These are the words spoken by self proclaimed animal liberationist Felicity Anderson when she appeared on a recent episode of SBS’ Living With The Enemy. These words have also been echoed by a number of other vegans claiming that hunters will never go vegan.
I wonder if any of those people have stopped to consider how close to the truth are those comments really are?
If the comments are just sweeping generalisations, is any consideration paid to the damage both to the movement and to other activists that they may be causing?
Are Hunters Bloodthirsty?
Having been a hunter for a number of years before and after turning vegan, I can tell you that the majority of people who hunt actually aren’t bloodthirsty monsters.
Sure there may be a few who enjoy and participate in hunting because they view it as a blood sport, though in my experience they are in the minority.
This would be the same as saying that all vegans are left winged misanthropic hippies who are out of touch with reality.
Are Hunters Barbaric?
Are hunters labeled as barbaric because they willingly go out and kill other animals?
Why is hunting considered different to fishing, where the fish are caught via a hook in the mouth, and left to suffocate on the boat deck or pier?
Out of the two, I would say that those who fish are more barbaric than hunters. At least hunters do their best to ensure a ‘quick kill’.
When was the last time you say anyone protesting and holding up placards on your local pier?
Are Hunters Cowards?
Now this is an interesting claim.
Are hunters called cowards because they kill an animal with a bullet or arrow? If this is the case, then what are those people who kill animals and insects with the cars that they drive?
Are those deaths acceptable because driving a car is something that we need to do?
Something else to consider, what about the vets at animal shelters who kill healthy animals because they may not have the right look to be sold quickly, or those animals who due to their confinement have literally gone stir crazy. Are they cowards too?
Hunters Will Never Go Vegan!
This appears to be one of the most common claims by animal activists.
Every time I hear someone say those words, I wonder if it is their way of demonising the person to justify the way that they speak to them.
That being said, they seem to be forgetting one important thing.
At one point in time I was a hunter. Yet now I am vegan, and have been for a number of years.
So that point is false.
Sole Reason Is To Agitate And Inflame
I honestly believe that the sole reason that these comments have been made is to agitate and inflame the situation, and has nothing to do with getting the other side to understand the vegan ‘position’.
[GARD]Whilst Ms Andersen may get a few pats on the back for the doing what she did, I would have thought that she may have come back with a better understanding of her fellow humans. Yet this does not appear to be the case.
I am reminded of the quote by Sun Tzu from The Art of War:
It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles;
if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one;
if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.
With this is mind, it is clear that this battle has been lost.
How DO We Get Hunters To Go Vegan?
Just because someone may go hunting it doesn’t change the fact that they are still a human. And as a human respond better to conversations and people who understand the battle that they themselves are going through.
I can tell you that all those years ago when I was getting yelled at by ALV protesters because I was spending a few hours duck shooting, going vegan or even entertaining the idea of animal rights was the last thing on my mind.
The easiest way to get them to go vegan is to have an actual conversation with them, find out what their interests are, why they feel they need to hunt, and work from there. Remembering that this is about them and the animals, not you as the vegan or animal activist.
Though to do this, we may need to acknowledge our own speciesist attitudes towards other animals, and judgmental misconceptions towards our fellow humans.