The Wild Game Movement, Women and the Antis
Eat What You Hunt/Spear/Fish/Kill.\, Terra to Table, Locavore, Huntavore. Whatever you want to call it hunting is at the core of our existence. Mankind has been doing it for 2 million years. "Hunting is in our DNA – it has been there since the beginning. It is a primal part of who we are as human beings. As humans, we have always been connected to hunting." Phil DeLone, CEO of Safari Club International
Then why is there such a disconnect for so many for where our food/meat comes from? Why is there such a strong HATE for hunters? The attacks from anti-hunters are vicious, irrational & unscientific when it comes to hunting as it relates to food, sport, sustainability and conservation.
The backlash against female hunters is especially gruesome, often calling for us to be maimed, tortured or killed. Jen 'The Archer' Cordaro, Melissa Bachman, Kendall Jones, Eva Shockey, Rebecca Francis & Michaelka Fialova are just a few ladies who had received very negative attention in the recent past. Why are women hotter targets than men by those who oppose hunting? Perhaps we are just easier? Maybe it's something deeper.
Kelly Oliver, a Vanderbilt professor who’s studied the “hunting girls” archetype, explains in her study, "Hunting Girls: Patriarchal Fantasy or Feminist Progress"how “we still have issues with women and girls carrying guns and using them” because it contradicts our perceptions of women as meek nurturers and caretakers." We expect men to be hunters, but we’re surprised when girls are hunting," the philosophy professor at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee said. "It’s clear that we still have issues with women and girls carrying guns and using them." There just isn't the same reaction when my husband, father or one of my brothers talks about their hunting adventures. It's expected, or at least accepted, whereas I am the oddball.
I wasn't always interested in hunting, however I had been exposed to it from an early age being the daughter of a hunter. Now, as a mother to three young girls, my interest has grown for a variety of reasons. I want to show them that I can be self-sufficient. I want them to have a love of the outdoors starting at an early age. I also have a vested interest in putting clean, organic, ethically and responsibly harvested meat on my table. Eating game meats is much healthier than eating domestic meat. Hunting can also enhance wildlife populations by controlling overpopulation to ensure adequate habitat. Side bonus: It helps with the grocery bills.
Filling the freezer is the main reason for my growing interest in hunting. I'm not alone. Apparently it's the primary reason for most hunters these days according to this Responsive Management study:
Researchers conducting the scientific nationwide telephone survey reached out to Americans 18 years of age and older and asked them “What is the single most important reason you hunted in 2012?” They offered a list of possible answers including spending time with family and friends, being close to nature, for the sport/recreation, for the meat or for a trophy. Thirty-five percent of hunters chose “for the meat,” which is a 13 percent increase since a similar nationwide survey in 2006. - Responsive Management, 2013
I recently read a comical article about the hypocrisy of hating hunting and/or hunters. If You Hate Hunting, You Are a Hypocrite (Probably) - by Linda Sharps. The anti-hunting sentiment within the green community needs rethinking. It's worth a read if you get a chance. It hits the nail on the head as to why it is sometimes impossible to have a reasonable, rational, emotionless, fact-based conversation with an Anti.
In her article Linda says, "
Instead of being a word the green community shuns, 'hunting' should be a term associated closely with the conscious living movement." The point she makes are right on. "Why is a steak that's all nicely packaged and available for purchase at the grocery store considered perfectly acceptable, while heading out into the woods to claim your own venison is barbaric?
The belief that buying meat at Safeway is normal but hunting is not would only be a "healthy attitude" if you were some kind of scavenger. Because however neatly that ribeye has been wrapped in plastic, the truth is someone else took and processed a live animal for your dinner. And honestly, odds are that it lived a shitty life, and died a pretty terrible death."
I am disgusted by the way (most) livestock is raised these days. It's sickens me for the animals and for their suffering. The living conditions are filthy and horrid. I don't want any living creatures to be subjected to that and I certainly don't want to feed that to my family.
Intensive Animal Farming refers to farms that hold large numbers of animals, typically cows, pigs, turkeys, or chickens, often indoors, typically at high densities. Confinement, debeaking and other factory-farming practices are widespread, industrialized cruelty. Confinement at high stocking density requires antibiotics and pesticides to mitigate the spread of disease and pestilence exacerbated by these crowded living conditions.According to a February 2011 FDA report, nearly 29 million pounds of antimicrobials were sold in 2009 for both therapeutic and non-therapeutic use for all farm animal species. - Wikipedia, Intensive animal farming.
So let's go back to Linda Sharp's point that most people find it perfectly acceptable to go buy a steak or chicken at the grocery store, but if I wish to go hunt an animal that lived a free, (hopefully) happy life, I am seen as barbaric? Hmmm.
Another word that gets thrown around by Antis in their attack of hunters is "Murder." Murder, defined by the Meriam-Webster Dictionary is "the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought." Bottom line is that animals aren’t people so hunting cannot be murder, no matter how much some despise it. Is it worse to kill a deer than a pig? Elk? Cow? Chicken? Which "life" is more important or valuable than the other? Why?
New York Post writer, Eli Federman wrote an article called, The Ignorant, Sexist Attacks on Female Hunters. The article made some excellent points not only on the fact that hunters are conservationists, but that the demonetization of women hunters happens, and is way off base.
Federman states that, 1) "Hunting helps support poor local African communities. People magazine reported how (Kendall) Jones paid $160,000 in fees and services “provided by local trackers, skinners and assistants. That money went to provide jobs, incomes and food in destitute parts of Zimbabwe and South Africa. Trophy hunting provides meat to local villagers and generates an estimated $200 million a year in revenue in poor countries in Africa and elsewhere. 2) African hunting helps conservation. It is poaching that poses a threat, not lawful hunting. In fact, the operators of hunting conservancies fight poaching to protect the wildlife resources on which they depend.” Federman continues on to say that, "attacking these young women in personal terms for lawful hunting is pointless. If you have a problem with (big-game) hunting, change the laws, don’t mindlessly attack individuals." Federman wraps it up nicely with, "Hunters are often middle-aged men, but the brunt of online outrage seems directed at young attractive women like Jones, Despiegelaer, Melissa Bachman, Olivia Opre, and Sarah Palin, not the male “Duck Dynasty” types. Sure looks like sexism". Yup! Hit. Nail. Head.
ReelCamo girls are strong, capable, kind, compassionate, nature & country-loving individuals. We encourage responsible and ethical hunting. We care about the land and animal management and about long term sustainability. We hunt, fish, dive, shoot and hike for peace of mind, happiness, pure clean protein & connection to the outdoors. ReelCamoGirls can shoot a gun, track an animal, get CAMOed up, bait a hook, clean a fish and still be feminine and "girly."
We are always looking for pictures, stories and/or recipes to share of you or your families hunting, diving, fishing, hiking, etc. Anything outdoors. Please contact me at Lauren@reelcamogirl.com for more information.
ADDENDUM: I received a concerned contact from a friend following the publishing of this article. For the record I welcome all educated, friendly, thoughtful feedback. I certainly am no expert in much of anything. For some reason he wasn't able to "comment" so I thought I would share his concerns, "I come from a fourth generation cattle ranch and producer. In Montana big sky country cattle eat the best grass drink the best water soak up the best sun. When the weather turns nasty we feed them the best hay and give them the best care. We protect them from predators and And they can live easier lives than any wild animal."
Thank you for your input. I never meant to infer in my article that all livestock were raised and slaughtered in a gruesome manner. I realize that we still very much need and rely on farmers and ranchers for our very existence. Intensive Animal Farming is what I was referring to in my article. Most farmers and ranchers love, care and respect their land and their animals
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lauren Hill- Lesagonicz
ReelCamo Girl Founder
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ReelCamo Girl is a lifestyle brand focused on ladies who love the outdoors.There is a growing need for a place for women to share their outdoor experiences, as well as an interest in clean eating and self-sufficiency. Through our website and social media networks, we offer a safe place where the ladies can share their pictures, stories, wild game and fish recipes, and news articles about conservation and hunting perspectives.
ReelCamo girls are strong, capable, kind, compassionate, nature & country-loving individuals. We encourage responsible and ethical hunting. We care about the land and wildlife management and about long term sustainability. We hunt, fish, dive, shoot and hike…for peace of mind, happiness, pure clean protein & connection to the outdoors. ReelCamoGirls can shoot a gun, draw a bow, track an animal, get CAMOed up, bait a hook, clean a fish and still be feminine.