I love animals. I love eating meat. Both statements are equally true. I grew up watching the discovery channel and pouring over the school's national geographic magazines just amazed at the photos and absorbing animal behavior like a late night as seen on tv shammy.
It wasn't until I started hunting that I fully appreciated just how fascinating God's creatures can be. Wild and free, unlike any zoo ever even suggested. No matter what I'm doing outdoors if I run across animal sign I'll stop and investigate. I am after all an expert on finding where animals used to be, however, where they currently are is beyond my skill level. I can guess but since they are wild they do what they want. Just an FYI if you hunt with me I will constantly point out animal prints and especially animal poop. I'm weird, deal with it.
Now instead of documentaries, I pour over trail camera pictures. Constantly trying to track down and peek into the world of animals that is there when I am not. Especially when I get to Maine, I never get tired of looking through thousands and thousands of pictures of bears.
So how can I love animals and hunt them? The answer is simple – I hunt because I eat meat AND I love animals. The package at the grocery store was once a living breathing animal and by purchasing that package you are supporting how that animal was born, raised, and killed. By hunting wild animals you are supporting natural life, outside of fences and cages. I'm not saying beef and chicken can't be well taken care of, they can but it comes at a cost. Support your local farm, it may be more money but it's worth it!
Today's society has the access to the most information in the history of the world, yet chooses to remain ignorant. Keyboard warriors will condemn and threaten hunters while popping McNuggets, oblivious of the conditions those nuggets came to be. Cheap food is cheap for a reason.
I don't enjoy killing. It makes me a little sad every time BUT I am more happy that my meal enjoyed the best life nature could provide and that I enjoy.
While I would rather be able to capture an animal (by camera of course, the wild ones have a strict “no touchy” policy) you can't eat pictures, especially digital ones. Luckily, I can do both. By taking only what you need now and saving the others for later, earth's renewable grocery store can be made immortal through pictures and video.
I once dreamed of being one of those nature documentary people but I would have entered college just in time to learn all about film. Yes, film. Luckily, life took me another direction and with today's digital ease I can capture critters as much as I desire without having to pay for paper clutter. Plus I would have never had the patience for the time it takes to film those nature specials anyway. Filming hunts is a possibility but only for fun. Being a celebrity is for those with thick skin who don't suffer from resting bitch face. The pressure to turn a passion into a profit while still being able to enjoy it is also beyond my skill level but I greatly admire those that educate and entertain us while inspiring us to preserve our freedom to feed ourselves for generations to come.
If you eat meat you are responsible for the life of the bites you take. If you take from nature be sure to give back, pick up litter, help turtles cross the road, balance the predators, improve habitats, practice your shots for a quick kill, etc. There is so much more to hunting than death. You become a steward of nature, forever thinking of ways to improve the lives of those who give life to you.