A Dead Bear on the Front Page
Last week, our local paper, The Times News, published a picture of a 12 year old girl and the bear she had shot on the front page. The girl was obviously proud of her trophy, but I had to wonder if this is really the message that we want to send to our children; that killing for sport is a good way to pass time.
Now, I come from an agricultural comminity. I have no misconceptions about where meat or milk comes from; in fact, I raise my own beef and pork. However, this picture, and the story that accompanied it, really bothered me. I have a hard time with trophy hunting; I was always raised to believe that if an animal was to be slaughtered, it should only be done for necessity, not for display as a prize.
Not only that, but with the recent spate of school violence, a picture of a 12 year old holding a gun didn't sit well with me, nor with many other members of the community. The comments ranged from the unnecessary death of an animal to the point I mentioned above, not to mention the fact that this paper has a section dedicated to hunting and outdoor sports published once a week, so a front page expose was really uncalled for. In all fairness, there were positive comments, like families spending time together and proper use of a firearm, but so far, the negative has outweighed the positive.
Granted, the area is not only known for agriculture, but for hunting. People start buying tags and putting in for hunts as soon as they can. But not everyone here hunts, just like not everyone here farms. I believe the paper showed a great insensitivity to those who really aren't all that keen on seeing a dead animal next to a 12 year old with a gun. Plus, there are plenty of family activites that could have been showcased on the front page.
I think what upset me the worst, though, was how it upset my daughter. My reaction when I saw it was, oh, that's just lovely. However, she started crying. She loves animals, and she was shocked that this other girl could kill an animal needlessly, and then be proud of it. She then asked me a question that, as jaded as I am, shocked me. She asked if this girl could go out a kill another person, and be as proud of that as she was of killing this bear. Although as an adult, I know the chances are slim the girl would ever kill another person, and the two really don't relate, I think we often fail to understand the reasoning of children, and now children who see so much, regardless of how much we do to protect them.
It is sad how often we choose to glamorize death, instead of celebrate life.
Tags: Girl , Animal , Hunting
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