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The ‘Pillaging Wild Food’ Objection

03.23.11

When talking about what I do, I often hear ‘I don’t have time‘, or ‘I don’t have the money‘, or ‘I don’t know how‘. Lately though I’ve been challenged a few times with: “If we all go out and harvest a game animal, there will be none left

First, correct. If everybody woke up tomorrow morning and went out to shoot a moose instead of go to work, the moose population would be in trouble. Thankfully, it would be entirely illegal for everybody to do that, as there are legalities surrounding the harvesting of wild game animals. The populations are managed. [If you have a problem with how wildlife is managed, contact the SRD, not me]

Secondly, to those who feel that way, I’d ask them to consider an agricultural environment where we opted out of monocultures and grew food forests [berries, greens, mushrooms] that contained wild game. Would harvesting them then be different? I don’t think you’ll be able to convince me that indigenous species aren’t a worthwhile consideration in our regional food culture in some way, shape, or form. I also don’t know many people who have planted as many native species of plants in their yard as I have, so that they can provide for me here, reducing my need to forage in natural environments. I’m working within the confines of our norm, and am trying to broaden that norm in a healthy way.

So please, before you take a run at me on this one, please know that I am not advocating pillaging of our natural resources. That’s not my gig. Use the search box and do some reading here, if you want. What I am doing is advocacy for embracing native species of plants and animals into our regional food culture. I don’t feel I’ve misrepresented that intent, I think some folks are simply willing to challenge me on it, uninformed.

[context, as example: comments related to the recent Edmonton Journal article]

14 Responses

  1. whoa…wasn’t expecting a broadside like that. Pillaging. That’s an interesting point of view. I am now dreadfully curious about these folks with that opinion. Do they contribute in any positive way to the propagation of wildlife or its habitat? Do they belong to conservation groups (that all hunters are obligated to through their licence fees)? Do they have any clue whatsoever about what you’re all about on this blog? Scratch that last question, the answer is obvious.

    It never ceases to amaze me how internet ‘forums for opinion’ encourage people to pick pepper out of flycrap.

  2. Kevin says:

    Hey John – I just updated the post to include some context at the bottom via a link.

  3. Kasia says:

    Go Kevin!! As they say, ignorance is bliss.

  4. A great article and response to the comments therein. You might want to go back and include a link to this article from the comments there, too.
    :)
    Valerie

  5. alan says:

    guess those with objections haven’t spent any time hunting. It’s not like hitting something with your car. Having spent a fair amount of time slogging through the snow in search of elusive game, I’d say that the wildlife stands a pretty good chance against the average Joe. Joe’s neighbors should be worrie though…

  6. Karlynn says:

    Your reply is too well thought out, educated and thorough for the likes of those certain people commenting, however I thoroughly enjoy reading a kick ass rebuttal, so thanks for the brain fodder :)

  7. Lea says:

    Methinks this recent complaint might be from the camp that believes that people shouldn’t hunt, period, or not eat meat at all for moral and environmental reasons (which I think has faulty science behind it). (insert disclaimer here that I understand not all people who have these views)

    I also think that the commenter is also using logical fallacy in their argument, anyway. “Hunting is not sustainable for everyone ergo, no one should be encouraged to hunt.” It’s like saying, not everyone can have a (robust) garden (e.g. apartment dwellers), ergo no one should have a garden.

    At the end, it’s showing that there are options out there for people who want to have a closer connection to their food and food sources. But, some people forget the forest for the trees…

  8. While we are talking about game animals, I doubt the population of deer would ever be in trouble. They are a huge nuisance, causing so many car crashes, spreading lime disease, not to mention billions of dollars in landscape problems… why, it seems that we should be hunting these creatures!

  9. Mel says:

    Trolls will be trolls. They are the lowest common denominator on the internet, and sadly they tend to haunt all the news websites – it’s really no surprise you got a few negative comments on the Journal’s site. As you said yourself, some people will spout off their misinformed comments without even reading the entire article or understanding it. If they did, they would realize that you were mainly talking about filling your yard with edible plants on which to feed yourself and your family throughout the year – pretty much the most sustainable approach to agriculture I can think of.

  10. Thanks all, for taking the time to weigh in.

    Just for the record, I’ve been approached a few times in person about this issue – so it’s not just the commentors on media websites that I was reacting to. The recent ones were just the straw that made me post about it, so that in the future, I can save my energy, and simply refer them to this url…

  11. Barry Preuett says:

    Mel says it all, that particular individual is a troll. That kind of mentality (all or none) is just a reflection of how uninformed and ignorant of nature that person is. Obviously, any intelligent person automatically knows that not every single person in your neighboorhood or mine is going to take up arms and slaughter the entire population of game just because someone advocates for hunting wild game. Furthermore, I read the article and nothing in it says that everybody should be doing that, it simply states that there are alternatives equally provided for everyone who wants them and are willing to put in a little work.

    Ya know there was a time not long ago where hunting was the only option for some people to feed their family. Societal and technological advances basically force people away from “hunter/gatherer” mode and into “grocery store” mode. It takes a well informed and educated man/woman to realize there is more than what the mass produce entity “feeds” you.

    Kudos Kevin, I thought you handled it like a pro.

    Even in my own walk in life, despite a more restricted and scarce availability of wilderness, I am trying to find resources (intepret that as people who know) to broaden my families exposure to alternative foods. My kids and I grow what we can on our lot, and have recently discovered a friend who is an avid hunter and supplies me with some of his harvests. My kids love Goose and Pheasant now. I’d love the opportunity to harvest these goods myself and am trying to get there, but in the meantime, the sharing of resources will have to do.

    I contribute a lot of my entheusiasm for this approach to your blog, and just wanted to say thanks and give you props for your contributions.

    Keep up the great work Sir.

    ~Barry

  12. Annand Ollivierre says:

    Kevin nice rebuttal! I’m really interested in the idea of a “food forest”. I’ve been watching some of chef dan barber’s TED talks related to this “new” form of agriculture and was wondering if you have any other sources/interesting reading materials on the subject. I’m really inspired by your dedication and appreciate all that your share.

  13. Greg says:

    I savour statements that begin, “If everyone did what you’re doing…” That approach to logic can be used in any context in order to make something seem ridiculous, but always oversteps complicating facts.
    If everyone hunted wild game, we’d have more food than we could possibly eat in the following week and lots of it would spoil, and then yes we’d be out of wild game. That’s not how subsistence hunting works. That’s how sport hunting works.
    If everyone moved to the country, we’d run out of space. Well, Canada, we’ve been abusing our big, wild country without living out there, and the extracted output all goes to the city. When you live out here, you see things first-hand and start thinking differently about what we’ve designed for our agriculture and industry.
    If everyone grew a food forest, we’d run out of monocrop space. Exactly.
    It’s hard not to participate in the clash of ideologies. Positive solutions don’t come of that. Asking hard questions is important, but fostering an air of antagonism is just rotten.

  14. Addie says:

    I think most people who have objections to wild game hunting are just people who haven’t done it! I haven’t done it and have been a meat eater only for 3 years. But I certainly have tremendous appreciation for people like you (Kevin) who do it for your livelihood. It’s in fact more hypocritical, if you ask me, to eat the meat of cows and foul that have been caged for years and years before their head is chopped off. Which of course we all do. If anything, your lifestyle – from growing herbs, fruits and vegetables, to eating wild game – is certainly the most natural way one can possibly live.

    Wild game is much more healthy. It is natural, organic and is certainly the most ethical way (in my opinion) to kill an animal for its meat.

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