Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rinella on water

Always striking how hunting is often seen as an egregious activity while many people who care about wildlife often allow things like golf courses to be established, relatively unchecked. 'Developments' run roughshod over wildlands with impunity, being sold as vital social goods. Ok let me not rant any further, this one just got me thinking...

Steve Rinella on water in the west

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Stabbing TR in the back?

"Sportsmen" stab Theodore Roosevelt in the back

Some interesting issues coming to light in the US:

1)      Is the North American model of public wildlife access ‘socialist’? Yes, because highly gentrified wildlife for the elite is a great road to walk! NOT. Ideology trumps process and preferred outcomes all the time with rabid ideologues.

2)      Game disappearing from the western states? I am no expert but could that have to do with urban sprawl? The proliferation of ‘ranchettes’ on heavily subdivided family farms? Habitat degradation? Agricultural competition?

These strident privatization voices emitting from those with a political and economic incentive are concerning indeed…

© Brian Joubert

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The zealotry for bone.

I saw this video posted online some time ago and it got me thinking about the issues of highly selective trophy-based management, as well as the ethics and politics surrounding it. Manipulating wildlife through selection is not new. The act of leaving a certain buck to breed trophy offspring is a common practice and certainly on the ‘lesser-end’ of manipulation; the animal also remains functionally wild. At the more objectionable end is the use of livestock breeding practices to farm fantastically bigger horns and antlers. I personally don’t mind the former but I think we lose something innate to hunting (and to being an honest hunter), when we embark on the latter, when we seek domestic trophies purely for the inch value. This is not the conservation of endangered species through intensive management and domestic captivity; it’s the acquiescence and surrender to the Record Book Religion.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Book Review: "The Mindful Carnivore: A Vegetarian's Hunt for Sustenance" by Tovar Cerulli

Excerpt from the book: “…I saw beauty in my food. In salad greens, I saw the tiny, delicate leaves that first sprout from earth and seed. In strawberries, I saw the rain falling on Joey’s fields a couple miles down the road, and tasted the sun that warmed and fattened the fruit.
But in those same crop fields, I also saw missing forests and prairies. In tofu, I saw the rifles and shotguns used to plug deer in soybean fields. In grains, I saw the birds, mice, and rabbits sliced by combines. In cabbage, I saw caterpillars killed by insecticides, organic or not. I salad greens, I saw a whitetail cut open and dragged around the perimeter of a farm field, the scent of blood warning other deer not to eat the organic arugula and radicchio destined for upscale restaurants and grocery stores in San Francisco. In Joey’s kale and berries, I saw smoke-bombed [woodchuck] burrows.

Even in the vegetables from our garden –broccoli and green beans, lettuce and snap peas – I saw the wild grasses we uprooted, the earthworms we chopped with our shovels, the beetles I crushed between thumb and forefinger, the woodchucks I shot, and the dairy cows whose manure and carcasses fed the soil. In my own life and in the lives around me – heron and trout, hawk and hare, coyote and deer – I saw that the entire living breathing, eating world was more beautiful and more terrible than I had imagined. Like Richard, I saw that sentient beings fed on sentient beings”. Pgs246/7.

The above passage, for me, is an appropriate prĂ©cis of the overarching lesson conveyed in Tovar Cerulli’s well written and though provoking book – The Mindful Carnivore. Through the personal narrative of his conversion from vegan to hunter, Cerulli paints a coherent picture of the ethical and biological rationale for this seemingly about-face decision.  What appears to be a transition between incompatible beliefs is shown to be the outcome of the same path to environmental enlightenment.