There’s actually no good reason why liberals shouldn’t support hunting—or do it themselves.
It’s unfortunate that many folks on the left side of the political spectrum have a reflexively negative opinion of hunting, because (much like the broader issues surrounding the Second Amendment), it’s a freedom and a birthright that they possess in the same measure as anyone else. It’s a relatively new phenomenon; up until just a couple of generations ago, hunting as a sport was enjoyed by people across the political spectrum as a matter of course. These days…not so much. But every so often, you might find yourself in the sort of conversation with your liberal friends when they’re ready to listen to the reasons you support hunting—and if that happens, here are three things to tell them.
Hunters Are Conservationists
It’s counterintuitive for some people, but it’s true: Nobody cares more, spends more, or works harder to protect and sustain America’s wild animals and their habitat than hunters do. Over and over, it has proven true that the best way to restore a sustainable population of a given species is to offer a scientifically managed and legally regulated hunting season on it. Your liberal friend may have a negative emotional reaction to the idea of going hunting themselves—and that’s fine. But if they want to ensure that America’s wild game populations (and the wild spaces they need to thrive) remain healthy for generations to come, they should consider making common cause with the sport hunters who have no such qualms.
Wild Game is the Ultimate Free-Range Protein
When people have a strongly negative emotional reaction to the idea of sport hunting, it’s frequently driven by a visceral discomfort with the idea of an animal suffering needlessly. What they may not know is that hunters feel the same way. We strive for a clean, ethical, and merciful shot—and when we connect, the result is high-quality organic protein that has never seen the inside of a pen, been given antibiotics, or had to have the landscape changed to accommodate it. Although I personally love bacon cheeseburgers far too much to complain about factory farming, I’m certainly not above making the point that legal hunting is exactly the opposite of that.
Hunting is Spiritual
Ask any hunter around any campfire, and if they’re being honest they’ll tell you: There is something uniquely spiritual about hunting. It’s not just that you’re in the wilderness, away from the nonstop demands on your time and attention that civilization brings. It’s not just that you must be quiet and attentive. And it’s not just that your goal is to subsume yourself into the rhythms of the wild. It’s some mixture of all of the above, and there’s nothing else like it. All hunting stories are, at root, an attempt to capture the essence of how that feels…and the very best hunting stories only miss it by a little.
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