Vegetarians, vegans and flexitarians, make way for the new trend: “ethical hunting.” According to an article in The New York Times, some of the people who have moral qualms about going to McDonald’s have decided that eating meat is okay – but only if they’ve hunted it themselves. I find this concept intriguing – what could be ethical about killing an animal?
Although I have been a vegetarian since I was six, I have never been one to hand out bumper stickers or to yell “meat is murder.” In fact, I’ve come pretty close to making some of those people into meat… just kidding. I do not really know whether the world would be a better place without meat, but I know that just as my life would be less meaningful without cottage cheese, others could not live happily without hamburgers. I care about animals, but I believe that since we, too, are a part of the food chain, our quality of life should be taken into account as well.
However, many meat-lovers still have a heart, and they, too, care about the animals/their health/the environment. Not only do they want to know where their food comes from, they want to make their food be food. Instead of buying a plastic-wrapped slab in the supermarket, they want to find an animal in the wild and turn it into dinner.
An animal which (who?) is destined to become sliced and packaged is treated as such during its life, while a free animal is not “treated” at all. It does not have to come in contact with human beings at all – until the end.
So I ask myself, is hunting those animals really the ethical thing to do? Animal A is living cooped up, with no sunlight, no family and is being injected with hormones. Animal B is running in open spaces, getting fresh air and eating good food. Although it is hard to give one life precedence over another, doesn’t it seem that to put Animal A out of its misery would be more moral than to end the happy life of Animal B?
I am sort of kidding, as usual. But there is another – more serious – problem with this new phenomenon. “Ethical hunting” is currently being endorsed by a few quirky people, a few rich people and a few celebrities who possess both qualities. This trend, like all others, will reach the masses and people will find ways to make money off it. Animals will be bred for the sake of being hunted, areas will be designated for it and some people will do the hunting for other lazy or incapable people. Voilà – a new meat industry is born. Eventually, the animals will be sliced, wrapped in plastic and placed on store shelves.
Or maybe not? Will it make us eat meat more rarely? (get it?)
Or will it warm us up to the idea of shooting and killing?
Or will it bring us closer to nature?
What do you say – should we go buy some shotguns?