by Mark Chesnut - Monday, April 24, 2023
While America’s hunters and hard-working farmers and ranchers go about their business of making a living, those who would destroy our way of life are as active as ever. Consider that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released a new television commercial just this spring targeting the eating of meat in conjunction with the season finale of an HBO series.
“The horrors portrayed in ‘The Last of Us’ are imaginary, but as Greta Thunberg has made clear, kids will face a truly dire future if we continue pumping greenhouse gases from meat and dairy production into the atmosphere,” PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said in a released statement. “No parent wants to doom their children to an inhospitable planet, which is why PETA is urging them to feed them vegan before it’s too late.”
Indeed, the war on meat and meat eaters continues at a fevered pace, and hunters continually find themselves directly in the crosshairs. Yet some important friends of hunters are under even more pressure from those against using animals for anything except companions (some even oppose that), with dozens of groups constantly waging war on their livelihoods.
Of course, I’m talking about the farmers and ranchers who produce the meat for sale in our markets and grocery stores. The strategy of the animal rights extremists is this: Any animal use equals abuse. As this NRA website has tracked, they want to end meat-eating and apply the same emotional anti-meat strategy to hunters that they do to farmers and ranchers.
The Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM) has been targeting animal producers for years, trying to force them out of business and end their way of life. Groups like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) want to see all animal farming stopped and all meat eating ceased, as well as any use of animals. And PETA even provides interested people with a vegan starter kit so they can do their part in putting farmers and ranchers out of business, despite the group killing more than 45,000 pets at its Virginia shelter over the past several years.
Of course, both PETA and the HSUS are vehemently anti-hunting. The PETA website’s hunting section states: “Hunting might have been necessary for human survival in prehistoric times, but today most hunters stalk and kill animals merely for the thrill of it, not out of necessity. This unnecessary, violent form of ‘entertainment’ rips animal families apart and leaves countless animals orphaned or badly injured when hunters miss their targets.”
For its part, HSUS is disingenuous even in its name, which it uses to trick unknowing donors into giving it money Its donors think they are contributing to local humane societies, which work to rehome stray animals. Meanwhile, it wants to end all hunting and meat eating without thinking of the consequences to the millions of hunters, farmers and ranchers and their way of life.
As hunters, we must realize that the war on farming and ranching is, by its very nature, a war on hunting. After all, with the vast majority of land in the United States under private control, farmers and ranchers hold the key to properties accessed each year by millions upon millions of hunters pursuing a variety of game species. If those hunters and ranchers are forced out of business, it’s hard to imagine the devastating effect that could have on hunter access to private lands.
Yet the push continues to end all farming, hunting and eating of meat. As recently as 2016, the HSUS was nearly able to get approved a “Meatless Mondays” scheme for all American military cafeterias. The measure got as far as the fiscal 2017 Defense Department appropriations bill in the U.S. House of Representatives before being struck down.
Of course, delicious, nutritious meat from game animals is a primary reason many people hunt, and, in fact, feeds far more people than those hunting deer and other species, thanks to the national NRA-backed Hunters for the Hungry (HFH) movement, which has fed tens of millions of meals to the needy since it began in 1991. Many state-based groups such as Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry provide meat to those in need through hunter-donated game and farmer-donated livestock.
The National Rifle Association is heavily involved with such efforts, as the NRA runs the Hunters for the Hungry Information Clearinghouse to help put hunters in touch with programs near them where they can donate their wild game. Additionally, the NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum donates to HFH groups to help defray meat-processing costs.
Of course, anti-meat, anti-hunting groups don’t help feed anybody. Yet they’re happy to rake in millions of dollars of donations each year while using their clout in an effort to kill an American way of life we have enjoyed for centuries.
About the Author
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC in Jenks, Okla. An avid hunter, shooter and field-trialer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for nearly 25 years.
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