Monday, October 20, 2008

Duck Hunting Season

It's duck hunting season. I live in a house that overlooks a huge salt marsh that leads into the Annisquam River. Every year around this time, hunters make floating blinds out in the river and blast away at the ducks.

This morning I woke up to the sound of shotguns across the marsh. The sound always depresses me; I'll never understand how anyone can get any joy or satisfaction from blowing birds out of the sky or killing animals in the woods. Just because we can, should we? Especially in this day and age, when meat is so readily available, and relatively cheap.

I get the whole thing about the circle of life--I do. But I can't kill animals. Won't, in fact, not even the mice who live in my garden shed. And I do eat meat. Yes, that makes me some kind of hypocrite, but I just can't abide the suffering of any animal. Unlike us, they have no choice about what they do, and little choice about what we make them do. It is up to us to treat them well.

I can only hope that the hunters this season have either terrible aim, missing their prey completely, or else dead-on aim that makes the killing process as quick and painless as possible.

Sic transit gloria mundi, ducks.

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