One Photo, Two Images


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Hank Shaw with a wild boar.
Photo by RJ Waldron

When I read the email, I was stunned.

I’d been trying to get the word out for two Texas hunting and cooking schools I’m hosting this year, so I spent a little money to advertise them to those people who have “liked” my Hunter Angler Gardener Cook Facebook page. (Nevermind that Facebook requires me to pay to talk to people who have already expressed an interest in this page, but that’s another story.) I soon got an email back saying the ad was denied. I appealed. And then I got this from Facebook:

Hi Hank,

Thanks for writing in.

Your ad was disapproved because the image being used in the ad shows animal cruelty. Ads like these lead to high negative feedback and are not allowed.

The current post remains published, but isn’t running as an ad. If you’d like to boost your post, you’ll have to recreate it with a policy-compliant image and boost it again.

Have a great day.

Thanks, Allen Facebook Ads Team

The image in question is at the top of this post. Animal cruelty? In whose world? Maybe in that of a vegan’s, or an animal rights activist. But this ad was targeted only to people who follow the HAGC Facebook page, not the general public. And, um, isn’t Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg very publicly killing his own meat? Would a picture of Zuckerberg holding a chicken he’d just killed also be banned, should he choose to want it shown to his 49 million followers? I suspect not.

For the record, I ate pretty much all of this pig (the story of the hunt is here) as I am reasonably certain Zuckerberg ate pretty much all of his chicken. This is an image of the reality of meat-eating, which only qualifies as animal cruelty if you are a member of one of the aforementioned groups.

And then I thought about it a moment.

The shot above is a standard image in the world of wild food. Growing up as an angler in New Jersey, we called it the “hero shot,” and I also see it called the “trophy shot,” largely by people who have a dim view of hunting. But I also see mushroomers show off their baskets in the same sort of shot, and a quick look at any gardening forum will show similar images of grinning gardeners showing off groaning boards loaded with carrots and cabbages and kale.

All of these images touch on a similar primal urge in humans, but more on that in a moment.

“Hero” shots with animals in general and mammals in particular are different. In most traditional cultures, mammals are “us,” where animals like fish are “them.” Remnants of this remain in modern societies. An image of a hunter sitting next to a kill evokes immediate, visceral reactions from non-hunters — enough to slide some into the anti-hunter camp.

Keep in mind the number of active anti-hunters in this nation is small – most Americans are agnostic non-hunters with few opinions on the subject. But there are two opinions the masses do hold, quite firmly, I might add: First, that hunting to feed yourself and your families is a generally good thing; every poll ever done shows strong support for this. But the second opinion is an equally strong opposition to something called “trophy hunting,” which can mean different things to different people. Polls consistently show minimal support for this, over every demographic group.

And in the eyes of non-hunters, an image of me or anyone else, holding a weapon, sitting next to an animal we just killed is unquestionably a trophy shot.

If you talk with non-hunters about what they see when they view an image of a hunter with his (and especially her, as our views toward women hunting are far more slanted than those toward men, but again, that is another story) these are their reactions:

  • It’s someone happy to have killed an animal. “The smiling face juxtaposed with the dead face always creeps me out,” says a friend of mine. “Grinning loons,” says another.
  • That it shows disrespect for that animal.
  • Visual evidence of humankind’s destruction of the natural world.
  • It is the reduction of beauty to possession, a visual statement that “this animal is mine.”
  • Just guys compensating for small dicks.

Many non-hunters instantly project their strong feelings for their pets onto the animal in the picture. Anyone who has lost a pet knows how wrenching it can be, and seeing the dead animal sets them to thinking of pets loved and lost.

Some see it as a look into a private world they’d rather not see. A friend of mine, who is mostly vegetarian, said: “My reaction is to want to look away. It feels too intimate, like a photo of a person on their death bed.” Or, more accurately, someone grinning over someone else on his death bed.

Context matters to many, however. I get little or no negative reaction when I do post such photos, which, incidentally, is rare, because my friends know this image merely marks the first step toward a series of wonderful meals. My friends know I do this to feed myself. So once they get past the instant reaction, they understand… sorta.

Photo by Charlie de la Rosa
Photo by Charlie de la Rosa

But put a picture of a hunter over a brown bear, which most hunters don’t actually eat (black bears are different), or African game (especially predators or elephants), or that awful picture of a hunter clutching a dead mountain lion like a toddler clutching her pet kitty, and you will get a second, harder thought – one that rises even in me. Why did you kill that creature? You weren’t even going to eat it!

There are of course reasons, some good ones, for that sort of true trophy hunting and predator control. (And yes, I do know some people like to eat the mountain lions they kill.) But this isn’t the place to elaborate on the conservation benefits of hunting African game, and as someone who never intends to participate in that sort of hunt, I am not the person to debate this with.

As another non-hunting friend noted: “I think most non-hunters can’t distinguish trophy hunters from those who hunt (or fish) for food. I used to associate ‘hero shots’ only with trophy hunters, who in my opinion, have given hunting a bad name for all others who hunt responsibly.”

All of this is a rather long way of saying that even though I don’t agree with Facebook’s assessment of this picture – especially since I limited it to just people who had already “liked” the HAGC Facebook page – I can intellectually understand why someone might consider it an image supporting animal cruelty.

Now, let me explain to non-hunters reading this what is actually happening in these images. To those of us who hunt and fish – and forage, for that matter – these images represent a range of feelings ranging from noble to mundane to political:

  • It’s just what you do. Photos are a natural end to a hunt, and there’s no real thought put into it. This is the first reaction you get when you ask most who grew up with hunting and fishing about these photos. It is part of the process.
  • Memory. Photos memorialize the entire hunt, from the environment to the people to the successful result. They are touchstones of a life spent outdoors, and each one comes to life when the hunter retells the story associated with it, even if that hunter wasn’t present; a faded photo of grandpa wearing flannel with a moose is chance to tell a tale from the past. As one HAGC reader put it: “These photos mark a moment of accomplishment for my son, rather than any heroic attitude. We’ve kept a record of his firsts, from first step to first rabbit, pheasant, and deer. And those are private photos, for our memory books only.”
  • Bragging rights. Look at the size of this buck! And if you think this reason profane, keep in mind that humans have been eager to demonstrate prowess in the procurement of food since at least the start of the Cognitive Revolution, about 70,000 years ago. It’s not the highest of motives, but it’s pure.
  • Honoring the animal, believe it or not. I know for me, I want to remember the individuality of that deer or hog or whatever. The little forked-horn buck I shot this year had a snub-nose face and very dark antlers compared to the young buck I shot in Idaho the year before, or the older buck I shot in California earlier in 2014. Each animal still exists in my mind, and those photographs cement this. It is why so many people gussy up their fallen animals before taking a picture – a feeling not dissimilar to undertakers “fixing” a corpse, so the family can have an open casket funeral. Death is ugly enough: You want the last memory of that person, or animal, to be dignified.

And about that grin.

What outsiders see is someone smiling, or, in video, fist-pumping and hooting. It looks awful. Callous. Borderline evil. Make no mistake, though: We are not happy that this individual animal died. We are happy because we have just succeeded in something that can often involve significant physical, mental and emotional hardship. I know of one guy who spent 21 straight days in a treestand, waiting for a buck to come by. When he finally shot one, you bet he was happy. Sure, he was sorry for that individual deer, but it meant he had climbed his personal mountain – and would have venison in the freezer for himself and his children.

Taking the photos is one thing. I don’t think too many people of all persuasions think that the taking of the image is a problem. It is the sharing of those images that sparks controversy.

So why share?

As one HAGC reader states: “It’s natural for us to want to share with others the things we are proud of. The things we work hard to accomplish. I share my husband’s photos because I am proud of him for taking care of his family, putting meat on the table. I post them on my blog or social media with hopes of inspiring others to live this lifestyle.”

She is right to be proud. We are all proud, every one of us, when we successfully bring food home to those we love. It is one of the most hard-wired, primal feelings within us. Non-hunters share this, too. A poor single mother who manages to save enough to buy a proper Christmas dinner for her kids. A gardener who coaxed, with his own hands, a bumper crop of tomatoes or peppers or whatever from the earth. A child who digs her first clam. A sister bringing a little bowl of wild blueberries to a sick sibling, knowing this will make her brother forget about his illness, if only for a while. And yes, a hunter, who has worked hard to bring home a deer that will be the family’s red meat for an entire year. It is all of a piece.

Cave art.

But I am firm in my belief that sharing the “hero shot” to those unreceptive to it is a bad idea.

Far better to show the meal made with that animal than the steps before. Some say that the Cellophane People – my name for meat eaters who do not hunt, but who think that those of us who do are monsters – ought to see the reality of meat eating, for their own good. Maybe so, maybe not. But I can tell you that showing them an image of a hunter sitting next to a dead deer or pig isn’t going to convince a anyone of the justness of omnivorous self-sufficiency.

There is also something more sinister underneath all this. There is the issue of class and culture.

It is a fact that some of the reaction against images of hunting, and especially the “hero shot,” is a reaction against a part of America the viewer disdains. Hunting is still largely a rural pursuit (it is most definitely not a “sport,” but again, that is another discussion) and it largely involves guns. Most Americans live in cities, and to many of them a gun is an object of terror, not a tool. This is the cultural home of the Cellophane People. Show them a person wearing camo, a rifle cradled in one arm, sitting next to a dead deer and they shudder and mutter something about “grinning hillbillies,” or begin a diatribe with liberal use of the term “redneck” sprinkled in.

And don’t think that the “rednecks” don’t notice. As one HAGC reader put it: “There is also what we might call the ‘reactionary aspect.’ We are aware of folks who react negatively to these types of pictures, and we only find that encouraging. It’s our way of saying, ‘We are here. We are proud, and we are not going away.’” “Hero shot” as political statement.

So where then, does that leave us?

Fortunately, the easy answer is also the most sensible. Keep these shots close, where they used to be before the advent of social media. Until Facebook, Twitter and the myriad other ways to chatter amongst ourselves began dominating our lives, we hunters and anglers shared these photos only with those we thought might like to see them. I distinctly remember keeping a picture of a gigantic tuna I caught in 1991 tucked into my wallet, to produce whenever I got to talkin’ fishin’ (the lack of “g’s” in my gerunds is a clear indicator that beer was involved) with another angler. I didn’t whip that pic out to just anyone.

So, going forward, I intend to exercise a bit of discretion. Here’s why: Those of us who hunt are a tiny minority in America, as are, incidentally, those who want to ban hunting. Hunting’s future rests on the opinion of that vast mass of unaligned non-hunters. So long as most Americans are cool with us hunting for food, they will allow it to continue. “Hero” shots – even when showing animals that will be eaten — evoke such a viscerally negative image even from sympathetic non-hunters, let alone the completely unaligned, that their casual display in openly public arenas does active harm to our cause and our future.

You may feel differently, and that is your right. But even if you do, don’t ask me about that tuna photo. It was lost when my wallet was stolen years ago. And yes, I am sad about it to this day. That photo meant a lot to me.

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About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

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  1. Hank, a very thoughtful and panoramic piece there. I admire your evenhanded approach as you’re open to hearing and even appreciating other perspectives. I also think your advice to not goad ( my word, not yours) others on is a savvy way of building
    alliances. Imagine if we modeled this behavior in so much of our rancorous, dualistic and all too quick discourse today.
    ~ David Vos, your cellophane ally

  2. Hank, I like and appreciate that you examined the rejection of the photo in the way you did, instead of dismissing it as irrelevant or reactive. It was thought-provoking and I have something to add as a non-hunter.

    The image of a hunter posing with or smiling over the slain body also brings pain and anger to the surface because it’s impossible to deny some form of individuality in the face of the animal. And, recognition of individuality makes the cultural exploitation of animals more complicated at large.

    In response, people tend to go one of two ways: they objectify or desensitize, so as to avoid the ramifications of that recognition; or, they associate more profoundly with that individual. Either way, images that strip away this artifice, as you write, force us to entertain our feelings about how we interact with animals other than ourselves.

    I don’t think this response is limited to hunting photos, though. It’s just that hunting happens to be well-documented in this regard, with lots of smiling faces over the lifeless. People would likely experience similar conflict if they regularly saw similar snapshots from, say, animal labs. There’s a reason most non-human exploitation is hidden from public view.

    I happen to think these reactions are necessary and healthy. They speak to our inner humanity and are at the core of whatever compassion remains in our own species. Science is even moving slowly toward this acknowledgement, as seen in the recent Cambridge Declaration of Consciousness and also books like Carl Safina’s latest, “Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel.”

    Even those inured to the idea of killing often use euphemistic words like “harvest.” So, I think this conflict presents across demographics, however subtly. To say that we as a culture have cognitive dissonance on this subject is an understatement.

    The biggest difference between a hunter and myself might be in how willing we are to accept the continuation of age-old interactions, when we now know so much more about them — and how very much “they” do seem to be like “us.”

  3. Excellently written and relevant post. This is why I look to You, Rinella, and to a minority of others to speak up for hunters, fishers, and foragers. I don’t have the eloquence to speak to these manners at a level befitting it’s importance to me, so I reference articles like this instead to begin a conversation.
    We’re in a strange time of media evolution, with more information available in more ways than ever before. And without the (perceived) filters of earlier journalists. Positives and negatives aside, personally, I don’t like the what the Facebooks of the world are doing to shape opinions. I quit Facebook a while ago and became instantly happier and more productive because of it. Now, I go looking for my interests, rather than having them plastered on my home page by an associate. It’s unfortunate that there are times where the only access to an article, photo, or information I’d like to view are through Facebook. I won’t have an account again, so I go without that information.

  4. Shaw’s use of a petroglyph panel to illustrate the deep history of the hunt is interesting to an old petroglyph guy like me. In the same way that Shaw notes that different observers will see very different things in the image of the “hero shot,” viewers will see very different things in the petroglyph panel as well – whatever is seen says more about the viewer than it does about the image – we can’t know what was in the carvers’ hearts and minds. Some will see an historic depiction of an actual hunt – a memorial. Some will see a depiction of a spiritual quest where the animals are metaphors for something else. Some might see a reference to a mythic story whose narrative is lost in time. Finally, some will see a story, made personal and relevant, to their own lives, now and forever. Think of the rock face as the hunter’s deep freezer, where the sustenance of the image is preserved to feed the people in the times ahead.

  5. Well written and well said Hank. In recent years I’ve traveled to countries where it is quite common to see your food go from field to table within a couple hours. It’s a very different experience and it seems that people have a much greater appreciation for the animal. Not to mention they don’t waste anything. We’ve become so accustomed to the plastic wrap of grocery store food that we can’t even make the association with where it actually comes from. Thanks for saying what needed to be said.

  6. Really well-written piece, Hank. Thank you so much for sharing and thank you Facebook for incentivizing the writing of it! If every animal that went onto our tables got the pride and respect that your animals do, the world would be a much better place. I don’t hunt myself (tried it once). I am in the same place with sourcing meat that I am in with growing my own veggies. It is cheaper to get to know the folks that do things right! No hunting but no cellophane either.

  7. This general topic is something I have thought about quite a bit since I sit on the divide between hunters and non-hunters. I live in a city and I hunt. I grew up in a place where huntable land was accessible and free and now I live in Texas, where it is the opposite.
    When the topic of hunting arises, I invariably see the urban/rural divide appear. People get prickly and start throwing around (sometimes lighthearted) insults. Since most hunters live in rural communities and since the internet magnifies the most strident voices, it is easy for hunters to think that there are a lot more people opposed to hunters than there really are and that those people are city-folk. It is only a short mental leap to comments that drive away anyone who does not live in a rural area. Given the industrialized and service-oriented nature of the modern economy, most people don’t actually have a whole lot of say in where they can live for their work. As a city-dweller, it would be significantly easier for me to NOT be a hunter. If I were a different man and felt threatened every time snide comments and threats were made about me because I’m obviously “not from around here” or drive the wrong kind of vehicle, I would have given up.
    Despite the clannish attitudes of many hunters, there IS a growing interest in hunting in the US. So many hunters lament the strength of the anti-hunting voice, but instead of reaching out and trying to make the community more accepting, they close it down with broad assertions about the life and lifestyles of those strange and alien urban dwellers.
    Seeing the laments so often paired with the insults is interesting. It makes me realize that most hunters don’t really want there to be MORE hunters. No one is making more land; in fact, the area huntable, accessible land is shrinking. More hunters on less land is not an equation for higher success rates.
    So what do we do? We bluster and brag and post pictures and comments that we intend to offend and at the same time play victim, all as a tactic to close the ranks and defend what we have from THEM.
    It makes sense. It does. But it isn’t a long term strategy, especially when you look at the percentage of the population that hunts and the reliance of those hunters on land that is owned by the everyone, hunters, non-hunters and anti-hunters alike. If we attempt to keep the middle group from becoming members of our side in an attempt to protect what we have, we may drive them to the opposite side and ensure that we lose it.

  8. This reminds me of the controversy that Sport Fishing magazine went through a few years ago. They were photos shopping out the blood on fish pictures. I think if we start self censoring and hiding what is a fact in our world, then we are making it appear that there is something wrong with fishing or hunting.

  9. Very well put Hank. I too hunt, fish, garden, gather for possibly 70% of the food my wife and I consume. I live in Seattle proper, and am fortunate enough to have fiends and neighbors that appreciate my efforts. I try to share special harvests (razor clams, smelt, venison) in order to dampen the reaction to me dragging messy coolers from the curb to garage. While I tend not to make my processing a spectacle, I do invite neighbors and their kids over when doing so. This approach tends to be more about the food than the kill (even the gruesome parts), and defrays the reaction to our choice to harvest our food. I do have some European mounts in our living room that are met with mixed reactions…but once company is able to handle the antlers and see the beauty of the texture and the fragility of the skull the topic really shifts. Giving me the opportunity to explain the joy and sadness that takes place with every harvest, from and elk to a potato. Anyhow, what I think I am trying to say is that if we all continue to be ambassadors for or choices to hunt, we can change the perception one by one. Will we change Facebook…no. Can We change the opinion of the 8 year old neighbor and her Amazon employed parents…absolutely. By the way I have shared your info with harvesters and non, and all have an appreciation of what your doing and the fantastic recipes. Please accept my gratitude.

  10. Thank you for such a well thought-out post, Hank. I think 80% of the issue is that we are all just so sheltered from death of any kind that it’s jarring to see a reminder of it. Your post was spot-on.

  11. I think that the issue was “paid”. I don’t think anyone has any problems sharing “trophy shots” on Facebook individually. If Zuckerberg posted a picture with a dead chicken, it would probably be posted. But he’s not buying advertising. [Of course, even it were advertising (for a locavore program of some sort) it would probably be allowed– he’s the boss.]

    I think there is some merit in posting the image of a kill, without a person included. Maybe even post a composite image. The kill in a natural state along with an image of the skinned & dressed, or even partially processed animal. That removes ALL the “gloating over the kill” aspects and confirms the use as food. It would also help all those “cellophane people” realize that their grocery store food is also from a formerly living animal.

    I hunt, eat the game I kill, as well as raise backyard beef for the freezer. I don’t find anything repugnant about killing for food, but I’m not big on trophies either. I was more excited about the amount of meat from the 200-lb whitetail buck I killed this year in Texas than the 11-point antlers. I did keep the antlers, but didn’t see any reason to spend hundreds of dollars for a trophy mount. I was just as happy to have a picture of the 100 pound doe that I’d killed a few days earlier.

    Next year, I’m thinking of buying a “management” hunt for an exotic, maybe a red deer hind or a doe elk. Either would just about fill a freezer with venison.

  12. For years I was a vegetarian (to avoid gout) and my Native friends told me I should hunt for those that couldn’t. Now I am pre-diabetic and have added meat to the menu, I’m again hunting and fishing. I have a vegetarian (for humanitarian reasons) friend that calls meat hunting “honest.” She probably would not like the photos you’ve posted but she doesn’t consider hunting worse than slaughterhouses, or even as bad. To her credit, she counts what you call “cellophane” people as hypocrites. I forage and consider them obligate scavengers. They eat what they already find dead. I’ll continue to harvest, unlike my native friends I don’t make an offering for the kill but I am thankful I can participate.

  13. I have seen a distinct change from the central coast of California in the 9 years I have lived here (born and raised in SW GA prior to the military leading me out here). I can recall many times 5+ years ago where I would come onto the beach after many hours freediving and the looks from other beach goers was surely not that of interest or understanding.

    Now I get just as many eyes focused on me, but I get many more questions and excited interest regarding my day’s catch. The same can be said for questions in the snack room at work. When someone asks what that lovely smell is, and my response is venison, bear, etc. the “wrinkled forehead” is now replaced by the distinct look of earnest interest. I think media outlets finally realizing people care where their food comes from, the so-called localtarian movement, has helped hunter image more than anything.

    Facebook is a fart in the wind of the bigger picture. As long as people like you, Rinella and even Andrew Zimmern are out there in the media showing people what hunters really do after that “grip n grin,” we will continue to garner support from non-hunters that may not have understood us previously.

    Keep it up Hank…

  14. “Those of us who hunt are a tiny minority in America, as are, incidentally, those who want to ban hunting.”

    I think geographical/cultural variance affects this a lot. Here in Missouri, for example, within city limits you’ll still find a mix but hunters are still far from a tiny minority. But out in the rural areas, hunting is such an inextricable bedrock of the culture, that when I became a hunter myself, I felt like I was finally stepping into the majority culture here. Gas stations sell hunting licenses and ammo, its just built in down here.

    Now, California is probably a very different matter. At one point I mentioned hunting and cooking squirrel to my relatives in LA, and their polite horror was something to behold.

  15. This was a thought-provoking post for me. I actually once wrote a paper in college on trophy hunting and the “trophy shot,” and like most other people I was disgusted at the whole practice and found the images kind of obscene. When I saw the picture at the top of this post, my brain immediately went to all those awful pictures of grinning idiots standing over lions (which by the way has the OPPOSITE class associations for me as you describe; I associate it with rich white people who have way more money than they know what to do with, and I dislike those people much more than any number of “rednecks”).

    I guess I’m in the category of non-hunters who are still pro-hunting in general (I’m fine with other people doing it; I just live in a city and have no means of hunting myself) but I still had a visceral negative reaction to that picture, because I had no idea non-trophy-hunters did that kind of stuff. In fact, it still seems gross to me after reading the whole post, and I don’t think it’s just squeamishness because the butchering photo down the page is interesting and I’m happy to look at that one.

    Anyway, thanks for catering to my tender sensibilities, I guess – I do appreciate it when I don’t have to confront that kind of thing from people I like and want to support, even if maybe I “should” be able to, or would if I were thinking about it “correctly” or whatever.

    1. Anonymous: Good point on the class thing with hunters in Africa. And, as you said, visceral is visceral. It’s governed by a different part of us than the rational mind. Can I ask you something? I normally show in my hunting stories images of the animal (dead, yes) solo, without me in the picture. Would this sort of image give you the same reaction?

  16. “Fortunately, the easy answer is also the most sensible. Keep these shots close, where they used to be before the advent of social media. Until Facebook, Twitter and the myriad other ways to chatter amongst ourselves began dominating our lives, we hunters and anglers shared these photos only with those we thought might like to see them.”

    If we “like” your page, don’t we fall into that group? If we don’t, isn’t that what the unfriend button is for?

    1. Mike: I would certainly think so. But I am talking about more public social media, where you can’t choose who sees your stuff so easily.

  17. Excellent post Hank! Who really cares what some goober at Facebook thinks?They’re all hypocrites anyway, just trying to stay relevant in a competitive market. I don’t expect people like that to understand the WHY of hunters (most of them) being happy to make a kill after putting in hours and hours of work to do so, and looking forward to a full freezer. The closest Allen at Facebook will ever get to working for his food is wracking his brain to pick between a grande and venti at Starbucks…

  18. Nice Hank. The unfortunate part about all of this is that the tiny minority of anti-hunters are much, much louder about voicing their opinion than most hunters. I appreciate you and all the other guys in the TV/podcast/social media world that are outspoken about the “good” that hunting does for all of us.

  19. Thank you again for an eloquent story that asks as many questions as it answers. My views may differ as I come from among the great unwashed of Central CA. It seems that the difference in people centers on an honest view of where our food comes from. The bullet used to killed the hog is no different than the bullet used by the butcher to kill the FFA raised hog I bought at the fair before he processes the meat. Is the sadness I have for the turkey I raise and harvest unwarranted? The pictures we took of the processing remind me of the months of feeding and caring for the bird, and the sacrifice made by him.

    It seems the cave drawing hunters were doing just as we do today, and more of them had a honest thought of why they hunt.

    1. Steve: Good point. Hadn’t thought about farmers taking images — never seen them. But I am not saying that a farmer’s slaughter is somehow less honest than a hunter’s bullet, that’s for sure.

  20. Hank, that was an awesome piece! I grew up in a “Cellophane” house. No guns, hunting is cruel, all meat eaters. When my son was born I decided I needed to feed him better. Only I couldn’t afford organic local meat from the farmers market. So I took to the woods and taught myself. And through Meals, and stories, and not hero shots, I have been able to bring my family to the hunters side. Now I get pictures texted to me by my mom when there’s a deer in the back yard. Great insights here. Win them with meals!