Thursday, October 28, 2010

Quick thought from the Each One Teach One idea

© 2010 Joshua Stark

In responding to NorCal Cazadora in my previous post, in occurred to me that we could help solve the chicken-and-egg conundrum about hunters and environmentalists.

Oftentimes when I'm attending an environmental advocacy conference, I come across one or two people who would love to try fishing and/or hunting, but who don't know how to start.  I often also come across open-minded hunters who absolutely love having new folks to show hunting.  I propose, then, a Take an Environmentalist Hunting Day, and I mean that in the sincerest sense.

Many hunters believe that environmentalists and animal rights people are one and the same, but they are not.  In fact, I don't even consider animal rights advocacy part of the environmental movement (with a couple of notable exceptions, of course), although I must admit that the fact that many members of nonprofit environmental groups also tend to be knee-jerk members of animal rights groups, which clouds the situation.

Many environmentalists believe that hunters today are paramilitary members who spend part of each year in a compound in Idaho and worry about the New World Order.  However, they carry a romantic notion of the act of hunting, because they have grafted themselves to the Tree of Conservation, whose trunk is T.R. and Thomas Seton, and whose roots are their romantic notions of subsistence hunters and pre-Columbian folks in North America.  They know that deep within their love of the wild exists a need to be the wild, to be a part of it in the most natural way possible, through getting some of their sustenance from it.  They may salve that empty part of their hearts by telling their conscious selves that this is a New Era, and that hunting, today, doesn't have the same spirit and heart, but many long for the experience.

What happens, then, when we introduce enthusiastic environmentalists with the likes of Holly at NorCal Cazadora, Hank at Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook, Phillip at the Hog Blog, or Tovar Cerulli?  And there are many, many more like them, ready to share their love for hunting and what it provides, physically, mentally, emotionally, and in some cases, spiritually.

Hunters, if you are so inclined, I recommend you seek out some of your more environmentalist acquaintances, talk up the beauty and experience of intimately knowing your habitats and gaining sustenance from them, and see what happens.  You may end up with a new hunting partner, and helping to re-engage two artificially separated communities.  But if it doesn't even go that far, I doubt you'll be disappointed in the conversation and the shared feelings about those things to which we all feel connected.

Addendum:  If you are interested in hunting or fishing, but have never done so and don't know where or how to start, please shoot me an email, and I will do my darndest to find a hunter in your area who will give you more information, and may even want to meet you and help show you the ropes. 


steven Willis said...

Nice idea, I think Michael Pollan would have enlightened a few environmentalists in the foraging & hunting section of his Omnivore's Dilemma. As you say, many environmentalists just need to see both sides of everything and many probably dismiss hunters as all gun-toting rednecks just like many hunters dismiss enviromentalists as treehugging townies that have no real idea about the realities of the natural world and the balances in play.

Josh said...

Steven, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I, too, was impressed with Pollan's description, and I felt it helped to give clarity and understanding to the act from a different perspective... in fact, from the perspective I was just talking about. When I come across interested enviros., I almost invariably get folks who love Pollan.

Albert A Rasch said...


What a great idea! Thanks for posting this, and getting me thinking about the idea. It is only through continued efforts that we will be able to maintain a well informed public that supports and encourages hunting and fishing as pastimes, and good management tools.

Best Regards,
Albert A Rasch
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles: High Fence Hunting; Is the Public the Problem?

Josh said...

Albert, thanks for commenting!

What I love about the crowd coming together via blogs is that we represent the full political spectrum, but understand the value in hunting and fishing, and share a tremendous love for our places.

Steve Bodio said...

Well, you can send Socorro, Albuquerque and maybe Santa Fe ones to me-- I can take some out, talk to any, and point all in the right direction or to other mentors...

Josh said...

Steve, I'll definitely look for folks around your place. Thanks for stopping in.

Tovar@AMindfulCarnivore said...

My schedule has been preventing me from seeing some great stuff. And it looks like that will continue for some time. Dang.

In any case, Josh, thanks for this post. It's important.

Josh said...

Tovar, I'm just happy you stop by at all. Come on back whenever you are able.