The cruelty conversation

in Outdoors and more2 months ago (edited)


Today I was talking to a chap I've known for a while, one I sometimes go hunting with and, typically, the conversation turned to outdoorsy stuff as we're both interested in and embrace that lifestyle.

He's not a trained long range shooter like myself, so it's a little difficult to hunt with him as I can make shots at well past the range he can; it doesn't help that the calibre and rifle system he uses is not much good for shots much past 200 metres. He can hit things out past that range but chooses not to as the energy imparted to the target isn't enough for a clean kill - despatching an animal humanely is the most important thing for both of us - I'd not shoot with someone who didn't have that ethos.

Over the conversation I brought up fishing which he loves and does well...and I don't really like all that much, and do it badly.

I know how to do it, how to tie the knots, cast and reel in then deal with whatever I've caught. I've not yet learned how not to tangle the line on the real though, or untangle it, but I make do and could feed myself by fishing if I had to. The thing is though, I don't really like fishing because it feels cruel to the fish.

Snagging a fish through the mouth and face with a hook and reeling it up from the depths where it can breathe to the surface and into the air where it cannot, with it struggling all the way, doesn't seem like it'd be a lot of fun for the fish. Then it gets held up for a photo, knocked on the head or thrown into a bucket and that's that. Dead.

I've been labelled as cruel in the past, for being a hunter; fair enough, people are entitled to their own opinions.

I'm a responsible hunter though and won't take a shot unless the probability is almost beyond doubt that my bullet will despatch the animal instantly. I'm also trained to shoot at a long way past a mile, so hunting at anything less than that range is reasonably easy. I have the best equipment available which combines with my skill and training to mean missing my point of aim isn't something that generally happens. Within a very short time from impact the animal is dead and knows nothing about it in the process. Of course, having good judgement is also important, knowing when not to shoot.

Fishing though? Hmm, the fish has longer to think about its impending doom, many minutes and sometimes hours with big game fishing. I wonder what they're thinking.

Don't get me wrong here, I'm not calling those who go fishing cruel, that would be no better than people calling me cruel for hunting; it's just that I feel it's a cruel thing to do to the fish and I'm not inclined to do it much. It's just a feeling I have, just like I think horse racing is cruel considering they whip those horses around like that, all in the name of gambling. Cruel.

We had a good chat about it today, that fellow and I. We weren't out to solve any issues, or to win an argument, we were just talking.

As hunters, both of us have been called cruel at one time or another, surprisingly usually by someone who eats meat! I wonder where they think the meat they eat actually comes from...*plastic trays in the supermarket? We concluded that it was personal choice on how one thought about hunting or fishing or horse racing for that matter, just as it is for a person to chooses to eat mean or not. We are all entitled to our opinions and whilst they may be unfounded, baseless and downright ridiculous, people are still entitled to them.

I wonder about your opinion on this situation, hunting and fishing.

There are so many fishing shows on television here in Australia where one can see the battle between fish and angler, and the result of a successful catch but, interestingly, there are no shows about hunting, you know, shooting a deer, field dressing it and carrying it back to base. I wonder why that is sometimes. Could it be as simple as the fact firearms are used for hunting or is there some other stigma about hunting?

But what about you, do you feel fishing is cruel or inhumane? I mean line fishing, netting or trawling, and how about hunting? Do you see a difference between hunting with a rifle where the animal is despatched immediately and an abattoir where animals lined up one after the other and are electrocuted or stabbed to death so that you can serve it up on a plate with a side of greens? Have you ever provided your own meat or seafood for consumption or do you prefer someone else to do the hard work? What are your thoughts on the situation? Feel free to comment below.

Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default; tomorrow isn't promised so be humble and kind - galenkp

Any images in this post are my own.


We now buy most of our meat (beef mostly) locally. Eggs also. @pooky-jax has a workmate who also operates a farm.

I have not looked into how they are slaughtered. I am more about how they are marinated and xooked. LoL.!

But I do know the creepy vaxxer cult is not involved with the processing. So that is why we took this route. I could not endure a life without meat.


I cooked up some venison on new year's eve that I shot. It was so damned good! I think there's a correlation between the method of harvesting the meat and taste. I'm not altogether sure abattoirs are conducive to the best tasting meat.

I think fishing for food is fine as long as it's done properly, with as much care as possible and using a regular fishing rig (no netting or trawling). Trawling over here is one hell of a discussion as they tend to catch anything, that way kinda not giving the fish a chance to grow enough (it's been prohibited near the coast, but the lobby is huge). I'm personally not a huge fan of sport fishing.

Anyways, I believe we are more efficient in killing a fish than, for example, a Lion killing a pray.

Overfishing is a huge issue around the world and whilst there's a few measures in place it's still happening. I was watching a documentary about how removing one link in the chain through overfishing or extinction make a massive impact on everything else and it certainly is a problem that needs looking into. Trawling is one of the main culprits.

Yeah, trawling not only kills species without distinction but it also messes up the bottom of the sea, impacting fish habitat and food chain -- it's a nightmare.

It's a big problem that most don't seem to care about.

The lobby is huuuuuuge! Our state prohibited trawling near the coast and put some other barriers, but the previous 'fishing or whatever minister' (Federal level) was linked to the fishing industry, so they went back. Then they prohibited again... and now I don't know how it is.

The same happens here, but it never seems enough.

I will confess, I don't like the idea of hunting. I am a vegan for that reason, because I don't like the idea of harming other creatures. But of course, the process of harm can be never-ending. The Buddha preached 2500 years ago that we shouldn't pick apples from the tree, but only eat those that have already fallen, for picking them may cause the tree pain. Recent research is starting to show that trees may indeed feel pain and they communicate this to each other. So where does it end... Should be all be like the Jainists who try to be careful to not even harm a mosquito? Even farming... as any farmer knows, harvesting crops with modern tractors can be a sometimes gruesome process. My inlaws are rice farmers. Field mice and other pests will always be killed in the harvesting process. Unintentionally, but a farmer just can't shoo out all the pests in the crops beforehand.

I used to fish when I was a boy. But later I stopped doing it for the reasons that you list. Even if you release the fish after catching it, as many do, the process seems like it could be painful and traumatic to them.

But I know the entire issue isn't as cut and dry. For example, in Japan, they make it incredibly difficult to own a gun. As a result, young people usually don't bother so the only hunters in the country are old men. As they get too old to hunt and/or die off, wild animals are increasing dramatically in some places and starting to cause a lot of problems. We are seeing wild boars running into convenience stores and bears roaming into community centers.

Anyway, sorry for the ramble. All that said, I respect that you hunt as humanely as you can. If one does choose to hunt, making it as painless as possible for the animal would seem to be a must. In my own opinion, of course. That says a lot that you have your own code like that.

I know a few vegans and respect their beliefs as they don't force them on others or try to convert people to their way of thinking; they just have, and live out, their beliefs and practices and that's that. There are some who don't seem able to do that preferring to chastise and even vilify others for not embracing their vegan ways. It's a little crazy I think, no different to someone with guns trying to force someone who doesn't like them to own one. I guess, humans are just humans and we're never going to agree on everything and they'll all act in the manner in which they see fit.

I understand what goes on in abattoirs and, whilst I am a meat eater, it makes me feel uncomfortable, the same with fishing. It's for this reason I hunt humanely and with respect and avoid fishing.

There are some who don't seem able to do that preferring to chastise and even vilify others for not embracing their vegan ways. It's a little crazy I think, no different to someone with guns trying to force someone who doesn't like them to own one.

Absolutely. Most of us in the vegan community really don't like the people who do this. It tends to be new vegans that do it. What's the saying: No one believes stronger than the newly converted. (or something like that)

I guess, humans are just humans and we're never going to agree on everything and they'll all act in the manner in which they see fit.

And I think this is fine. It's ok to have different opinions as long as we respect each other. It can lead to great conversations at the pub.

I do feel sad with my heart about hunting in general, hunting isn't that big in Holland as we don't really have much wildlife, but in fall, they are hunting hares and it always made me sad because of how I am raised. Animals are our pets and our friends.

But when I am using my brain instead of my heart, I like the fact that this animals have lived their lives in the open fields, in freedom instead of in cages. They are killed with one bullet. That harm is way smaller than being born as a product. So I know hunting free animals instead of buying meat in the store is lots better.

Someday, I would love to have my own little farm with chickens, but I would probably never be able to butcher them myself. I would rather pay someone to do so. That doesn't make me any better. It is just the way how I am raised, which makes me feel for the animals.

I think people have the wrong idea about hunting and what's entailed. It can be done humanely, I know this because I hunt humanely.

Someone once called me cruel for hunting, she was eating bacon and eggs at the time. I brought up a video on YouTube of an abattoir that processed (killed and prepared) pigs to show her. She couldn't watch it, but was happy to finish her bacon and eggs.

Like you in your last paragraph, people are quick to judge a hunter but forget to remember that the meat they eat is slaughtered. Like you say, it makes you feel better about yourself for someone else to do the killing.

Hunting inhumanely is reprehensible, as are some of the techniques used in abattoirs where animals are processed for consumption. I feel content with how I hunt as I know. Responsible and humane.

I think pork is so much more harmful and I humane. In holland, they use gas to kill the pigs, they die screaming out of panick. and I totally agree that hunting is the most natural way of eating meat and the animal doesn't have to suffer. One bullet and they are dead before they know.

However, that I know this doesn't mean that my heart agrees. It is a cultural difference. Me and my friends even used to save mouses from cats as kids. I know it is weird but it was totally normal for me and the kids from the village I grew up in.
If my parents would have learned me how to hunt, I would have probably felt different about it. But I am not against hunting. I think that's how nature is supposed to work.

Abattoirs are not nice places and I think many people would feel uncomfortable going there and seeing what happens...and yet they still eat meat and say things like, hunting is cruel. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but people are mostly weird.

Yeah I also don't understand that. I am barely eating meat by the way, just a few occasions a year. But I feel it isn't bad to eat animals from a small farms (if they are butchered well) or hunted animals which have lived a free life. We do have in Holland the "most efficient" farms they say (it is a hoax). We export a lot of pork for example. This "pork farms" are in giant buildings with sometimes up to 20000 pigs inside. Than you know something is wrong. Things should really change.

Yeah I agree with you, it's time for some change, but humanity has a voracious appetite (for most things) and have become very ignorant of the world around them and the other things that live in it. (Environment, plants and animals.) It's rather alarming really.

Well as you've stated, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Because one is a vegetarian doesn't make the other who hunt meat to eat make them cruel or inhumane towards the animals.

For me I would say that's literally how the world was created though 🤷. Man was meant to prey on animals to survive just as how animals prey on plants too to survive.
What do you think?

I was raised as a vegetarian for the first 17.5 years of my life, after which I began to eat meat, and have had people around me for most of the rest of it that were vegetarian so I'm not against it at all. People should be able to eat as they please.

Humans have hunted and gathered for a long time and I think we wouldn't have survived if we did not. I'm not a scientist so don't know all the details about diet although know we adapted many things as we evolved, Neanderthal to Home Sapiens for instance and diet was one of them.

I also don't think humans would have survived if we haven't hunt to eat, it's been happening since time being. I don't see any cruelty in that. Although, I might not know how to hunt or fish,but I eat meat,fish as well as veggies too.

People and their opinions and views about life. Personally hunting and fishing are normal activities for food gathering it's not inhuman . Here in Nigeria, fishing and hunting is a life occupation. Every thing matters yes but some are for food others for other purposes . Those who eat should not condemn those who eat not and those eat not should not condemn those who eat this is my submission.

If humans never learned to hunt, we'd be extinct. However, there is human and inhumane hunters out there, the latter don't have my respect.

Every thing to be do in moderation. I agree.

Every thing to be do in moderation.

I think this is a ridiculous phrase.

If I was to murder some people, but in moderation, is that ok?

In the context of hunting.

So, if I inhumanely killed some animals when hunting, but did it in moderation, that would be ok? (I think not.)

Our understanding of things on this topic differ so I rest my case. Thanks.

I think people have polarising opinions on hunting because there are different kinds of hunters.
There are the hunters such as yourself that hunt for food over sport, and ensure that the animal doesn't suffer.
On the other hand there are hunters that hunt purely for the fun of it and don't give a damn about the animal suffering.

I have zero issue with the former and despite being a self proclaimed animal lover I would actually join an ethical hunter like yourself.

An example of a non-ethical hunter would be fox hunters in the UK. I wouldn't piss on them if they were on fire.

Yeah, I've been a shooter (and hunter) for over 33 years and have always done so humanely, no matter what I'm the cross hairs.

On the fox thing. Here, they are an introduced species (by the colonists - English a couple hundred years ago) and they do massive damage the native fauna and especially sheep graziers - they target the lambs, eat out their soft parts and leave them to die. So, they are enemy number one and are generally shot on sight on farms. I cull on a big cattle farm one to two times a week and if I see one it's shot, no questions, although I do so humanely of course.

I don't know anything about hunting in the UK or the fox situation.

Thanks for your comment and opinion, and yes you're right, (unfortunately) there are some very terrible humans around.

The fox hunting situation in the UK is... colourful.
Foxes are a native species here but they are deemed a pest for the same reason as you mentioned. Their numbers are high and they wreck havoc on the agriculture industry.

In the UK the ruling/elite class like to ride around the countryside on horse back with packs of hounds until they flush out a fox and chase it to exhaustion and let the dogs rip it to pieces.

The above form of hunting is technically illegal. They are only allowed to trail hunt. Which means someone goes out before the hunt and drags a bag that is scented for the hounds to follow, seems harmless enough on paper, and the police allow them to do that. However while they're chasing the scent, obviously they're going to come across foxes anyway, and they end up getting shredded. But it's legal because "they didn't mean to".

They should be culled humanely as you do. But our ruling class are cruel and terrible humans.

Hunting foxes from horseback with hounds is what they were brought here for also, by those ruling-class assholes. It seems a rather antiquated concept these days.

Those ruling-class individuals also sent two of my relatives to the Port Arthur penal colony for minor offences back in the early 1800's and thought that brutal place was humane, especially considering both were initially handed death penalties which were commuted to transportation. Port Arthur was generally a death sentence though, however my ancestors survived their twenty year sentences. I'm proud of them.

Times were different back then I guess, there's no more convict transportation...maybe it's time to end hunting foxes with hounds?

I've thought about fishing in very similar ways to you before, particularly sport fishing where the fish is thrown back. I suppose it's nice that it does get put back but, in the meantime, it's rough on the fish who did not actively choose to participate.

Meat does need to come from somewhere, though. Personally, I like to stick my head into the sand and not think where it comes from. I know the people who own a nearby farm (they deliver a dozen eggs to me weekly - farm fresh eggs are pretty tasty) and they also grow cows and chicken. I've met some of the cows and chickens, and realised during their last meat sale that I could not buy any, having once actually patted one of those cows. Is it different buying from a store? Well, at least I didn't look those cows in the eyes.

Many shift their thoughts around the fact that something died and someone had to kill it to put meat on their's those that then go on to criticise hunters that comfound me.

With fishing...putting fish back after catching them...I wonder how many people get into the water and find that fish to ensure it actually survived that ordeal? (None obviously). Also, I wonder how many would stick a hook and line into their cheek and tolerate being dragged around by it to understand what it feels like for the fish...I imagine it not to be any fun at all.

I don't think fish have the same depth of feeling as a mammal, but the few times I've been fishing it does make me cringe a little seeing what you say about the hook being in the animals mouth and being pulled to the shore/boat by it. That said, if I was a big fan of fish as food, I might take more time fishing, but it's not really my thing. I like an occasional salmon filet from the supermarket but I'm not a big fish eater. Red meat for me.

This is why I choose to hunt deer when I get the itch. I like to use my crossbow because I learned to hunt from my father who always liked to do it at close range. I also wasn't legally allowed to hunt with a gun when I started at 12, so that's the style I have stuck with even when using a shotgun or rifle. As if I've got a bow. I've never had to take a shot longer than 30-40 yards as a result. With how good the newest expanding broadheads are now, I think the crossbow may actually be an even more humane way to take a deer. I shot a mature doe season before last and she didn't make it 30 yards. The meat is delicious this way too because they bleed out very quickly.

I don't think fish have the same depth of feeling as a mammal

I knew someone would say this, I've heard it in the past also.

I'm more of a hunter than a fisherman, and clearly like to do so in a humane fashion; it's for the animal, but also for my own peace of mind I guess. I've not done much with my crossbow (hunting I mean) although have done some bow hunting in the past which I enjoyed. It's a good skill to have I think. I know the technology of arrowheads has moved forward though and that it's a lot more humane now than it was back in the day.

Animals should only be killed swiftly and as humanely as possible: for food, we are by nature meat eaters and hunters and gatherers. ( no matter what the woke brigade try to inflict upon us).

To be honest I think fishing seems so fucking boring, sitting for hours on a river bank doing nothing.....nothing. I mean FFS where is the pleasure in that. I would fall asleep wake up and find all my tackle had been dragged down to the depths.

I've been hunting for a long time and have enjoyed it. Not just pulling triggers but being out there in the first place, then finding signs, stalking, navigation, four wheel driving and all the other elements. It feel natural. Fishing though, yeah I've done it, have my own gear and had some success, but it's not very exciting, I'm with you there!

Also, I don't know what woke means, but it hints at vegan screamer to me.

vegan screamer is a good couple of words!!!!

I get the same thrill climbing through windows, it is the map search research, dodging security and nosey neighbours sure gets the adrenaline flowing

Lol, yeah I've (unfortunately for the vegan) been the target for more than a few. I tend to rile them up so much their eyes bug out and they foam at the mouth. They rarely go away content or satisfied. 😁

I get the same thrill climbing through windows, it is the map search research, dodging security and nosey neighbours sure gets the adrenaline flowing

Dude, this stuff is right up my alley, the exhilaration thing. I'd like to tag along. The problem here is there's not many places where it's actually possible.

I must be honest I love vegans, just means more meat available for me. 😂

Ah, more's the pity, must be honest though I have given up driving 60 odd miles just to visit the single property, I usually do a month or so road tripping somewhere in europe. the research has started already as I want to do Poland or Belgium this year.

I think the same way...although, they eat the food my food eats and that's not legit! 😁

I was really bummed I didn't get to Poland for the HiveFest they had there but Australia is so far from everywhere, it's not a simple thing of saying, oh, just get on the plane for a week. I'd like to get away this year though. Finland maybe.

You know I have never thought about it from that angle!!!

Finland looks cool, you might even bump into @eveuncovered one of our popular Scandi Hivians

No to either. Moe and more my stomach turns. As we face mass extinction of animals I just can't justify either act. Part of this was fishing in Tassie. Jamie likes a fish and always throws little ones back and only catches what he needs. But we both felt uncomfortable with it out there. It didn't sit with our values, even if we were fishing sustainable fish and lakes seeded with trout. I think my post tonight might explain a wee bit of that if you care to read it

Saying that I DO get the need to hunt to cull to protect landscapes to redress balance, and there's a lot in common between you and I to dislike you for shooting. It's more complex than that.

People diss the woke movement but I like the word in theory... It's about being conscious and aware of the life you take and the reason you take it, and the impact it has on biodiversity etc. So long as you, and other hunters and fishers, are doing that, it doesn't bother me.

Again, my post in an hour explains a wee wee bit about how im feeling about it. Plus if you read my short story SYMPATHY you might get where I'm coming from too.

With lots of love and respect xxx

Yep, there's a few out there like you who can have your opinion and see things from other angles at the same time.

Being called a murderer by a vegan who drives a BMW with leather seats whilst wearing a leather belt and shoes always confounds me, so it's good to hear someone voicing their opinion and still being able to see various other perspectives.

I do try. It doesn't serve humanity well to be so divided. We can disagree on somethings but but be aligned on many others as you know my friend. 💕💕 hypocrisy and militancy isn't the way to free ourselves from the shit we have got ourselves into!

Yeah, there's always multiple things to consider with any problem and it's best to try and see things a little more objectively, especially if one is looking to make some statements. People get so incensed and tend to lose focus on the issue, and their ability to make their arguments for or against. People want to be right all the time, but they're not always right.

I confess that I don't love hunting and fishing as a sport, but simply because when my father took me there as a child I was bored, on the other hand I really love being surrounded by nature.

I think fishing is more
cridel of hunting though, obviously then it depends on the hunters.
In general, however, I prefer those who eat what they fish and hunt, and in the end, as cruel as someone can deem it is the cycle of life and the food chain.

Moreover, I eat meat and fish so if I have to think of cruelty as some understand it, I am certainly no less cruel than those who hunt and fish.

Well said indeed, it doesn't make sense to me when people who eat meat go ahead and criticise hunters.

I believe that criticizing is something that should not be done at all, who are we to do it.
Then I repeat, hunting and fishing are something that has existed since time immemorial and I think it can easily not be in contrast with being animal rights activists ... as in everything you need balance😉

Balance is exactly right, balanced thought. People tend to very quickly go one way or the other without giving any real thought to the entire situation or facts. I don't know why that is, or when people stopped weighing and measuring things properly prior to their decision-making occurs, but that's how it is.

The moment when people stopped thinking and measuring you will never find out unfortunately...

He's not a trained long range shooter like myself

That means you are a trained long-range shooter. I didn't know about it and It's the first time I heard about it from you. Feeling good to know something new about yourself.

I think hunting for living isn't cruel but hunting for a hobby seems a little bit cruel in my eyes.

I've don't a lot of posts on my shooting.

I think hunting for living isn't cruel but hunting for a hobby seems a little bit cruel in my eyes.

Ok. What about fishing for sport?

In case of fishing I think it's ok because it's the natural law. And it's the only fate for fish.

That's a double standard don't you think? Hunting for sport is not good but fishing for sport is ok?

Firstly, I am sorry because I misunderstood. I thought catching fish for hobby to eat where you said about sports.

In that case I think it's cruel also.

And when i envision having to put a cap in the ass of the po-po that comes to take us to the gulag, i feel it is even more cruel, but you got to do what you must to live in this cruel world.

Everything we eat has been prepared with some pain to something.
ESPECIALLY! the vegan diet.

We normally buy the chicken already cut up in a nice package at the store.
So, we do not have to see the culling ourselves.
But it still happens.

Just realize that all the life on earth knows this is the cycle of life.
Only humans think, can we do better?
Maybe we will find better.

I don't think humans do it much better, the cycle of life. Humans are greedy, selfish and egotistical and the things they do to each other because of it is reprehensible.

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I think hunting and fishing are both good skills to have. I have never hunted, but I have fished a lot. I do believe in being humane and I wish bad stuff on folks that hunt and kill animals only for their tusks, horns, hooves or just for sport, but hunting and using the kill for food I have no issue with.

I also understand sometimes it is necessary to kill for culling purposes too. As long as there is truly a valid reason, I have no issue with that either.

I have never been bothered by the plight of a caught fish. I never really thought of it to be honest. It has crossed my mind when I saw folks catch and release, not because there was a law about size, but just when it was for sport and no one was going to eat the fish when it was caught. Sometimes throwing an injured fish back in the water doesn't save it as lots of times injured fish become victims to other fishes. Now that you said it, it would probably cross my mind if I ever went fishing again, but then I would still fish. LOL.... we all have our own lines, right ?

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