Animal Rightists – Serious Lack of Understanding

Last year, an obviously rabid – but completely brainwashed animal rights supporter – protested, in a Los Angeles newspaper, that – if they really wanted meat to eat – it was not necessary for hunters to kill wild animals. All they had to do, he said, was to visit their local supermarkets where they could buy perfectly good meat in a plastic wrapper – meat that was clean and fresh and that can be procured without anybody having the need to kill an animal.

This little story may be hilarious to those who know where meat in the supermarket comes from, but it illustrates the complete lack understanding that many people who live in the inner cities of the Western World have, with regards to the realities of life. These are the kinds of people who fall ready victim to animal rights propaganda. Nevertheless, the question remains: why do people hunt?

People hunt for many different reasons: for the thrill of the chase; for the challenge that hunting affords them; to get out of the office and back into nature; in pursuit of trophies (not necessarily the biggest and the best); for the camaraderie that comes with sharing a camp and the great outdoors with like-minded friends; and to obtain meat to eat, or meat to turn into biltong. And there are many more such reasons.

Many hunters, on the other hand, cherish the opportunity to hunt alone – or alone with just one of their sons. They like the idea of pursuing an elusive wild quarry in its own territory and on its own terms. THIS is how many hunters like to commune with nature; collecting their own meat as man has done since time began; processing the carcass and cutting it up themselves; and taking it home to the family deep freeze. And they like the fact that the venison they procure is lean and pure: that is has matured in nature without supplementary grain-feeding; without hormone treatments; and with no expenditure of fossil fuels.

Hunters don’t like to fight the anti-hunters – all the time – because that action belittles their need for solitude in the open veld, and the enjoyment of their mystical hunting passion. That very fact, however, leaves them greatly exposed to censure in the public domain by the anti-hunters: who don’t understand the first thing about hunters or their sport; and who, anyway, have a totally different agenda.  But the TGA does understand the hunter; it knows all about the anti-hunters; and it has pledged to fight them on every hunter’s behalf.   All that the TGA would like in return is that hunters join the TGA so that their membership fees can be used to help do battle with the implacable enemy.

Ron Thomson

I am NOT a ‘trophy hunter’ - and never have been. I am not involved in the trophy hunting safari business. I am also not a game rancher. But I have ‘administratively controlled’ professional hunters and safari outfitters in my capacity as a government game warden. I am an 80 year old ex-game warden with 60 years of continuous experience in hands-on wildlife management, and national park management, in Africa (1959 to 2019). In breakdown, I have 24 years experience in the management of national parks in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe - and in the management of the wild animal populations that lived inside those national parks; one year as the Chief Nature Conservation of the Ciskei in South Africa; three years as Director of the Bophuthatswana National Parks Board in South Africa; and I worked for three years as a professional hunter in the South African Great Karoo (taking foreign hunters on quests for plains game trophies). I discovered, however, that professional hunting was not my forte. I worked as an investigative wildlife journalist for 30 years in South Africa. I have written fifteen books and hundreds of magazine articles on the subject of wildlife management and big game hunting in Africa. Five of my books are university-level text books on wildlife management. I am a university-trained ecologist; was a member of the Institute of Biology (London) for 20 years; and was a registered chartered biologist for the European Union for 20 years. I have VAST experience in the “management hunting” of elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards and hippos (as part of my official national park work in the control of problem animals); and I pioneered the capture of black rhino in Zimbabwe’s Zambezi Valley (1964 - 1970). My university thesis was entitled: “The Factors Affecting the Survival and Distribution of Black Rhinos in Rhodesia”. Look at my personal website if you want any further details about my experience: www.ronthomsonshuntingbooks.co.za.

Ron Thomson has 179 posts and counting. See all posts by Ron Thomson

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