Source: Sherman Publications

Hunting: It’s all about the process

December 08, 2010

Dear Editor,

(In response to, ‘Reward offered for info on twp. cat shooter,’ The Citizen, Nov. 20, page 1):

The recent report of a cat found shot by an arrow in Brandon Township, characterized as an “unspeakable act of cruelty” by The Detroit News, and the photo of an 11-year-old bow hunter posing with his first buck, published by The Citizen, illustrates the strange dichotomy of opinion that exists in our community when it comes to animals and their treatment. Equally troubling are letters from hunters who “read the Bible all the way through” (apparently non-hunting fellow believers do not) and columns titled “Hunting and God.”

I understand fully that hunting is legal, that it is a generational tradition passed down from father to son, that some people actually eat the meat and that it has a significant positive impact on the economy. I understand there are too many deer, and if 700,000 hunters didn’t take to the woods every fall, some would starve (the deer, not the hunters). What I don’t understand is why a sentient, rational father teaches his son to shoot an arrow into a deer. How would our community react to the father who taught his son to shoot an arrow into a feral cat?

It’s now 2010 and we no longer depend on hunting for our survival. My grandfather ate squirrels, rabbits, opossums, and raccoons. He raised and hand butchered his own chickens, cattle, and hogs. The concept of humane slaughter was foreign to him. But, as backward as his lifestyle may appear today, even he did not eat his horse or pony. Americans have a cultural aversion to horse meat, yet we send thousands of horses to slaughter every year and ship the meat to Europe where it is a regular part of the diet. What would happen if I killed my pony with an arrow, held its dead head with one arm and my bow in the other and sent you a photograph to run in your newspaper? Most residents of Ortonville would scream in horror and vow to never advertise in or read The Citizen again. Explain to me the difference between the pony and the deer. What’s the big deal? I’m going to eat it. I have the right to put food on my table and if I choose to encourage my son to continue the tradition, what business is it of yours? My God gives me dominion over the animals.

“What’s the difference between the deer I eat and the cow you eat?”

It’s not about the eating-it’s about the process. We don’t shoot arrows into cattle. Society has enacted laws providing for humane slaughter and imposes stiff penalities for any violation. It is no longer acceptable to shoot arrows into deer. However, the majority of our community sees nothing wrong with archery deer season- just don’t shoot their cat.

John Frazier