Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

Why Hunt?

by David Doody


Tags: hunting, animals, ethics, spirituality, Vermont's Local Banquet, David Doody,

hunting-deerIn a recent post, Utne Reader senior editor Keith Goetzman highlighted the increasingly popular occurrence of “canned hunts,” a pay-to-shoot experience, where hunters kill tame animals in enclosed areas. The practice is disturbing to anyone who knows hunters who have respect for the act of hunting and for the animals they kill. Writing for Vermont’s Local Banquet, Robert F. Smith counts himself among such hunters. His exploration into why he hunts is reverent and voices like his are important when you see videos like the one Keith posted, where pseudo-hunters get some sort of thrill out of killing what amount to large pets.  “[W]hy hunt?” Smith asks,

Hunters like Smith are of the type I grew up with, so his logic and reasoning are familiar to me. He does take the discussion a step further, though, arguing that the hunter/gatherer system that predated agriculture led to equality, while the farms and labor it takes to keep them up has led us to the class system we find today:

Ultimately, though, the answer to the question “Why hunt” is elemental for Smith. It’s who we are; it’s part of what makes us human: “Hunting is an ancient dance as old as life itself, written into the very core of what we are as humans.” 

Source: Vermont’s Local Banquet 

Image by Benimoto, licensed under Creative Commons.