It never ceases to amaze me how many meat eaters get offended by the sight of a harvested animal. It seems ridiculous to me that someone would favor seeing a non-biodegradable plastic wrapper covering an animal rather than its natural packaging.
A couple weeks back, I received an email from a disgruntled woman from Norwich. She stated she had been upset by the pictures of harvested animals in the paper. She also made the statement, “The hunters in the pictures seemed to be excited they had killed something...she would like to give me a piece of her mind.” I happily gave her my phone number and said, “Feel free to do so.”
As expected, she gave me a call a couple days later to scold me for disturbing her so badly with such horrific photographs. I let her ramble on for what seemed to be hours. She ranted and raved about how wrong I am for the lifestyle I have chosen to live. Rather than join in an argument with the uneducated or misinformed meat eater, I find it more beneficial to them to take the high road.
I find it easy to stump people like her. Their lack of knowledge and understanding of hunting and conservation, along with a complete acceptance of modern meat packaging practices, are the fuel needed for recourse. I typically ask a single question that must be answered before I will carry on with the lesson. Most of the time I find people like her can talk for hours, but are easily stumped by a single, rational question. You can talk for hours about opinion, but facts tend to be conveyed in a short-and-sweet, cut-and-dry manner.
The question I asked her was, “What did you have to eat for Thanksgiving dinner?” The typical silence crept in. I wonder... is that crickets, or the gears turning in her head, trying to figure out how to side step the fact that a dead bird had also adorned her table. The silence had to be broken, so I spoke up and said, “turkey, right?” She reluctantly replied, yes probably realizing she was stepping into a trap. This is the point in which you make the choice to either educate or ridicule her obviously flawed opinion. The next question you ask will set the tone for the rest of the conversation.
I then asked, “Have you ever held up the turkey that you had just purchased, and with a big smile on your face, and ask someone to take your picture?” She instantly and bitterly replied, “no.” I then asked, why? To my surprise she stated, “That people would think she was weird.” I agreed and said, “Probably because it took no skill and anyone with a few bucks in their hand can get one.” She agreed to which I added, “the reason for that response would be the understanding that farmed turkeys have no chance for escape, and they are killed and packaged for your convenience.” This makes it easy for the consumer to get one, and everybody knows, things that come easy need not be bragged about or rewarded. I then said, “This is probably why you feel no connection to the bird on your table, and feel no reason to celebrate its life being given to sustain yours.”
Hunters have the right to thank God for the food provided, while the consumer needs to thank the farmer. All animals, wild or domesticated, need to be respected equally, and herein lies the problem. Farmed animals are unable to escape capture, which makes their death inevitable, while wild animals can evade your pursuit and must be harvested. The hard work and skills used to harvest a wild bird warrant smiles on the faces of hunters after a successful hunt. You have to call in most wild turkeys, the exchange of conversation along with the feeling of oneness with nature creates a connection between the bird and hunter. I thaen added, “the reason you feel no connection with bird on your table is because you have none. It was raised on a farm, far from your sight, killed and processed by the slaughterhouse, again out of your sight and ultimately stuffed into a non transparent plastic package as to not offend people, like yourself, who seem to forget that a dead bird is contained. Fur, feathers and scales are the natural packaging of animals, of which, are biodegradable and useable. You can't say the same of store-bought packages.