COLUMN: Lilley – Radicals take on hunting

- October 4th, 2012

Open season on hunting

Canadians everywhere should be upset that our heritage is under attack

by Brian Lilley

Across Canada this weekend, millions of families will sit down for a Thanksgiving feast that includes turkey and all the trimmings. Brothers will fight over who gets the turkey leg, mothers will fret about whether the turkey is done just right and fathers will take as many naps as they can after gorging on the bird.

Most of us still enjoy eating meat in this country even if we don’t think much about where it comes from.

Ask most kids and they’ll tell you meat comes from the store, but there are millions of Canadians who are still connected enough to the land that they know exactly where their meat comes from.

We call them hunters.

Right now, hunting is under attack and the animal rights extremists leading the charge have just scored a major victory: They’ve forced several hunting shows off the air.

Global Television and its parent company, Shaw Media, were the targets of an orchestrated campaign to force hunting off Canadian television airwaves.

“Global Television seems to think Canadians want to watch animals being killed for sport. Why else would it be running three different hunting shows?” the Vancouver Humane Society asked its members as part of the campaign to get the shows off the air.

Of course, put in those terms the shows do sound awful. Killing for sport is wrong, but that’s not what any real hunter does and it’s not what the shows in question were about.

Keith Beasley, one of the three brothers behind Canada in the Rough, a nine-season ratings success, said hunters do not kill animals for sport.

“Those people are criminals, not hunters,” Beasley said of anyone who would shoot an animal and watch it die, then walk away.

Like every hunter I’ve ever known, Beasley feeds his family with the animals he kills.

Of course, the campaign against his hunting show is about more than about hunting.

The people at the Vancouver Humane Society would not only prefer Beasley weren’t out there hunting, they’d prefer you weren’t eating that turkey this weekend.

The VHS has several campaigns running to get everyone to eat less meat and right now on their Facebook page, they’re pushing vegetarianism and using the current meat recall as a rallying cry.

So while the target this time was a hunting show on television, next time it could be your hamburger or turkey dinner.

Radical animal activists aren’t happy to live and let live — they want to push their view of the world on everyone else.

I don’t hunt right now, but might just take it up in protest, and Canadians from coast to coast should be bothered that a part of our heritage has been forced off the air.

“This is what this country is built on,” Beasley told me on my Sun News program, Byline.

“The fur trade, the hunting and fishing industry is what originally happened in this country.”

Of course there are plenty of people in this country who would like us to forget our history, forget our heritage and live the same downtown uber-urban latte-sipping lifestyle that they do. But that’s not for me and chances are it’s not for you.

“In a country like ours with 3.5 million miles of unspoiled wilderness, hunting is just part of our lives,” Beasley said.

Hunting is as Canadian as maple syrup. Let’s stand up for it before they take it away completely.

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12 comments

  1. Vladimir says:

    Global should have told these ignorant extremists to go pound salt. Just to prove a point, take what ever these people watch on television off the air and watch them scream. I am a hunter, a gun owner and a former member of the Canadian Armed Forces. I guess to these self serving loonies I am evil incarnate. When are we going to start telling these people to shut up and get a life!

  2. Brian Jones says:

    Of course they’re going to push for the shows to be removed; once they’re off the air then they can use the absence of such shows to try to claim that hunting is outmoded.

    Similar attitudes are shown in the recent attempt by a vegan activist to bully Whole Foods into no longer selling meat or other animal products. And then they were outraged when Whole Foods rebutted them by pointing out that at most about 3% of their customers are vegans and only 10% other forms of vegetarians, so why on earth should they change their business model to accommodate the 3%’s demands?

    In both cases it’s a small but militant minority who think that by screaming the loudest they will bully everyone else into silence, then they can use that silence to claim everyone agrees with them. Don’t give them even a quarter of an inch.

  3. Stephen Smith says:

    Sure fine go ahead and hunt, it helps control the population and as you said it feeds people. I have nothing against it. In fact please come to my neck of the woods, just west of Newmarket and hunt out the coyotes that have infested the area and driven off or eaten all the deer, wild turkeys and foxes, not to mention, dogs and cats, sheep, cows, goats. Come kill them please, their vermin.

    Here’s what I do have a problem with. Why is everyone who disagress with your point of view Brian a radical? Why can’t they just be people who disagree with you, constantly putting labels on people doesn’t advance your cause.

    Also since Shaw a a Western based outfit(having got their lunch handed to them by Rogers and run out the eastern Canada) why are they bowing to pressure, that’s not like them, after all this was the company under Jim Shaw that refused to allow the Gay and Lesbian channel onto the cable package not to long ago, and they were mightly loud and defiant about that. So why the acquiesence so fast and easily on hunting. Maybe that is a question that needs to be asked.

  4. Dave P says:

    I just shot a nice fat bear last week and the steaks are delicious!

    Up yours VHS!!! And shame on Shaw for caving in in to these wackos!!!

  5. Nicholas Read says:

    Good grief. Of all the things to “stand up for”, why pick hunting? A blood sport in which one of the participants (that unlucky deer or moose or bear) has no say. If I honestly thought stalking and killing some of this country’s magnificent wildlife was a measure of being Canadian, I’d emigrate. Fortunately, it’s not. Hunting is on the decline, and with good reason.

  6. Don Thompson says:

    Dear Mr. Lilly:

    Thank you for standing up for hunters in this country. We mostly live in rural areas so we do not have a voice with the wider public as you do. It gives us heart when people in urban centers realize we are not monsters but mostly conscientious managers of the land (including farming, forestry and other natural resources management activities). Hunting is a cultural, traditional way of life for us. We are of course very aware of what price an animal has to pay to provide us with food. Thanks for putting it in such understandable terms in your column.

    Anyway, thanks for knowing we matter, we appreciate it.

    Don Thompson

  7. (the other) James says:

    Sir,

    Saw your piece on the hunting show cancellation, and wanted to make you aware of David Adams Richards’ excellent book, “Facing the Hunter: Reflections on a Misunderstood Way of Life” because I think you would quite enjoy it, based on the first twenty pages alone. Actually, I think you’d dig it based solely on the prologue.

    It reads,
    —-
    “Progressive” is such a damnable word. In the middle-class lexicon “progressive” now means that most of the people I have known and loved are somehow less than others, who think and rationalize about compassion and fairness.

    A few years back I was in a house in Edmonton, Alberta, overhearing how deplorable it was for men to work in the oil patch, to hunt with weapons, to kill the ecology we all must share. It was as if I was listening to a lecture directed at me by a neophyte poet across the room. The poet who was deploring all of this was warmed by oil and well fed by buffet and had a captive audience everywhere about him that night, as he sipped a Chardonnay. Of course I suspect in his whole life he had never gotten truly drunk, or at least never gone on one. And he lived in a society every bit as closeted and insulated as did those tenured clerics in the time of Old John of Gaunt. Perhaps he never considered this.

    I suppose I have always disliked men like this, clever enough to have expensive cloth covering their arses, and pleased to carry with them a register of human complaint and a suspicion of certain jobs and of so, so many people. Their ideals are those of a subversion to a tradition that, so often, they have never themselves encountered. They are the transgressionalists who have chosen their targets very carefully, so as never to be alone. It is a very strange way to show liberal empathy. Which, of course, is what they promote among themselves. Or at least what that poet promoted that evening.

    Still, my ideas wouldn’t be readily accepted that night.

    If rifles fit in with his admonishing, so hunting must as well. And it is not in any way my policy to convince anyone that hunting is noble, or that hunting cannot be willfully cruel. My only suggestion to the world is that those who eat meat should be morally obligated to kill at least once in their lives that which they eat. After two months without oil, as ill conceived as the oil patch is and as ill fated as our time-honoured traditions seem to be, that generous poet would no longer be sipping his wine at the buffet deploring those without his intellectual and sarcastic capacity. And those women who surrounded him, nodding their heads at those terrible people he got to skewer, all of them I am sure would be somewhere else.

    It would be excellent to see him on your show on this issue.

    Regards,

    James

  8. A. Lariviere says:

    These people also know nothing of ecology or how the food chain works. If there were an end to hunting, the animal populations of deer, elk, moose, ans several other species would eat themselves out of house and home and starve to death if rampant disease doesn’t kill them first. I guess it’s better to let an animal die of starvation and disease than to have that animal feed a family.

  9. Alain says:

    The issue here is far more than about hunting; it is about one of many agenda-driven groups opposed to choice and opposed to individual freedom. They are determined to impose their agenda on everyone else and in this case have succeeded. Like everyone else in a free country they had the choice of watching or not watching the programs but chose to prevent others from having this choice. I am not a hunter, but one does not need to be a hunter to oppose this and to understand what is going on. Seeking to impose one’s views on everyone else certainly qualifies as being radical.

  10. Bill Elder says:

    Brian; I’ve been in this fight for over 25 years. I’ve sat face to face with these people in resource and land use planning sessions and reason, logic, science, fairness and civility mean nothing to them. They are “fanatics” in every sense. Their anti-hunting, animal rights, misanthropic militant veganism is as fervent as any fanatic religious cult. There is no reasoning or compromising with them, they want their way and their way only, they are not satisfied to live with people with differing cultural values, world views, and lifestyles – they want everyone who “offends” their “faith” either converted or eradicated by law – sound familiar?
    They see hunters, not as fellow citizens, not humans endowed with human rights, but a sub-human criminal class to be liquidated. It was at this point, trying to reason with them in mediation over anti hunting, anti-game management legislating, that I realized there is no quarter. These people (the tiny minority of fanatics driving the anti – hunting agenda) are irrational sick people. I don’t know why they would pick on legitimate hunters, it could have been anyone thy focus their madness at I suppose, I suspect the anger and inhuman fanaticism was there just waiting for a focal point. The animal rights thing is just an excuse to hide their psychosis.

    That was a few years ago now and I have resolved myself to never apologise for, or surrender a single freedom to, this type of urban-centric psychosis. Hunting is part of my family and national heritage in no different a way than it is for aboriginal people. I choose to reconnect with that heritage and engage in the harvest of wild game for my table, my son continues this heritage making the 7th generation to do so in this nation.

    I’ll tell you what has no heritage or roots in this nation – that is the uncivil fanaticism displayed by these anti-hunting groups and similar radicalism engaged in the so called culture war. Sick people trying to sanitize their anger or personal demons with a political cause.

  11. Brian Mouland says:

    Do not think most progressives get it when it comes to hunting. In remote areas people hunt to replenish their food stocks. In the Middle of the NWT or Northern Saskatchewan a Safeway isnt always ten minutes away

  12. Murray Risling says:

    Yeah,Dont understand why Global and Shaw are so spooked over animal rights extremists. Guns are used in a traditional and wholesome setting as opposed to violent crime. Seems like extremists went hunting… with Global and Shaw being the easy marks.

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