The C.A.S.H. Courier Newsletter
Fall-Winter 2013 Issue
Walmart's Pro-Hunting P-R Grant
In September, it was announced that a $35,000 grant had been awarded by
the Walmart Foundation to help hunters provide venison to food banks in
Georgia. Hunters are expected to donate dead deer to state-inspected
meat processors, who would then pass the meat on to local charities.
putative gift of an anticipated 20,000 pounds of flesh is being touted as a
benefit to the poor citizens of Georgia. This assumes, of course,
several facts not easily proven:
1. That the “beneficiaries” –
however impoverished they may be – would want to eat deer meat in the first
2. That the meat is safe to eat. Regardless of
state and federal regulations, poorly-processed, contaminated meat is
regularly discovered in supermarkets and restaurants, and food banks are far
less likely to be monitored as strictly as commercial enterprises are.
3. The presence of lead in hunted animals is a common occurrence.
Lead is one of the most toxic materials that any living being can ingest.
4. That food pantries will have the ability to safely store the
venison and distribute it before it goes “off.” (Assuming it has not
already gone bad before arriving at food banks.)
In a statement that
meshes nicely with this transparent attempt to spin the story to the mutual
advantage of hunters and Walmart, Todd Holbrook, CEO of Georgia Wildlife
Federation, said hunters will provide 60,000+ meals throughout the state
this year. (The long hunting season in Georgia runs from September to
Holbrook gushed in the Georgia DNR’s August bulletin about how
the Walmart grant “exemplifies the best of our outdoor traditions.”
Then the same old phony euphemisms are used to say that “sportsmen” donate
“harvested” deer. Deer are not stalks of corn that are cut down
painlessly. Very real and often protracted suffering is an inevitable
part of deer hunting, and no amount of disingenuous charitable donations can
ever make up for that.
This is only one of
the many public relations ploys the mega-corporation that is Walmart has
undertaken to obscure the very real harm they do to animals – from sometimes
building their giant warehouses in wetlands to selling a wide variety of
guns and other hunting equipment, to routinely killing birds who get trapped
in their stores.
Among the chief selling tools is the mythology that
Walmart promotes regarding their late founder, multi-billionaire Sam Walton.
The attempt to paint the phenomenally successful businessman as a lovable
old codger without pretensions has been aided by first-person stories
printed about him over the years. One old friend, a Texas businessman
named Drayton McLane (who happens to own the Houston Astros baseball team),
told the Dallas Morning News that he misses hunting quail with Walton since
Describing his buddy
as an unassuming Arkansan with simple tastes, he marvels at the fact that
Walton’s private jet was somewhat messy because he let his hunting dogs run
loose in it. Another virtue touted by McLane was Walton’s preference
for humble peanut butter sandwiches.
of Walton’s occasional vegan diet, he clearly had a taste for killing
Beyond his own lifetime of killing sprees, Walton
and his heirs have done a lot of damage to wildlife through their enormous
chain of stores. With their “everyday low prices” on everything from
hunting knives to elaborate tree stands, they make it easier for more people
to participate in animal killing. What is perhaps more relevant,
Walmart promotes a “culture” of hunting that runs contrary to the fact that
hunters form a tiny percentage of the population.
of course, making money is what it is all about. As one Walmart
manager in Maine put it, “Moose hunting season is the first major season
that we have here. [In]our several categories from fire arms to
coolers we see a large increase in sales.”
What We Can Do
not allow Walmart to foist an inaccurate perception of the acceptability and
normalcy of hunting onto the general public – a perception that could
encourage gullible persons to view hunting as part and parcel of “the
American way,” rather than the anachronistic anomaly that it truly is.
Tell local Walmart managers that you will not buy any goods at their stores
as long as they sell firearms and other hunting supplies. Write to
corporate headquarters and say the same.
Walmart Home Office
702 SW 8th
Bentonville, AR 72716-8611
Go on to Urban Deer Kills: Follow the Money
Fall-Winter 2013 Table of Contents
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