Friday, July 07, 2006

Misc.: If there is a battle, animal rights folks are winning

I found this article the Ithaca Journal and thought that I posted here. As a member of many hunting forums I have to agree with the article. As hunters we do spend an inordinate amount of time complaining about issues and even fighting each other for no other reason than subscribing to a different hunting segment. Just mention crossbows on bow hunting forums and you understand what I mean!

In the past I have been involved to motivate hunter support for different issues pertaining to hunting and found often that it is near to impossible to gather enough support to build a force to be reckoned with. Here we can learn from the animal rights activists, they love what they are doing and leave no opportunity pass by to fight hard for what they believe in. In fact they see themselves as “crusaders” for their cause. That is an attitude we hunters should adopt too if we truly want to save our hunting heritage for future generations.

We too can stick together and fight for our heritage. We have proven that we can stand together and fight for the same cause. We have done it, and still do it, to fight against the unethical plans of the Word Hunting Association.

If there is a battle, animal rights folks are winning
By: Dave Henderson
Outdoor Column
The Ithaca (NY) Journal

If there truly is a battle between sportsmen and the animal rights folks — and I'm not convinced that there is — things are looking bad for the good guys.
I mean, a battle has two sides. We never lay a glove on them.

If a group like the Humane Society of the United States does not like something, it addresses the situation, organizes and makes a major move. If sportsmen don't like something, they complain to each other. Getting together to form an effective lobby is problematical at best.

For example, HSUS recently organized a coup of sorts by getting its rhetoric placed on postage stamps, a move that raised revenues to further its mission.

Sportsmen had the same opportunity, thanks to the fact that Congress earlier this year retracted an 1872 law that forbade advertisements on U.S. currency, including postage stamps. The amendment paved the way for an experimental one-year trial period allowing companies such as, and to offer customizable stamps via the Internet.

Our typical reaction is to threaten a boycott of the offending organization. Are we going to boycott the U.S. Postal Service? The threat has worked with Accord Hotels, Jeep and some dog food companies in recent years, but was pretty much ignored when boycotts were threatened against big companies like AT&T, America On-Line, Sara Lee, Pepsi-Cola.

The animal rights folks are very organized, well-financed and proactive. They are professionals, doing what they do for a living. Sportsmen are regular guys trying to enjoy themselves on their day off. Splintered, unfunded and haplessly reactive, sportsmen will never have an organized voice.

We're simply too fragmented to ever be effective. Bow hunters are constantly at odds with gun hunters, and always seem to be bickering within their own ranks. Waterfowlers who hunt swamps battle their brethren who prefer big water for hunting dates — and neither has respect for deer hunters. Fly fishers and meat anglers don't get along — and don't mention bass fishermen to either of them. Skeet shooters don't deal with trapshooters and both are looked down upon by the sporting clays crowd.

The New York Rifle and Pistol Association is calling the New York Conservation Council names, for Pete's sake.

Go to a sportsmen's club meeting and you're likely to find that a handful of dedicated members, usually older guys, doing all the work while the rest of the membership reaps the benefits and complain about the work that is done or not done. Those few at the meeting are more concerned with who is going to mow the lawn, order targets or recycle the soda cans than on programs to promote their interests.

Sportsmen's biggest enemy isn't the “anti” crowd, but rather themselves.

Feel free to comment on this topic and give your input.

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