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An easy, ethical hunting answer
Re: Different blasts for the birds, Oct. 22 letters.
I tire of the pervasive attitude than has crept quite deep into society the past few years – the one that moved people to try to get another’s hobby, pastime or activity banned if it is not in their own taste, style or desire.
Letter-writer Brian Lauder writes about how he is to explain to his grandchildren what is going on when they hear shotguns in the distance.
Let me help him: “Well grandson/granddaughter, what is happening is what has been going on here for many generations – hunting of waterfowl. In fact, it has been going on here since the 1800s and perhaps longer, much longer than I have lived here, and it will go on long after I am gone. It is a proud Canadian tradition that is passed down from generation to generation. In fact, there might be a grandfather down there teaching his grandson or granddaughter this tradition.”
We live on the Great Pacific Flyway, where the waterfowl population is extremely healthy and robust, numbering in the tens of millions, with far less than one per cent being taken by hunters. Communities that do not allow hunting are now overrun by Canada geese, destroying park land and making fields unusable.
Ethical hunting is a safe and legitimate pastime for over a million Canadians and has been a part of the fabric of Canada since there was a Canada.
An ethical hunter is a conservationist, with the largest group that protects bird habitat being Ducks Unlimited – which set aside the bird preserve in Serpentine Fen, was established by waterfowl hunters, and its paying members are hunters, primarily.
I expect that if the letter writer objects to the “slaughtering” of “defenceless birds,” he is a vegetarian, not even wearing leather shoes, gloves or jackets.
The birds that die and wind up on my dinner table are hunted ethically, are killed quickly and have lived a free-range life, which is far more that can be said for any meat that objectors buy in the supermarket.
In fact, the Vancouver Sun reported last hunting season that the largest group of new hunters are vegetarians who stopped eating meat for ethical reasons, but now turn to hunting as the animals they hunt and eat have lived a free life and are ethically killed.
Which brings me to my last point – if people in society keep trying to get activities banned that they find mildly annoying, if they try to get activities banned that they find a little distasteful, even though they cause them no harm, what are you going to do when they finally find something that you enjoy in their crosshairs?
You live your life, and I will live mine.
Michael J. Klaver, White Rock
• • •
Yes it is that time of year. When Canadians and New Canadians take part in our proud Canadian heritage and go hunting. I love wildlife and support their conservation, and – if not for hunters and sportsmen alike – there would be a lot less wildlife.
As for my grandchildren, they see that an animal is harvested and utilized, a part of Canadian life. Maybe you should show your grandchildren where their chicken, beef and pork come from.
More of the natural bird species are killed by the common house cat than licensed hunters every year.
Do you own a cat?
Lance Ponych, Surrey