I was sat in traffic the other day, as I often end up doing. Staring out the window, smoking too much and making up stories for the drivers around me. You know, the usual.
One of the fun things is when someone’s dog randomly appears in a back window. Suddenly, dog! “Hi, I was laid down and now I’m here!” But I digress. I saw a window sticker that stopped my monologue about dogs playing hide and seek, women stealing their husbands cars to elope with their children’s teachers and husbands trying to make it to a drag festival. ‘Fight the ban’.
Goddamn fox hunting. Again.
I paused my brain it’s path of bizarre stories to focus on fox hunting for a while. Regular readers will know my feelings on fox hunting. Or any kind of unnecessary hunting. Hunting for food, I understand. Admittedly the closest I get to hunting for food is stalking the aisles of my local supermarkets, ducking and weaving through people, hiding behind promotional signs and pouncing on sale meat.
But I understand that people need to eat meat, or protein for the vegetarians out there. I personally feel we evolved the range of teeth and the digestive system we have to cope with being omnivores. But other people may disagree. But killing something for fun, profit or boasting rights doesn’t seem like a hugely intelligent use of our time. But maybe that’s just me.
Fox hunting has always perplexed me. I understand that chicken farmers can hate foxes as foxes, while incredibly intelligent, have a horrible habit of needing to eat. When they find a ready supply of food they don’t really want it to escape. If they’re really hungry they probably don’t want to share. They also don’t want to be caught, so they’ll more often than not kill the alarms. It’s almost human.
They will tend to kill all the chickens in a coop to have a larder of food they can come back to, but they also kill everything to stop anything hearing what’s going on. They don’t do it out of meanness, they do it out of necessity. Sadly, but understandably, humans have a problem with their chickens being killed.
But does that really justify death on a massive, terrifying scale?
Let’s put it into perspective.
Dolphins and whales eat fish, they like to hang around ships. So these water mammals eat a large amount of fish that people also eat. So technically they’re as much a threat to our food as foxes? Yet people react with understandable horror at the Japanese dolphin and whale hunts. They say it’s barbaric, cruel and unnecessary.
Why is this? Is it because you’re unlikely to find a dolphin or a whale in your garden pond eating your koi? Is it because you can swim with dolphins? Or a whale if you’re brave or stupid enough? Because you can run with foxes. Foxes are seen as sly, cruel but ultimately stupid and selfish. But if you take the time to know foxes you’ll find out that foxes are loving, friendly, intelligent and caring. Those with pet foxes or who work with them regularly will always tell you how loving and considerate foxes are.
If you moved into an oil rig you’ll find dolphins and whales will eventually find their way into the equivalent of your back garden. Especially if you kept throwing fish out the window. That’s the way of it with foxes as well. Keep building in their world and they’ll find the way into yours. Keep leaving easy to find food and they’ll stay.
If you don’t want to encourage foxes, don’t leave out food, don’t live in what was originally their garden. But don’t whinge or justify chasing them down, terrifying them and eventually tearing them apart alive. And don’t tell me it doesn’t happen, it does. That’s like saying male rape doesn’t happen. But that is a blog for another day, it deserves it’s own page.
But trophy hunting, blood sports, rape or any kind of abuse is never justified.