I think nature is beautiful.
I am bothered by how we treat some things in nature, specifically animals. I have written before about my thoughts on zoos. I recently went to the aquarium in Sandy with my family. Little fish in big tanks, I don't so much care about. However, a 20 foot long, 10 foot wide, 1.5 feet deep figure 8 shaped pool full of stingrays sure did bother me. Why do they have to be in there? So a bunch of fat Americans can shove their fat hands in the water and poke them? Why does ANYBODY need to be able to poke a stingray? It seems wrong.
In the age of high definition television and the existence of Planet Earth, I think we need not keep creatures in absurdly small cages in order to be able to have a "real life, animal experience." Well, it really isn't a real life, animal experience, because they aren't real wild animals anymore.
That, however, isn't what this is about.
Let me preface this with the idea that I don't, on some levels, have a problem with hunting. For instance, because we, as stewards of planet earth (and in this instance, the west) have basically eradicated wolves and many of the other large predators that historically kept deer populations in check, we now have the responsibility to maintain those populations, in order to avoid mass starvation and disease epidemics.
I also am much more okay with a deer or an elk living out its existence in the mountains, or wherever, and then being hunted and eaten by people, than the so-called living done by animals in factory farms previous to slaughter.
I noticed a friend had changed his facebook profile picture to one of him with a slain elk. Turns out, this photo had been uploaded to an fbook site for a bullet company. Upon clicking though some of the pictures, I was astounded by (and reminded of) the absolutely alien, completely unrelatable world in which rednecks dwell. The completely senseless nature of the killing that is applauded in the world of bad grammar, camouflage hunting brand hats, and humongous trucks.
For whatever reason, on planet redneck, small creatures are of little worth, beyond providing "fun" target practice. Even more disturbing than this photo, were the comments included therewith.
Kyle: "Yeeessssss I love it...lol"
Seriously? Kyle loves this? And is loling? Wtf is the matter with this guy/people? Why is blowing the guts out of a fat prairie dog funny, or thrilling, or awesome to anyone? On a similarly grotesque photo of another prairie dog's bullet induced visceral explosion were some other comments that really built my faith in humanity. Not only did 3 people "like" the photo, but Roger said: "Never knew what hit him ! lol" Again, the loling. One can not help but wonder what sort of chemical brain imbalance is required to induce maniacal laughter at the sight of a marmot that has been eviscerated by a bullet.
Pretty damned funny, don't you think?
Then there was this: Why does anybody have to kill one of these? Have you ever seen a mountain goat in the wild? They are unbelievably beautiful, and it is an amazing thing to watch one climb up the most impossibly steep terrain. From where does the need to destroy beauty stem? This mountain goat, stuffed with whatever the hell taxidermists stuff dead creatures with, set upon a fake mountain in a hunting store, or in some guy's office, or its head on some wall, will never come even close to invoking the feelings of awe that encountering one alive in the wild would.
Nobody is eating a tough old mountain goat, so don't try to use that as an excuse.
Lastly, why does anyone need to kill this? 2 of the comments that went along with the picture were the most bothersome:
Lane: "Well that is one beautiful bull. The trophy of a lifetime! Congratulations."
Ken: "WOW Beautiful animal You better have high ceilings to mount that guy on the wall."
That this bull's head is going to end up on some redneck's wall is nothing short of a tragedy. Ken and Lane were right. It WAS a beautiful creature. The trophy of a lifetime. But for what point? So Mr. Redneck can feel good about the size of his package every time he enters into the room and stares that bull in its dead, glass eyes? So that he can prove to all who see it that he was man enough to shoot it, rip out its guts, and cut off its head?
My father has no animal heads on his wall, nor has he ever slain a "trophy." He is certainly no less a man for it.
Killing for the sake of killing just seems wrong, even if they are merely animals. When one shoots marmots, or rabbits, or other small creatures that one is not going to eat (which is most small creatures) one is killing because one enjoys killing.
When one kills a large, inedible creature because one desires for said creature to adorn one's wall, one is killing because one enjoys killing. One is creating a monument to killing for sport.
That. Is. Wrong.