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December 17, 2007

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Discussion Topic: Hunters, The Original Locavores

From The New York Times:

In the traditional vernacular, we’d call [venison] “game meat.” But, in keeping with the times, it might be better to relabel it as free-range, grass-fed, organic, locally produced, locally harvested, sustainable, native, low-stress, low-impact, humanely slaughtered meat.

That string of adjectives has been popularized in recent years by the various food-awareness movements, particularly “localism. . . .”

So-called locavores [argue that eating local foods not only saves fossil fuels for transport but also] leads to a healthier lifestyle and diet; brings money to rural communities; promotes eating meat from animals that are able to “carry out their natural behaviors” and “eat a natural diet” . . . ; supports the production of foods that have fewer chemical fertilizers and pesticides; and it keeps us in touch with the seasons.

While those sound suspiciously similar to the reasons many Americans choose to hunt, the literature of localism neglects the management and harvest of wildlife. This is a shame, because hunters are the original locavores. . . .

Hunters need to push a new public image based on deeper traditions: we are stewards of the land, hunting on ground that we know and love, collecting indigenous, environmentally sustainable food for ourselves and our families.

Read this important article in full, then tell us your reaction.

Comments

Roger

There's a huge difference between active antis (of which there are few) and ambivalent urbanites (of which there are legion). You can't talk to the antis, but your words and actions have a serious impact on the urbanites.

That's why the "you can't change their minds anyway, so f*ck 'em" argument is so dangerous. Bunker mentality at its worst. Frank Fox and Randy have it right.

Good luck getting that across here Roger, but you are right.

jack

Geepers, Randy, did I touch a nerve?:

"I've always found it particularly disgracful when people--and there are lots of them--use the term "rugged individualist" as a justification for not caring about anyone else."

I presume you are referring to my comment above. Are you lumping me in with people who don't care about anyone else? I neither wrote nor implied any such thing. Further, rugged individualism is not defined as lacking compassion for man and beast.

Also - am I "left-bashing" because I point out some slight jabs that Rinella takes at Cheney, NRA and Nugent? Any criticism leveled, if you want to call it that, was an observation that most (not all) people who are socially left have a hard time believing anyone who is a hunter or gun owner would also share their viewpoints. Rinella is one of them. To the Left, he is accepted as one of them, but with the quirk (their perception) of being an avid hunter.

Good grief.

Randy

I apoligize, Jack. It seems I must have read too much into the last clause of this sentence: "I practice these behaviors because it is good for me (it maintains a healthy food supply and clean habitat)- it is a side benefit that it is also good for others."
I have seen the rhetoric of rugged individualism twisted into a philosophy of "I'll get mine and the heck with everyone else" so many times, and am so disgusted with it, that I am perhaps too quick to point it out. It appears I was in this case. Sorry.

Dan

Anyone who takes jabs at Cheny and Nugent is okay with me. Sadly, the NRA ain't perfect either. Anyway, this isn't about left or right. It's about showing nonhunters (not antis who likely never be swayed) a side of hunting they may not have considered previously and may be able to connect with and respect.

jack

Randy - no sweat.

I can understand your frustration, having been there and back.

I just read Dan's post (after yours and just above this one). His first point I will ignore. The rest of his post is on target.
Let us all embrace our commonality, a brotherhood of outdoorsmen. We have much to offer those who don't understand the majesty and magnificent beauty of our passion for the wild.

I suppose I should try to avoid debating or explaining differences and misunderstandings about hunting and outdoor life. Perhaps the next time we are confronted or presented the opportunity to discuss hunting, we should invite that person to come along. Part of my enjoyment of the outdoors is introducing others to the real outdoors. Talking about it is a start, but it isn't enough - we have to invite them to join our adventures.

Merry Christmas Randy - and have a great day outdoors.

Randy

Happy Holidays to you, Jack. Again, sorry for the misunderstanding. Cheers.




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