A Plea to the Professional Hunter and Field Scientist Alike

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by AFRICAN INDABA, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. AFRICAN INDABA

    AFRICAN INDABA CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    A Plea to the Professional Hunter and Field Scientist Alike
    by Natasha Illum Berg

    I am a hunter, one of a long line of hunters and conservationists. I have been in Tanzania for twenty years now, and I have hunted it for as many years as I have been here. Hunting is my first, is my last love.

    But I see things which make me want to speak.

    I see a world mostly against hunting. I see us becoming increasingly unsuccessful in making ourselves accepted and heard in a majorly urbanized world. I am not talking about the islands of natural hunters around the world, or countries that still largely accept hunting (that we each year migrate to, to look for clients.) I am talking about the place where history is taking us.

    The other day I saw a review in the New York Times (the most read newspaper in the world). It was about some films on Nat Geo Wild. The reviewer warned that children must not watch this film about lions hunting, as a lot of blood was shown. Fear for where we are going, and sadness filled me. Surely nobody wants a world that will end with vegetarian lions? When did the sight of a lion killing become anything but majestic? A lion killing is harsh maybe, but surely something of the most beautiful and true, in its natural force and grace that nature can produce.

    But the general public should not be ignored, for it is an indication of the direction we are moving in.

    Then I spoke to a renowned lion researcher here in Tanzania a few days later, who casually told me that he was not welcome to speak at the TAHOA meetings, and had not been allowed since 2006. “Why?” I as a professional hunter want the information, and I should hope all hunters do. How can new hunters otherwise be at peace, when all they want to do is to be hunters and not destructors? I don’t know the man and maybe I would agree with nothing he has to say whatsoever, when I hear the whole story behind, why he has been so excommunicated, I am not raising the flag for certain individuals here. I am asking this, however: Can we afford such an incredibly undiplomatic and arrogant attitude like that anymore? I for one do not think so, and I am happy to say that openly.

    So often have I spoken against the anti-hunting opinions of the uninformed masses, who hate hunters, though they happily wear a pair of Gucci shoes, made from leather of animals that have never seen day-light. For 15 years I have written articles, spoken and written books on the subject, and I will continue to do so. But some things they say are right and then I feel ashamed and like a liar when I speak to them and I know I am not the only hunter to feel this way. Many hunters and hunting companies are NOT doing enough to live by the ethical standards that we promised the world that we have. Let’s be honest. It may not be one person’s fault that another is unethical, but lines have to be drawn, or it becomes a fault of all of us. Passiveness is the devil, and if we don’t watch out we will all end up being blamed for what some individuals do. Passiveness is dangerously close to not caring. Aggressively keeping information out is simply stupid.

    Do you see the anti-hunter fist banging on the door? Do you see how many more they are every day and how much money they have? It’s not even only about anti-hunters any more. Ask people on the street anywhere in the world where there is money, and hunting is a “no, no”. To ignore it is a little bit like when children hold their hands up in front of their face and say : “you can’t see me.”

    We have no future unless we get off the high horse and let in other conservationists for open discussions. I could write about a sense of conscience, how we should all care, just out of our respect for nature, and I would prefer to do so, but I fear that the promise of a future job is of more importance to many hunters. So be it, I can talk as animatedly to them. In conservation we naturally need to work with what we are, what drives us, what we need to make a living, the rest is vanity. But driven by either of those two motives, it is obvious to me that we have no future if we don’t do something radical.

    Inside meetings, shoulder patting, gathering tighter together and giving each other lip service and promising each other that we are ethical hunters, is very pleasant, but not enough. We have to open up MORE and stop being aggressive to the outside world, and we do have to clean up where cleaning is needed. We need to write, try to gather information from the field, speak up and DO SOME REASONABLE SACRIFICES, NOW. We have to be stricter on ourselves, admit fault sometimes, or at least admit that times are changing and that we are willing to work with that, we have to rectify according to the situation, and stop those who are not ethical, if we don’t want to be bunched with them.

    I know I am not the only one to thinks like this, and I know that MANY people are doing what they can. I AM IN NO RIGHT TO GIVE ANYBODY A LECTURE AND THIS IS NOT WHAT I AM AIMING AT, SO PLEASE LOOK AWAY FROM THE PRIDE THAT SO QUICKLY PRICKS. I AM NOT TALKING TO INDIVIDUALS, I AM AIMING AT US ALL, MYSELF INCLUDED.

    This is simply my plea to hunters who are ready to do something radical. The suggestion I have in mind is to let in as many field scientist as possible in our midst and talk with them. Listen to them and be reasonable.

    Some hunters are doing something from inside, efforts are being made, but what does it help to sow a massive field of seed, when the masses are hungry now? We should have started a long time ago, but now we need help from our neighbors, some of them being the field conservationists. We can’t afford to ignore them. We may not like it, but the ignorance of the urbanized world’s Waldisneyfication, their sentimental and often superficial Hollywood money throwing, will show us that we must, if we want to go on.

    The world listens to them; it does not listen to us.

    Surely you see that we have no power in the long run to continue being hunters, when you see where urban history is taking us. And all power is in the urbanized world, not here. If we isolate ourselves and pretend not to see what is going on, I, for one, will eat my old hunting hat if hunting is still allowed in this country (and so many others) in 30 years.

    Hunting is no longer very fashionable in the big picture, and the fact is that it is getting less and less fashionable every day. Partly because hunters very rarely are speakers and sadly many retreat to aggression or close up when questioned. Also because we are afraid that if we open up too much, the life we love will be taken from us. So in this fear we just try to stay out of the limelight, get on with it in the quiet. I even know that many of my colleagues in this field do not present themselves as hunters when they travel around the world but “conservationists or guides.” The pressure is felt.

    I believe that some things will be taken from us if we open up and show our face now, I think is pretty sure that we have to compromise. But I believe everything will eventually go if we don’t. I am convinced of this.

    Let’s bring scientists in to our midst and take the bull by its horns. Let’s start there. We are usually good at that. Please invite some scientists who know what they are talking about. Please invite them to APHA, TPHA, TAHOA, and other hunting organizations around the world, instead of sticking your heads in the sand every time you don’t like what they are saying.

    If the game disappears so do we. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out. And this new generation of hunters will die in a world that despises them.

    I am not saying that we should agree with everything they say by a long shot, but we must listen as much as we speak. Certainly I would like to hear more fact and figures (I should hope we all do and, even demand for more fact and figures. We should be on top of things!!) And maybe then the more popular conservationists and nature lovers will listen to us as well, and sing a tiny song for us on the other side of the globe. It’s about being smart and not cutting the nose to spite the face.

    A finger pointing party is not what I am looking for. Every single human being on this planet acts for selfish reasons. Self-glorification on any side will help no one.

    I will not deny that I hunt because I love it, but I will say that I care deeply for the future of any species of animal I have ever hunted and will continue to do so. This should be the only thing that matters. This sentiment from a hunter is of course less obvious to the majority in the modern world, than what they see in the love that field scientists have for nature. But even the scientist who spends his/her days studying animals in the Serengeti does it not only for conservation. To say that would be a lie. If we are all honest it is also a love for a particular kind of a life. A way of life that makes one feel alive and part of something as old as the hills, and close to something as natural as we can possibly be. As creatures amongst other creatures on this planet. If we can all be that honest we already have a bridge between us, a starting point.

    So the field scientist, the Hollywood animal savior, the zoologist, biologist is becoming more loved every day and the hunter is becoming more chastised every day, and this is the way in which the world is going. Let’s accept it, work with it and think clearly.

    Any field scientist who hates hunters indiscriminately simply because they kill animals, is falling into the most dangerous, self-glorifying and unproductive waltdisnification of animals. Any hunter who hate field scientists indiscriminately because they fear their knowledge and fear the growing monetary weight behind a world that is ultimately becoming one that refuses to see death as a natural part of life, is refraining from dealing with the cards at hand. I am hoping for a giving dialogue beyond judgment and with respect. The crux is how we can all continue doing what we love in the best way and how to ensure that this will be done in a sustainable way. Truly sustainable!.

    I speak only for myself and do not represent the hunting company I work for, with these words. This is my personal suggestion of how to stretch out a hand to the modern world, in the hope that hunting will have a healthy future ahead of it, however dire it may look right now. I was brought up to believe that hunting is a way to be a conservationist and for three generations my family has done what they could in that respect, I am calling for those of you who feel the same.

    If it is indeed true that conservationist is what we are, then what do we fear from numbers from the field? And if we don’t one day want to be written down in history as abominable destructors, however unfair that may seem to us now, we have to listen to them and bring them in. We have no choice, and we should in fact want it.

    What are the consequences of a world that no longer has people as part of the food chain? This is a question I would like to ask in a dialogue like that. A world without people who stay honest and stay real to a nature where animals get eaten and hunters get killed by buffalos and elephants and lions and hippos? Surely both hunters and field scientists alike can see that we are living in a world that is becoming more and more aborted from true nature, and more and more connected with an artificial idea of nature. One where tons of money is thrown at animals because they are pretty, yet has nothing to do with anything real. Nobody wants that, and we have to say our piece too. We need an open dialogue and if we stay isolated we will not be heard. We have to open this can of worms publicly.

    We need the other conservationists and their unbelievable dedication and raising of money to preserve animals and bring information to people who no longer know how to pluck a chicken, or children who think that fish are square, because they have never seen them as anything else than factory packed fish fingers.

    For this is where the world is heading and my plea is for both field scientists and hunters to think about the responsibility they have herein. Preferably together.
  2. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    I agree with every word you say.

    However, there is a problem, when I try to explain our point of view to nonhunters, I do it in a rational way, with all the scientific arguments in my knowledge, but their response is just emotional "killing is wrong" "there are other solutions to game management/overpopulation" end of the discussion.

    A large part of the popuation has just been brainwashed against hunting.
  3. timbear

    timbear AH Enthusiast

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    Natasha, I could not agree more. The problem for many hunters, though, is that we never get up there in the big debate that involves scientists. We are the ones who meet perfectly ordinary people and have to convince them that hunting is a) ethical and b) necessary. One argument I have found gets people to think is to say that I would rather go after an animal in it's habitat, on it's terms, and kill it cleanly without it ever realizing what hit it, that eat meat from one that was specifically bred and raised for slaughter, packed onto a truck and carted for hundreds of kilometers to a place that smells of blood and fear to then be executed. I then help the thought along by giving venison away. Now, I am lucky to live in Australia where deer are an introduced species and very destructive, but the principle worked as well in other countries I hunted ( I admit it is win-win for me. Since as an ethical hunter I eat what I kill, I get to go hunting that much sooner if I give meat away!). Don't get me wrong, I am not knocking the idea of involving field scientists, film makers and anyone else who is serious about conservation in the discussion, au contraire! I would love to. But instead of waiting for that big public debate that may or may not eventuate, it would help if we all had little, fact based ones whenever possible. So my plea to all hunters would be: Collect facts! Build logical chains of argument. Stay focused but stay polite. Listen to the other guy's arguments even if you disagree. And never, never summarily rubbish the "other side". Unfortunately, a lot of damage is done by vocal "rednecks" voicing very extreme opinions very publicly, often because they see their way of life as a hunter threatened. This is doubly sad as many of those are great outdoors people and great hunting buddies, but their often very provocative statements have done hunting as much harm as the "waltdisneyfication" (lovely word, BTW) and the bunny-hugging urbanites.
    Maybe we should collect arguments to use in discussions with non-hunters, and anyone from the science community is invited to participate. Because your conclusion, Natasha, that if we do not do our part to make hunting accepted and keep it ethical, then we are responsible for it's demise, is indisputable.
  4. firehuntfish

    firehuntfish AH Veteran

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    Dear African Indaba,

    I read your post with great interest. You make a lot of good points, and although, your plea for building bridges with those who hold a negative view of hunters is noble, you must proceeed with caution....You are correct in stating that the image of hunters and hunting is always going to be bashed by the "radical anit's". Unfortunately, in my opinion, that veiw is never going to be changed by any gesture of good will or reaching out. When you are dealing with organizations like PETA, Green Peace, the Humane Society, the Sierra Club, to name a few, you are dealing with terrorists. They have no wish or desire to make friends or compromise with anyone that does not support their extreme agendas. In the US, we have tried and failed at this many times over.

    I obviously cannot speak for the climate of things in your country, but I can tell you about the roads to success we have had in the US in promoting our pro-hunting image. And, ironically, it is being done with action and education supported by "good science". For many years, US hunting groups have been employing wildlife biologists with many years of research and expertise under their belts to not only research and study, but to implement sound game management programs. Most of these pioneering scientists are hunters themselves who got involved because they were not convinced that the "green scientists" really had the best interest of the game animal at heart. The success we have demonstarted in the past decade is indisputable.

    Not to go on and on, but we have many key hunter conservation groups that all employ the use of "good science" to manage and protect not only the game but the habitat which is key to our agenda as hunters and conservationists. Organizations such as the Quality Deer Mangagement Association, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, The National Wild Turkey Federation, and Ducks Unlimited are just a few prime examples of private hunter/conservationist groups that have been utilizing real, fact based research to protect game and habitat.

    I believe the key to our future as hunters worldwide is to sway the opinion of the vast majority of those who are really neutral on the subject. If we demonstrate to them the success we have in protecting the land and effectively managing the animals we win the war. And make no mistake, it is a war we are fighting. The "Anti's" fight dirty. They lie and manupulate ridiculous numbers and make unsupported claims based on their "version" of scientific research. The difference we have made here in the US is that we have reached out to the public and supported our claims of success with real proof. Numbers of game animals in the US are at an all time high with most species thriving in every state. Additionally, groups like Ducks Unlimited and the NWTF are responsible for protecting millions of acres of public land for hunters. Do you know how much land has been protected by PETA or Green Peace? ZERO!

    Internationally, SCI is the best resource for promoting pro hunting and conservation. If you are not a member, you need to be. It's much more difficult for SCI that most US groups because SCI has to deal with many governments, corruption, foreign special interests, etc...

    My advice to those of you who reside in other countries that do not have domestic hunting conservation groups is to start one, or appeal to SCI to get chapters started at the ground level. I think it's agreat idea that you want to reach out to the scientific community. However, you need to involve biologists who are also hunters to get on board. Forget about reaching out to scientists and biologists who support the "anti agenda". You will never sway them because they simply refuse to be swayed. They are set in their agenda. The key is to win the hearts and minds of those who have yet to form an educated opinion. We as hunters always need to present ourselves as educated, passionate individuals who's sole purpose is to promote sound game management and habitat preservation. Angry, ignorant, extreme ranting is not the way to win public favor. Every time those Green Peace idiots crash into a Japanese whaling ship, it's a win for our side... We as hunter's need to avoid "crashing into ships"....

    I would be very interested to hear some more opinions on this matter. It's a very interesting subject...
  5. RickB

    RickB AH Fanatic

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    You bring up some good point. I am concerned about letting the animal rights people into our world. As others have stated, these people are terrorists! They dispise the killing of animals for any reason. I feel like letting them into our world is like letting the wolf into the chicken coop and saying you can have one chicken. An after that he will no longer want a chicken to eat. He will be back for more....I promise you this!

    There are far less animal rights people out there than thou think. They just have a ton of $cash$!! We use our money for our sport, our equipment, trips and so on. They use there money for comercials with famous people and the like. Sad little puppy faces and people beating cows. We would all agree that those people are evil. The same goes for poachers! They are not hunters! it drives me nuts to watch National Geographic and here them say hunters killed the rhinos, or elephants!..NO POACHERS KILLED THE RHINOS! NOT HUNTERS! HUNTERS WOULD NEVER DO SUCH A THING!

    I do feel we need to support our pro-hunting groups better. Times are hard. But instead of buying a new huntinog shirt...give $20 to SCI of the U.S Sportsmans alliance, or ducks unlimited or to whomever you want. These are the people who help us.

    ok enough alredy I have to go back to work! Lol this is a great topic and I would love to hear more comments as well!
  6. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I agree with firehuntfish! I support organizations that support wildlife conservation and hunting. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and SCI are my main groups....I really should join the Mule Deer Foundation....and I have given money to Ovis and Wild Sheep Foundation.

    And I stong support going to Africa and hunting...nothing stimulates wildlife conservation over there..like hunting!!!
  7. Xpraetor

    Xpraetor AH Senior Member

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    Animis opibusque parati

    African Indaba, I commend you for starting this thread, and for recognizing there is need for change.

    African Indaba alluded to a key point in his editorial and I feel everyone should educate themselves on “sustainability”. This is a buzz word that has gained traction over the last 12 yrs. and has been getting pushed by the "environmentalists”. It is an initiative affecting all markets and is here to stay. The concept has merit, although it is a double edged sword and it is important that those of us who know and believe in the merits of fair hunting keep ourselves on the cutting edge of that initiative. Here in the states we are seeing the effects of a concept that was born out of unabashed human emotion and the subsequent legislation that followed, with fallout that is exponentially dire, not to mention an environmental & economic tragedy that is spiraling into a complete disaster. I am speaking of the abolishment of Horse Slaughter houses. How is this relevant one might ask, to hunting? The parallel is that the abolishment of horse slaughter in the US is the result of complacency and blindness and unyielding arrogance to see what lied ahead. Don’t think it can't happen, because it has.

    firehuntfish points out a very valid point in supporting existing pro-hunting organizations or creating one(s) where absent. He is also correct in portraying the debate as being dire. The gloves are off and the “anti-hunting” groups take the stance of “the end DOES justify the means”. I have been in many discussions on this topic. Before being a hunting guide full-time I had to have a second job in a different profession, which was at a university, suffice to say extremist views run rampant in that venue. firehuntfish was not exaggerating when he said there is no compromising with those against hunting. I agree that the focus should be on those that are undecided.

    I have read much on this subject, hell it’s in my best interest, self-preservation. My opinion here is based on personal experiences, articles I have read and trade seminars. Fact is hunters in NA are well represented. I mean look at the number of organizations/associations found in the US—

    NRA, DU, PF, QU, RGA, CCA, RMEF, SCI, DSC, HSC, MDF, NAHC, Buckmaster

    There are over 30 separate associations for White Tail deer and 15 for bear, all of that in one country.

    Conversely hunters in Africa are not as well represented. There are pro-hunting & conservation groups, APHA, PHASA, AGGC, ACP, IPHA, NAPHA TPHA, THOA, PHAZ, SHOAZ, ZPHGA, SOAZ, to name some, but the issue is much bigger than that. We foreigners must keep in mind Africa is a continent with several countries. Some countries have a pro-hunting organization(s), the vast majority have none. Hunting & conservation in Africa is literally a whole other world. African flora & fauna are the most renowned and studied on our planet. The continent is literally inundated with “environmental extremists”, also known as "preservationists", below is a list of anti-hunting organizations operating in Africa—

    Save the Rhino International

    Save the Elephants

    Animal Rights Africa

    Beauty without Cruelty

    Animal Aid

    Animal Liberation Brigade

    Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade

    In Defense of Animals

    World Society for the Protection of Animals

    Besides the most visible PETA, ALF, HSUS, etc…

    THEY ARE SIMPLY OUT NUMBERED.

    African Indaba is correct in wanting to bring in scientists, as a resource, but it is important to know your adversary. We as hunters watch, study and track our quarry’s movements, patterns or habits, we learn them and we should do the same in learning what and who is behind the anti-hunting initiative. Below are links to articles that have additional insight on this very subject--

    Anti-Hunting Escalates in Africa - NRAHuntersrights.org, NRA

    http://www.wildlifecampus.com/Help/PDF/Introduction_to_Hunting_Debate.pdf


    What many spouting the anti-hunting drible miss is what we as hunters understand and see when we are hunting- from death comes life, as does life end in death; i.e. the circle of life- Africa is the essence of that truth. We see what is and what can be; the hunt is not a blood lust it is an experience, an internal need for adventure and all that comes with it. There is the spotting, stalking/tracking, maneuvering to get into position and the shot. It is a sense of respect and admiration, we revel in what it took to create such a majestic animal and the blessing bestowed to have such an opportunity.

    In today’s world hunting is a privilege, we must stay vigilant & involved or we will lose that which we cherish. Belonging to this organization or that association is not enough, we all need to educate ourselves as to what the issues are. Accountability is key, ensure that those organizations/associations are actually doing something productive with your fees & donations. In addition we need to ensure peer accountability by reporting and denouncing those that break the law. The answer is to get involved and stay involved.

    African Indaba is rightly concerned. I just hope those who read this thread take that insight beyond this forum.

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  8. firehuntfish

    firehuntfish AH Veteran

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    Expraetor,

    Excellent post...Very informative summary of the extremist opposition that hunters worldwide must recognize.

    With ther exception of South Africa and Namibia, the continent of Africa as a whole seems to be nearly defenseless from attacks by the "Antis". Many of these countries base the majority of their ecomomy on the hunting/safari business, and subsequently, would be devastated if they lost those hunting related businesses. I think the governments of both Namibia and South Africa recogize the value of their resources and are doing a good job of protecting and promoting hunting in their countries...

    I would like to hear the opinion of some outfitters from SA or Namibia to hear their thoughts on this matter..
  9. timbear

    timbear AH Enthusiast

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    Xpraetor, thank you for providing the links. I particularly liked the wildlifecampus masters thesis, although it was at times heavy going. The key message for me was
    "...One of the main aims for both sides in the hunting debate is undoubtedly to win public support for their views. A large portion of the public can be considered uninformed, uninterested, or even ambivalent regarding the morality of hunting or killing for recreation. Pro-hunting parties are therefore pitted against anti-hunting groups in a fierce battle over public opinion and sympathy for their agendas and interests.
    This is because the weight of public opinion will be an important factor in determining the future of trophy hunting, as enhanced public awareness about conservation issues inevitably brings a lot of pressure to bear on decision-making bodies in conservation."
    We really need to work on the undecided, uninformed majority. I fully agree that we will never win over the die-hard anti-hunters, but we must not allow them to win over the rest of the world.
    As an aside, though: African Indabra is Gerhard Damm's magazine from which he quoted this article. It was (as shown at the top) written by Natasha Illum Berg (natashaillumberg.com), a female PH of Tanzania and author of several books. I don't think she writes on this forum normally, which is a shame as I think she may have more to contribute to the debate.
  10. Xpraetor

    Xpraetor AH Senior Member

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    firehuntfish,
    Thank you for taking the time to look at the links and read my post. The other factor that I did not interject is the issue of political unrest & corruption. Not only within the governments, but the very organization/association charged with promoting the hunting industry. It is a problem everywhere.

    timbear,
    Thank you for putting the pieces together on what the OP posted. I was certainly bewildered how it all fit together. I too find the Wildlife Campus M.S. thesis interesting, and why I felt it necessary to reference it. The author explains the debate quite well.

    What is most disconcerting is what I read in the NRA Hunter's Rights article-

    "Don MacLauchlan, International Resources Director for the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, has attended CITES meetings for almost two decades. He observes that the anti-hunting groups are becoming more active, while the pro-hunting groups are sending fewer representatives to these important meetings where international agreements and policies on wildlife management are made.

    “The anti-hunting groups are taking a much more active role in these meetings to influence decisions and inject their philosophy onto the world platform,” MacLauchlan said. “There are fewer pro-hunting groups in attendance.”

    The result is less science-based management information and more emotion-based arguments being heard in the committees. The critical reality is that the anti-hunters are raising and spending money to spread their views and influence and the hunting community isn’t keeping up. MacLauchlan implores, “We must stay vigilant!” "


    It seems that the pro-hunting organizations within Africa need to get more aggressive. The same goes for those outside of Africa we must do what we can to help ensure we are able to hunt at home & Africa in the future. The editorial/article written by Natasha Illum Berg underlines the root of the problem- if we stay silent and allow the debate to ruled by radical pacifism & emotion the outcome will be the same as what happened here in the US. Scientific facts are the key to overturning irrational emotion.

    I hope members living in African countries will weigh in on this subject, as they have the true perspective.
  11. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I agree with you and as you can see by my profile I am a member of many hunting Organizations and I ask all hunters to support their hunting Organizations in fighting for the rights of hunters and fisherman and the Education of our Children in knowing the truth about hunting.
  12. RickB

    RickB AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
    Messages:
    866
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    My Photos:
    11
    Member of:
    NRA lifetime, SCI Member, Longhunters LLC
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Germany, USA (OH, NY, VA, PA)
    I am not a very religious person but here is yet another example of what lengths HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) will go to.

    HSUS Sets Sights on Religions

    It seems that the most dangerous and well-funded group within the animal rights lobby, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is again trying to reposition itself to seem mainstream. That transformation is a new æ“¢aith Outreach effort. Yes, HSUS is attempting to align itself with religions. This path closely follows the animal rights group's programs that have thrust its tentacles into school systems and young student minds around the nation. Churches should definitely beware.

    The programs championed by HSUS outreach efforts include articles promoting a connection between animal rights and the congregations of the Unitarian Universalists and the United Church of Christ. And the HSUS furthers the connecting efforts by pushing pro-animal-rights statements attributed to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The Lutheran Church柚issouri Synod, the Seventh Day Adventist Church, the Episcopal Church and others religious affiliations. Seems nearly any sermon can be twisted as promoting animal rights. These twists could have been far from the intent of the speaker or presenter when the materials were spoken or presented. This doesn't matter to HSUS.

    Real eyebrows are raised, however, when you discover the HSUS's St. Francis Day in a Box project. A $15 toolkit promoting the animal rights philosophy includes: the Chronicles of Narnia; Animal Protection Ministries: A Guide for Churches; Eating Mercifully; the CAFO Reader: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories (a stab at farming); and many others. These animal rights agenda packets are sold to churches, or congregation members, to raise funds for HSUS. While this propaganda intertwines religion and animal rights as connected crusading causes, there is an obvious lack of religious tolerance in the missing mention of St. Hubertus, the patron Saint of Hunters. And of course the éoolkit includes envelopes and instructions on how to collect funds in the names of pets, animals and wildlife, and then send those funds directly to HSUS.


    Source: U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance

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