In the US, we have plenty of hunting and fishing channels on TV.
They are usually located deep within the recesses of the sporting channels that I normally don’t watch.
However, there are fishing shows on major networks.
Now fishing is one thing.
Most people don’t care about how fish feel.
I really don’t. There is some debate about whether fish can feel pain from the hooks.
I’m quite skeptical, because it’s so common for people to catch the same fish multiple times. You’d think they’d learn if they actually consciously felt pain.
But I digress.
There is a big ideological difference between fishing and hunting.
And that’s when you start shooting animals that are cute or are closely related to dogs and cats.
And that’s when otherwise rational people lose their minds.
Now, Nation Geographic Channel, wanting to cash in on the outdoor sports TV genre that Animal Planet has been so successful with, has decided to sign Melissa Bachman for a TV series.
Melissa Bachman is a young female hunter.
You know, a strong woman.
The type feminists are supposed to admire.
But not in this case, because she kills bears and alligators and deer.
And that’s so evil and wrong to have on TV.
Because we said so.
Since it was announced that Nat Geo was doing the show, Facebook, the place where all sorts of hysterical, pseudo-activists like to hang out, now has an anti-Melissa Bachman page, and there are at least three online petitions going around.
If I ever lose subscribers, I am glad to lose them because of animal rights issues.
I don’t believe in animal rights.
And I think hunting shows should be on television more often.
If you look at Animal Planet’s line-up, there are good programs about conservation.
And then they have those shows who are for the hysterical loons.
Like Whale Wars.
A show that has nothing to do with conservation.
It’s really just an animal rights-centered propaganda show.
It teaches you nothing, other than there are people who actually believe all this animal rights garbage and are trying to use industrial sabotage to get their way. (Which is quite scary!)
But most of the nature programming leaves out a really important part of the conservation story.
The truth is that most of the big game species we have in North America actually wouldn’t be here but for the efforts of hunters.
Hunters contribute lots of money to conservation– and lots of labor and political campaigning. I don’t think people realize how much duck hunters actually have contributed to ensuring the wetlands have been preserved.
Wetlands aren’t just good for ducks. They are good for all sorts of wildlife.
And they do it for selfish reasons.
They want ducks to shoot.
But in order to have ducks to shoot, they have to preserve duck habitat.
And duck habitat is good for lots of different species, including songbirds, beavers, otters, mink, and muskrats.
A well-produced show about hunting with a charismatic and well-informed presenter could do a lot of good in changing the way many people feel about hunting.
That’s what I hope Melissa Bachman’s show will offer.
I find the reaction from some quarters rather disgusting– and a little bit disturbing.
So much do these people hate what others do that they demand that it be taken off television.
There are a lot of shows I don’t like.
I have a little secret way of dealing with them:
It’s really tricky.
I don’t watch these shows.
That’s all there is to it.
But what I also find disturbing is the cultural elitism that comes across from the anti-hunter crowd.
They look down their noses at rural people and what they do for fun.
I can’t tell you how old I was when I was first taken hunting.
I couldn’t have been very old, but I do know that my grandpa took me.
My grandpa knew all about the wild animals in our area. He was very concerned about them.
He enjoyed hunting them, but he also knew that hunting was under attack.
When I was about 7 or 8 years old, we were out squirrel hunting, and I remember he told me that there were people out there who wanted to ban all hunting.
I thought he was crazy.
But then, I had only known West Virginia. In West Virginia, hunting and fishing are truly ways of life.
I had no idea exactly how alienated from the natural world most of America actually is.
And it’s because of that alienation that people have no clue what sound conservation practices actually are.
Hunting and fishing are major parts of a sound wildlife management scheme.
If people don’t want to learn this simple fact, then there really isn’t much hope for wildlife in this country.
It is this same mentality that argues we shouldn’t control feral goats or pigs or cats– they have individual rights, don’t you know?
If we allow the animal rights community to set the entire debate about how animals are treated in this country, wildlife will lose.
There is no discussion about it.
I hope Melissa Bachman’s show helps change how we discuss hunting and wildlife issues in this country.
We really need to educate people.
If we don’t, wildlife and our free society will lose.
Update: No more comments from intolerant animal rights cultists will be tolerated on this post. Post them. I’ll remove them, and I’ll ban you. This is not a public forum. This is my blog.