Ask Uncle Joe
Article posted by C.A.S.H. Committee To Abolish Sport Hunting

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GOT A QUESTION FOR UNCLE JOE? YOU CAN E-MAIL IT TO [email protected] WOULD YOU RATHER SNAIL MAIL YOUR QUESTION? SEND IT TO: ASK UNCLE JOE, P.O. BOX 13815, LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO 88013. UNCLE JOE GETS A LOT OF MAIL SO DON’T BE OFFENDED IF HE CANNOT ANSWER YOUR QUESTION IN THE COURIER. LETTERS ARE PRINTED AS RECEIVED. THEY ARE UNEDITED.

Dear Uncle Joe:

Don’t you think it is hypocritical to oppose hunting when I am sure you and your family sit down to a nice roast beef every weekend and fried chicken during the week? I might be wrong and you’re probably a vegetarian, but I’m sure that most of your members aren’t. Besides, you’re denying man’s primal instinct as a hunter. We’re an animal whose natural role is a predator.
Jasper,
Mayville, NY

Dear Jasper,

We get the “how can you be anti-hunting if you eat meat” question quite often. Meat eaters can be opposed to the artificial and unnecessary manipulation of wildlife populations to please hunters by keeping wildlife populations above carrying capacity. Additionally, property owners have been cited for hunter harassment for playing a radio during a backyard BBQ because a hunter claimed that the noise was keeping deer away from his tree stand. There are countless county and city parks that are closed to the public during hunting season, despite the fact that the non-hunting public pays taxes to maintain those parks. There is also the sad reality that hunting puts the public at risk, as non-hunters are killed and injured every year as a result of hunters not knowing what the heck they are doing. Then there's the insane amount of lead (a potent neurotoxin) that is blasted into the ground by hunters. The list goes on. So while you may see it hypocritical for a meat eater to oppose hunting, there are some very good reasons for everyone to do so.

I don't believe that hunting is a "primal instinct" for if it were we wouldn't have 95% of the U.S. population (give or take a percent) not participating. But as a human, shouldn’t you be keeping some of those instincts in check? It's certainly a "primal instinct" to reproduce but we cannot try to do this without the consent of others. Since a clear case has been made for the law stepping in and "interfering" with one of our "primal instincts" we see no reason why the law shouldn't step in and interfere with other things that hunters claim to be primal instincts.
Sincerely,
Uncle Joe

Dear Uncle Joe:

You stereotype all hunters as Neanderthals who lack any degree of intelligence. You know that’s not true. I have an MBA from (university name withheld to prevent embarrassment) and have done pretty well for myself in a field that takes more than a rudimentary application of problem solving and critical thinking. Your opinion of hunters as blood thirsty carnivorous maniacs is ludicrous and you know it. In any society or activity you will have the good and bad. You fail to highlight anything positive sportsman contribute, and you are proud to share reports of hunting accidents but you fail to inform your readers that sports like soccer and football (which millions of kids play every year) cause far more injuries.

If you presented a more balanced argument it’s likely that hunting wouldn’t seem so bad.  I enjoy it, millions of others also do, and my daughter will be hunting for the first time this fall.

Michael,
Brattleboro, VT

Dear Michael –

I apologize for portraying hunters as Neanderthals. When I think about it more, it seems that Neanderthals were more ethical than today’s hunters since the former hunted out of necessity rather than for recreation. It is nearly impossible for any hunter to deny that he enjoys killing harmless animals, and we’re hoping that the psychiatric community will begin to see such actions as a sign of mental illness.

There is something positive I can say about hunters - hunters sometimes find the bodies of missing persons in areas where non-hunters are unlikely to be. You are far more likely to discover the body of a murder victim dumped deep in the woods than I am, so I guess we can thank the hunting community for helping to solve some crimes.

There is indeed good and bad in everyone, but a murderer is not a good person even if he’s been feeding homeless orphans every day for 20 years. So, you see, bad deeds committed without remorse or any sense of wrong doing can wipe out a lifetime of positive actions.  The animals you kill don’t really care about the good you do.

And yes, the argument "football is more dangerous than hunting" comes to us yet again. Why don’t hunters talk about the fatality rate per 1,000 participants in both football and hunting? How about the fatality rate per injury for both sports? How about the fatality rate of bystanders? As far as I know football players have never killed any spectators or bystanders during the course of a game, but hunters kill non-participants every year. Hunting is more dangerous than football or any other sport and those numbers clearly show it.

Sincerely,
Uncle Joe

Dear Uncle Joe:

I agree with you that sport hunting should be illegal because people should not kill animals for sport. My class is learning about native American cultures that used to hunt for food and some people in Alaska still hunt for food, and I think hunting for food is ok if that’s the only way you can survive. How do you feel about Indians and their kind of hunting? Their tribes were killed off by settlers and their culture shouldn’t’ go extinct.

Yati,
Anchorage, AK

Dear Yati,

Thanks for contacting us. Our focus is on recreational hunting because that’s how the majority of wildlife abuses take place, but that does not mean we’re in favor of any form of hunting. Most of the country’s subsistence hunters live in Alaska, but there’s a little known fact about them that is the opposite of what most people imagine a subsistence hunter to be.

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, most hunters in rural areas with subsistence hunting permits are not recipients of government benefits, but are from higher income households. So while they are indeed eating what they kill, they have no need to do so and are really sport hunters in disguise.

There’s no legitimate excuse for hunting when someone is not faced with a decision that is the difference between their life and their death. Times change and cultures evolve, and cultures that have relied upon killing animals should put the violence behind them and live in a more peaceful way.

Sincerely,
Uncle Joe

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