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Animal Rights Debate
Okay guys, I'm in college, a pretty liberal one, and quite active in the College of Agriculture and College Republicans here at Missouri State University. I went to see a liberal speaker that was speaking for the Animal Rights club to spice things up and ask questions along with another one of my buddies that farms. We asked a few question during the Q and A that turned that place into an absolute madhouse (mainly about how the farming videos that they showed were mainly BS - to put it in simpler terms) but afterwards we told everyone there if they would like to have a one on one debate with us that we would stick around to talk.
We talked with a few groups of girls about mainly the farming side of it, and after about 30 minutes the President of the Animal Rights Club came over to join in. This was a very civil debate and I'm glad they didn't throw up the "YOU'RE A TERRIBLE PERSON FOR KILLING ANIMALS" card. We had genuine debate but at the end they brought up hunting. They didn't go in depth but just skimmed over it and I explained why things happen the way they do and why hunting is necessary (They were especially against urban management draw hunts)
After our discussion she asked me and my buddy to come to one of their meetings and have a Q and A where the members will ask us questions about primarily farming, however, I know how this goes and I know that eventually it will lead to a hunting debate (The president of the club sent me a facebook friend request and my profile picture is me with my Mountain Goat I killed last year, so I'm certain it will be brought up).
My question for you guys is what are some statistics I could use once it turns into a hunting related debate? I definitely want to bring up the amount of money that hunting directly and indirectly adds to the economy and specifically wildlife conservation itself (PETA has contributed little to no money for wildlife conservation) as well as the amount of tags that go unfilled to show that not all hunters just go out and slaughter everything in their path. I'm sure there is the number for how many deer collisions there are per year as well, especially fatal ones, which would be a great statistic to add on to. I kid you not, one of the girls there said that animal collisions with cars were because of the hunting pressure, she had no clue that the rut was going on or what it even was. I'm sure these statistics are out there somewhere and I will start digging for them, but if anybody has these at their disposal please share them here!
My main reason for posting this is I believe as a community you guys could be able to come up with some facts and points that I wouldn't think of if I was just going into this myself. Do any of you guys have any points or stats that I should be sure to include in the discussion/QandA/debate?
My fiancé recently was talking with coworkers about my recent hunting trip... they were amazed to here that I don't shoot every deer that walks by me. They all just figured we kill everything we see. They were shocked to hear that I often pass up immature bucks, fawns or does w/fawns. There is a ton of info about Pittman-Robertson Act online that will be extremely helpful in your debate. Many people that are anti hunting/farming are just misinformed from the mass media circus. Almost no one knows that everything we eat is already GMO ie: selectively bred to produce a favorable harvest. Good luck and Jeep us informed how it goes!
You could bring up the fact it has always been hunters and conservationist that have preserved endangered animals. Problem with most of the antis is that they have a twisted view on the natural order God created. When one holds an animal's life in higher esteem than human life it's hard to convince most of them. Also, game management is necessary in order to keep a balance of the population of species. Good luck. Glad there are some young folks in college like you that have a brain.lol
State Farm Insurance publishes an annual report on auto/deer collisions. In the 2015-2016 report there were 1,309,288 reported incidents across the U.S. The report breaks the numbers down by state and includes the likelihood of having a collision with a deer. It is estimated that each year approximately 200 people die from these collisions. The average claim was $3995.08. I just returned from a deer hunt in Kentucky and in the drive there and back to Massachusetts we observed probably a hundred deer dead on the road and several vehicles stranded with obvious front end damage. Good luck at your meeting.
The greatest compilation of facts about hunters as conservationists is in this book by Don Thomas. It is called How Sportsmen Saved the World: The Unsung Conservation Efforts of Hunters and Anglers.
There are some really great posts on the buck shaming thread. There are some not so good ones too, so dont direct them there, lol, but towards the end there are a couple REALLY good ones by idyll and ahunter. Not really "facts" you are looking for. But a really positive aspect of the inside of both a hunter from the way it used to be and a hunter from the way it is now, in my opinion. The one thing they cant really argue is that we have canine teeth and animals are on this earth for many reasons, one of them being protein to sustain us. There will ALWAYS be those that do anything for the wrong reason or do it in a bad way, but that isnt the true core of hunting/hunters and what we enjoy.
On another note, in my mind, the "leader" was civil with you, but being the leader, when they get you back in the room with the next group of animal rights people, they will be locked and loaded and ready to turn all your info around on you. As the leader, they are the last of the people in there that could possibly be swayed. So good luck, but be prepared for a buzzsaw, as i am sure you are. Watch the Steven Rinella clip on youtube where the anti tried to sneak attack him at a book signing. Rinella was AMAZING in how he handled it, and the manner in which he did. Good luck and thanks for standing up for us!!!
You'll find no better arguments for conservation than here:
Just bring grilled venison wrapped in bacon and red wine to the table, forget about statistics, and go for the girls.
Oops, didn't see elkstabber's link. Still, worth repeating.
From a David Peterson article: "As members of a species that evolved through thousands of generations of subsistence hunting, true hunting-relying on personal skills and our evolved predator's instincts, rather than hyper-technology and other purchased shortcuts-remains among the most intellectually challenging and viscerally engaging adventures we can know."
" Wild meat contains no antibiotics, growth hormones, or other poisons, and is among the most perfect of all foods. Deer and elk meat is lower in fat than even the white meat of turkey; nobody ever died of clogged arteries from eating too much venison."
I give several presentations a year in defense of hunting.
The conservation argument is great. The $$$ argument is great.
But one often left out very basic point is this: humans have always been hunters. Hunting is responsible for the very existence of Homo sapiens as a species. Hunting is literally in our DNA.
Another basic one is that any person who consumes meat or used leather products contributes to the deaths of animals. Taking out the midddleman (as hunters do) is not a negative, but a positive. Insulating oneself from the reality of animals’ deaths by letting others do the killing is simply a state of denial.
Excellent posts by all, proud to be a hunter. Also glad to see not all people at liberal schools follow the "herd."
Via Hunters For the Hungry, VA hunters provide over a million servings of pure organic protein per year
to the most at risk and neediest population(s) of the commonwealth. That dynamic is repeated across the nation in other participating states. For and quantity of quality
, these programs are unmatched from what I have seen. As much as I love our local food pantry, it's stocked with peanut butter, pasta, Raman, Spaghettios, etc. Just crap food. Hunters provide the needy fare that is at the pinnacle of cost and nutritional value. I've yet to encounter a person who can mount a decent rebuttal to facts like that.
That stated, this debate is not one of stats (though they help). This is a biological, theological and philosophical argument. While I have not read it myself, yet, I understand The Vegetarian Myth does a very good job of dismantling the impression that vegetarianism is good for animals and the environment.
As for points, ask the ARAs how an ecosystem is supposed to function when the apex participant removes its biological interest/ imperative from the natural world. It is important to distinguish between "predator" and "participant" because, frankly, an ecosystem can function without a specific variety of predator. However, when that predator can engage that very same environment, with, say, a bulldozer to manifest its other interests, it becomes hyper-critical those beasts retain the highest level of direct biological connection to the host environment, i.e. hunting, gathering . Nothing is so absolute and cruel to animals and the environment as development and monocultural ag practices.
Debating antis is a waste of time. You'll never get past their bambi emotional bullshit. Their worldview is broken. Why even engage with them and agknowledge their ridiculous viewpoints?
I've become jaded about the whole "hunting is conservation" rhetoric. I didn't say it's not true most of the time. We all know it is in most cases. It's just not all that effective of an argument. I just don't think it is the best defense of hunting to the general public. I think the general public largely sees that argument as justification for exotic trophy hunting which accounts for like .00001% of all hunters.
In my opinion the best representation of hunting revolves around food. Throw a game dinner, and do it well, and you've represented hunting as pristinely as it can possibly be represented. That's what really brings out the hunter that's deep inside all of us. Hold the conservation fluff and pass me the venison barbecue please.
I always mention to a vegetarian/Vegan that they exist because they come from a strong line of hunter/gatherers lol there is no arguing that...
Along those same lines as the last post above is this fact: Every single human on earth that has ever lived or is now living lives exclusively on OTHER ONCE LIVING BEINGS! There are no exceptions, we all consume either plants or animals that would otherwise yet be alive is not for our requirement to consume organic material to stay alive. Therefore, every one of us, animal rightists or otherwise, is directly or indirectly responsible for the death of other living creations, be it plant that other animals utilize to live on, or animal that exist primarily to provide food for other animals. It is a fact of pure earthly existance that the taking of plant or animal, no matter what the method, for consumtion as food, is a form of HUNTING... Gathering is often referred to as hunting. And no matter what, in every single case, the result of the consumption of that hunted/gathered food is the inevetible DEATH of that organism. Period. Mention that during your debate, and you will get no legitimate arguement from anyone. Good luck and thanks for representing REALITY on our college campuses in this day and age of fantasy idealism.
I've listened to a lot of podcasts from Steven rinella and I find him to be the person that best talks about hunting from an open and honest and transparent way that isn't debating and isn't likely to cause defensiveness and arguments from others. Also shane Mahoney is an excellent speaker on the subject. Steven also had an excellent podcast with a person from Stanford who did a study on what changed peoples views on hunting. It was a well thought out study and mostly found people didn't know hunting was regulated and most animal rights peoples have lots of misconceptions about how hunting is regulated and how it is conducted, and of course people respond strongly when hunting is done to provide food for there family
rinella's, mahoney's and that study tend to focus on the same things that I noticed in my many relationships with people who don't eat meat and considered themselves animal rights people. This includes my wife who when she was a teenager, was a member of PETA. they just don't know anything about hunting. what they think they know has just been misinterpreted because they have been given this extremely small snapshot into hunting. so they treat them like a very nice person that has mistakenly made a snap judgement and didn't realize they didn't have all the information. I think most hunters can see how that could happen and most hunters have a deep respect and love for the species they hunt and often have had pets they loved as as an individual animal so we should be able to understand how they could have come to false conclusions on aspects of hunting.
IMO animal rights people(not your general non-hunting public) generally don't care a ton about your conservation efforts, or how much money you are putting into conservation because they don't understand your motives or your feelings about hunting and they don't understand what type of person makes up the very vast majority of hunters, and they don't understand how hunters are regulated and how and why hunters also self regulate, sometime in the pursuit of what is generally regarded as a 'trophy'. Just last night, a little girl was at my house an assumed that because i had an elk head mounted, that meant the animal wasn't eaten - to be honest i think lots of adult animal rights people think that too. they think the two things are mutally exclusive. they think the term trophy hunting only means killing for a head and horns. they think the type of trophy hunting that is only for the head and horns is rampant and the majority of hunting. they don't think you can hunt for a mature animal and also be hunting for meat
I think you need to explain very honestly why you hunt, how hunting is regulated by states and why it is sustainable and how hunters are self regulating and not shooting everything they see, that self regulation for large animals of the male species is often good biologically and extends the enjoyment of the hunt and the learning of the species, the opposite of being focused on the kill, then i would explain the effort hunters go to to be extremely humane and explain how humane our tools are and then explain the efforts we go through to use and consume all food that is edible, and how we feel when we feed our families with the super healthy food from the efforts of our labor and knowledge.
when you tell people it is fun and you love the food, and you explain where the fun part comes from it isn't that hard to relate too. people get liking hobbies that are physically and intellectually stimulating and challenging, they understand the fun of perfecting skills and then executing those skills under pressure. they get the desire to be self reliant and do it yourself stuff. they get wanting to eat healthy and securing your own food I think after they know those things, conversations about conservation efforts of species and the reality of every culture ever has survived due to hunting and fishing(fishing is hunting), and other statistics are better received and understood.
If they're ANTI-hunting people, you'll probably not get too far, as they will NEVER listen to reason or reality of any sort as theirs is a purely emotionally based position. The only crack there MAY be in their position is if they do eat meat. If they don't, then it's futile.
Very good suggestions above. I thank you for taking this on. Most of these discussions dissolve rather quickly into hard feelings and talking above one another. Whatever you do, realize that there will be an element that is going to try to portray you as Elmer Fudd, drinking beer and shooting guns indiscriminately. The absolute best thing you can do here is not lose your cool. You have a platform, and it seems that these are not completely lost folks but are genuinely interested and open minded. Good luck, when is the discussion? Please let us know how it goes.
Play the short Donnie Vincent clip "Who we are"
Chase, I work in Springfield and would be happy to help you out if you need it. There is a very good comprehensive report on the Missouri Department of Conservation's website that contains a lot of the data you are looking for concerning the number of tags issued, tags filled, hunter age brackets, etc. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name of it so you will have to search for it. Or, contact MDC employee, Jason Sumners, (firstname.lastname@example.org) and he can send it to you.
Hope this helps!
Chase, the deer report I referred to in my earlier post can be found here: https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/sites/default/files/downloads/deerPopStatusFINAL.pdf
Important point: one rarely changes the mind of an opponent. The goal of any debate is to influence the audience. Plant mustard seeds. We have to engage these folks with kindness whenever we can. Otherwise, they wind up controlling the narrative.
This is a very good thread, and worthy of The Best hunting site on the net. Very cogent posts !
I agree that anti hunters may never be swayed, but I’m willing to believe that you will be talking to many that are on the fence. Give it your best shot, and thanks for what you’re doing.
Perhaps you can get some nuggets/share clips from this piece, "A Conservationist's Cry"
Kudos to you Boggs for 1) going to listen to "their" side and then engaging, 2) doing your part to keep a civil discourse, 3) accepting an invitation for further debate on their terms (pts 2 & 3 reveal your character and cool head - good traits in an ambassador) and 4) being willing to prepare even more for the next encounter as you undoubtedly have plenty of schoolwork and maybe a little hunting to do.
LOTS of great info above from most of the guys. I was going to suggest watching/listening to Rinella as well. His resolute, but cool-headed demeanor is crucial to achieving the best results possible when debating someone who believes they have basic value differences with you.
I vehemently disagree with both elk yinzer and Woods Walker. They are correct that it is tough to change minds, but it is not impossible. I've managed to get a few anti's to change their views over the years. Admittedly, they weren't the rabid type, but progress must start somewhere.
Again, kudos for your efforts and attitude. Best of luck and keep us posted.
Also, since the discussion is going to be centered on farming primarily, I wouldn't neglect the fact that most meat and egg production throughout history has, and is being done on a small-scale, subsistence, hobby or community level. While there are abuses in any type of situation, the vast majority of livestock is treated well because it enhances production rates and is a lifestyle for many.
It is difficult to defend some large ag industry practices. However, as I'm sure you've experienced, most farmers love their animals and treat them with care and respect.
I wish I had some resources for you on that but all I know is I grew up farming and working for other farmers and I only saw one incident ever of a guy mistreating an animal. I was 14 and quit working for him that night.
There was a story on our local news last night about all the car/deer collisions recently in our area(Northeast PA). They said the local car rental places are actually out of cars due to all the cars in the body shops. They interviewed the owner of the local body shop and one customer who could not find a car to rent- she had to borrow a friend's car while hers was in the shop. The shop owner said it's the worst he has seen in about 10 yrs. The nearest available car for rental was reportedly 40 miles away.
Yep, good for you Boggs. You won't change the minds of those who are dead set in their beliefs about this topic. However, it sounds like there are a number of people who are there and have thoughts about it, but maybe haven't been turned into liberalized crazy nut jobs just yet. You can do your part to provide good info. As has been suggested above one great piece of advice for this-- do not, under any circumstances, let the discussion spin into an angry shouting match. There's a decent chance a crazy idiot will start that or try to bait you down that path- don't fall for it. Let him yell and scream and call you names, but stay calm and don't raise your voice. Let him look like the idiot, not you.
Pointing out that hunters are the true conservationists is really a great thing to do. The dollars that hunters contribute to habitat and programs related to the animals they hunt is great info. Ask one of the liberal nut jobs (one of the vocal idiots who gets pissy) how many dollars he has contributed to habitat of these animals he cares so much about.
Good luck and please report back and let us know how it goes.
AWESOME! This may have been brought up, but I was so pumped after reading your post OP that I just came down to reply. What you and your buddy did, to me, speaks volumes about how open you are and how willing your are to grow and learn. NOTHING is better at helping us evolve our beliefs, either furthering what they are or tweaking them as new information is learned, than exposing ourselves willingly to new ideas or ideas which contradict what we think we believe.
You and your buddy are class acts, if you are willing to do that. AWESOME!
Point blank, the fact that the group you were interacting with didnt go atomic on you suggests they are also pretty stand up folks. It gives me hope for the future of the country that college age people, who often are very extreme in the views they possess, were willing to be so open to hearing others views. Really cool.
I dont have stats at my finger tips... But I would suggest doing something you likely do for school all the time - hit up pubmed or your schools online library, and do search after search for academic papers on subjects you suspect they may dive into, or which could add further merit to your points. Create a list of annotations of each paper. Study it. Now you can bring it if needed, but ideally, you can utilize most of the points as is.
Note your belief and experience as non defensively as possible. If you get defensive, they will contract away from the discussion and become defensive as well. Expand into the debate, meaning, do not let yourself become defensive.
After you note your belief/experience, you could then bring up something about the papers you have read which relates to that point. For example: "I wanted to learn more after our discussion a few weeks ago, you all challenged me to think more about things. So I dug into a lot of research on these topics. That research really agreed with what I'm saying... Ill share that information with _____ (girl who is the club president) so you can all check it out if you would like to."
Give them the choice and chance... Be open, and be ok with having differences of opinion (sounds like you guys are those things... Just a reminder :))
Well done man! Will
One way to start, is to tell them about how hunting conservation started. Explain to them what Market hunting was and how during that time man thought the animal bounty of this country was endless and how we learned differently. The conservation we see today was started by a few dedicated hunters that saw what was happening and didn't want to see game animal go extinct. How from them, it expanded to the conservation hunting we have today. Also explain to them that every state has its own law enforcement for people who commit game violations, they are the Game Wardens. I doubt many that you will speak to even know that. Tell them that license fees for hunting and fishing fund animal research, is also used for fishing restocking fees, animal relocation for control and expansion of a species, and animal reintroduction. Here in Ohio as an example our license fees were use to reintroduce the river otter. These are just a few ideas. DANNY
Even vegetarians are responsible for the permanent death of animals, and in a more permanent sense than hunters. When hunters take a small percentage of the wildlife from a section of land, the wildlife regenerates the following year and it is self sustaining. When the natural cover is bulldozed to make room to plant human crops, the results are that many species are permanently exterminated from that land. Many of the plants that are grown for the clothing that these people say we should wear instead of leather, such as cotton, are much worse for the environment. Even the World Wildlife organization denounces cotton growing (see the attached link) that many of these vegans promote using instead of animal products like leather and fur.
Watch some Ben Shapiro debates before you go. It's not hunting related but you'll get down the debate technique. Also why are they not concerned about the roads they use every day to get to places. There is hundreds of thousands of miles of roads that deer, squirrels, mice and many other animals have been killed by putting in roads. Or where their house/apartment is was once inhabited by animals. Even though they haven't personally killed any animals they are part of killing to make their life more convenient. Also ask them who is more guilty, the assassin or the person who paid the assassin? I'd say they are guilty equally.
Look Up Pittman Robertson act dollars taken in. Over 2.4 million daily that goes back into wildlife habitat. All the conservation groups like RMEF and DU, hundreds of them. From a personal note we tell people we eat free range ORGANIC meat. People here in CA understand those buzz words. The ones that aren’t grazers anyways. Without hunters dollars there would be little preserved habitat, wildlife refuges, wildlife viewing areas, wardens to protect against poaching in and on. If you go to your states fish and game Website and look at all the programs they provide for non hunters. All of these are either fully paid or partially paid for by hunters dollars. Good luck and thank you.
Without question, you need to listen to MeatEater Podcast #53 with Greg Blascovich.
Back when the world was young and all things in it were new and MSU was SMSU, there was in the ag dept a professor that taught wildlife management. If they still teach a course along those lines, you might check with the instructor. It is entirely possible that they would have some good information that would help.
Amazing how times change, when I went to school there, it never occurred to us that there could be any anti hunters around. Of course, I never would have guessed that when I graduated with Jim Hutter, he would go on to become Prof Jim Hutter and come back to teach there. ;)
Way to represent Boggs! This is good stuff - please keep us posted, your going to do well. I would love to hear a podcast or see a video of this debate.
If it comes down to hunting #1 the organic renewable food angle. The self reliant satisfaction of providing your own food, having a natural connection with it rather than a disconnect of wrapped in cellophane under supermarket lights. Solid, pretty much unarguable. #2 Conservation, wildlife management and hunters massive contribution to it. #3 The economic value, especially in struggling rural areas. Urban folks won't see this in their world and need to be reminded there are people who live in other places.
Whatever you do..... do NOT mention how much fun it is. They will NOT be able to grasp this. If you go near this use terms such as "connected", "heritage", "dawn of time" "being a part of the natural world" things such as that. They will not understand "fun" in killing, but stress the HUNT aspect if it gets to that. The kill itself is not what is celebrated.....the success of the hunt and completing the circle of natural life for food and family is.
Thanks for the tips guys! I really appreciate it. I would consider myself pretty political savvy, so I don't believe the actual debate will be an issue, just a matter of getting the right content within it to effectively and quickly get them to realize that there are stats to back up my views. Ben Shapiro is definitely an influence of mine and I take after him when it comes to debate technique. The discussion on Monday seemed civil once it became a small group debate, but I understand that when it is just me and my buddy vs the entire club they will be more ruthless and emotional and most likely be a little more closed-minded as well.
I got a good laugh out of SixLomaz's post, might have to attempt to swoon some of them into going hunting with me after the debate (Yeah right, lol) I will definitely look into the Pittman-Robertson Act, I am uninformed on this so I will definitely do some research on that and incorporate it into my rebuttal. I am good friends with my high school biology teacher and he was a big time meat-eating promoter, he has many different sources and research papers regarding the health benefits of eating red meat so I will get in contact with him before the debate to gain some ground on the health side of things since that is by far my weakest point in this argument since I'm in no way a dietitian.
As for the "negative" people on here, I know I will not win over all of them with this debate, and I know some of them are insanely close-minded, but my hope is that a few that are on the fence and open-minded will see our side of the story. Mainly my goal is to shut down some of the PETA groupthink and propaganda and allow them to discuss this with someone who has lived both the farm life and the hunting life instead of just seeing biased views of both of those.
I can't really address all those who helped here because this update would be pages long, but I've read and taken note of all of these comments and will definitely incorporate them into it! I am going to their meeting today and hopefully will get to discuss planning the debate with the president after the meeting. I'm gonna shoot for having it as soon as possible after Thanksgiving, and I will talk to her about filming it as well! I really hope they allow filming, but if not at the very least possibly an audio recording. If they allow filming I will upload it for you all to enjoy, but if they don't I will still get on here and make a post summarizing some of the things that were discussed and how it went. It's been a while since I've been on bowsite and I'm glad this community is just as helpful as it was whenever I left! Thanks guys and I will keep updating you accordingly.
Another note: I believe if we lump farming and hunting together the debate will be too broad and we won't be able to go in detail about each topic as much as I would like, I will discuss this hopefully today with their President, but I'm hoping to be able to split these debates up into a farming debate with me and my buddy, and then a separate hunting debate where we will go in detail about hunting. I'm sure this club is passionate about both and should have no problem splitting them up into two separate debates.
Hopefully they open these debates up to the public and promote them, I'm not srue about whether they are gonna keep it quiet and let the debates happen or if they will try to promote it and gather lots of people to it. I'm hoping they do some sort of promotion and bring in some on-the-fence people, but if they don't hopefully they allow me to record it and possibly post on YouTube and facebook. Thanks for all the help and positivity guys! I really do appreciate it, and yes, not all college students follow the flock. Sadly, most of them do, but not all of us!
I'm glad to be able to represent hunters and farmers in this debate and hopefully it at least makes one or two of them question a few of their beliefs!
After all of that positive advice above. If they are fanatics...most likely PITA or HSUS members...you can really stick it to them with the ugly facts about their disingenuous charity from Humanewatch.org
Boggs, in preparation (and beyond), I suggest you tune into Jordan Peterson and Frank Turek on Youtube. Turek will really teach you how to debate. Peterson, well, he just makes his audience smarter in every conceivable way.
Study everything Steve Rinella and you will come off as smart, fair and intelligent. he has a great video where a anti-hunter asks him questions at a book signing. Watch it.
Being involved with Hunting politics for a lot of years and all the opportunities that arise living in California...I have found the argument most likely to be an agent of change, is to point out how animals die. For instance deer (everyone relates to deer)..they do NOT have a rest home, medicine for pain, or even hospice care...they all die by: 1. old age or sickness 2. predation. 3. auto incidents and 4. hunter's bullet or arrow. Then describe in detail and with emotion #1...a slow painful death from starvation with birds pecking their still alive eyes out...or #2 the almost unimaginable horror and pain of being chased down and literally eaten alive...or #3 being clobbered by a fast moving vehicle often to lay along side the road in indescribable pain only to die hours later.....or #4 to be surprised by a sound or a sensation and die in a matter of seconds with no comprehension what happened....and only in #4 is the animal revered and consumed by humans. I have found this argument to really reach the majority of the crowd who are usually neither hunters or anti-hunters....But they vote !!
I think it’s a very good idea to clarify the definition of “Sport” Hunting; you might even ask the audience why it is called that. Because I’ll bet not many will know that it is to distinguish what we do from Market Hunting, and the horrific exploitation that resulted. Good Factoid: there once were more Passenger Pigeons in the US than there now are BIRDS. And like the Bison, it was Market Hunting that wiped them out.
You might also ask how people feel about Subsistence Hunting. Not many people who consider themselves the least bit open-minded will condemn people hunting for food.
Is good to establish some kind of common ground up front. Maybe then you can talk about how Sport Hunting is a sustainable use of the resource and emphasizes the principles of Fair Chase, where Market and Subsistence hunters are 1) exploitative, by nature and 2) antithetical to Fair Chase, because they are oriented towards Efficiency and Expedience - a starving person doesn’t care much about Fair Chase or a quick, humane kill or any of that crap - they just want something Dead, and they don’t much care if it gets ugly. Priorities.
JMO, Hunting is the most honest approach to protein consumption that there is. Once that animal is down, this stuff turns into WORK. And I’ll tell you... once you’ve back-packed a couple hundred pounds of Elk meat several miles down out of some thick, nasty terrain... you’ll never take a steak for granted again. Makes for much more thoughtful consumption...
But you know what I don’t get?? Why is it that a coyote or a lion or a bear or a wolf has a “right” to eat a deer.... but I don’t?
After toughing through their two hour meeting with a whopping 7 members present, we didn't really get anywhere on discussion about the debate. They were wanting more and a debate where both of us give a "shpeel" whereas I was hoping to get more of me doing a hunting presentation with a Q and A afterwards. They said they needed time to "study up" (You would think if someone was an advocate against something they would atleast be knowledgeable on the subject, apparently not) so they said they couldn't do it until January (Next semester).
On the bright side, they did say they were gonna try to rent out a big lecture hall, and open it to the public! I also briefly mentioned filming it and they seemed on board with that. I'm hoping to convince them to make it a discussion by me with the animal rights club as a sponsor for the event, that way it will give me time to play "Who We Are" as well as a powerpoint. I was hoping to be able to give a 30ish minute presentation on hunting and then leave the rest of the time open for a discussion/QandA. Being open to the public, I know a lot of people that will show up in support within the college and from my home town which is not too far from here. If any of you guys are in the Springfield MO area I would encourage you to attend if you are able to. Being sponsored by the animal rights club obviously means people are going to be going to it in support of them, which is good because it will allow more people to have their thought process questioned, but it would be awesome to get some hunters in there as well, which I'm sure there will be plenty of. I will keep you guys updated on the date and rundown of the whole deal. I'm hoping they allow me to give a powerpoint presentation but I will keep you updated accordingly.
Three things you should NEVER debate.. 1. The absence/presence of God 2. Pro life or pro choice 3. Hunting (Good vs. Bad)
They'll learn soon enough for themselves #1, and the other two you will never change their minds; they need to figure it out on their own. You'd be further ahead to beat your head against a rock then try to win 'em over.
Even the writers of The Lion King, I’m sure liberals, reference the balance in the circle of life. ;) We are all directly part of that balance but some of us take an active part in that balance by hunting and growing our own food as opposed to the passive part of pure consumption. When Scar the liberal lion is in control the “balance” is out of wack. There is a created order for a reason. That scene of a devasted eco system is what you get with leftist ideas. A little juvenile but you must speak at their level. ;). Managing an eco system with wolves and grizzlies is not a viable option in most places and where it is hunters are still the better option.
You will never change the mind of an anti-hunter or trapper until they see their shrubs, young apple trees, and gardens destroyed by deer, or they contract lymes. The same for turkeys roto-tilling their manicured lawn or geese crapping all over their golf course. Let a beaver flood their land and watch them beg for a trapper. I was talking with a lady two years ago who used to be diehard PETA supporter until her property was flooded by beaver. I now trap her land.
You should see how fast they get Religion when a coyote snatches Fluffy or Fifi off of the back porch!!
But I do think you might strike a chord by mentioning that this stuff is hard work and we go to a boatload of trouble to get this meat onto our tables; a Vegetarian might say they're committed to the lifestyle, but are they committed enough to haul an #80 pack of organic veggies 3-4 down out of a wilderness area??
Not all hunting is a wilderness affair, but there is that intimate connection with the food we eat that you just can't get under a cellophane wrapper, and I do think that inspires all of us to be a bit more thoughtful about what we do eat....
For example, I like my steaks rare. REALLY rare. But when I get served one that's not done to my liking, I won't send it back to the kitchen because they'd just throw it out.... and I have too high an appreciation for protein to allow it to be wasted just because it's not my first choice.
Yes, that's a small thing, but it's part of the overall lifestyle; it gets down into everything that you do, every choice that you make.... Not everybody feels as strongly about all of it as I do, I suppose, but that's up to them....
lawdy, you make a fine point. Nothing says hate like a bunch of hogs on your manicured lawn overnight ! I hadn't thought of that angle, but even non-hunters can relate to damages coming right out of their pocketbooks.
"If any of you guys are in the Springfield MO area I would encourage you to attend"
Well keep us posted on the actual date - this might be bigger than the Pope and Young convention, you may have guys flying in from everywhere to support you.
Thanks Boggs for all you are doing; maybe in our show me state you can show them, good luck and keep us posted!