Monday, November 29, 2010

Ignorance Runs Deep

© By Othmar Vohringer

(Originally published in the Merritt News)

Is it just me or do people become more ignorant as the years go by? Just last week I had a conversation with a person that did not agree with hunting. While I can perfectly understand that not everyone likes hunting, or hunters, I felt that this particular person’s reasoning was astounding. As a vegetarian the person didn’t like the idea that animals are killed for food. He argued that he as a vegetarian does not contribute to the death of animals. Unfortunately many vegetarians believe the myth that their lifestyle saves the lives of animals.

Has it ever occurred to diehard vegetarians that in order to grow vegetables animal habitat has to be destroyed and animals have to be killed? Vegetable farmers go to considerable lengths to rid the fields of mice, insects and other creatures. From my brother-in-law, who builds greenhouses, I learned that greenhouse operations for all intents and purposes are almost as sterile as a hospital operating room. Animals of any kind are unwelcome in these operations and are destroyed wherever they show up.


The simple fact of life, be that for humans or animals in the wild, is that in order to survive something else has to die. Nature works on the principle of death to provide life for something else. That also holds true for vegetarians. Just because they do not eat meat does not free them of the ‘guilt’ of killing animals.

Vegetarians are not the only ignorant people. There are others too like the person who once said to me that he, unlike me, could not live knowing that he killed an animal intentionally and therefore always buys meat from the store. I almost laughed when he said that and replied. “Some people take the responsibility of killing their own food while others let someone else do the dirty deed for them. But that does not make you innocent.”

Another time I helped a friend unload a deer that he shot earlier in the day and proceeded to hang it in his garage. My friend lived in the city and there was no backyard shed where we could hang the deer unseen by others. As we unloaded the deer my fiend’s wife came home with her sister who had her two kids with her. The sister-in-law demanded angrily: “Close the door! I do not want my children (both teenagers) to see that dead deer. It could traumatize them for the rest of their lives.” Here is an ignorant twist that I just can’t wrap my head around. These two teenagers liked to play video games in which the player can obtain a high score by the number of people killed. Apparently, and this seems to be very common these days, it is less traumatizing to play violent games where thousands of people are killed or watch movies showing similar violence against people. Yet, somehow when it comes to the reality that animals have to die to provide food it is considered offensive. Ignorance is running deep.

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This blog post has been brought to you by Othmar Vohringer Outdoors

11 comments:

Zach said...

Well put. I have nothing against vegetarians but the "we are the saviors and you are the enemy" attitude is a complete joke. I enjoyed your post.

Othmar Vohringer said...

Thanks for your comment Zach. The irony is that many vegetarians are absolutely convinced that their lifestyle does save animals lives. They are so far removed from reality that they do not realize that vegetable farming is more invasive on wildlife and habitat than cattle farming. However, in all fairness I've to say that vegetarians are not the only ones that are ignorant. Ask inner city people where meat, milk and eggs come from and most will have no clue about it.

-ov-

Zach said...

Couldn't agree more. Unfortunately, most people outside of the hunting and fishing communities do not understand the reason we have fish wildlife today. While they are lobbying for new subdivisions and shopping malls, we are making huge conservation efforts to preserve range and PROTECT wildlife populations.

SimplyOutdoors said...

Ignorance in it's purest form right there, Othmar.

I can't tell you how many times I've had the same conversation with people - whether it be about how "violent and inappropriate" hunting and the dead animal are, or how "they're a vegetarian" so they don't kill animals.

Yeah, right.

I guess ignorance is bliss for them, while we choose to be involved.

Othmar Vohringer said...

Ignorance runs rampant like a deceases and it's not only with hunting that way. It seems as time goes on people become more selfish and think that only there opinion counts and if another opinion doesn't match theirs it turns into bashing and ridicule. We see that in Religion, politics, hunting and just about everywhere else. It almost seems that people have lost the ability to communicate without having a hidden agenda.

-ov-

Tim Smith said...

Great post. Many people I meet think they are above, or separate from, the natural world, rather than a part of it. The result is a total disconnect from the natural processes that allow life to go on. In his book Blood Ties: Nature, Culture And The Hunt, Ted Kerasote writes about discussions he had with an animal rights group leader. They were civil conversations, and while the activist leader meant well, he failed to grasp the bigger picture that you point out in this post; even a vegetarian lifestyle, especially one supplied by factory farms, results in the deaths of animals. I'd loke to see a formal study of the impacts on wildlife populations and habitat of monocrop soy production vs. sustainable harvesting of game, with resepct to impacts vs. calories gained. As a hunter, trapper and fisherman, I'd welcome such information.

(Amazon link to Blood Ties: http://goo.gl/Algfu )

Tovar said...

Nice post, Othmar. As a former vegetarian, I understand that perspective and respect the sincere desire not to harm animals. As a current hunter, though, my perspective is more aligned with yours.

Othmar Vohringer said...

Thank you Tim and Tovar for your insightful comments.

-ov-

NorCal Cazadora said...

As a civilization, we have lost so much valuable knowledge about how the world works - and people think what we are now is "advanced." It's tragic.

Othmar Vohringer said...

Very true NorCal Cazadora, very true.

I see that every time when I recruit new hunters and take them out. Most say that they found something that unknowing to them had been missing in their lives. People are part of nature and no matter how "civilized" we get that part still sits deep down in all us.

My dear mother used to say,translated from German into English, "People will eventually domesticate themselves out of existence."

-ov-

NorCal Cazadora said...

Smart woman!

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