Hunting – What Scripture Says
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from

FROM SAGC Shepherding All God's Creatures
September 2021

Many Christians hunt. Some for subsistence; others for trophy or sport. Does the Bible say anything about it?

Photo by cmonphotography from Pexels

The small sparrow clung with intractable grace to the TV antennae wire just beneath the gable of our neighbour’s house. He seemed to be soaking in the aureate splendour of the twi­light of this summer day’s ending. He took no notice of me hidden behind the tree, air rifle poised skyward. Peering around the edge, I carefully swung the barrel in-line with unsuspecting bird, bracing it against the side of the trunk.

I took a deep breath, as deep and silent as a five year-old might take, and placed the small, fawn-coloured body on top of the crude sight. Satisfied, I pulled the trigger. Thwack! The small copper BB smashed its mark and the bird fell to the porch, lying motionless, silent.

Miriam Fischer from Pexels

Elated, I ran into our house to tell my mother of my success. She looked at me in dismay. “You what?” she said. “Come see! Next door!” In my excitement I was oblivious to her state of mind. We knelt beside the small body. I picked him up – warm in my small hand. The BB hit the bird behind his beak, under his left eye. Death was instantaneous.

“Did you ever think,” my mum began, “that this bird might be a mother-bird returning home to feed her babies? Or, per­haps a father, and his family is waiting for him?” My mother went on, as eloquently as she could with her five-year-old son, to explain that what I had done was wrong. She explained that hunting was for food, not for fun. That animals and birds mated, and had young ones to care for the same as people.

That in taking this small life, I had irrevocably changed the lives of creatures whom I would never see and never know. She told me to think about this the next time I wanted to shoot another creature.


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