High Fences Again? Really?
October 23, 2014
I know, I’m starting to sound like a broken record here. And I know that what I’m about to write will repeat a lot of what I’ve already written. But really, I guess it doesn’t really matter if I’m being redundant, because the thing that’s bothering me is also pretty damned repetitive.
It’s this whole, vehemently negative reaction to high fence hunting.
It’s not just the fact that a lot of people are opposed to doing it. I’m fine with that. We all have different appetites and tastes.
What really bugs me is the fact that so many people feel the need to disparage not only the practice, but the participants. They not only judge total strangers (we all judge, we’re human), but they vocally denigrate them. They want to run these strangers down and essentially take away their pleasure and happiness because that pleasure and happiness conflicts with some preconceived notions and personal ethics.
Some of this comes from the anonymity and meanness inherent to the Internet. I get that. It’s the place where you can say whatever you want to say with impunity… where being an asshole carries no real-life repercussions. But the sentiment that’s coming through is real enough.
And it sickens me. It really does. It makes my stomach tighten up, and I get a nasty taste in my mouth. That can’t be healthy.
Maybe I’m the stupid one here, but it seems to me like people would demonstrate a little more self awareness. Instead, what I see them demonstrate in discussions about high fence hunting is a total willingness to surrender common sense or benefit of the doubt in favor of preconceived notions.
At the very least, folks should recognize the recurrent memes that come up in conversations about high fence hunting. The “canned hunt” trope and various stereotypes and caricatures related to high fence hunting were all initiated and perpetuated by anti-hunting organizations such as PETA and HSUS. That so many hunters have eagerly adopted these memes as their own should be cause for alarm throughout the community. Instead, rallying under this anti-hunting flag has become some sort of badge of honor among certain elitists, and demeaning total strangers for hunting behind a fence is tantamount to counting coup on an enemy.
How did we get here? Why did we get here?
What kills me is that none of this behavior changes anything. It doesn’t stop people from high fence hunting. The industry is booming. It certainly doesn’t address any of the real or potential problems inherent to raising captive game animals. Instead, it shuts down debate and constructive discussion. It turns the opportunity for learning and sharing ideas and ethics into a senseless donnybrook.
If you don’t like the idea of high fence hunting, then don’t hunt high fence. If you feel strongly that high fence hunting is wrong and should be eliminated, then at least educate yourself and understand exactly what high fence hunting is really all about before you start spouting off ignorant myths and cliché stereotypes. There certainly are some questionable and troubling aspects of the high fence and game farming industries, and they should be addressed (although I, personally, think they can be addressed without shutting down the industry). There are some operations out there that fit the stereotypes, although they’re hardly the norm.
But above all else, don’t start running down people you don’t know for doing something you don’t understand. The name-calling and intolerance is just… well, it’s moronic.