einstein, Plato, Socrates, Pythagoras and many others.) Animal protein changes the negative charge of our red cells and they clot to each other. When 2 red cells are clotted, they will never go through a capillary and all of our bodily cells will suffer from oxygen and nutrients deficiency and their waste and carbon dioxide will not be removed. Especially suffers our brain and skin…. I wish I had more time to bring the facts…. and English is not my first language.

          July 3, 2012 at 11:21 am |
        • ONTHunter

          @Lena...Unfortunately, its this philosophy that will eventually be the downfall of the human race. A bunch of smart asses that are too "smart" for manual labor. The skilled trades are what keeps any economy moving. Look at the US's top exports...(Oil/Fuel, cars, wheat/grains, lumber)...all blue collar jobs that everyone is too lazy, sorry, too smart, to do.

          July 3, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
      • Ratt

        Lena Honey, stop lying, Man was made to eat meat, get over it.

        July 3, 2012 at 11:09 am | Reply
        • lena

          I'm sure the cannibals think that Man was made to eat Man

          July 3, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • lena

      animal products are like alcohol, drugs, chocolate and sweets..... if you are not strong enough you will end up eating more. We crave what we have in our blood. When one quits eating all animal products, in a matter of weeks the taste buds change and you no longer crave it... The plant based food really becomes tasty. let's admit, eating cooked blood is no different than eating raw blood and we are not vampires

      July 3, 2012 at 11:02 am | Reply
      • Fred Evil

        lena, you and your argument are a joke. In one post you insist that after a few weeks, your body simply 'stops craving meat' and then you no longer need it, yet in another you say that you have to be strong always.
        Which is it, do you need a moment to get your B S story straight?

        July 3, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  17. rh

    Killing your own dinner is just like doing your own dentistry or surgery. You aren't an expert, there will be a lot of suffering while you become one, and at the end of it, you'll wonder why you bothered in the first place.

    I think it is more ethical to have an industry that keeps improving its treatment of animals, and not letting everybody make their own decisions on the lives of animals. I know people who work at slaughterhouses, and they do care if animals suffer. Some of them have worked on improving kill methods to be virtually instantaneous.

    Hunt if you want to, I am against it but I don't think it should be banned. But don't make believe there is somehow a "better" associated with hunting versus the meat industry, you're fooling yourself.

    July 3, 2012 at 10:46 am | Reply
    • Mike

      Keeps improving? The entire meat industry is hell-bent on hiding the incredible suffering endured by animals. They fight tooth and nail against every single animal welfare improvement. Clearly, you have never been in a slaughterhouse.

      July 3, 2012 at 10:49 am | Reply
    • lena

      of course eating meat can not be banned... not even God interferes with our free will. We should learn to detect what bad habits we picked up from our ancestors and eliminate them.... We've done well with human scarifies, slavery, human rights..... Killing is not something you would want to teach your children..... Killing humans and animals is not right... it kills our noble qualities.... No child would kill a cat or a dog or a chicken or a piglet unless he/she was a hunter in the previous life. in many cases these are people who kill people when the opportunity comes along

      July 3, 2012 at 10:53 am | Reply
    • Obsthetimes

      You're missing the point. I once killed a chicken with my bare hands, under supervision. My instructor told me exactly how to slit its throat and the right amount of force to apply to the knife. The bird flapped and bled for about a minute. It had a profound impact on me. I am not against consuming meat, but modern breeding methods have totally removed us from the suffering of animals. To your point the answer is to reduce meat consumption since every wild animal in the world could be killed and mankind would still need infinitely more.

      July 3, 2012 at 10:54 am | Reply
    • DW

      rh, you are so wrong in so many ways. You should visit a factory farm someday. See the sick animals that are grain fed, not allowed to wander and graze, stand on concrete all day and then have their short lives ended in hideous ways. I don't want you to hunt if you don't want to, but don't comment on things you don't know about. When I take an animal it is a quick and humane put down that is well thought out and helps keep the animal population healthy and in check (because we have killed off all the natural predators in order to protect our cattle). For you to imply that somehow hunting and harvesting an animal in the wild is more savage than what is done in the factory farms and slaughter houses just shows a total lack of knowlege on the subject.

      July 3, 2012 at 10:59 am | Reply
    • Lala

      You obviously know little about hunting or the massive meat market and how they slaughter. I would rather be shot by a hunter (like my Dad or brother) then be dismembered while still alive after receiving only a shock that barely stemmed the massive fear from hearing and knowing what is to come. Educate yourself before you speak, and we'll all be better off.

      July 3, 2012 at 10:59 am | Reply
      • What?

        You are the one who needs 'educating'.

        You know nothing – absolutely nothing – about how animals are slaughtered in the U.S. or you wouldn't have made such an absolutely ignorant, uninformed, and blatantly untruthful statement.

        July 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Reply
    • FishMonger

      RH, spoken like someone who as never been closer to a slaughter house than the meat counter at Whole Foods. Commercial meat processing is about efficient production, not ethical ways of killing and bleeding.

      July 3, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
  18. Public Reproval

    i am 100% vegan 100% of the time and have been vegetarian then vegan since 1976 when i was 14 (i'm 50).
    i respect hunters who take responsibility for their murder much more than i respect "animal lovers" who "could never kill anything" but have no problem buying their carcass wrapped up in styrofoam and plastic.

    July 3, 2012 at 10:45 am | Reply
    • Fred Evil

      "i am 100% vegan 100% of the time"
      Sorry to hear that, hope you get better soon!

      July 3, 2012 at 11:03 am | Reply
      • lena

        did anyone tell you that you are Evil? :)

        July 3, 2012 at 11:10 am | Reply
      • lena

        People who have limited wisdom and Evil stuck to them mislead others since the beginning of time… as a result we all suffered

        July 3, 2012 at 11:13 am | Reply
        • Fred Evil

          Those who fear a label (such as a name) are the ones who get stuck drinking spiked kool-aid made by someone else.
          Enjoy your cup!

          July 3, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  19. Mike

    Humans have no biological need to eat meat. Once that basic fact is accepted, all killing of sentient animals becomes barbaric.

    July 3, 2012 at 10:45 am | Reply
    • What?

      You, like everyone else, is entitled to your own opinion. There is nothing wrong with that, and I thing everybody here would agree.

      However, when you try to 'push' your opinion on everybody else, or insist that "your way" is the only 'right' way, and that everybody who doesn't see things that way is "wrong", then you just make a complete and total a _ _ of yourself. And you're doing a fantastic job of that, you deserve a raise.

      July 3, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  20. lena

    Hunters are actually not an important part of maintaining natural populations..... I've never heard of a newly found island or a wild place where humans did not set their foot to have problems with 'natural population'. Nature balances itself if humans don't interfere and everyone eats what they are meant to eat by nature. Humans are herbivorous and I mean ALL humans. Some just have a stronger DNA and do not develop diseases as earlier as others from animal protein. Animal products kill and I am glad more and more research and experiments are done recently on the health of vegans verses meat eaters. For example, diabetes can be healed in about a month on a vegan diet. Our intestine is herbivorous…. and we should learn compassion and love in this lifetime, otherwise is a waste of time.

    July 3, 2012 at 10:40 am | Reply
    • Scott Kloehn

      First off, I respect your veganism and fully understand the environmental benefits of veganism. However, it is dangerous to put the idea out there that veganism will cure dieases like diabetes. There are different types of diabetes some of which can not be cured by diet. The Inuet eat diets largely based on meat and show little signs of heat disease and diabetes. I recommend reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. Also, humans are omnivores and we evolved that way as evidenced by tools and animal bones found at ancient human garbage caches by archeologists/anthropologists.

      July 3, 2012 at 10:57 am | Reply
      • guest

        actually, you may want to check the facts about the inuet's health, i've heard very different facts, and look at their life expectancy (without modern medicine intervening, too). they also have a high rate of osteoporosis due to the high animal protein in their diet (it takes calcium out of the bloodstream to digest animal proteins).

        July 3, 2012 at 11:26 am | Reply
    • 2el8

      Do a little more research before you start posting about animal over population. Of course you never heard of animal over population because your ears are closed when that subject comes up.

      July 3, 2012 at 11:25 am | Reply
    • Ryan

      "Hunters are actually not an important part of maintaining natural populations..... I've never heard of a newly found island or a wild place where humans did not set their foot to have problems with 'natural population'. Nature balances itself if humans don't interfere..."

      Would it help you if I refer to myself as a predator rather than a hunter? I don't interfere with nature I am a part of it. You have some interesting beliefs but the main one seems to revolve around your own smug sense of superiority. Not everyone can, or wants to live as you do. Go to Mongolia and try to convince the nomadic peoples there to become as "enlightened" as you are. Try to convince a Lakota of the evils of his ancestor's ways.

      July 3, 2012 at 11:50 am | Reply
    • ONTHunter

      Lena, you are misunderstanding the point of population control. Yes, nature does balance itself out. If there are too many wolves, they will eat more deer that can be reproduced. With no food, the wolves will die of starvation and the deer population will recover. Same thing goes with the deer's diet of vegetation...if there are too many deer, they will eat too much of the foliage and deer will die of starvation. By allowing hunting, those deer that would die of starvation and be wasted, are harvested and consumed by humans. Hunters also help control the predator population, thus preserving the smaller animals like deer, rabbits, etc.

      July 3, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  21. lena

    Whenever humans interfered with nature they ruined it. Humans were not supposed to kill animals for food. Check what the Bible had to say originally (2nd page). Check what Socrates, Einstein, Plato, Leonardo Da Vinci, Pythagoras, Buda and most of the great minds that brought invention to our world had to say about killing animals. They were vegetarians..... and their brain capacity exceed ours.

    July 3, 2012 at 10:18 am | Reply
    • Larry

      Last I checked, humans were part of nature. How can their "interference" be any different than other animals of nature? I understand that as a whole humans are idiots, self-serving morons that don't think ahead or see the big picture, but the fact remains that they ARE a part of nature, pure and simple. This planet will not be able to sustain all of its inhabitants for much longer because humans, with their superior intelligence, continue to discover ways to keep us alive longer, unnaturally, and therefore will continue to put pressure on the food supplies, clean air and water, etc.

      July 3, 2012 at 10:53 am | Reply
    • Hunter

      Once man defied God's order NOT to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (original sin), God was the first to kill an animal, part of His own creation. He did so to cover man and woman, as they now, for the first time recognized that they were naked. From that time, man was given the right to kill to eat. He was later commanded to kill as an atoning sacrifice for his sins.
      As a hunter, I hunt both for sport and for the meat. I hunt only what I and my family will eat, or can give to another for food. The meat processor I use donates the hides from deer to be used to make leather gloves for veterans. They also have a program to donate any meat not wanted by a hunter to feed the hungry. I make a point to thank God for both the game harvested and the ability and freedom to hunt.

      July 3, 2012 at 11:20 am | Reply
    • FishMonger

      That probably explains why there are so many prehistoric cave drawings of people eating roots, fruit and vegetables. Seriously, I have no doubt that you know very little about what "most" great minds had to say about eating meat.

      July 3, 2012 at 11:57 am | Reply
  22. derp

    You might to explain this to the female dear that stumbled into my backyard yesterday with a gaping gunshot wound through it's upper chest and front leg. Some jack as s shot it out of season, but missed enough of it to seriously wound it, but not kill it.

    That's why I think hunting them is barbaric.

    July 3, 2012 at 10:17 am | Reply
    • Dan

      That's not typical of most hunters. It would be a shame if you judge all hunters by what this one person did. I hunt, but if I knew the person that did this I would be the first to call law enforcement on them.

      July 3, 2012 at 10:19 am | Reply
    • rh

      It is like everything else, they want to make their own decisions to the extent that they ignore the consequences.

      My child just had her tonsils out, and I had a doctor do it. Maybe I could have done it, but there would have been a lot of suffering.

      Hunting for sport is just an excuse for transferring a need to hurt humans to a need to hurt other living things. Hunting for food is bullcrap for 99.99999% of people.

      July 3, 2012 at 10:48 am | Reply
      • Lala

        Your numbers lie. Remove yourself from the city and then you'll see entire families living off of what Daddy hunts and kills.

        July 3, 2012 at 11:02 am | Reply
      • Hairless Ape

        rh – Really – every hunter is a repressed human killer??? You have taken this argument to a new level of absurdity.

        July 3, 2012 at 11:23 am | Reply
    • guest

      sad, and these stories aren not uncommon. people are warned to stay out of the woods during hunting season lest they be shot "by accident", and so many dogs and livestock animals get shot during hunting season that it is ridiculous. and let's not forget that great hunter Dick Cheny who shot his friend in the face!!!

      July 3, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
    • FishMonger

      Derp, first of all, unless you are a forensic pathologist familiar with gunshots and was close enough to examine the wound, you are in no position to determine what caused the injury to the deer. More likely a car than a gunshot, Second, hunters and law enforcement have a name for people who chose to shoot animals out of season: criminals. On a related topic, I would be willing to bet that most of the arrests of people who shoot/trap/kill animals out of season are made as a result of hunters turning them in to law enforcement in the first place.

      July 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Reply
    • Rob

      First of all that is a poacher not a hunter and every hunter hates poachers. Also for every animal out there that is wounded by a hunter there is a heck of a lot more running around with gaping wounds from predators(coyotes, wolves, lions, cats) that didn't get the job done.

      July 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Reply
  23. Lee

    While I'm sure some hunters are passionate about the environment and thus, avoid factory farmed meat, most groups that support (or rather, PROFIT off of hunting) use the 'environmental' angle as an excuse to enjoy their hobby. Hunters–more than anything–love the thrill of dominating another species, and of taking life. At the end of the day, a life is a life, and murder is murder–whether you aim your gun at a deer or a human being. Humans don't need meat to survive and thrive.

    July 3, 2012 at 10:15 am | Reply
    • gager

      When you don't know something you just make it up. Your post is nonsense.

      July 3, 2012 at 10:20 am | Reply
      • Lee

        I actually know several hunters, and my dad is an ex-hunter.

        July 3, 2012 at 10:24 am | Reply
        • Ryan

          Then you either know some pretty bad people, or you learned absolutely nothing from them. As long as you are indicting people for hunting perhaps you would like to go ahead and indict the entire Native American culture, particularly the tribes of the great plains. Yes, those people had no appreciation for the land or nature. You are typical of those sorts of judgmental people who want to tell everyone else how to live. Makes you feel superior does it?

          July 3, 2012 at 10:47 am |
        • Lala

          From what you wrote, I certainly wouldn't consider your dad a "hunter" in any capacity.

          July 3, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • rh

      It's not just that we don't need meat, it's that we don't need meat that is hunted down and injured then dies at some point.

      I am an omnivore, and know people in the slaughterhouse industry as well as livestock farmers. There is a heck of a lot of care that goes into making sure animals that end up on our table don't suffer.

      I used to fish as a kid, until I realized how much suffering the fish went through. It may be "fun" but I can play sports or a video game and have as much fun.

      The "god syndrome" is a huge part of hunting – power over another's life. Any hunter, or fisherman for that matter, who tells you otherwise is a liar.

      July 3, 2012 at 10:51 am | Reply
      • Hairless Ape

        Wow, your idiocy knows no bounds. No all hunters are liars...

        July 3, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply
      • Hunter

        rh – Since you are so against suffering... How do you feel about abortion? Do babies feel their bodies being sucked apart while still alive? Do they feel scissors being inserted at the base of their skulls and twisted to end their lives? Do you justify this suffering for the sake of convenience or human rights?

        July 3, 2012 at 11:27 am | Reply
    • Sasquatch

      So you're saying you would treat a pet dog or cat with the same love as a son or daughter? Also, I wonder how many murders you have committed by killing poor defenseless insects. You should be on death row by now! Oh right, you probably don't believe that murder should be taken care of with capitol punishment.

      July 3, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  24. curtis

    I have a question for tree huggers. Are only CERTAIN animals worthy of killing? Like rats and roaches? Or do we not kill anything? Arent plants living things too? Im serious these are not rhetorical questions

    July 3, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
    • Mike

      Hard to imagine you are too serious when you use the term tree-hugger.

      July 3, 2012 at 10:21 am | Reply
    • Lee

      Hi Curtis–compassionate people who support animal rights don't believe in killing rats or cockroaches either ;) Animals (including humans) are sentient beings (any living creature who has developed enough consciousness and awareness to experience feelings, particularly suffering). Plants are alive, but they aren't sentient beings. Not only is eating a plant-based diet humane and ethical–but it is also THE best way to support the environment and better your health.

      July 3, 2012 at 10:23 am | Reply
    • Cookie

      Figures to have at least one person offering this kind of comment. As far as we know, plants do not have brains and do not experience fear and pain.

      July 3, 2012 at 10:26 am | Reply
    • rh

      Hunting is by definition an activity that leads to suffering. There are too many variables in place to ensure a clean kill.

      I eat meat, and know that animals are killed so I can have my burgers and ribs. But there is a huge difference between a bull getting killed in a slaughterhouse, where there are regulations about making sure suffering is a minimum, and shooting at something that is trying to get away.

      Hunting is you playing God, period. It only exists because certain people feel powerless in their lives and interactions with humans, so killing an animal makes them feel better. Hunting for sport or food is meaningless for most people.

      Saying that hunting is traditional and therefore valuable is like saying that rape is traditional and therefore valuable. We know better now.

      July 3, 2012 at 10:55 am | Reply
      • Lee

        While I agree with your thoughts about hunting, you should know that there is also a GREAT DEAL of suffering with animals on factory farms and in slaughterhouses. There are also very few regulations (and any that exist are rarely enforced) in order to reduce farm animal suffering.

        July 3, 2012 at 11:02 am | Reply
      • Hunter

        rh – You said "Hunting for sport or food is meaningless for most people." What makes you qualified to know the inner thoughts of "most people"?
        MANY hunters place great value on the hunt even more than they do the kill. MANY hunters go so far as to consider a hunt succesful even when they never fired a shot or sent an arrow flying. There is a commaraderie between hunters that goes far beyond slapping high fives after an animal is down. There is a respect both for the animal and its environment. There is a bonding of hunters that takes place in nature that goes beyond the understanding of "antis". I respect your right to choose to not hunt, but please, don't pretend to know the minds of those who choose to hunt. I'll admit there are "bad apples" in every sub-group of people. MANY hunters look down on those who call themselves hunters who do not follow ethical and lawful pursuit of game animals. We also try to distance ourselves from those folks who don't respect the animals we hunt and the environment where they live.

        July 3, 2012 at 11:42 am | Reply
  25. GeoScba

    Very well written article. I've had family and friends my entire life that hunted and fished. Personally, I'm a fisher myself, but I've been thinking about getting into small game hunting near my house. I like the idea of knowing where my food is coming from, and having spent most of my life in cattle/pig country, I'm well acquainted with slaughter houses. I actually enjoy spending my time out looking for wild vegetables as well. I have several very good books/guides on local native edibles/medicinals. I feel more comfortable knowing that I can identify most of the good and bad things in my area. Gives me a sense of connection with the place I live.

    July 3, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply
  26. curtis

    I guess I can cook up that possum I ran over last night with some onions. A La Carte....

    July 3, 2012 at 10:11 am | Reply
    • guest

      many people do eat road kill and consider it very ethical.

      July 3, 2012 at 11:36 am | Reply
  27. Mike in Pekin

    Reason #6 (I am surprised she missed this one) – In many areas, there are not sufficient natural predators to keep the game populations healthy. I live in Illinois, and in areas where hunting occurs, the deer are plentiful, but not over abundant, and the herds are healthy. Near Chicago, where hunting can't occur due to population densities, the DNR has to come in and thin the populations to prevent them from becoming diseased. hunting

    July 3, 2012 at 10:10 am | Reply
    • DEREK

      Thats actually points #4 and #5. Conservation includes game management.

      July 3, 2012 at 10:17 am | Reply
    • guest

      one of the main reasons why there are no natural predators is because they have all been killed by hunters or the government. you should know that the states' fish and game people manipulate the environment to ensure that there is a surplus of "game" animals to hunt. they plant things that deer love to eat and get rid of species that interfere with the "game" animals, such as killing off the wild horses and burros out west. I have a house in Pa. and can't believe how many deer have 2 or 3 fawns with them at a time. that shouldn't happen , but it does because there is too much food. there are also non-lethal ways to control animal populations, including contraceptives which can be placed in feed.

      July 3, 2012 at 11:40 am | Reply
  28. Chuck

    White tailed deer are extremely overpopulated in North America, especially in the suburban northeast, and are destroying the environment every day they're allowed to roam without the predators that controlled them in the past. Many are skin and bones much of the year, and die by the millions of starvation during the harsher winters. They come through the forest like locusts, wiping out the vital undergrowth that tens of millions of birds, butterflies, and other animals depend on for food and shelter. Native plants can tolerate an occasional deer population spike, but year after year of heavy foraging causes the extirpation (local extinction) of these plants. To make matters worse, this foraging leaves room for exotic, non-native and inedible invasive plants to grow like crazy. These exotic plants are "ecological deserts", providing very little shelter and almost no food for native species of birds, butterflies, and other wildlife to survive, causing population crashes (and eventually extinctions). For more information, read "Bringing Nature Home" by Douglas W Tallamy, ISBN-13 ending in 9928

    July 3, 2012 at 10:09 am | Reply
    • Cookie

      "...They come through the forest like locusts..." - My god, you certainly know how to use words. "Locusts" to describe deer population? Deer are overpopulated only because human beings are destroying and using up their habitat. If you give them all of 1 acre of land, just 1 deer would be considered overpopulation.

      July 3, 2012 at 10:42 am | Reply
      • Chrissy

        Cookie, you clearly don't know what you're talking about. Deer populations are exploding in most states because their populations are no longer kept in check by other predators (think: coyotes). Here in Michigan, the deer population is larger than it was a hundred years ago! Do some research before you make another inane and ignorant comment.

        July 3, 2012 at 11:04 am | Reply
        • guest

          so why did Michigan wipe out its wolf and coyote populations?????

          July 3, 2012 at 11:42 am |
        • Chrissy

          Guest,
          I think the rationale had to do with livestock and a general fear of the animals. The good news is that wolves are coming back! (well, it's good news to me:) ) A population from Minnesota has found its way to the Upper Peninsula. Also, coyotes are becoming more common throughout the state. I'm not sure how all this will turn out, and definitely state regulations will make a play, but hopefully a healthy balance can be reached again!

          July 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
  29. BrokenKnome

    Not everyone has the stomach for hunting...it's a pretty big deal to get up the nerve to pull a trigger and take a life. I dont actively hunt now but have many times in my younger years. (Partridge stew is delicious!) I dont believe in trophy hunting and everything you kill should be for food and done as humanely as possible. It's totally cool if you dont believe in hunting, but many of us dont have an issue with it. Like it or not, Hunting is necessary for the conservation of the environment and our way of life. If animal populations are not kept in check, many will starve in the winter...just as an example.

    July 3, 2012 at 10:07 am | Reply
  30. PR

    I don't shoot anything that can't shoot back...

    July 3, 2012 at 10:07 am | Reply
  31. TED DAVEY

    THE BAD NEWS ABOUT HUNTING IS THE G&F WHO HAVE OVER REGULATED IT AND NOW ARE NEEDING MONEY IN A BAD ECONOMY SO THEY ARE GETTING VERY PRONE TO WRITTING TICS FOR ANY LITTLE THING AND THE FINES ARE HORRENDOUS.

    July 3, 2012 at 9:57 am | Reply
  32. sathya

    A Lion is going to come and hunt you for food.

    July 3, 2012 at 9:50 am | Reply
    • lena

      really????? i wonder actually... maybe because we will hunt all their food and interfere with their habitat

      July 3, 2012 at 10:00 am | Reply
    • The Truth

      Thats only fair, but in the end I will win. They have teeth and claws but I have guns, other wonderful machines and a superior brain. Yay dominant specie!

      July 3, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply
      • lena

        i wonder how much we will win if all the wild animals will be used for food? hmmmmmm 6 billion people kill 60 billion animals a year..... I wouldn't want to live on this planet. I don't like it now when i know how little heart humans have – 60 billion animals tortured and killed each year....

        July 3, 2012 at 10:31 am | Reply
        • The Truth

          Please direct me to the credible and source cited publication that states 60 billion animals are tortured each year by humans. I don't see you complaining and fussing when a bear kills and eats fish and other animals when they can survive just on berries and other plants. Or instead of killing an animal quickly like a human, a wolf pack shreds an animal to death. If an animal had a choice it would rather be hunted by a human than another animal. How we kill is down right merciful compared to how other predetors kill.
          Is this a bad time to tell you even if you don't eat animals you are using their products right now? How does it feel to contribute to the death of animals to support your life? I feel pretty good and I'm going out for lunch to celebrate, yes, meat is on the menu.

          July 3, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  33. waves

    I agree with a lot of what this article has to say. Hunters do OFTEN make good conservationists, but that doesn't mean they have mystical knowledge or that they can manage the healthy populations on their own. Factory animal husbandry, though is despicable is a very efficient way of obtaining meat. I am not 100% sure that we could all just convert to hunters and provide enough food for everyone in a manageable manner. I am not saying I am right, this is just an untested hypothesis I have.

    July 3, 2012 at 9:48 am | Reply
    • Dana

      Well spoken. I'm an ecologist, and hunters are actually an important part of maintaining natural populations of many game animals, given that most natural predators that control populations of grazers have been killed off. But you are right in the sense that game populations are a limited, albeit renewable resource that has to be tightly regulated, otherwise it will be gone quickly. Everyone (not even close to everyone) can hunt for their meat.

      July 3, 2012 at 10:11 am | Reply
      • Dana

        I meant that everyone CANNOT hunt for their meat, lol.

        July 3, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply
  34. Scott Kloehn

    As I hunter I think this was a very well written statement by the author. I do, however, have to take issue with one point made in her first arguement. McCaulou states, "No land is tilled to feed a wild animal, so additional carbon isn’t released into the atmosphere." Everytime I go hunting I have to drive in my car to my favorite duck blind or backwater slough. This requires the buring of gasoline which adds fossil carbon in the form of CO2 to the atmosphere. A life-cyle assessment would be required to determine which contributes more fossil carbon to the atmosphere on a per kg of meat harvested when all processes in the life-cycle are considered.

    I recommend reading the Omnivore's Dilemma or In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan if you are interested in the benefits of eating wild game over mass produced agro-industrial meat.

    July 3, 2012 at 9:44 am | Reply
    • Robert

      Do you not drive your car to the grocery store to buy meat?

      July 3, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
      • Scott Kloehn

        Yes I do drive my car to the store to buy processed meat which obviously releases CO2 to the atmosphere. However, I only drive less than a mile or two to my urban grocery store. To drive to many of my hunting locations requires drives of 60+ miles. Again, a life-cycle assessment would be required to determine which makes more sense from a kg CO2 emmitted per kg of processes meat. I know I don't always harvest game everytime I go hunting either.

        July 3, 2012 at 10:42 am | Reply
  35. lena

    I grew up in a village in Moldova where people were killing their own animals. It was very disturbing, I would run away and plug my ears not to hear the excruciating scream of the animals being killed and my body would become weak. I remember like now seeing my neighbor cutting the head of a chicken that was screaming so loud and then jumping on the ground with no head, full in blood – I thought to myself 'how could she do it'? At that time I was told that a human being can not live without meat and dairy. When I found out that is not true, I went vegan – one of my best choices I’ve made in my life. Killing is never ethical and many philosophers and great minds kept telling us this throughout the ages. btw, killing animals for food kills our compassion, our health and our planet. The killing tendency is ingrained in us since the time we enjoyed sacrificing humans. Most people start killing people by practicing on animals.

    July 3, 2012 at 9:38 am | Reply
    • lena

      I lived for 20 years in my country where people raise their own animals 'ethically' and never killed one for my food... I couldn't even if I wanted to – too gruesome

      July 3, 2012 at 9:42 am | Reply
    • Ian

      Veganism may be ok for adults, but it isn't the best choice for kids. Kids, who do not typically eat a lot, need to consume a lot of veggies to maintain suffiicient intake of vitamin D, B12, calcium, iron. Fortunately, nature gave us meat in order to sustain ourselves and our children and save us from having to have to spend unneeded hours planning and finding plant-based substitutes so we can have more time time to spend with them.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:46 am | Reply
      • lena

        this concept was derived from researching only the animal-based diet. only recently more research is done on plant-based diet and both meat-eaters and vegans luck these vitamins. This is because we don't eat organic foods. Babies and children who are vegan are much calmer than others and their IQ is higher. Please research

        July 3, 2012 at 9:52 am | Reply
        • lena

          I wish someone will take the babies who were fed proper food and compare their health state with non-vegans. First of all, all animal protein make our body too acidic and our red cells loose their negative charge clotting to each other – this is the start of hypoxia and all of our organ failure. Two red cells clotted to each other can not pass through capillaries and all our bodily cells suffer from luck of oxygen and nutrients and their Carbon Dioxide and waste can't be removed. This is the beginning of all of our degenerative diseases, physical, mental, neuro......

          July 3, 2012 at 9:59 am |
      • tacc2

        "Kids, who do not typically eat a lot, need to consume a lot of veggies to maintain suffiicient intake of vitamin D, B12, calcium, iron."

        Your ignorance of nutrition amazes me. All the vitamin D you need can be obtained from about 10 minutes per day of exposure to sunlight. Vitamin B12 can not be obtained from plant sources. It can only be obtained through eating animal products OR in supplements where it is derived from microbial sources. You can get calcium and iron in veggies, though you don't have to eat as many as you might think if you eat the right ones. Also, you do not have to "spend unneeded hours planning and finding plant-based substitutes". If you know what you're doing it's actually pretty easy.

        July 3, 2012 at 10:18 am | Reply
      • lena

        vegans have all the vitamins and essential amino acids. For example, it is not how much one has B12, but how much of it can be absorbed or is maintained in the stomack. animal protein requres a lot of acid to be broken down, many of the vitamins are distroyed in this acidic environment. Also, animal protein coagulate our blood and it can not bring the left over B12 to our cells. As a vegan, you might have a little bit of B12 comming from organic foods (from the soil), but it will be properly absorbed and most of it will end up used.

        July 3, 2012 at 10:26 am | Reply
        • What?

          If you are not eating any foods of animal origin and you are not eating products made with 'enriched' or 'fortified' grains and you aren't eating "yeast extract", then you are not getting B12 – period!!!! THERE ARE NO PLANT SOURCES OF B12. There are a couple of B12 'precursors' found in some plants, but humans cannot convert these to the active form of the vitamin. Believe what you want to, spout what you want to, but 'vegan' coupled with 'all natural foods' is a recipe for pernicious anemia.

          July 3, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Shermski

      LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

      July 3, 2012 at 9:49 am | Reply
      • lena

        you might have made a great deal of research to laugh out so loud.....

        July 3, 2012 at 10:06 am | Reply
        • Shermski

          you lost any credibility you had with "killing animals for food kills our compassion, our health and our planet."

          July 3, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Heterotroph

      How is killing plants any different? or harvesting the fruiting bodies of fungus? They prevent the successful individual you harvested from adding it's progeny to the gene pool. These acts are still killing, and if killing is unethical than how can we eat?

      July 3, 2012 at 9:50 am | Reply
      • lena

        When you cut a branch of a plant, more will grow. When you cut the head or a leg, or an arm or anything from an animal, it won't grow back. There is also blood running everywhere..... if you compare an animal to a plant, then what’s the difference between a human and a plant?

        July 3, 2012 at 10:04 am | Reply
      • sam

        Take humans and strip them of their tools. Now imagine trying to hunt animals.

        The only reason we are able to hunt animals is because we invented bows and arrows, fishing rods, guns, etc. And even then, compared to the predators who have to have a successful hunt nearly every day in order to just survive, we are absolutely terrible at hunting.

        There is no possible way that humanity was intended to hunt animals for food. It's just too unnatural for us to do.

        July 3, 2012 at 10:05 am | Reply
        • Dan

          We're actually very good hunters. Our intelligence is part of who we are and allows us to hunt effectively with tools, that's ok. And lets just stop all this talk about what we as a species are suppose to do, we do what we do, there is no "suppose to do" in nature. However, we are built for hunting and eating meat, and as an evolutionary biologist I'm willing to debate this issue if you'd like.

          July 3, 2012 at 10:13 am |
        • bri guy

          I'd be willing to open the debate regarding agriculture then. We have used our intelligence to irrigate, fertilize and harvest crops on a scale that is incomprehensible to most people. Do you really think humans were meant to cultivate thousands of acres of land for consumption? What about the tools required to be successful in large scale agricultural activities? Your argument holds no weight because we have spent just as much time and energy improving agriculture as we have the harvesting of animal products. To drive through the country and see all the vegetation brown and dead, yet the farmers crop is healthy and green, and call that 'natural'.... that's a twisted view of the natural world.

          July 3, 2012 at 10:41 am |
      • ekwinne

        Because plants have no nervous system, of any sort, and therefore cannot feel, think, and behave similarly to us. This is an important distinction, because when we kill another sentient organism we are basically torturing them and causing them pain. Additionally, most fruits are designed to be eaten, as we spread their seeds and increase their territorial reach, and consequently, their gene pool. We may also do this without killing the plant- simply taking the fruit and leaving the tree, bush, vine, whatever alive.

        July 3, 2012 at 10:06 am | Reply
    • Bob

      The things you eat are grown, harvested and made possible by displacing native species that were there first. Its the same thing as killing. On any farm no matter how small and "orgnic," native species die and are displaced. Unless you literally live in a grass hut in the woods and forage on wild twigs, berries, and grasses, your consumption choices (not limited to food) including your ownership of a computer are killing and displacing animals. I guess its easier to do it the nerf ball way where you can benefit from having someone else kill them for you.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:52 am | Reply
    • sanjosemike

      Lena, perhaps in Moldova they didn't consider it "necessary" to try to kill farm animals humanely, or at least where YOU were, it was not a consideration. For example, it is possible to hold a chicken in your lap, gently stroking the animal's neck to try to relax it, and use a very sharp knife or razor to cut into the jugular vein and bleed it out. I admit it is VERY up-close and personal, but probably the animal does not suffer very much, if at all.

      I don't eat meat because of concerns of saturated fat, but have no objection to those who do. We ALL eat too much meat and our entire ecosystem, including our own bodies, would benefit by reducing meat intake to say no more than once/twice per week. That would also reduce the amount of grain required to raise them, and reduce the amount of slaughter too.

      I am NOT anti-hunting. Most hunters I know are very concerned about the animal they kill and ALWAYS use it entirely for food. If not for them, they donate the meat to people who need it much more than they.

      Killing animals is not murder. But hunters have a responsibility to protect their environment, respect the animals they kill and try to do it as "humanely" as possible. Same with farmers.

      sanjosemike

      July 3, 2012 at 10:05 am | Reply
      • lena

        I wouldn't want someone to 'hold a me in their lap, gently strke me on my neck to try to relax me, and use a very sharp knife or razor to cut into my jugular vein to bleed it out" Of course is better than a more painfull death, but it is still death

        July 3, 2012 at 10:10 am | Reply
    • Jim

      Oh, grow up! The "screams" of animals being killed? You can't equate any kind of "scream" from the vast majority of animals to that of something like a human being killed or tortured.

      July 3, 2012 at 10:06 am | Reply
      • lena

        why do we still have to cause screaming and pain when we can be healthy and happy without doing it? it's the 21st century... time to elevate ourselves higher. .... be humane (humane means no killing)

        July 3, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply
        • guest

          i agree wholeheartedly! there is simply no need for 21st century humans in developed countries to eat meat in order to be healthy. rthat is why I have chosen to live cruelty free. but if you crave meat for your appetites, then kill it yourself!

          July 3, 2012 at 11:13 am |
        • ONTHunter

          Humane; characterized by tenderness, compassion, and sympathy for people and animals, especially for the suffering or distressed.

          No where in that definition does it say no killing. It says compassion. I dont want that deer to starve to death over the winter or get eaten by wolves, so I am going to shoot it so it has a quick death. That is humane, by definition.

          July 5, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • RJM

      WRONG !

      July 3, 2012 at 10:10 am | Reply
  36. GoodFnDude

    The article is spot-on, and it's nice that the author has now learned what lifelong hunters have always known. Nature is good. Hunters are more interested in conservation than any other group of folks. Talk is free; putting your money down for licenses and fees is what keeps the land open and clean.

    July 3, 2012 at 9:36 am | Reply
    • New Paltz, NY

      Do you want to know what the human body is supposed to eat? Ask your dentist what each of your teeth are for. The human body is made to be able to eat both meat and veg. A balance of both is needed to be as healthy as one can be. Hunting is a better way to get cleaner meat and is more Human then farm raised animals. My Mother is now a vegetarian. Her reason is when she went and did the drive through the country in a RV they had seen the slaughter plants and how the animals were treated. She never eat meat from the store since that trip. Been years now. She will however eat meat from hunting. Animal was not mistreated or tortured.

      I live in the hippy town of New Paltz, NY where every thing is protested. Anti this and anti that and the anti every thing. One time these college kids were in front of McDonalds and protesting against meat-eaters and how cruel it is. Mean while I am looking and one had this $300 leather coat on, all of them with there $100 sneakers. the leather belts..... Hypercritical would you not say?

      Question for you anti hunters. Do you like your nice smelling shampoo? Animal fat from dead cows makes that. Got your cute little Pocket doggie? Its food from dead cows and chicken parts from the floor at the butcher plants. O here is a big one for you.... how about the war paint you call makeup? Yep once again animal fat. You are the people who hurt the environment the most. Bottled water? How many of those plastic bottles do you use a day?

      Hunting is far the best way for fresh cleaner and more human way to get and eat meat. Love the saying.... Farm Fresh LOL.... Think about that for a min.

      July 3, 2012 at 10:01 am | Reply
      • guest

        serious animal rights people only buy "cruelty free" toiletries and cosmetics and man-made clothing and shoes. you should know that many products look like leather but aren't and there are many "fake" fur products out there too. and you have to admit that not all hunters respect the environmet or the animals they shoot at, leaving the wounded to suffer, leaving gaarbage behind, etc. if you are an ethical hunter, I can be your friend, even though I am a vegetarian who supports animal rights.

        July 3, 2012 at 11:11 am | Reply
    • Pepperment P

      There is something seriously wrong with anyone who would hunt for sport. Taking pleasure in causing another pain is pathological. I feel sorry for their children and others in their lives who are less powerful- they will be subjected to the violence in a sport hunter's heart in one way or another. The dominionism that fuels hunting is just another way of soothing poor self-esteem.

      July 3, 2012 at 10:08 am | Reply
    • guest

      I am a vegetarian but I agree that if you eat meat you should have to kill it yourself and I agree that animals that are hunted for food have a far better life and death than farm animals. however, the elephant in the room is that there are many hunters who hunt for "sport", seeking out trophies for their walls or floors and killing animals that will never be eaten. they often take the strongest and healthiest animals, leaving the sickly and weak to suffer and breed. there are also hunters who lack skill and leave wounded animals to suffer or fill our waterways with lead shot. and the license fees often go to manipulationg the environment and removing predators so that there is a guaranteed surplus of "game animals" for the hunters. and let's not talk about Hunting "preserves" where people pay to kill tame animals in enclosures from all over the world. if these problems could be adressed, I would have no qualms with hunting at all!

      July 3, 2012 at 11:05 am | Reply
  37. JEM

    If I had to hunt to eat, I'd be a vegetarian in a nano second. However, I have more respect for those who hunt to feed their family than I do for those who do it for "sport". Seems cowardly to camoflauge yourself up, sit in a tree and wait for the animal come to you. I think these idiots should get down out of their tree and tried to take down the animal with their bare hands. At least it would be a fair fight.

    July 3, 2012 at 9:28 am | Reply
    • Ninja

      Go eat your veggie burgers linda. Why would a hunter unnecessarily take any animal life? If so its called poaching/wanton waste and is a crime. And doesn't the latest research prove that a diet with a little meat included is in fact healthy? There is nothing more spiritually beautiful and rewarding than being an active participant in the Great Circle of Life. An animal has died so that my family and I can live. If that isn't spiritual then I don't know what is!

      If you are a vegetarian and/or don't like to hunt Great! Continue with your trips to the grocery store. Hunters go to the woods. Leave us alone! This is our choice. Fast food to me is a mallard flying past the duck blind on a cool October morning.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:37 am | Reply
      • Tushar

        Hello Ninja

        I was reading the other day when a pitt bull killed a 3 year old kid in someplace in Washington. their parents were crying in grief. They did kill the dog but could never bring the lost life. No true god would ever tell anyone to kill. The word kill is used only to get rid of your own vices and desires. The difference between spirituality and materiality is spirituals indulge in activities for the happiness of their and others souls, and materials use their brains to satisfy their desires and five senses. We Humans are considered to be the best of all because we have the ability to be spiritual and control our brains which in turn controls our senses instead of the other way round. If we forget what we are think what is the difference between us and that pit bull which slaughtered the harmless child. God did not create life to destroy other life...He created it to love......Jesus said that love your neighbor....he also said love your enemy......How can he tell anyone to kill anything who tells us to love even our enemies....Ask your heart and Jesus is inside you who will answer all your questions....Do not use relegious excuses to do the wrong....because no one else will pay for your sins....Jesus is our saviour but we still will have to pay for our sins....He will guide us but we still have to walk....

        July 3, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
      • coreydon311

        I agree with you friend!.....only a couple months till duck season, thanks for getting me in the mood. haha.

        July 3, 2012 at 10:03 am | Reply
    • Uncas

      A quick kill for the meat is the objective, not a fight or battle with the animal. You would prefer a more "hand to hand" hunt where there would be a slower death and wounds? Think it through.
      MOST people eat meat-thus a kill is going to happen period. Some of us prefer that our meat not be farm raised in pens with antibiotics and added hormones. This article was a nice surprise.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:59 am | Reply
    • Dan

      Hey JEM,

      I've hunted my entire life and never met a hunter that only hunted for sport. We all eat what we kill. Yes, we enjoy the act of hunting, it's biological and I won't appologize for it, but we do what we do ethically (and as this author points out, we feel it's more ethical than those that simply buy their meat at the store with little to no respect for the animal that died to provide it). This idea that there's guys out there simply killing animals for fun and leaving them to waste is simply incorrect. I've never met a hunter that had this mind set. Every single hunter I've ever met wants a clean kill, to harvest the meat, and be part of nature.

      21k – I'm sure there are hunters that drink before hunting, but I've never met one. There are people that drink before driving too. That doesn't mean all drivers are evil. I really wish people would stop trying to generalize hunters as some evil group of rednecks that just like to kill. As the article points out, we're actually pretty ethical about the way we go about things and how we view nature.

      July 3, 2012 at 10:05 am | Reply
  38. outdooraffliction

    Great article. Welcome to the hunt club.

    July 3, 2012 at 9:22 am | Reply
    • lena

      What about eating what God intended us to eat originally (every fruit and seed) and stop our killing tendencies inherited from our ancestors who even enjoyed killing (sacrificing) humans? This killing tendency is engraned in us like a parasite that we don't see, but it is killing our counsious, our health and our planet. Imagine 6 billion people going and killing their own food in the wild.... are we going to have any left enough to support the ecosystem?

      July 3, 2012 at 9:29 am | Reply
      • Wrenn_NYC

        Your bible also states that Adam (man) was given dominion over the animals. In Genesis 9, God gives the animals to Noah (man, again) and tells him that some are for food. Then there's all the dietary restrictions concerning animals in the bible.

        Your religious point fails.

        July 3, 2012 at 9:35 am | Reply
      • Nick A

        You are missing the whole point... If we didn't farm animals for consumption there would be far less, much more healthier people on this planet... Humans are the parasite... Survival of the fittest comes into play and I can guarantee you that there would be a lot less whiners....

        July 3, 2012 at 9:35 am | Reply
      • Jake

        Well,

        God is fiction, but even assuming he was real, humans have incisors, which are unique to meat eating animals. If fictional God had wanted us to eat only "fruit and seed", he picked the wrong teeth.

        July 3, 2012 at 9:37 am | Reply
      • Mike

        Lena: While I respect your lifestyle and choices, I will have to respectfully disagree with you. The killing tendencies that you speak of were required for our ancestors to survive. Before you ask, I'm not talking about the barbaric actions during the wild west where millions of bison were killed for no reason. That is not hunting. I believe that hunters now days have much more respect for the land and the animal than in the past. I consider myself a hunter even though I only hunt once or twice per year. I am happy to pay for tags and licenses which help to preserve the wildlife and their habitat. Even if I do not take an animal, I am happy to donate to better the environment. The thrill of hunting is not in the act of killing. Its in the act of being in the wilderness, admiring the beauty of Earth, and sometimes coming home with a meal for your family. I say "sometimes" because its calling hunting, not killing. There are numerous times that I will come home empty handed, but I always come home with a smile on my face because I was able to experience nature in a way that many people don't understand. I consider myself lucky to be able to share those stories with my friends and family. Ultimately, I think that it helps my family to have a much deeper respect for the environment and the animals living in it knowing where the meal on the table came from and the sacrifices that the animal made for us to survive. Hunting is not about killing. Hunting is about respecting the environment and all of God's creatures living in it.

        July 3, 2012 at 10:11 am | Reply
  39. Wrenn_NYC

    I gotta stop going andf reading anti hunting sites (this article caused me to look up a couple) due to getting disgusted as to the amoung of misinformation I found there.

    Okay, I'm not a hunter, but I grew up in a borderline rural area. Even I know that ring neck pheasants aclimitize and have been naturalized to the US. Hell they were naturalized to Great Britian in the 10th century. They are not JUST 'native to China' (actually some are Native to mongolia, but they are found across Asia and into the Georgia region of what was Russia). They don't all get 'bred in captivitiy and released into the wild where they are hunted and if they escape, as a non-native species they starve'.
    I had a family of pheasant living in the stand of trees between my backyard and the fed corn field behind it.

    July 3, 2012 at 9:22 am | Reply
  40. James

    Where I live, the only exploding population is that of turkey and deer. Hunters are the only management technique there is, short of poisoning.

    July 3, 2012 at 9:21 am | Reply
  41. Don

    the complete lack of intelligence in the comments section only points up the skewed relationship we have with the earth right now...face it....folks who hunt are more conservationist that self proclaimed conservationists...we didn't evolve by just eating vegetables...

    July 3, 2012 at 9:19 am | Reply
    • El Flaco

      That is true. In the evolutionary past, we needed meat for the protein. Our brains are fueled by it.

      Now, however, mass produced meat is unhealthy. Now there are vastly superior sources of protein available, like soy protein. Insects would be a superior form of protein for those who want to eat animal tissue.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:23 am | Reply
    • Wrenn_NYC

      People seem to not realize, or not think to see that THEY are part of the environment too, not something apart from it.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:23 am | Reply
  42. Joe Prov

    When you eat market meat your eating something conceived to be food – when you hunt you are taking a free wild animal and taking its freedom away. Also, hunters take pleasure in the kill – that is a disturbing aspect to the whole thing, they relish the stalking the innocent gentle animal, relish the ambush, and most of all they relish moment of the kill – I take no pleasure in the killing of the animals I eat, I eat them for nutritional value – sure I enjoy a well prepared meal made from the flesh of dead animals, but I take no pleasure in their sacrifice for my enjoyment.

    July 3, 2012 at 9:18 am | Reply
    • Don

      you're a fool...if you really believe that hunters ENJOY killing another life then you're woefully misinformed...before passing judgement on ANYONE, you need to walk in their shoes...otherwise..stfu....

      July 3, 2012 at 9:21 am | Reply
    • Dave

      Animals are hunted to keep the population down. If not some would starve. After reading your post I know you don't understand that. Matter of fact, after reading your post I say you have never watched Animal Planet, National Geographic or even Discovery Channel. My granddaughter knows why people hunt. Please wake up.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:36 am | Reply
    • Nick A

      Joe you obviously never hunted or know a hunter... I challenge you to find anyone that says they hunt specifically to watch something die or get somehow excited by it... If you do, I am sure you are posting from prison....

      July 3, 2012 at 9:39 am | Reply
    • Ed

      Wow...you are sorely misinformed. Granted, there are probably some sick F**ks out there that enjoy killing animals, but they're also probably the ones with 20 skeletons in a cooler buried in the backyard and are on the path to becoming a serial killer. I take no pleasure in the kill, and genuinely feel bad that I had to do it. I hunt to supplementary feed my family–especially now that I'm unemployed (hey, thanks Wall Street!). Step out of your hole and learn something that doesn't come from some "wing" of thought.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:43 am | Reply
    • Tfirsten

      We have become numb as a society to how are food comes to market. The best way to experience field to plate is by doing it yourself. I hunt with a group of guys and their sons. It goes beyond the "kill" The experiences that our boys have had with thier dads, out in the woods or in a duck blind are priceless. (No X Box in a Duck Blind) We eat what we harvest, and have a great time in preperation and eating what we have hunted together.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:43 am | Reply
    • tacc2

      I don't eat meat, but I have a lot of respect for hunters. I'd rather people who ate meat hunted their own food. Have you ever been near a factory farm or a slaughterhouse? They are downright disgusting. You can smell them for miles. If you're going to eat it, you should be the one responsible for it's death. Not some nameless worker in a slaughter house who kills things all day long for a job so you can buy a nice neat package in the grocery store. Most people are such p*****s they wouldn't eat meat if they had to kill it themselves, but they're totally OK with it as long as someone else does the dirty work.

      As for taking freedom away from a wild animal, someone has to do it because we've killed off all the predators to protect the domestic animals you love to eat so much. Without hunters there'd be no management of the prey animals, short of starvation and disease.

      Oh yeah, and I'm calling BS on your claim that you take no pleasure in the killing of animals you eat and that you only eat them for nutritional value. You eat them because you enjoy the taste. Plain and simple. Animal flesh is not a nutritional requirement for humans, we are not obligate carnivores. There is no vitamin M (for meat) that you can only get from animals. All nutritional needs can be met by a plant based diet, with ONE exception. And that is vitamin B12. However, B12 can easily be obtained in nutritional supplements, which are derived from microbial sources.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:50 am | Reply
    • BAReasonable

      How could you be more hypocritical than to stuff yourself with animals cruly confined and raised for a lifetime in factory-like conditions and then decry the supposed crime of harvesting, in an instant, a wild animal that has had a free and good life. Shame on you. Why would the life of a farm animal be less valuble the the life of a wild animal. I hope you are never in a position to judge the relative value of human life raised in different enviornments.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:59 am | Reply
  43. El Flaco

    I think the most humane system would be cannibalism. Let meat-eaters hunt and eat each other in special hunting parks set aside just for that purpose. Once you have killed another meat eater, you can take his or her body to a butcher shop and have the carcass skinned and cut into portions.

    We vegetarians would simly stay outside those hunting parks and not participate in the process.

    That's a win-win solution.

    July 3, 2012 at 9:13 am | Reply
    • Gordo

      Idiota.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:24 am | Reply
    • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

      Vegetarians would be the first to go. Predators tend to go for the weak and sickly first.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:31 am | Reply
    • Nick A

      But you vegetarians would taste so good with your soy based meals.. YUM!!!! :)

      July 3, 2012 at 9:41 am | Reply
    • GoodFnDude

      Hahahahahaha. That sounds like a great idea. Would you vegetarians mind waiting for us meat-eaters while marinading in a bath of BBQ sauce?

      July 3, 2012 at 9:41 am | Reply
      • GoodFnDude

        ...marinating, sorry.

        July 3, 2012 at 9:42 am | Reply
  44. Hmmm

    I wonder if the author realizes that killing and butchering your own meat doesn't actually protect you from trichonosis or listeria, especially since trich is a parasite found in pork and ... wild game. Hunting for you own meat is great, but it doesn't magically solve all food-related problems.

    Also, the castration she mentions that is done to steers is carried out in part as a way to keep humans and cattle safe, since bulls are very aggressive and can hurt and kill each other or humans.

    July 3, 2012 at 9:13 am | Reply
  45. Sue

    It HURTS to get shot!! And a sharp arrow stuck in your gut is extremely painful!! Where is the ethics in that??

    July 3, 2012 at 9:09 am | Reply
    • Adam

      So does having your beak removed, being locked in a cage and having your feathers boiled off alive. Slaughter houses are far less humane than a bullet to the heart. Adrenaline does a lot to prevent suffering and death is swift. You wouldn't know this though, because you are opposed to everything that is different from the silver spoon life you live.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:14 am | Reply
    • Christopher

      Truer words have never been spoken Lily. GREAT post.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:15 am | Reply
    • Don

      And you would know this how?

      July 3, 2012 at 9:22 am | Reply
    • Dudus57

      Good hunters don't miss. And for the record, when you don't miss, it doesn't hurt. This is why most hunter recommend studying prior to blasting at a living thing. Know where the heart of a deer is... I do.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:25 am | Reply
    • KP

      But what about the cow that has 3 inches to move around? The chickens that are crammed in, hundreds in a small space? As mentioned in the post, the removal of animal parts (beaks, claws, etc.) while the animal is still alive?
      Have you been to a slaughterhouse? Have you been to a chicken plant? Even fisheries have issues, with thousands of fish being raised in cement containers with none of the natural surroundings they would have in the wild.
      We hunt. We process our own venison and hog. We eat what we hunt. And we are proud of it.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:25 am | Reply
    • Ian

      I love it when people say that hunting causes pain and is therefore unethical. Animals don't just get old, lay down in a hospital bed and get pumped up with pharmaceuticals to ease the pain when it is their time to go. There are only a handful of ways an animal can die in the wild.

      1. Starvation (from injury, age, or otherwise being unable to eat)
      2. Disease
      3. Injury (hit by car for a deer, smashing into a window for a bird, fighting with other animals, etc)
      4. Killed by a predator in nature
      4. Killed by a hunter

      Of all of those, I think #5 is probably the least traumatic. As hunters, the goal is for an ethical kill. That means the most efficient, safe, swift kill possible. The other ways these animals die can take hours or days.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:36 am | Reply
      • lena

        Killed by a hunter is probably the least traumatic, but can be avoided if humans would remove all their killing tendencies ingrained in their beings since the time they were killing humans for amusement. It’s like saying that we should start a war in a poor country whose people are likely to die of starvation, sickness, infections and so forth. At least they don't suffer that much.... i wish humans would have more love and common sence

        July 3, 2012 at 11:58 am | Reply
    • Heavyhand

      Lol, is there such a thing as a painless death in the animal kingdom?

      I'd bet an arrow or a bullet is a tad less painful than getting your guts chewed on by a predator while you are still alive.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:37 am | Reply
    • pliglee

      It also hurts a lot to starve to death (due to overpopulation). Or to get hit by a car and not quite killed, limp off into the woods, and die slowly. It would also probably hurt a lot to be tackled and eaten by a non-human predator.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:50 am | Reply
  46. linda

    Humans do not need to eat meat to survive. Taking a life unnecessarily is not ethical, no matter how you try to spin it.

    July 3, 2012 at 9:06 am | Reply
    • Adam

      There is animal product in many things you eat or use. Stop being a hypocrit. Wthout the natural cycle, hunting included, you wouldn't have the animals you falsely claim love for. Stop being high and mighty hypocrite. Nature is cruel, we are animals too. Not some gift from the heavens.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:17 am | Reply
    • Jose Cuervo

      Sanctimonious much?

      July 3, 2012 at 9:21 am | Reply
    • Joe Prov

      Do you onlu do what is needed in all things? if not then shut up.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:22 am | Reply
    • Dudus57

      Goodness you people annoy me.

      Yes we don't have to, we also need not own/use/consume cars, bikes, shoes, houses, TVs, internet, insurance, computers, extension cords, water filters, watches, cell phones.... get the point yet?

      So super friendly earthling that spit stuff out on his $2000 MacBook Pro made by children in parts of China you can't pronounce... you super awesome "person" flipping me off from his bamboo bike (made with real bamboo, not the industrial fake stuff... this stuff was grown in a natural greenhouse...huh?)... get over it. Just please get over it... yes we all could be cavemen and we would not damage the earth or your ego, but I'd rather wash my hair, drive to work, and eat rare steaks.... sorry.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:22 am | Reply
    • kittylady

      Modern Farming methods, necessary to produce enough food for the human population, also kills animals adn at the very least leaves land desecrated and unavailabel for wildlife to use. Pesticides and phosphates pollute and kill, too. So really not eating meat does not really help. Annihlation of civilizatins of humans would resolve everythign, but I am pretty sure no one is advocating that.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:22 am | Reply
    • Ninja

      Wow! An article favorable towards the hunting lifestyle on CNN?? Its about time! Maybe the paradigm shift is finally happening. . . . . .

      July 3, 2012 at 9:24 am | Reply
    • Wrenn_NYC

      Humans as a species have been opportunistic omnivores for thousands, hundreds of thousands of years. They ate what was available, whatever time of the year it was. And fruit and vegetables were not in abundance throughout the winter.

      Without your ancestors making the choice to be such omnivores, you would not be here to choose to be vegetarian. Without modern technology you'd be hard pressed to be a vegetarian as well. Think about the global carbon footprint you take up in importing your fresh veggies and fruits and beans to have them round.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:28 am | Reply
    • Heavyhand

      Oh well...

      July 3, 2012 at 9:29 am | Reply
    • Heterotroph

      We are heterotrophs. This mean we cannot make our own food, but need to eat to survive, Killing will always be part of our life's, weather it is harvesting a mushroom in the forest, or lettuce from a garden. Why separate utilizing animals and primary produces as food, both are alive and both must be killed to be consumed

      July 3, 2012 at 9:40 am | Reply
    • Dave

      Linda. *Sigh. I, for medical reasons once had to do without meat protein, soy protein just doesn't get it. I love you folk. Nothing is worth taking a life. BS. By the by, you wear cardboard shoes and have cardboard belts right?

      July 3, 2012 at 9:47 am | Reply
    • curtis

      Tree hugger much, huh? In your life, animals > humans, huh?

      July 3, 2012 at 10:10 am | Reply
    • Don

      There ya go!....Your way is the right way! We have it ALL wrong. I didn't realize that vegans are the MOST enlightend of us all. We will stop eating meat at once!
      Just bc you get all teary eyed and want to have a candle light vigil at the sight of a dead animals doesn't mean that people who enjoy a steak now and again are evil doers! Your way is only one of many different ways to live. don't try and cram your ideals down our throat bc you think killing animals for food is "unethical" PLEASE....get over yourself.

      July 3, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  47. Cadrian

    I grew up hunting and fishing.... I learned a lot from it, The respect of nature and the understanding of what I was actually taking from an animal to sustain myself. I think a lot of people don't realize actually how their meat got into their supermarket and what kind of suffering a creature had to go through to get it there, or even do they realize that it was an actual living breathing creature before it was a chunk of pink flesh. When I was a kid we never ate cows or chickens it always fish, squirrels, dove, deer, bear, wild boar, or whatever else that got into our cross hairs. A lot of times as a kid and teenager I felt bad about what I was doing but I also thought there was no other way to live besides kill and eat or die myself. I also knew the lean wild meat was healthier for me and to me more ethical considering their weren't raised in small cages in the dark hopped up on go knows what to make them larger and fatter.

    2 Years ago I decided to go back to my only eat meat that I killed myself, the only thing was when I decided this.... there was no real hunting season in place, and I am afraid to fish now since all the lakes and streams around where I live are so high in toxins. So I decided to go vegetarian for a few months until it hunting season came back in. As a few months went by.... I began to feel better body wise and started to lose a considerable amount of weight, I also learned that I could sustain myself easily and be able to keep a more healthy lifestyle by not consuming meat. So for the past 2 years I been vegetarian. I do miss hunting, I feel like its in my DNA. but I also feel that we can't sustain ourselves as a species by hunting or even that matter eating meat. So I just don't..... I am thinking of taking back up some catch and release fishing soon again though :)

    July 3, 2012 at 9:05 am | Reply
    • lena

      I grew up in a village in Moldova where people were killing their own animals. It was very disturbing, I would run away and plug my ears not to hear the excruciating scream of the animals being killed and my body would become weak. I remember like now seeing my neighbor cutting the head of a chicken that was screaming so loud and then jumping on the ground with no head, full in blood – I thought to myself 'how could she do it'? At that time I was told that a human being can not live without meat and dairy. When I found out that is not true, I went vegan – one of my best choices I’ve made in my life. Killing is never ethical.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:23 am | Reply
    • Tushar

      Brother, as we humans feel the pain and don't want to die so do the animals and every creature including plants. The theory of Karma works and people don't even realize it. A neighbor of mine had a son born who had no limbs and was with autism. The guy said why did god do that to him. Doctors said that it is mere coincidence as one in every 10,000 are born with that defect. The man goes but why my son and us. Karma replied....when you were hunting for sports and food, you did not think about the pain of the other poor soul. Now when you pay the price for your deeds..nature does not repent......
      For every life has an equal right to live on the mother planet and people who for any reason try to take that right away eventually lose their right too. For happiness begets hapinees and pain begets pain.....You get what you sow...hunt and one day get hunted.....make someone happy and get the hapinees back one.....Life is simple we don't need to complicate it. We all understand rights from wrongs......just need to close our eyes and ask our hearts and not our brains....

      July 3, 2012 at 9:32 am | Reply
  48. aed28

    This topic is covered quite thoroughly and intelligently in the book The Omnivore's Dilemma. I suggest you all pick up a copy if you haven't read it already.

    July 3, 2012 at 9:02 am | Reply
    • Jeff

      I wonder, does one have to hunt their own plants as well... or only animals? They are both living things... what makes animals so special that you need to hunt them to be ethical? Why is it ethical to purchase plants but not animal parts? Where do we draw the line? What about insects... do we need to hunt them... or can we purchase them? What is the defining characteristic of a living thing that must be present for it no longer to be ethical to purchase?

      July 3, 2012 at 9:09 am | Reply
      • Noel

        A brain.

        July 3, 2012 at 9:31 am | Reply
      • Tushar

        Killing plants also is unethical....but when you eat a fruit you do not kill a life....You actually release the seed and put it in the ground for another tree to grow....Eating fruits is ethical because you become a part of creation and not a part of destruction. One day when your son or daughter is hunted down by a lion or a pitt bull then come back and read this article and tell your crying heart that well the killer was just try to conserve nature and send the killer a thank you note for it......Today because you have the gun.....hunting is right but one day when your adversary will have the gun...I will ask you the same question....Wake up...friend.....

        July 3, 2012 at 10:50 am | Reply
  49. Brad

    I'd be more interested in knowing how many kids she is going to limit herself to than how she obtains the meat that she eats. We passed the earth's long-term carrying capacity for humans many years ago.

    July 3, 2012 at 8:59 am | Reply
    • aed28

      I love your comment Brad. I am a 30 year old single woman (by choice, trust me I'm not a bitter cat lady) and find myself annoyed and astounded when I look around and see all my peers breeding like jackrabbits. I won't even get into the issue of people's failure to acquire the appropriate parenting skills before getting knocked up. I'll keep my point to this: the world is overpopulated as heck right now. STOP BREEDING!! Or at least do the intelligent thing and only have 2 children – one to replace you, and one to replace your spouse. Anything more than that is just irresponsible. People like the Duggers with 20 kids should be put in jail for their lack of restraint.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:05 am | Reply
      • tacc2

        I think I'm in love.

        July 3, 2012 at 9:20 am | Reply
      • Brad

        Exactly. Even if her actions are as beneficial as she implies in the article, it would all be for not if she has 4-5 kids or more and, ultimately, places that much of a long-term demand on the earth's resources.

        A few sayings come to mind; Winning the battle, but losing the war, or penny wise and pound foolish.

        July 3, 2012 at 10:08 am | Reply
    • kittylady

      Teh BIG, big picture – Does it really matter when, one day, the Earth will implode on itself anyway?

      July 3, 2012 at 9:24 am | Reply
    • dawg

      Those environmental people in real life and online...I'm the greenest, most environmental person I know, because I didn't have any children. I think I did the MOST a person could do to "save the planet". Think of how many people will not be born, simply because I didn't have 3 or 4 children. So do environmental type people actually limit the amount of children they have?

      July 3, 2012 at 10:42 am | Reply
  50. 21k

    so only hicks out in the stix can eat "ethical" meals, since those dang city folk don't have too many choices for hunting each and every meal. well, i guess rats or dogs, maybe. so here we go with another daniel boone nut, everyone scrounges their own meals, restaurants and hospitals have to hire people to hunt on a full-time basis, and nothing gets checked for bacteria or disease. all for the betterment of america. and if i miss and only wound the animal, is that still ethical? hoping the gun nuts will try something a little less obvious going forward.

    July 3, 2012 at 8:58 am | Reply
    • not as stupid

      Even you city dwellers can get in your car and hunt on state or federal land...For FREE....You just have to get off your butt and actually do it instead of sitting on your computer and complaining to you can't do it. Just because someone else enjoys hunting doesn't mean you have to enjoy it. Bacteria is sread though improper butchering of the digestive tract in animals, this is how hunters insure the meat isn't contaminated. You need to hunt for an education my friend. If you don't like to hunt for your food, no probelm, got to the grocery store...Just don't complain about the people who do. It's a FREE country, and that is why it is a great place to live.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:12 am | Reply
      • 21k

        i do go to the grocery store. and i don't care if people hunt or not. i am complaining about a hunter telling me that only by hunting can i become a better person. and of course in your view, ALL hunters are expert butchers automatically. so as soon as i start to hunt, i will be magically endowed with perfect shooting and cleaning skills, and will never accidentally shoot another person, also out in the woods hunting. not sure how many federal lands are within walking distance of say nyc. do you have a job, or do you just hunt every day? how long will a carcass last in 100 degree heat like yesterday before it starts to go bad? wait, i thought we needed to get rid of the federal gub'mint, so how are we going to keep federal lands for hunting?

        July 3, 2012 at 9:25 am | Reply
    • Sara

      Not everyone can go hunting. That is obvious. But those that choose to hunt are not hicks and more knowledable about habitat and the land than many city dwellers know (notice I said many, not all). It's jsut a lack of exposure and understanding to another way of life. I know of many families that save money on meat by hunting. One deer can make a lot of meals (almost a whole month). And most hunters don't limit themselves to one type of game. Also, wild game tend to be a lot healthier with much lower rates of infection and disease because they are not confined to pen and can roam free to eat a more balanced diet instead of the same feed every day. I greatly enjoyed the artical and encourage others to please try a look at things from another point of view before judging.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:20 am | Reply
      • 21k

        i know plenty of hunters. some drink alcohol while on the hunt. that's certainly comforting. be honest with yourself. probably about 2% of the adult population actually have the time and the proper surroundings to hunt for most of their meat protein. do what you wish, just don't tell the rest of us what we need to do to improve our lives. we already have politicians to do that.

        July 3, 2012 at 9:29 am | Reply
        • Ratt

          Hey 21K, and I know a bunch of city slickers who drink and drive, what's your point ?

          July 3, 2012 at 11:14 am |
        • wildone

          Some smoke pot while sitting in their tree stands, too. So, what's your point?

          July 3, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
      • Mike

        Sara – Very well spoken. I truly believe that the people who are against hunting and find it unethical are those who do not understand it. Whether you are an avid hunter or not, if you understand it then you will see that it is not about the act of killing. It is about conservation and respecting the very environment that the people who don't understand hunting are trying to protect. I respect people's choices to be vegan or vegetarian, but think about where your meals are coming from just as hunters do. Cultivated fields that are harvested by diesel engines and sprayed with herbicides healthier or more environmentally friendly than hunting a wild animal for food? Just something for people to think about..

        July 3, 2012 at 10:24 am | Reply
        • wildone

          "The issue here is not whether something is alive, it's whether it is sentient."

          Are you the same guy who made this statement earlier, in opposition to hunting? Who are you, Mitt Romney?

          July 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
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