To be clear - this article is focused on the general hunting in reserves of wildlife, not the typical petty hunting for sports with only the intention of sports such as the fox hunting, or bird shootings for sport.
Within this Article I hope to show people a different side to the problems we face here on earth, of which hunting is one of the problems.
When I say hunting is one of the problems I am not saying hunting in itself is the problem. Hunting simply exposes the bigger problem we as humanity face here on earth. It definitely leads back to an economic problem, in others words the system that is here is the problem.
To truly have an impact within this article and to get the points across that I have to share on the topic of hunting, I am going to share a bit of myself and my personal journey throughout my life here in South Africa and what I have encountered within the hunting industry and personality. This will also include poaching, as poaching is simply illegal hunting, basically in most cases how poor people hunt, as they do not have access to fancy guns or even access to the wild anymore, yet starve and live in poverty due to not having money to buy or afford food from the controlled supermarkets.
To begin this story I have to go back to when I was eleven years old when I went to visit my one friend on his farm, this was my first farm visit in my life, I have never before been on an actual farm or experienced a farm. Yet, I have been in wildlife reserves before and I knew what was what from a point of knowledge and information and my limited perspective on what I could understand. I wanted to own my own wildlife reserve since I was four and still do today to protect wildlife and nature.
When I arrived at my friends small farm not so far out of town, I was excited to see nature, to see animals and to be a bit more closer to nature, I have always walked in fields and encountered many small animals in the bushes around our house in our town, but on a farm, I knew I would be able to see and be around bigger animals, such as cows or goats or horses.
On my friends farm we enjoyed a bit of the open and the different life setup. It did not take long before I was introduced to guns, to be more accurate, that same day I arrived I was introduced to a gun. I have never before in my life held a gun or owned a gun or even shot a gun, so this was all new to me and I did not know what to expect. The gun that I was introduced to wasn’t a big killing machine, it was more of a target practicing gun called a pellet gun, which shoots tiny bullets and cannot kill a human if it was shot at a person.
My friend seemed very excited about this gun, as he recently got it for his birthday and he has been using it to do target practicing on bottles. He invited me to join him to shoot at some bottles and to practice our target shooting. I thoroughly enjoyed it and this I cannot deny, it was fun to lay or stand there and to aim and then to pull that trigger and shoot at the target, hitting the target was even more satisfying.
The following day, I woke up early in the morning as they do on farms to get to basic farm maintenance and feeding of animals and moving animals into different camps and to check for anything that might have happened during the night that needs attention. My friend then came to me and said to me that today we are going to go out with his dad to shoot some Pigeons and that we will simply collect the pigeons as his dad shot them. I asked my friend why we are going to do this, and he responded and said that they need to control the amount of pigeons that are within the area as they over populate and take food from other bird that also needs to survive, as a kid, this made sense to me, yet I was very resistant to even going with and watching this.
We went out to the field with my friend’s dad and took with a few plastic bags to put in the dead pigeons. I expected us to only be killing a few, like ten maybe. As we got to the location where the shooting was going to happen my friend’s dad took out his shotgun. I had no knowledge on what gun was capable of real time (specifically a shotgun) back then until that moment, I learned that a shotgun shoots out many pellets at once and thus having a short range but very wide, thus missing a close target wasn’t as likely.
As me and my friend stood there we watched my friends dad shooting down pigeons as if it was child’s splay, each shot would bring down two pigeons at a time, and before we knew it we have filled two plastic bags full of dead pigeons. I of course was way against this even after the explanation and I judged my friend’s dad as evil and bad for what he has done, but I of course kept this judgement to myself and kept smiling and respecting my friend’s dad in front of him.
As the night came of that same day, I heard that there were some family coming over and that all the men was going out to hunt. This meant me, as I was a man. I must say, I did not know what was going on with these arrangements and how I should be experiencing myself within it all, I truly felt confused about who I should be within this, because I was very much against killing any animals that does not need to die or that is still in the wild and should remain there. I was again given the explanation that these antelopes that we were going to go hunt needed to be culled and controlled, as there were no more natural predators and thus the human needed to intervene.
The night came and we have loaded up the truck with guns and torches and we all have dressed ourselves warm, as it gets cold at night when it is hunting season, here in South Africa it is hunting season in winter times, as this means less animals are pregnant and more animals are exposed and visible as the leaves and grass and bushes are dormant or dead. I got on the back of the truck with a few other men, two of them had guns with them and a torch. The torch was to shine the light into the fields to see the eyes of the animals reflecting the light back and then to aim and shoot and kill the animal while looking at the light. This hunt is what was considered a practical hunt and not for sport. Yet, as we know humans turn everything into a sport and enjoyment, even if it means killing another animal/life form.
As we were driving Through the field and I was just sitting on the back not really knowing what’s going on or how things work in these cases, I just heard the men whispering and saying, there!! Drive!! go go go, and then we would stop, someone would point their gun and BAM!! A shot goes off, in that moment I would also have a shock within me and wish that they have missed. Then they would quickly drive towards where they have shot and there would be a dead antelope. Someone would get off and then pick up the kill and put it on the back of the truck, I was sitting there, and now here next to me is this dead animal, I would tear up and want to cry, but I had to be a man, one of the men I believed, or I will be seen as weak and not capable.
On this particular night they were aiming at shooting two old females, as I heard, and so we continued looking for another one. This time another guy on the truck seemed really keen on being the one to shoot the next antelope, he was really excited to shoot and kill something, everyone agreed that he could be the one to shoot the next one, so the journey continued for looking for another antelope. Then I heard, there they are, shine the light quickly, SHOOT SHOOT, they are going to run, this other guy got so excited to shoot this animal that he lost his mind, the next thing we noticed was he jumped off the truck and ran into the heard of antelopes to shoot one, he obviously missed and came back disappointed, and so another guy took it upon himself to do the next kill, and he killed the next one.
We then loaded the next antelope and placed it with the other one, so here were two dead animals on the back, my throat was swelling with emotions and I just wanted to cry for them, seeing their eyes and innocence, they did not know what was coming for them, just sleeping peacefully there in the field and then BAM they died for some stupid reason that I believed they were making up as an excuse.
The guy that missed the shot that night came home very very angry at himself and everyone was saying he was on some kind of hunting fever, where they are taken over by excitement and then lose control. We loaded off the dead bodies and then took them into a slaughter room where the dad and the one uncle started with skinning the animals and then cleaning them out. I could not watch and the smell made me throw up almost.
The following day my friends dad took us out to a tree to let us feel what it will be like to shoot with different guns at a target. I shot one bullet with a shotgun and hurt my shoulder doing so as the shock the gun put into my shoulder was very hard. I then went out to a lake where there were ducks on the water and the father said, hopefully we can kill a duck for tonight, so you guys (me and my friend) will have to feed us tonight by shooting a duck, and so the father gave us a point two two gun to shoot at ducks and hopefully kill one for food for the night. I took two shots at a duck and did not kill anything, I was very happy about it as I did not want to kill a duck, yet I took the gun to shoot as I was very curious what it will be like to shoot with it. My friend also took two shots and missed, then his father said tonight we have nothing to eat, as to make us feel bad for not feeding everyone. Which turned out to be a lie as there was already food and the mother was preparing it, so I suppose the father wanted to teach us a lesson or something..
When that night came something else happened that till today I cannot shake off of me. My friend’s father has been talking about owls that live in their roofs and needs to be removed before damaging the roofs, and so, what was the coincidence that that evening just as the sun was setting something happened, the mother owl which had three baby chick in the roof somehow got out of the roof and ended up in one of their living rooms, everyone was running to get to the owl and to take it out, the father was arranging to catch the owl, and I ran into the house into the lounge and there I saw this beautify magnificent owl standing on a Couche with her wings completely open and spreading them as wide as possible and into the air while looking straight at us, and then the next thing I hear was a gunshot going off behind me and I see this owl drop dead on the ground, my friend went and fetched his Pellet gun that we were practicing shooting with, and for my friend to proof his worth to his father went and grabbed his gun and shot the owl dead, he also had what they called hunting fever, which is getting overly excited to kill something, and so he killed this owl. I immediately started crying in front of everyone. My friend’s father came in and he saw the owl dead and me crying, the father was VERY angry at my friend for shooting the owl and his father said that was unnecessary, we wanted to relocate them not kill them and now there are three baby owls motherless, these are protected animals as well, my friend who did this to proof himself to his father had the opposite effect.
The following day I went home and I could say with clarity that I have never in my life experienced so much killing in my life, not to say in one day. I have never in my life spend so much time and given so much attention to guns and using them. I thought that this was a “special” occasion and that this isn’t something all people do, but I was mistaken greatly.
Since then for years to come I would hear after each holiday from my friends how they went to hunt and what they killed and how they killed it and where they killed it, and for years I would see my friends happy and excited when they would talk about going out to hunt with their dads and what they are going to kill, and I soon also realized that people with money did this often and quite a lot, like a luxury thing. I would hear from my friends about trophies they have and how many they have, I would also within this hear about their massive ego boosts doing so.
It became a thing to hunt and to have killed something, and that real men have hunted and killed something, and that if you can shoot with a gun and take a life and then eat it you are a man, you are an alpha, almost like you are the LION, the kind of the jungle, you have the heart to kill, the skill to kill and thus you have something daring and cold inside of yourself to take another life to brag about.
This turned me off very much over the years about people, in fact I got enraged and mad to a certain point, my back chat and thoughts towards hunters and those that hunt became of harm and disliking them deeply, I wanted to do to them what they are doing to innocent life/animals, yet I knew I was powerless and I could not stop them from doing this.
I have over many years expressed my dislike for hunting and hunters and I only got to be bullied or laughed at and even seen as a lesser man for condemning hunting in the way that I have come to know it as a total EGO fuckup. I made this conclusion due to seeing who the people where that was hunting, they had money, they had time, they had the typical “superior” presence of being the cool guys, the top dogs, the alpha males, and they typically had the sense of who they are represents real men, they were the ones that also always in a way were liked by the girls, which I found staggering and unbelievable, they were also the ones that would bully and fight anyone that didn’t seem rich or superior or worthy or simply had bad looks.
I myself accumulated a lot of back chat and internal conflicts in relation to these type of characters that hunt and everything that goes with it.
In two thousand and eight I actually moved to a farm where I would start living and becoming an activist for LIFE, standing up for LIFE and taking power back to speak and make my voice heard, but at the same time this journey had to start with first and foremost LEARNING and understanding myself and everyone else within this world. And so I had to start dropping the YEARS of ideas/believes and opinions I have created and set within myself as a self-righteousness in relation to hunters and the hunting industry to actually start seeing what is real and what isn’t beyond the personalities I learned to know and associate hunting with. Within this time I would openly share pictures and videos and articles on belittling hunters and teasing them for having small dicks and egos and how hunting is all about their ego, as I have made myself believe for years due to how I have learned to know hunters in my closed groups and their personalities.
I had to drop the personalities and years of associations I have made with the people that hunted and what I assumed hunting was really all about and why it existed to SEE what is really going on. This is why I had to FORGIVE myself for what I have accepted and allowed myself to participate within as judgements and righteousness towards others and myself. I simply became a polarity point of the same coin, thus always stimulating the cycles of positive and negative, never being a real solution.
I must say, It wasn’t till only about two years ago that I actually started seeing what was really going on and what was the TRUTH of what was here within the hunting industry within this world and why hunting IS such a massive thing, and I have only been able to get over my ACTIVIST personality that was against hunters and within a polarity design, after I myself got thrown into the deep ends of REALITY and what was really existing here for the animal kingdom and nature within this world.
In two thousand and fifteen a man came to visit us here on our farm in South Africa. This man is the son of another man that lives here on the property with us, and the man that came to visit us is a long-time activist and animal lover, he specializes in wildlife reservation and studied for years in school and beyond about animals and the wild, in fact he is so highly recommended that he is requested without even applying for a job by wild life reservations (I unfortunately will not mention names in this Article) , he can for example tell you the names of birds by just hearing them, he can see a chameleon when no one else can, he spend YEARS in Botswana in the delta belt tagging wild animals, monitoring them and also being an activist for stopping rhino poaching and stopping poaching all around. He knew the bush like it was written on the back of his eyes, he was truly informed and well versed on what is going on in nature and the whole industry in hunting. He ran the lodges of some of the most expensive lodges in Africa where Oil, coal and BIG personalities go to holiday and do their thing.
I saw this as a GREAT opportunity to ask a lot of questions and to get to see real INSIDE perspectives on the subject of hunting, killing and wildlife in general. As I have watched and seen many documentaries, but there is nothing like getting a real inside scoop.
This man started telling me about all the animals he has killed in his life, which at the beginning confused me, as he is an activist and a lover of the wild and animals, and to protect them, and so I obviously through that I was missing something, why is he participating in killing wildlife and hunting when he is in the business of protecting them? Caring for them?
This is where my questions started and where I got some perspective for real. Which this time wasn’t from friends as I used to get the stories of boosting egos and feeling good and proofing their manliness or great survival skills, but more of the reality of why such an industry exist and why it is entertained and sold to the public and people out there as being something exciting and great and that everyone should come and do it.
The answer in short is MONEY!!, yes it is probably not the best answer but here it the truth. Wildlife reserves and conservation NEEDS money to exist, to keep doing what they are doing to protect the wild. The only way to really make money to maintain a MASSIVE piece of land with thousands of animals on it requires money, and I mean a LOT of money, hundreds of thousands a month. If wildlife reserves do not get this money, the massive properties will in the long run be neglected and thus fencing will start to lose their integrity and thus animals will escape, poaching will increase dramatically and in general wild animals will be left to the general public to take care of them, which in the end is to kill the wild animals for food.
Let me be a bit more detailed. There is NO such things as wildlife anymore, this has to be made clear for anyone that believes that there are still such places on earth, nature and all that is wild is actually domesticated by the fact that ALL of nature is currently a business for someone, some man or women that has to protect certain areas of “wildlife” and thus such areas needs to be fenced off from the capitalistic system, and the wild has to be kept in fences to not interfere with the SYSTEM where the human functions, as the humans infrastructures and designs are NOT set up and designed in consideration of wildlife, and thus the system is literally a danger for wildlife, so all wildlife in this world has become domesticated by the fact that some human has to encamp them and then capitalize off of it to keep it secured, thus camped in. you can only imagine lions, tigers or elephants or hippos walking freely among everything we humans have created, how would we in general respond to it?
Probably kill them out of fear. Not to mention people in poverty that starve to death will simply take a FREE meal out of the wildlife roaming freely, thus ALL wildlife has to be domesticated to protect it from the capitalistic system that is here and the humans that is here and the conditions and state of the humans civilization that is here. This costs a LOT of money.
Thus all reserves, all conservation camps for wildlife needs to make profit to keep on protecting animals, and this is why you will find ALL these types of attractions such as lodges, safari tours, HUNTING and so much more, to lure the RICH in to come and spend their time and money, so that enough money can be made to keep on securing these wildlife reserves/conservation.
BUT, here is more, the reason for why HUNTING specifically is a BIG one and also why it is a required on/in all wildlife reserves and conservation camps. Because wildlife does not actually exist anymore and so as wild does not exist anymore as everything has been domesticated through camping it off and profiting off of it through a natural outflow of capitalism and the consumer mind-set, we have taken SOO much land from nature and so much wildlife has been devastated through human activity that the natural cycles of how nature functions has been totally distorted, this means there is NO more natural flow for the animal kingdom in this world, ok, the majority of it. Thus every reserve or conservation camp does not have an equal functioning cycle in how things must flow in terms of LIFE and DEATH.
ALL of the wilds old ways of how they used to migrate, how much space they used to have, how many species used to be involved in their cycles from predators to prey has been thrown out of balance on a very high level. Thus hunting in reserves isn’t JUST about money but also to keep the balance within the current capacity and what animal species are within each and every reserve to keep things flowing smoothly, from preventing over grazing and destruction of habitats to ensure the continuation of the reserve functioning and continuing. So, Yes the reserves and conservation camps has to SELL hunting to people as a SPORT as to create consumers as continuous customers to keep on spending their money on them to support them, so yes the hunters does so with GREAT ego’s and feeding their egos, but at the same time, hunting MUST happen within the current SYSTEM we have accepted and allowed to consume LIFE and to force this point of murder onto nature to just give it a little bit more time to survive, as ALL life has literally become dependent on money, even the wild. Thus there is NO WILD.
The reality of this from a True activist that shared with me these truths of what is here has truly shaken me up to take a stand, and I realized, there is NO point in judging hunters, in teasing their egos and making them feel bad, that there is literally NO point in asking them to stop hunting, because who will then go stay in the lodges, who will pay a LOT of money to kill a certain animal to pay for that very species survival within that very land that is protected to a degree for them, by the very people that has committed themselves to at least care about wildlife, will we all simply GIVE out money to every single wildlife reserve and conservation camps around the world for FREE? No I doubt it very much, we all like to GET stuff, we do not like to just GIVE, which I am trying to get people to with earth haven, where everyone GIVES 1 dollar to earth haven each and every month, and we need millions of people, and so we can BUY land, reserve the wild and do not have to do hunting or killing, and we can with such money expand and create the necessary environments for natural wildlife to function again. But as it is proofing, it is very very hard to even get a person to GIVE 1 dollar, so you can see why such measures currently have to be taken to make money, even hunting and killing, and YES people have become addicted to it for their egos and they have become senseless to LIFE and other species through this killing. See if you can GIVE here at earth haven and prove me wrong (I mean 1 dollar) - https://www.patreon.com/earthhaven
I am going to end this Article with a personal ending, a story that happened last year 2016 where I for the first time in my life pointed a gun at an animal and shot it, killed it and then ate it.
Last year around October 2016 while the guy that visited us, we got involved with a neighboring farm, which is quite large. Our involvement started with this guy wanting to do some fishing and we do not have a dam or pond on our property. So we went to our neighbors from whom we buy natural honey from and asked them if they had a dam. Our neighbor agreed that we could come and fish a bit as he does not do fishing and the dam he has is in need of some culling as they say, once again due to there not being enough natural predators eating the fish fast enough, fishing is required.
Thus a few other conversations started and it ended up with the neighbor talking about him having problems with bush pigs eating his sugar cane, and he was looking for a solution to stop the pigs from eating the amounts of sugar cane they are eating. This meant there were two options for this farmer, to either do some culling or to wipe the pigs out, as culling means hunting, and thus a lot of time and patience, of which the farmer does not have time for, thus killing them all is easier. Yet the farmer also does not prefer that. Thus the guy that was visiting us, asked if we could do some hunting and helping with the pig problem. I did not expect anything of this to come or that hunting would ever come my way.
I have killed a Lot of animals in my life living on a farm, but the killing I have done was mercy killing, such as finding a wounded animal that is barely breathing and thus simply kill the animal. I have no problem with doing that as I know I would be willing to be done onto the same if I was in that position.
So, a whole new journey opened up for me as an animal activist and someone that vowed to never purposely hunt an animal, but here I was with a situation on my hands, a farmer that could take the easy road and kill all the pigs or me involving myself and taking a point of direction for the sake of the pigs and rather cull them a bit and reduce their number and thus impact. YES the reasons for why is still all to fuck up, as it is once again for Profit over LIFE, but I could and cannot tell a farmer to stop farming and save the animals, then he will die of starvation and have no business, plus no one will do that anyway.
We agreed and got permission from the farmer to have access to his entire property and to go ahead with all the preparation for culling some pigs, for the next two months we spend our days driving through his seven hundred hectare farm in all the busy areas and finding out the habits and patterns and living of these pigs, as to set up a couple of baiting sites to lure them there where we will then in the end sit and wait at night till they come and shoot one at a time.
Within our time of going through the entire farm/property we have taken apart dozens of poachers traps that they have set up for all the small mammals that still roam around through the lands, these traps are specifically called snares, as they are circular and placed by the biggest holes in fences where animals travel through, and thus their necks will go into the snare and the snare will start tightening around their necks, which will choke them to death over a period of days and sometimes the animals freak out so much they basically cut their own throats and die from bleeding out, these snares are vile and disgusting. We also found big cages that were used for specific animals to lure them in and then close on them. We removed all of them and actually dedicated some days to only looking for snares and removing them, or any poaching devices.
The poaching is done by the local poor communities that live in poverty, they hunt the animals in the only way they can and know how to, as they do not have money to have access to the richer peoples way of hunting, but also they do this for food and for selling some meat to have some money to feed themselves and their families. Thus the people doing this isn’t evil, they are hungry and desperate. Yet the way the animals are killed is pretty bad and not nice, thus our reason for removing them. So, poverty is the problem, not poaching, the capitalistic system is the problem, the money system is the problem, humans basic needs that are being violated for greed and profit is the problem.
The rules for culling were also very specific and one had to consider many points, such as not shooting baby pigs, not shooting the younger female pigs, not shooting a pregnant pig, and thus when to hunt and not to hunt, and thus we were basically looking for a BIG male bush pig, and a few OLD females, this required me to learn a bit about pigs and what to look out for.
We spend weeks and months after setting up some baiting sites and filling them every few days and checking up on the sites every few days, sometimes every day in a row if we got a Hit. So that we could according to getting a hit (when they have eaten the bait) decide on when to go and shoot them. We would spend HOURS upon hours laying and waiting at night for the pigs to come.
I have by now in my time hanging out with this visitor changed my mind completely on hunting and poaching and I have seen the bigger picture more. I have realized what is going on, on a much deeper level within this world and why certain things are the way they are and they seemed to me the way they did from an outsiders perspectives, as what I saw through my judgements of right and wrong wasn’t the truth or the problem or solution but only my OWN ego drive, and now here came my time to having to shoot an animal, to HUNT, which I have vowed as a child I will never do.
But, now I could do it, not because of an EGO point, not because of an excitement for killing and taking another life, not for bragging or having a trophy, but I now had a deeper understanding of the whole picture and what is going on and considering everything within this CURRENT system that is here and the messed up setup. There is always a consequence to any action we take, and I have to always live with the decision I make, and I always look at, is my decision best for all life, considering all life or not.
So, here I saw, kill a few and save the rest, or kill none by my hands and let them all be in the fate of genocide in their area by another’s hands. Also, me saving these few pigs would not change the world, at large the world had to still be changed to actually do ANYTHING, yet I had to go through this to truly stand equal and one with this, and thus to be able to share this with everyone else, so that not everyone has to go through it.
The moment I made the decision that I am okay and willing to do this, to kill another life form, and animal, I had a very interesting dream that supported me greatly within this point.
I dreamt that I was sitting on a hunting spot that we have prepared, I was looking through the scope of the gun at the spot where the animals are expected, and as I was looking I saw something coming through the bushes, I had a bit of anxiety and then I saw what it was, it was ME, I came through the bushes. Now in my dream I was sitting with my finger on the trigger looking through the scope, I have now made the decision to kill this other life form/animal, but now that I saw myself, am I still willing to shoot, to kill? In that moment in my dream, I had to take a DEEP breath, I had to embrace the understanding of why I am doing this, the reason, and within this I saw that if I had to shoot myself would I be able to stand by that same understanding and reason for myself as I am for the animal, and still be able to shoot, and then it came to a silence within me in the dream, and I opened my eye looking at me through the scope and I pulled the trigger. I woke up after that feeling very different.
Two night later the moment came, a big family of pigs showed up by the bait, and there I was looking through the scope with my finger on the trigger, and all I could see was myself, I aimed at the pig that I saw was big and older and I pulled the trigger, almost instantly after pulling the trigger the pig drops dead on the ground, I started tearing up, not because of killing the pig specifically, but because of the fucked up world we live in where such things are required just for money and profits, where animals has to come second and that nature is always last and that I alone am powerless to do anything about changing it for them who has no voice, unless we ALL come together and unite under one banner to really have an impact and change things.
Let us put LIFE first and not money and profits, for this we need to put our money and profits into LIFE sustaining solutions.
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