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,
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
are not justifiable because they bind families in a web of cruelty.
Animal activists who teach love and respect for animals to their children,
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
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
suffering to others, but that you actively work to prevent it? Shedding
guilty tears does not help the animals; avoiding behaviors that bring
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
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
New Paltz, NY 12561