Hunting: Whose hands are really bloody?

  Dear HCN,


After reading Stephen Gies' tirade against hunting (HCN, 10/26/98), I felt compelled to clarify the logic in his ethical position. From his letter, his position can be summed up in two statements: 1) Killing and eating domesticated animals is ethical, and 2) Killing and eating wild animals is unethical.


That is, it is ethical to kill and eat the following animals: animals whose conception has been planned and whose birth has been induced; animals that have been branded, castrated, dehorned, ear-tagged, inoculated and fed hormones; animals which may have denuded stream banks, damaged fisheries, reduced water quality and disrupted native plant and animal communities; animals which have been packed into cramped feed-lots, fed grain that required large amounts of agrochemicals and fossil fuels to produce, and made to stand in their own excrement, posing further risks to water quality; animals which are herded into packed railroad cars or semi-trailers and transported great distances, burning fossil fuels all the way; animals that are killed by one person, skinned by another, and further processed by numerous other people and machines until they are handed to you on a Styrofoam tray neatly wrapped in cellophane, its life taken ultimately for the sake of the food economy. It is ethical to eat these animals; it is for such a purpose that they exist.


Conversely, the actions that I took two weeks ago to supply the meat in my freezer were unethical. Driving only 60 miles from my home to walk alone through a blizzard, four hours into the wilderness, was the beginning of my unethical act. Following a wild creek down to a meadow and enjoying the sounds, smells and sights of animals that had never before seen a human preceded the realization of my unscrupulous goal. Finally, after the crack of the rifle, my evil deed was done. Pausing to personally thank this animal for allowing me to use the energy that she had stored grazing on the lush meadow behind me did not make up for my immorality. The culmination of my depravity was when, holding this animal's warm heart in my hands, I reflected that our species is not above, is not apart from, the ecosystem; we are inextricably connected to and wholly dependent upon the environment around us.


Mr. Geis' moral: It is OK to kill and eat animals, as long as you are not the one doing the killing.





Jeremy Gingerich


Fort Collins, Colorado


High Country News Classifieds
  • WRITING SKILLS TUTOR FOR HIRE!
    Fort Collins, CO college students welcome. Meet on your college campus!
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Colorado Plateau Natural & Human History Field Seminars. Lodge, river, hiking options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • NATURE EDUCATION DIRECTOR
    Our mission is to inspire a life-long connection to nature and community through creative exploration of the outdoors. We are seeking an educational leader who...
  • DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING DIRECTOR
    The Development and Marketing Director is a senior position responsible for the execution of all development and marketing strategies to raise funds and increase public...
  • DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR
    Coordinates all Wyoming Wildlife Federation philanthropic activities. Tasks include identification, recruitment, and retention of donors, organizing fundraising events, and assisting with grant writing.
  • REALTOR NEEDS A REMOTE ASSISTANT
    This is a business assistant position, The working hours are flexible and you can chose to work from anywhere of your choice, the pay is...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Central Oregon LandWatch is seeking an Executive Director to advance our mission and oversee the development of the organization. Job Description: The Executive Director oversees...
  • WESTERN NATIVE SEED
    Specializing in native seeds and seed mixes for western states.
  • MEDIA DIRECTOR
    Love working with the media? Shine a spotlight on passionate, bold activists fighting for wild lands, endangered species, wild rivers and protecting the climate.
  • STAFF ATTORNEY - NEVADA
    The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking an attorney to expand our litigation portfolio in Nevada. Come join our hard-hitting team as we fight for...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Montana Wildlife Federation seeks an energetic leader to advance our mission, sustain our operations, and grow our grassroots power. For a full position description,...
  • HISTORIC COMMERCIAL OPPORTUNITY IN DOWNTOWN NOGALES
    Nogales. 3 active lower spaces and upper floor with lots of potential. 520-245-9000 [email protected]
  • CHUCK BURR'S CULTUREQUAKE.COM BLOG
    Change will happen when we see a new way of living. Thinking to save the world.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • DIRECTOR, TEXAS WATER PROGRAMS
    The National Wildlife Federation seeks a Director to lead our water-related policy and program work in Texas, with a primary focus on NWF's signature Texas...
  • SPLIT CREEK RANCH
    Spectacular country home on 48 acres with Wallowa River running through it! 541-398-1148 www.RubyPeakRealty.com
  • OJO CALIENTE COMMERCIAL VENTURE
    Outstanding location near the world famous Ojo Caliente Mineral Spring Resort. Classic adobe Mercantile complete w/living quarters, separate 6 unit B&B, metal building and spacious...
  • NEW MEXICO GILA NATIONAL FOREST HORSE RANCH
    43 acres in the Gila National Forest. Horse facility, custom home. Year-round outdoor living. REDUCED to $999,000, 575-536-3109.
  • EVERLAND MOUNTAIN RETREAT
    Everland Mountain Retreat includes 318 mountaintop acres with a 3,200 square foot lodge and two smaller homes. Endless vistas of the Appalachian mountains, open skies,...
  • COPPER CANYON MEXICO CAMPING & BACKPACKING
    Camping, hiking, backpacking, R2R2R, Tarahumara Easter, Mushroom Festival, www.coppercanyontrails.org.