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» Ship of Fools   » Ship's Locker   » Limbo   » Purgatory: Boxing Day Hunt; Is this a good thing? (Page 4)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: Boxing Day Hunt; Is this a good thing?
Alaric the Goth
# 511

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Don't want to do it. Don't want anyone 'close' to me to do it. Don't particularly want to see it when in the countryside. Some people take pleasure in it - I wouldn't/couldn't. Did want to ban it. Don't now.

All of the above could be truly said re. my attitude to (a) foxhunting and (b) trial-(motor)bike riding. Well, banning trial bikes would stil apppeal to me considerably, but I can't just ban things I don't like!

I once (when aged c. 14) wrote a 'moving' poem about fox-cubs orphaned by hunting. But more are probably orphaned by road-deaths. Let those who want to hunt: the fox can be a fairly 'cruel' animal itself, and if some people want to 'go down to its level' in the eyes of those who see hunting as cruel, then let them. And the other methods of fox-control that WOULD be used are in some cases at least as cruel as hunting. An awful lot of foxhounds, as has been pointed out, would be killed if hunting were banned. Does that make anti-hunters happy?

Posts: 3322 | From: West Thriding | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ship's Rat
# 3373

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I'm in two minds about banning fox hunting, and until someone can give me a definitive answer to the questions - Do foxes need to be culled? and Is hunting more cruel than the other means of killing? - I probably will stay in two minds.

But what particularly annoys me is this myth - spread by the 'countryside' movement and perpetuated by the media - that country people are solidly behind hunting and only namby-pamby nanny-state city folks are against it. I grew up in the country and this is simply not true.

  • Most of the people who lived in my village were not involved in hunting in the slightest. As DaisyMay (?) said, if people needed to get rid of a fox they shot at it, or asked a gamekeeper to come and shoot at it.
  • A great number of the people I knew strongly disliked hunting\hunters. There was probably a class element to this, but also the fact that hunters would troop across your land or garden without so much as a by-your-leave, never mind compensation for squashed cabbages. And be thoroughly arrogant about their right to do so.
  • The most avid hunters I knew at school were not country people, but city stockbroker commuter types who were anxious to mix with the toffs at the weekend and gain their huntin', shootin' credentials.

I know that city people can be sentimental and sometimes destructive, but creating a completely mythical countryside\city divide and stoking up resentment about it does not seem like a helpful thing to do.


It's a matter of food and available blood. If motherhood is sacred, put your money where your mouth is. Only then can you expect the coming down to the wrecked & shimmering earth of that miracle you sing about. [Margaret Atwood]

Posts: 5285 | From: A dour region for dour folk | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
# 138

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Hatless - I'm flattered!

Marvin & Alaric - you both say pretty much the same thing if I read you corrrectly. Along the following lines:

If I don't like something, I shouldn't do it. But society shouldn't legislate against something unless it causes harm to others. The only moral basis for legislation is to prevent people harming others. If we abandon this principle, someone might legsilate against - say - the playing of bagpipes, or the broadcasting of gameshows, or the wearing of those "make a mountain out of a molehill" bras (clearly an attempt to deceive and delude and lead astray!)

And I suppose the fear is that you only need to get a majority in parliament to get something banned; you don't need to have a good case.

Again, I would disagree.

I don't want to see trivial things banned on the whim of a minority, but I do believe there are cases where a moral argument can be made on other grounds than harm to humans, where the majority in favour is large, and where the cost to freedom is outweighed by the benefits.

Deliberately and cruelly tormenting animals would be one case in point.

But just a reminder, the weight of most of my arguments is not related to harm to animals. I have claimed consistently that the practice of fox hunting constitutes a celebration of soemthing which should either not happen, or at the most should be a regrettable necessaity, carried out behind the scenes.

As such it does cause damage to humans. Firstly (and it may seem patronising of me to say this) it harms the hunters and hunt followers by blunting their sensitivities. But more importanly there is the iconic argument, that it harms many sensitive people - and to some extent all people - to be associated with a society which carries out this act.

When Britain still had Capital Punishment, I felt it as a slur on me personally. I have friends in another country which still regularly kills people in the name of justice, and they too feel this way. There is a parallel (albeit on a very different scale) with foxhunting.

Such moral judgements are not static. Things that are acceptable in one epoch or in one geography may be completely unacceptable in another. For instance private gun ownership makes more sense in countries with lots of dangerous wild animals than in the UK, and in lawless countries with lots of armed bandits and no effective police force than in the UK.

All shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of things shall be well. (Julian of Norwich)

Posts: 1080 | From: UK - Midlands | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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