Mrs. Scrimshaw come quick, there’s a whale in my corset!

Have you ever wanted to do scrimshaw?

Me neither. Carving a dead sperm whale is not in my purlieu.

What about baiting bears with doughnuts? I’d rather leave ursine well alone. Let them have their habitat, me mine.

What about fox hunting? It’s so damn unfair. Pitting one fox against a motley of fine-breed hounds and horses. But I also understand that it makes possible a livelihood for breeders, farriers, trainers, grooms, and others. Tough one. And it’s so surrounded with moral outrage from urban dwellers who have questionable values anyway. They fret over the fox but don’t even break a moral sweat when they buy their battery eggs or meat that is badly butchered and brutally transported.

And then there’s the argument that the rural lot with their cruel pastimes like hunting and fishing are somehow coarser than the herds who fill malls and moronically sit in front of the TV.

I’ve never killed anything myself. But I’d much rather learn how to do it well than judge it as unfit. At some point I hope to have chickens. And chickens attract rats. I could use rat poison but talk about cruelty. That stuff takes days to kill the rats and I’ve read they bleed internally. I could get a gun and shoot the buggers. Or I could buy myself a terrier and go ratting. It’s probably bloody, but far less cruel. The dogs probably kill them instantly.

What gets me is that we pretend to be more civilized with our poisons and our exterminators and yet some of those old ways are far less barbaric and more humane and give the animal in question a fair death.

We are so cut-off from the realities of nature that we become outraged at nature, think it evil and that we must be saved from its ruthlessness while we create even more cruelty. So many people flee to the cities thinking they have escaped their base instincts when in fact they are creating others far worse. And then they are lost to the evolutionary environment that gave them life. So where are they now? And what have they got? No history, no connection to the earth, so out of touch with their visceral selves that they turn to a worse violence: Man against man.

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