The Art of Killing--for Kids

What do posters on here think about hunting, which is a recreational activity? Is it okay to encourage kids to hunt? I wrote a blog post on this matter:

Would welcome any thoughts.

Hunting is not necessarily a recreational activity. In the past, people hunted in order to obtain food. Even today, some people do so.

Hunting is perfectly fine for people of any age.

My cat loves it. It is her favorite form of recreation. :o

If they are being taught to hunt responsibly and respectfully, then yes, why not?

Don’t shoot anything you can’t kill and don’t kill anything you aren’t planning on eating.

I have the privilege to know many people who are finding more and more ways to feed their families and keep their heads above water in this economy. Hunting during the various open seasons is something many of them take advantage of so that they can have meat on the table. Some of them take their children, but usually they are not small children. They also fish. To my knowledge there is no reason not to, but great caution has to be taken as it can be quite dangerous. I have to admit that I believe that the people I know who are hunting enjoy it as a sport but feel the “have” to in order to survive.

Not only is it “OK” it is a valuable learning experience.

I would dare to say not only is hunting A-O-K, but more ethical than supporting the beef / chicken / pork industries.

I do love steak though and don’t really like venison. So off to the store I go!

2415-2418 in the Catechism seems to cover the morality of hunting quite well.

Part of the issue is seems to be that we tend to romanticize and anthromorphize animals in our culture – every kid has a few cute stuffed animals sitting around when they’re young, and these become formative images. When we get older, we learn about the reality of animals, but have something of a cognitive dissonance between what we felt as children and what we know as teenagers or adults.

It also seems we could draw a parallel between the respect and regret at killing that hunters have with saying Grace at our meals – we understand that our daily sustenance is dependent on many things and that we are grateful to have it. A hunter understands that their bounty (one deer can provide quite a bit of meat) comes at the cost of life.

Finally, I don’t have a problem with teaching children how to hunt. We have become so disconnected with the real world in recent generations that we are losing the division between internal and external activities, which can’t be healthy on any level. Additionally, it often builds a sense of self-reliance and confidence that is also on the wane, as well as teaching skills which may allow a person to survive in an emergency or time of difficulty.

There’s not enough hunting. There’s 400,000 fewer hunters in Canada than 20 years ago and deer are becoming a pest.

Hunting provides kids with many valuable lessons.

Here’s one: hunting inflicts suffering, pain and death on sensitive creatures when there’s no need to do so.

Whereas leaving them to die of old age and infirmity doesn’t?:confused:

You can’t think of individual animals but of the herd. The herd is always healthier and stronger as a group and as individuals when it is culled either by natural predation or by well managed hunting.

Since wolves are no longer predominant throughout North America man must take his place as the apex predator in many regions.

We have deer running around in our streets here. They are EVERYWHERE!
The herd needs to be thinned every year. There is not enough food for them and they starve off or get killed by cars. And most hunters do eat them. I don’t hunt becausre I don’t like the meat…but there is a need to hunt. Not just for food.

Hunters typically do not hunt the old and sick, but the young and healthy. If hunters truly cared about leaving animals to die of “old age and infirmity,” they would just go after the really sick ones - perhaps first with a tranquilizer and then lethal injection. But no, hunters want to stalk their prey, for hours and hours–because that’s apparently fun.

Animals are not people. Also a good hunter does not inflict pain and suffering. It’s done very quickly.

Ever seen an animal die of old age in the wild? That’s inflicting suffering, pain and death on sensitive creatures when there’s no need to do so.

Just wondering - do you do this?


I think you need to study nature and animal behavior.

The question might tie into the broader experiences of culinary traditions and the experience of eating.

Personally, while I’m a meat eater I’m bothered sometimes by the fact I eat the flesh of other animals. In general I like animals (some animals like snakes and rats excepted). I do have a cultural bias against those societies that consume the meat of dogs - because I regard dogs as man’s best friend.

I think in Africa the issue was raised over the barbarity or civility of those few Africans engaged in hunting and eating gorillas. The large apes being regarded as the distant cousins of humans.

My city has a restaurant that is considered by some to be one of the best steak houses in the country. I think I metaphorically salivate when thinking about eating a big steak. Then there is the whole experience of dining.

But assuming the theory of evolution is true - and I believe it is - moral philosophy has to reconcile itself with all of its implications. Predation is a fact of life. But in biology even consuming plant life is a form of predation.

What I find intriguing in the Christian story is the man-God that offers his flesh and blood up for consumption to his followers. Not only does indirectly recall the history of sacrificial cannibalism in ancient societies around the world, it also tied into the ancient Hebrew and other ancient peoples traditions of sacrificing animals in covenant bonds, but this time replacing the “animal” with a single man-deity.

Some people in Wisconsin build consumer relationships with small farmers and will order cows and hogs for the butchering for their personal residential freezers. Sometimes the farmer - if trained - does the butchering and other times the farmer pays a butcher to do the work.

I know one guy that used to order up a quarter cow and two hogs every year from a small farmer to be butchered for his family. His wife would order the butcher to use some of the meat for sausages. Is this any more moral than a kid hunting a deer and butchering the animal himself?

What about fishing?

But I think one might argue persuasively that hunting just for “sport” is immoral.

Really… we could probably consume more rice and beans and do with less large scale corporate animal farming. And some of these corporate animal farms treat animals horribly. At least the animal in the wild that is taken down by the hunter lived its life to roam free up until its death.

But I find it noteworthy the Trappist monastic order are vegetarians. That’s a real sacrifice in the pursuit of holiness or kindness towards animals. And we humans are animals ourselves.

So you are letting all these animals die horrible deaths while lecturing others on how they could prevent it from happening?


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