Comments: Easy Rider

Oh, come come: who was it who described fox-hunting as (para.) "the unspeakable in pursuit of the unedible"? (Wilde?)

As a Yank, this custom seems rather remote (although I'm sure there are few Anglophilic wannabes who indulge) . . . but that doesn't mean you're not entitled to my opinion! ;-p

I have no problems w/ hunting *for food*: many was the time I benefitted from my father's sure shot at ducks, and geese, and pheasants, and deer (Game-y? Fuhgeddaboutit!). And if the carniverous fox is a real threat to ecological balances (or even a problem animal in relation to human habitation, as happens w/ bears and coyotes sometimes over here), then a quick offing can be justified too.

But ananchronistic celebration of class, w/ a cheesy (yet uneaten) ritual animal sacrifice, via prolonged and extreme stress (w/ our domesticated beasts doing the dirty work)?

Leave it to Masterpiece Theatre, and *move on!*

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Friday, 15 October 2004 at 5:22am BST

I'm an American and therefore cannot claim to fully understand the place of the hunt in the fabric of the rural community. Nor can I speak to whether or not Labour's motive in banning the hunt is about destroying the old rural class structure vs. protecting the fox. And I must agree that providing essential services to the rural (and urban) needy is more important - if it is indeed a case of one or the other, which I doubt. But...

The stoat was doing what stoats do. Stoats eat rabbits, not grass.
When humans allow their dogs to rip an animal to pieces, then smear the blood on the novice's face, all in the name of "sport", "history", or "culture", are they just doing what humans do?
I sure hope not.
I don't care what the motives behind the ban are. The practice is cruel and I'm glad it's banned.
I agree with the previous commenter. I have no problems with hunting for food, and although I'm urban I know where my meat comes from. I've seen a cow slaughtered and I still eat beef, no problem. I've shot a squirrel and I ate the damn thing even though it was like gamey shoe leather. But as humans we ought to respect life and take it for a good reason - like food - and then take it as quickly and humanely as possible. It's a shock to see something on the Thinking Anglicans site, and from a priest, that shows such disrespect for life.
And foxes aren't a threat to the ecological balance, habitat loss is (college degree in wildlife management) so there isn't a need to off the foxes. Outdoor cats likely kill several times more birds and baby rabbits than do foxes.
We still fox hunt here in America (Virginia is a big fox hunting locale) but the fox is not killed. I don't know the details but it's surely more humane although the fox is still stressed. So there is an alternative to ripping the fox apart alive.
And yes, it was Oscar Wilde who called fox hunting "the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible."

Posted by Milli Hayman at Friday, 10 December 2004 at 5:35am GMT