Ridin’ and killin’

Ah, we higher-monkeys and every other animal. ‘Tis a complex co-existence, son, and one that’s evolved a lot recently. We used to get tore up in a windmill of claws and teeth and eaten on the regular back in the old days. But I guess you could say humans have definitely become the top in the relationship since one of us figured out that gunpowder + a tight space + a spark + a projectile = some totally fucked up organic matter.

Sure, there’s the occasional animal on man beat down (or eat down) like in this viral smash hit (hey, that works on two levels) below, but the numbers stack up overwhelmingly in our favor.

One could argue that a guy (or girls named Sarah) shooting a big scary animal that pre-gun would have turned us into poop isn’t the intended natural order of things. But I, though I’m personally not a big hunting guy, would have to argue that, logically, it kind of is the natural order of things. We hairless, lanky gorillas thought of these bang-powered lead projectile tossers with our very natural noodle. It’s really not much different than when our hairy Great Grandpa Chimp thought, “I bet if instead of just staring at that rock, I picked it up and hucked it at the head of the guy-chimp who keeps banging that she-chimp that my chimp nards tell me Ishould be banging…well, I bet it would make it a lot tougher for him to make adorable baby-chimps with her if my well-aimed rock rendered him silly to the point where he was more interested in why his face gets wet when he stares at his dick too long, and less interested in getting balls deep in my favorite gal.”

Now, before we proceed, I’ll say that the argument on the rights and wrongs of killing our fellow animal is just way too heated and eventually boring as shit to get into on this blog. I mean, I just made a joke about a newly retarded monkey stupidly pissing into his own face. I skim the surfaces of the philosophically challenging questions here on Mt. Shredward, but I certainly ain’t gonna dive deep into the Marianas Trench to figure stuff out. And besides, when you go to a place where everyone is blind and you’re surrounded by absolute darkness, there are no clear answers. Everyone just bangs heads and it gets totally annoying. This is just a place where I give my take in a ridiculous manner, raise a few questions in the hopes that you have a few laughs and fire off a couple of synapses in the process. I’ll just say that I’m anti-Andy Beach going hunting, not really anti-hunting under all circumstances.

So, you may or may not have seen this in the news a week or so ago. The sons of the global leader in blowhardedness, Donald Trump went on what was surely, the classiest, most exquisite, top of the line, luxurious hunting safari in the world. The photo accompanying the article certainly stopped my eyeballs in their tracks, causing my brain to send signals to my mouth, which a blind lip reader could have told you was forming the words, “What the fuck?”

“Smile if you’re gonna fuck it later!”

The particular article I read on this briefly hot story (I read about it on salon.com, a definitely left leaning site, which managed to connect The Donald’s boy’s hunting trip to the no-longer-media-darling and unfortunately dumbshit-infested, Occupy movement) explained how the fellahs left Africa feeling pretty good since they’d risked themselves to feed the local savages with the meat of the geriatric elephants and stuff whose asses they’d bravely capped. Anyway, millionaires getting out into the wilds on guided tours and blasting animals so they feel less pampered blah blah blah old news, so whatever. What really struck me, however, was part of the Spawns of Trump’s statements on the matter:

“We are both avid outdoorsmen and were brought up hunting and fishing with our grandfather who taught us that nothing should ever be taken for granted or wasted. We have the utmost respect for nature and have always hunted in accordance with local laws and regulations. In addition, all meat was donated to local villagers who were incredibly grateful. We love traveling and being in the woods — at the end of the day, we are outdoorsmen at heart.”

It’s such a weird take to me, saying you love and respect the outdoors, yet there’s a photo of you holding up a newly ventilated leopard. And honestly, it’s pretty clear they know deep down that even they’re not totally comfortable with what they’re doing. If you’re copacetic with stuff, you don’t go over the top making your point. If you’ve got a friend who out of nowhere says, “Man, you know what I love? Girls’ pussies and vaginas. And their tits and butts too. I just can’t stop thinking about doing sex with women all the time. I wish I was making out with a woman and feeling her big boobs right now!” then maybe you start thinking about how to have the, “look dude, I’ve got no problem if…” conversation with him. An elephant could count on its fingers how many times a ridiculously hyper-anti-gay polititian or preacher eventually ends up getting caught at a rest stop picking up a woman or hiring a female prostitute.

I mean, how can one be a full on “outdoorsman” and also kill the fuck out of one of the main things that makes being outdoors so great: wild animals that you’re lucky enough to spot? It gets especially odd to me if you don’t live in outdoorsy areas, like the Trumplings. When you leave the human areas and go into the animal area, don’t you feel like a guest? Don’t you extend courtesies to the hosts who are good enough not to eat your soft, pink, easily killed ass? I guess there’s population control stuff (which nature totally took care of before we moved in), and I have absolutely no issue with others killing for food out of necessity. And I don’t think hunters are bad people. I just couldn’t do it. How do I know? I shot a blue jay with a BB gun when I was in junior high. Ouchy, did it ever hurt my soul.

I know I feel that sense of courtesy and responsibility when I go out riding. I feel bad when I run over stuff with my bike, no matter what it is: from little snakes down to beetles. It can be especially challenging when there’s been some rain and then it warms up. Everything hatches. Suddenly there’s a bunch of millipedes all over the trails. I remember one night on a ride there were California Newts absolutely everywhere. Thank jeebus I never ran over one of those cute little buggers. It would have totally ruined my ride.

“Wook how cute and fragile I am. Only a total dick would run me over” Photo courtesy of the dude whose site you’ll go to if you click on it.

But, I guess that’s the complex situation we humans find ourselves in. If you decide you’re a hunting guy, you’ve got to own it totally. No amount of over-explaining your comfort level with vaporizing Bambi’s dad’s ventricle with a lead slug is going to make you actually feel totally at ease. And if you can feel totally fine with it, cool, and mail me some of your venison jerky. I love it! Then there’re folks like me, who don’t personally dig on hunting, but chow down on a bacon cheeseburger and don’t give much thought to the fact that an air propelled bolt scrambled the brains wired to the piggy and moo-moo flesh I’m washing down with a Lagunitas IPA (I’m sure some people have thought by now, “Whatever dude. Unless you’re vegan, you’re responsible for plenty of carnage you hypocrite. Yep, I know it, and couldn’t argue to a definite resolution on my favor) Yet I feel shitty when my WTBs squish a bug trying to make its way to the other side of the trail where a girl bug is sending out fuck-me scents. Like I say, complex. And hardly logical.

Wow. Life and death and killing and live-and-let-living and all that can be such a quandary for us hairless monkeys. Seems like it would be easier to be one of those animals just running on instinct. But then again, we’re the only animal that can truly internalize how amazing the natural world is to the point that we sweat and toil to form trails through it, and then design self-powered, two-wheeled vehicles to take in as much of it as possible.

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