Shooting Bambi

cropped-dsc_0455.jpgJust a few days ago, I was speaking to my family about what it feels like to shoot an animal, to go hunting. Soon, the conversation turned to Bambi and how it characterized hunting. So I watched it again to see what if I could see anything I had not seen when I was a kid.

Bambi- Everyone remembers the scene in Bambi where the hunter shot Bambi’s mom. We felt sad because they were talking animals, cute talking animals. They were basically children. Except they weren’t. People that grew up on farms or in hunting families know that you can’t separate death from life. I grew up on a farm, and one the rules of having a chicken, a pig, or a cow is to not name it, thus not getting attached to it. My sister in law, who shot a deer when she was eight did not see Bambi until after she had gone hunting herself. Her reaction when she saw Bambi’s dad was “Nice buck.” When my brother showed my three-year-old nephew a picture of a deer we had just shot, he asked him what the thought. To which he replied “Dinner!” It’s easy to depict animals as having adorable human-like characteristics but for some people, it can be dangerous. When my nephew first saw a bear in real life, his dad asked him what he would do to it? His first response was to hug him. After my brother taught him that it was a dangerous animal his response was to fight him. It has been a process to educate him to be scared of something that looked so cute on TV.

The last time I went hunting my brother shot a buck, and we showed my three-year-old nephew the picture. My brother asked him what he thought. To which he replied “Dinner!” It’s easy to depict animals as having adorable human-like characteristics but for some people, it can be dangerous. When my nephew first saw a bear in real life, his dad asked him what he would do to it? His first response was to hug him. After my brother taught him that it was a dangerous animal his response was to fight him. It has been a process to educate him to be scared of something that looked so cute on TV.

My first successful hunt was several years ago when I was still in college, and I don’t remember much from it. However, I do remember that the deer was about 200 yards away and it had become clear after some wind moved the clouds. Bang. It was a clean shot through the head. The buck fell instantly and many emotions ran through me. I was excited, as were my companions. I was panicked a little. I thought, “Oh my God, I killed Bambi!” But for the most part, I was excited. Afterwards, we ate deer burgers, made deer jerky and canned all the rest. I took it to college and it fed me for a long time. You tell me how that is more unethical than mass killing cows in unsanitary conditions

When it comes to the ethics of eating meat, I find it much more beneficial to eat wild than factory raised. If you don’t believe me, watch the documentary Food, Inc. that depicts the way in which cows are mass slaughtered. The deer that we shoot did not know I exist, ever. I shoot and if done well they die instantly. We eat meat that is free of antibiotics and grass fed rather than corn fed.

Even if we don’t eat meat, the land that we use for industrial agriculture displaces wildlife and the fertilizers that we use damage the environment. Death is part of life. Hunters face that fact head on.

Also, just so we’re clear, no one shot Bambi. Bambi’s mother was shot. Even then, the majority of hunters will not shoot female deer. In order to keep healthy deer population, the females are usually protected. So relax hombres.

Ultimately, the way that people in urban areas interact with wildlife is much different than the way people in rural areas would interact with it. All I am trying to do is bridge the divide.

 

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