Would a Deer Hug a Hunter? I Don’t Think So

Billboard hunter deer
Billboard at Colorado and Evans

By Kate Lawrence
(reblogged from A Practical Peacemaker Ponders)

At a major intersection in my Denver neighborhood, this large billboard shows a deer and a hunter in an embrace.  The caption has the deer saying “Thanks hunter, for making sure my home isn’t turned into a mall.”  Really?

The billboard is part of an extensive advertising campaign by The Wildlife Council here in Colorado to convince the public that hunters and anglers care about preserving wildlife.  Then why are they systematically killing them by hunting and fishing?  If you cared about a group of animals, would you want to kill them?  Especially since you are not starving and have no need to eat their flesh?

The billboard bizarrely attributes to deer an affection for their killers.  Are we to believe that deer are victims of “Stockholm syndrome,” the psychological phenomenon in which sufferers develop an unhealthy positive attachment to their abusers?  Victims come to accept the abuser’s lies and rationalizations for his or her bad behavior.

Hunters will often say that hunting is necessary because when deer herds become too large, a death by killing is more humane than a death by starvation.  But let’s be rational here: how does it happen that herds become larger than their environment can support?  Because their natural predators have been removed.  Who has been the greatest killer of predators? USDA Wildlife Services, a federal program that kills native predators with traps, snares, poisons, gas, and aerial gunning at the request of corporate agriculture and the hunting lobby. They slaughter millions of wild animals a year with taxpayer dollars, including over 100,000 vital native predators like wolves, cougars, coyotes and bears. The agency has refused Congressional requests for transparency and has refused to account for their spending.

But back to the billboard.  A quick look at The Wildlife Council’s website hugahunter.com discloses that of its nine-member board, four represent those who directly kill wildlife, namely hunters and anglers.  A fifth is a representative of the livestock industry, in whose interest millions of predators are killed every year by USDA Wildlife Services, setting up the conditions for over-large deer herds.  It is also because of the livestock industry that so much land that would otherwise be wildlife habitat is now used for ranching.  Two more board members represent counties or towns that receive substantial revenue from hunting and fishing.

Does it sound like The Wildlife Council cares about wildlife?  Token efforts to protect a few wildlife species are entirely unconvincing.  The image of the fox guarding the henhouse comes to mind–of course the fox wants healthy hens in the henhouse so he or she can kill them as desired.  At least the fox actually needs the food.

The answer to having large expanses of land for wildlife, in order to have maximum biodiversity and to approach some sort of prey/predator balance without human intervention, is to drastically reduce the amount of land needed for agriculture.  How do we do that?  Simple: go vegan.

7 Replies to “Would a Deer Hug a Hunter? I Don’t Think So”

  1. Ever heard of keeping the herds healty? If they weren’t hunted they would all die of wasting disease or starve. Humans have destroyed thier habitats so there is not enough room for them to live if there were no form of population control. Most hunters eat the meat as well so its the natural cycle of life.

    1. Hunters take out the strongest and healthiest in the herd, not the weakest. Livestock agriculture is what has destroyed their habitat (many times more area destroyed than urban sprawl, malls, and everything else combined), so if you want to be kind to deer, AND preserve their habitat, go vegan. Hunting is just deliberate cruelty for pleasure. This is worrisome, because “the FBI has found that a history of cruelty to animals is one of the traits that regularly appear in its computer records of serial rapists and murderers.”

  2. What idiotic reasoning..so by like token, India and Africa are overpopulated and have starving people so we would be doing them a favor by sending people with guns over to “thin the herd”?
    (on second thought, our state department seems to use this type of “logic”)

    Most of the people i know who hunt use Christian dominion as an excuse.
    To that end i would like to bring up a point about demon possession.

    Now i believe Keith may be an atheist, and i respect that. I have seen “spirits” or “ghosts” with other witnesses, so i think there may be spirits.
    I have also heard of native American ghosts attacking people who desecrate their land, and a story of a mountain Deva haunting a town because it was being desecrated. (true or not i don’t know)

    I have often wondered if the “demons” and “evil spirits” that many folks claim to have experienced might not in fact be enraged animal spirits.

    In reading about orthodox (and other) exorcisms, you read about people being exorcised rolling on the floor squealing like pigs, barking like dogs etc.. Given that a number of early church fathers believed that eating animal flesh opened one up to demon possession, it truly makes me wonder..(i know that may be a bit far out for most)

    1. I’m not an atheist. I don’t think the idea of demon possession from the eating of meat is far-fetched at all. You could get into an involved sociological explanation involving learning, cultural traditions, and the psychological blocking of violence . . . or you could just say “it’s the work of demons.” Either way, there’s something in them that’s evil that makes them act that way.

      1. Sorry Keith, my bad..ok here is a kicker you might find interesting, the pentacostals, especially the Toronto Blessing crowd? They have “holy laughter”and services where they writhe around on the floor, bark like dogs, squeal like pigs etc as part of their service.
        Is it just Christianity that is nuts or is it something truly wrong with the human race?
        We have turned the entre planet into an abattoir.

        It makes me weep.

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