By Don Pengelly
Growing up in America, I have a little different perspective of life and death as compared to other parts of the world. I was taught to place a high value on all forms of life. As an outdoorsman, sportsman, naturalist and hunter I try to apply this respect for life to the animals in which I hunt. When hunting, I try real hard to make certain that any animal I shoot does not suffer. There is nothing that upsets me more than seeing an animal suffer.
There are many people in this world that do not understand hunters or how someone like me can hunt animals. These people also have a high value for animal life. They just do not understand how important animals are to feeding the rest of the world. There is a group in this country called People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). This group has raised millions of dollars and has many followers that spend a considerable about to time and money protesting against people such as me that hunt animals. It is important to remember where this group of people comes from. Most if not all of them grew up in America.
In America most people go to a grocery store to purchase their food products. At these stores they can purchase all their meat products, vegetables, bread and other items needed to sustain their life. We grow up in this country thinking that all food products come from the grocery store. With all of our food pre-packaged and wrapped, it might be hard for some people to understand that, that steak or roast they just bought came from a live animal that had to be butchered in order for you to have that piece of meet. Or that that chicken, which is now void of its feathers, head and feet, was once a live chicken running around somewhere.
For all of you that grew up in this environment where you purchase your food from the local grocery store, I got a little news for you. In many parts of the rest of the world, there are no grocery stores on the corner. People live off the land and what it provides to them.
This is where people like me come in. We are called hunters. We spend a lot of money to travel to these far away places and a lot of money to have the opportunity to harvest an animal that is not available where we live. Not only is our money used to improve the local economy if we are lucky enough to harvest one of these animals nothing is wasted. Everything is used in one form or fashion to feed and help the local people. If we are lucky we return from one of these trips with pictures and a few old hides and horns to hang on the wall and memories to last a lifetime. So while we go there with the intention of harvesting an animal and coming back with our treasures, the most important result of our actions is helping the local people.
I feel that most hunters from this country have this same respect for live that I have. I feel that most hunters try just as hard as I do to make certain that the animals we hunt do not suffer.
I question why organizations such as PETA do not have this same respect for human life that they have for animal life? I wonder why this group of people would protest against hunters such as me for taking the life of an animal, but will not spend a dime to protest against the Silent Genocide that is taking place in South Africa? Maybe we should form a group called PETH, People for the Ethical Treatment of Humans.
Right now as you read this, there are human beings being tortured, beaten and killed in South Africa. While the world stands silent, humans in South Africa are experiencing brutality that is unimaginable. Want to see a picture of a 6 – 7 month old baby that was wrapped in newspaper and set on fire? Just let me know, and I will email that picture to you.
While most of the brutality and human rights violations in South Africa are directed towards the ethno-European residents of that country, people of mixed race and people of color are also being abused. Where is the outrage that should be directed toward this unethical treatment of human beings? Why is the world turning a blind eye and deaf ear to the screams that are coming out of South Africa? Why is this genocide being tolerated?
I will never understand how people can be tied up for hours and tortured with unbelievable pain before they are killed. I will never understand how a human being, can do this to another human being, because I cannot even do this to an animal. It takes someone or something less than a human to treat another human being this way. It takes someone much less than a hunter for the hunters that I know respect life.
I understand killing another human being during the time of war if that person is trying to kill you, but how can you torture and kill someone simply because of his or her color? What is the world coming to in which such behavior is tolerated? Why are people of this world more concerned about the ethical treatment of animals and care so less for the ethical treatment of human beings?