C.A.S.H. Letters to the Editor > 2004

C.A.S.H. Letters



Dear York Daily Record:

Regarding David McFadden's "Hunting will never disappear " (3/21/04), which is a response to my previous letter, hunting and all other forms of violence will either disappear (or more realistically, become an anomaly, not a way of life), or humans will.

History has been marked by a constant battle between the view that tradition is a valid justification for continuing cruel practices, and a more enlightened view that the countless years spent profiting from or enjoying cruelty are all the more reason to end it.

The reason for the current push to indoctrinate women and more children into hunting is that hunting is declining. There is no positive spin for this attempt to recruit more animal killers, certainly not by bow-hunting, which cripples well over 50% of animals shot.

Judging an activity as desirable simply because families do it together leaves room for all sorts of depravity. The pain caused by crime families or those in which child abuse is passed down as a legacy, are not justifiable because they bind families in a web of cruelty. Animal activists who teach love and respect for animals to their children, through sharing the experience of rescuing and/or advocating for animals, create a compassion-based, rather than cruelty-based, family bond. The lessons, whether of violence or compassion, will spread beyond the individual families.

Predictably, McFadden says that God created animals for humans to use and it is not up to people, who think that God created humans to serve and be compassionate to each other and to the animals to, "alter the course in any fashion." God has been used, throughout history, as a convenient excuse to justify slavery, rape, war, and child abuse.

McFadden suggests that those who do not want to hear gunfire and animal screams and see suffering animals move to the city. Those who love animals, and who feel no more desire to shoot them than they would a yard full of children or seniors, suggest the more appropriate solution to hunting.

Hunters should be denied access to animals until their violent impulses are replaced with empathy.

McFadden claims that hunters are compassionate because many "actually shed a tear" after causing an animal to suffer and die. Is it lost on hunters that compassion means that you not only avoid causing suffering to others, but that you actively work to prevent it? Shedding guilty tears does not help the animals; avoiding behaviors that bring on the guilty display does.

Except in the rare cases of diagnosed sociopaths, who are incapable of empathy, those who cause suffering and death to others do have pangs of conscience. When the pangs are conscious, the person considers change; when the pangs are unconscious, the person fights to submerge them.

The struggle between the two are obvious when hunters say (as McFadden does) that it is the comaraderie and being in nature, not the killing, that are important. If killing is not important, then leave the weapons at home. Listen to your struggling conscience and take a camera, instead, into the woods.

Susan Gordon, Representative
The Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting
Box 562
New Paltz, NY 12561

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