Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thought provoking

I watched a movie with one of my new students for his health class yesterday. It was called Food (I think). He needed help making sure he got all of the questions answered but I didn't know what I was getting myself into. At a few points during the movie I had to leave the room. I have a huge weakness when it comes to animals and them suffering. I guess I also feel strongly about animals at least having the right to live a justified life (even though Mother Nature can be cruel at's still the natural cycle) and live and die with dignity. Some may argue that animals don't know what that even means and that's fine but I wouldn't know either way. I guess I feel that I know when my dogs feel ill and can tell when they feel better so they must be able to feel many things.

I've always loved the outdoors and animals and the thought of hunting and providing for my family and using as much of the animal as possible has always seemed romantic. I have never had a problem with any ethical hunter. I just don't know that I could ever be the one to actually pull the trigger. Yesterday and today I have been thinking about that quite a bit. Some of the graphic (for me) scenes from the movie included images of chicken houses, and cow and pig farms where the only purpose for the existence of that animal was to pump it full of steroids and scientifically engineered chemicals to fatten them up. Many of the animals they showed were too fat for their bones to even support them and many of them died or couldn't even move around more than a few steps before having to lay back down. Some died without even ever seeing daylight. I had a real problem with it.

I checked through the fridge and freezer this morning after I woke up from another nap and was happy to see that all of our chicken is USDA Organic. In order to meet this standard the animal has to have a multitude of things, including a bit more freedom and, in my mind, some sort of a life other than standing in feces all day in a dark house crammed with other chickens. We don't eat beef hardly ever but the same applies to that as well. Still though, I have been thinking about this stuff and hunting. I do believe it would be emotionally hard for me to kill an animal. Even if it's one that the Department of Wildlife has studied and said needs to be thinned out or is an elderly animal that is going to have it's life ended humanely and quickly after living a long, healthy life and prior to it getting sick and dying slowly. I have friends that hunt and every time they sit to a meal it's a celebration of that animal (as stupid as that sounds). The Native Americans would celebrate an animal before even quartering it with a series of rituals and prayers.

I don't think I could do the vegetarian thing and I don't know that I want to. Heather and I do talk about wanting to get into gardening when we move back home (perhaps not at the level that these two do). We think it would be fun and a nice lifestyle change. I'm also going to give more thought to the idea of learning more about hunting. I know that all of the reading and talking will give me absolutely no idea what it would be like to look through a scope at a deer or elk and I may not be able to carry through with it at that moment and that's ok too. Maybe it's something that needs to get to that point in order for the question to be answered? I do think that I want to find out the answer though.

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