27th September 2015
We have some interesting threads to posts on our Facebook page. The story which emerged a week ago about the Atherstone Hunt supporter who simulated sex with a dead goose has understandably caused quite a storm. We’ve made our position clear: there’s no point in heaping negative energy on the lad because we think he needs to learn the basics of compassion, decency and respect. That’s unlikely to happen if he feels attacked and picked upon in the aftermath. Indeed, it might make him worse. We’d prefer his sort to be love-bombed and educated as to the error of their ways. The world has to be a better place, surely, if children are raised to be kind?
On Twitter a while back a pro hunt troll screen-grabbed a quote from another thread and tweeted it back to us. The comment was about chopping hunters testicles off as punishment for cruelty to animals, or something like that. Our troll used this example to insinuate that if you’re opposed to bloodsports you’re a violent extremist too. Oddly enough, we’ve seen plenty of heated social media comments from both sides of the hunting debate. We take them mostly with a pinch of salt.
In July three men were convicted under the Hunting Act after they’d been stopped by Herefordshire police with a live fox in a bag and bloodied terriers in the back of their van. It was patently obvious that they had been setting their dogs onto the fox in order to enjoy the fight. They got done quite rightly. As you can imagine, many people were shocked and appalled.
One of those convicted was a serving soldier. A petition was started to get him discharged from the Army. We shared the outrage but didn’t support the petition. Our reasoning remains that if he had been booted out then highly likely he’d fall back on his cruel ways. Far better to keep him on the straight and narrow and combine that with some counselling to open his heart and mind to compassionate behaviour. Better for him and, crucially, for future animals which are not abused because he’s learnt to be a nicer person. Which ever way you look at this one it’s a tough call. We get that too.
Ours is not a rose-tinted view of how things could be. We want humans to find ways of living and passing time which do not inflict pain and suffering on animals. This might sound a bit idealistic but it’s honestly not – it’s simply about education and appealing to the better nature which hopefully resides in all of us (some more than others, yes).
In the real world there are not the resources to enable correction therapy for miscreants like the hunt supporter who thrilled himself with a dead bird or the off-duty soldier who enjoys setting dogs onto foxes for sport. We can only speculate as to the peer pressure and degenerate adult examples being set around them. Often the prognosis for abuse addicts is not good. So it’s up to us, the compassionate majority, to resist instinctive loaded reactions and think differently. A paltry fine and some cutting remarks on social media won’t make the problems of immature behaviour and illegal hunting go away.
© Joe Hashman
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